Cavs Connected 2021–2022

The 2021–2022 school year will require flexibility, understanding and collaboration to continue Durham Academy’s commitment to academic excellence under circumstances that are often difficult to predict. We are all in this together. Together, we can manage the challenges presented by COVID-19 with flexibility, resilience and support for the DA community. 

DA’s approach and best practices have been shaped by:

  • the school’s mission to prepare students for moral, happy, productive lives;

  • the lessons learned during DA’s emergency response to COVID-19 in spring 2020 and during the 2020–2021 school year;

  • the expertise of a community of health care, communicable disease and online learning professionals;

  • and most of all, by balancing the shared desire to provide the best possible learning environment for DA students, faculty and staff with the health and safety precautions that protect their well-being.

Guiding Principles

In June 2020, the Cavs Connected Planning Committee — including DA’s Administrative Team, directors of Extended Day, Security and DA Summer, and DA’s Health and Wellness Team — developed a set of principles to guide the school’s work in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Create exceptional, sustainable and equitable learning experiences in environments that prioritize the physical, developmental, emotional and social health, and wellness of students.

  • Keep DA’s mission in mind: preparing students for moral, happy, productive lives. 

  • Strengthen, support and sustain the school community — recognizing our shared vulnerability and mutual responsibility.

  • Evolve, respond and build expertise and resiliency as circumstances change. Learn relentlessly.

  • Maximize opportunities for on-campus learning and social engagement within the bounds of public health restrictions, for younger learners in particular.

  • Equip families with the information and support needed for a successful educational experience through consistent, clear, transparent communications.

Safety Precautions & Protocols

DA’s highest priority is the health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff. Universal health and safety precautions for the 2021–2022 school year include behavioral and operational protocols to ensure the ongoing growth and learning of our students, to prevent COVID-19 exposure and transmission and to allow for rapid and effective responses to any outbreaks. In preparation for the mutual responsibility families will share in supporting the health and safety of the DA community, we encourage families to understand and practice these precautions.

Health and Safety Protocols

Masks are required at all times indoors and outdoors with these exceptions: during brief periods of distanced eating and drinking; for vaccinated adults alone in closed offices or classrooms; and for Upper Schoolers who are outdoors, seated and at least 3 feet apart.



Families are encouraged to have students vaccinated with all recommended immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinated students may utilize DA transportation, and some extracurricular activities (including onstage theatre roles) may only be available to vaccinated students.

Frequent hand-washing breaks are scheduled throughout the day, and teachers offer regular instruction about hand hygiene. Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms and buildings.

Children must be kept home if they are or a sibling is experiencing COVID-like symptoms and awaiting testing results, or if a parent receives a positive COVID diagnosis. Families must notify the school if a parent develops a COVID-like symptom.

Families commit to following the health and safety protocols outlined in the Durham Academy Community Health Compact to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellness of the entire DA community.

Our community follows federal (CDC), state (NCDHHS) and local (Durham County Department of Public Health) directives.

Families that have traveled or attended large gatherings must seek PCR testing to ensure the safety of all and remain at home in the event of illness. Families should refer to CDC guidelines for domestic and international travel.

Campus Precautions and Preparations

The following procedures, campus adjustments and procurement of supplies are in place to protect our community.  

  • Personal protective equipment for all students, faculty and staff. 
  • Visitors and volunteers will be allowed on campus for limited situations only with prior approval and must abide by all campus and facility health and safety protocols.
  • Enhanced sanitizing and cleaning processes for high-contact surfaces and facilities throughout the day, including additional staff on all campuses.
  • Nightly cleaning and sanitizing of all classrooms and use areas.
  • MERV 13 filters installed in all HVAC systems.
  • Tents installed to create outdoor instructional spaces.
  • Protective plexiglass screens installed in high-traffic front office areas.
  • Physical distancing and navigational signage to minimize mixing of students.



DA’s Office of Communications will keep families informed about announcements and information related to COVID-19 and the school's learning environments. You can sign up to receive updates via email alerts through our website or via RSS feed.