Lower School

Visit Durham Academy Lower School, and you'll agree that there's something special in the air — a certain spirit of engagement and purpose. You'll observe warm relationships between teachers and students, and classmates supporting one another and practicing the habits that lead to "moral, happy and productive lives." Above all, you'll see students curious about the world and motivated to learn all that they can. 

Academic Curriculum

Our goal: Foster a joy of learning and discovery.

Learning Environments

Grade-level pods provide a sense of community. 

Signature Programs

Annual traditions tie together students across the years.

Character & Community

We work to instill values like kindness and responsibility.

Meet Our Faculty

At the Lower School, every child is truly known. Our teachers work to identify how each child best learns, and they wrap them in the support they need to succeed.

“My favorite thing about is DA is how it’s just a great environment. Even if you’re not good at something, all of us are here to help you make it through it. I used to not be really good at math, but then my teacher and my friends helped me — and now I’m really good at math.”


“We love the balance of academics vs. outside-the-box thinking at DA. It is a school that really fosters independent thinking and organizational skills from an early age. My kids are in an environment where their presence matters, their voices are heard and, above all, they are surrounded by people who truly want them to succeed.”

Zankhna Parekh

“I like to learn about a lot of different people in history, and I especially liked the biography projects we just finished. I did mine on Wilbur and Orville Wright. We drew a picture on the cover of our book and we put a QR with them to show the videos we made about our people. And then on Grandfriends Day, everybody could see what you’d done.” 


“My son entered DA as a second-grader, and I found it to be a warm, positive community from the beginning. The teachers and administrators care to know how my child learns and challenge him to be resilient when faced with new concepts.”

Meg McKee

After-School Options

Our after-school program offers a range of options to help support parents' schedules and to allow students to explore their interests, foster new friendships and gain confidence in their growing independence.

Lower School After-School Options

Extended Day

2:45–6 p.m.

After-School Enrichments

Dismissal–4 p.m.

What's Going On After School?


We care for the whole child at Durham Academy, with a deliberate focus on students' physical, social-emotional and mental wellness.

Learn About Wellness at the Lower School