2015 Strategic Plan

Durham Academy's 2015 Strategic Plan, more than any other in our history, grows from our shared values rather than pressing financial or physical plant needs. This plan is focused on our mission, the DNA of DA – happy, moral, productive lives.

How do we help our school and our students realize their fullest potential? How do we build a foundation for our students to achieve happiness, morality and productivity, both in their next stage of higher education and throughout their adult lives?

The answer: We strive and we connect. It’s what drives us to reach higher, unite more meaningfully and serve our students more effectively than ever before. Everyone in our community can support making this vision a reality.


Durham Academy has always been firmly grounded in a liberal arts tradition — the strongest foundation for cultivating ethical and intellectual virtue. The liberal arts foster curiosity and creativity, critical thinking and empathetic feeling. And by exposing our students to many different perspectives, cultures and ideas, a liberal arts education widens our perspective and enables us to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

Durham Academy also believes in excellence. We strive both as individuals and as an institution to constantly challenge and improve ourselves, whether by honing our teaching prowess or growing the role of problem solving and critical thinking in our curriculum. Refusing to be comfortable with our accomplishments to date, we will continue to instill in our institution the same spirit of vigorous self-improvement we expect of our students. 

Goal 1: A faculty full of life-changers 

Durham Academy believes educators should foster students’ passions and inspire their futures. We will strive to create a faculty full of “life-changers”:  genuine, curious, passionate, striving, generous and accountable teachers/learners who nurture, inspire, engage and challenge students and model the path to moral, happy, productive lives.

Goal 2: A cohesive, connected and collaborative student learning experience

Durham Academy believes every student’s learning experience should be cohesive, connected and sequential throughout his or her tenure. Our curriculum should also evolve to incorporate more critical thinking and problem solving to meet the demands of today’s world and to vigorously promote innovative teaching and learning as we reinforce core skills.

Goal 3: A broader experience of diversity and a renewed commitment to accessibility

Durham Academy believes that diversity enlivens, improves and enriches the school – and the daily experience of every learner. We have long acted to make all kinds of diversity a priority from our boardroom to our classroom. Challenging ourselves even more, we will broaden the conversation about and deepen the experience of diversity at Durham Academy.



Durham Academy recognizes that striving alone does not lead to fulfillment. Our students also need authentic, meaningful connections – with each other and with those beyond our campus – to build happy, moral, productive lives. With this in mind, we seek to deepen relationships in communities both near (among peers, teachers and parents) and far (in Durham, the Triangle and the world).

Goal 4: A unified and welcoming community

Durham Academy believes that a connected school community is unified by common values, linked across divisions and welcoming for every student and every family. We commit to strengthening the Durham Academy community in ways that make all families, students, teachers, alumni and visitors feel welcome, valued, supported and integral.

Goal 5: A school connected to Durham, the Triangle and the world

Durham Academy believes acting beyond self-interest (both individually and institutionally) furthers our mission of enabling students to live moral, happy, productive lives. We also believe in expanding the worldview of our students – allowing them to live, learn, lead, and collaborate with teams both near and far. To that end, Durham Academy will increase its commitment to service learning and opportunities for global exposure – propelling students and our institution to see beyond self-interest and participate actively in our communities.



To support these goals, Durham Academy must ensure that our enrollment and capital structure enable our ambitions. Securing the school's future includes planning for financial sustainability, anticipating and identifying trends in the marketplace, strengthening the school's financial foundation and ensuring its infrastructure supports current programming as well as initiatives outlined in this plan.