Specific Programs & Initiatives

Durham Academy relies on the flexible support provided by the DA Fund; however, gifts designated to strengthen specific school programs and initiatives are also investments in DA’s future. If you are interested in supporting a specific program or initiative, contact a member of the Philanthropy Team.

Athletics - Boys Cross-Country Runners

Athletics can teach students to deal with the elation of success and also the disappointment of failure — and how to benefit from both. DA students experience broad access to the athletics program, with approximately 80 percent of students in grades 7–8 and 65 percent of Upper Schoolers participating in interscholastic team sports. At the same time, our teams have been incredibly successful — playing competitive schedules, regularly earning top rankings at the regional and state level, and winning state championships.

Speech and Debate

DA's nationally competitive speech and debate program has been named one of the top 100 programs in the nation (of the National Speech & Debate Association's nearly 2,500 member schools) for two years in a row, and as of fall 2021, the DA program held the longest active streak of top-20 finishes in the nation.

Middle School Rain Garden

Among many student-led initiatives is the rain garden Middle Schoolers designed, engineered and installed at the new Middle School Arts & World Languages Center to help mitigate runoff from the facility's parking lot.

Diversity Equity and Engagement Efforts

Through our Diversity, Equity & Engagement work, DA aims to ensure that all of our students feel a deep sense of belonging and a heightened sense of curiosity. DA devotes professional development resources to help faculty become more culturally competent educators and is moving forward with more integrated and sustained programming for students, faculty, staff and families.

Sustainability Efforts

Sustainability efforts include everything from a robust composting program and education outreach to families, to a student seminar centered around the planting trees on campus.

Independent Study Program

Independent Studies are credit-bearing courses designed and taken by sophomores, juniors, or seniors either during the school year or the summer. Some students take this opportunity to pursue a longstanding personal interest; others delve deeply into a topic inspired by travel, service, or regular coursework; still others seek to develop a new skill. 

Robotics Program

DA's robotics program comprises academic courses, as well as an extracurricular FIRST Robotics Competition team (DARC SIDE, or Durham Academy Robotics Club: Students in Design and Engineering).