Durham Public Schools

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Durham Public School System's official logo.
Durham Public School System's old logo.
Durham Public Schools central offices.
Picnic tables outside the DPS central office building

Durham Public Schools was formed in 1992 with the merger of Durham's previous two school districts and is currently the 8th largest school system in North Carolina. There are currently 54 public schools in the system, consisting of 30 elementary (K-5), 9 middle (6-8), 2 secondary (6-12), 11 high (9-12), 1 alternative, and 1 hospital school.[1] Durham's schools are traditionally named after notable members of the local community (such as George Watts or Rogers-Herr [Named after long-time Durham school teachers Maude Rogers and Margurite Herr), or the area in which they are built (such as Bethesda or Eno Valley).

Formation[edit]

In 1927, Hope Valley School was built for grades 1 through 11. It was the first public school in Southwestern Durham. Changes to the Hope Valley School facility were made in 1941 and 1952. the school was subsequently downgraded to an elementary school with the opening of Southern High School in the fall of 1956. In 1964, Jordan High School on Garrett Road was constructed.

Integration history[edit]

Prior to integration, it was commonly thought that the most prominent people attended the Durham City School System: white students attended Durham High School and black students attended Hillside High School.

In 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Hillside High School, which was one of the Southeast's highest-ranked black high schools.

In 1957, the parents of Joycelyn McKissick and Elaine Richardson sued for their daughters to be reassigned to Durham High School of the Durham City School System.

In 1958, Rencher N. Harris became the first black member of Durham City Board of Education.

In 1959, the Durham City School Board allowed reassignment of eight black pupils to previously all-white schools. The first black students to integrate were Anita Brame and Lucy Jones at Brogden Junior High (now Brogden Middle School). In 1959, Joycelyn McKissick became the first African American student at Durham High School (now Durham School of the Arts).

In September 1963, Charmaine McKissick among eight other minority youths were the first to desegregate into the Durham Public School system at the Elementary level. Along with her Floyd McKissick Jr, they entered into the North Durham Elementary School. Charmaine McKissick was the youngest to participate in the desegregation. She recalls, “My family prepared us all, every day, with the armor to return the next.[2] “ Not many students are willing to talk about their experiences. McKissick-Melton also states, “It is too painful.”[3] She goes onto write, “There are a few exceptions such as my good friend Janice Guess, whom I encouraged to write her story, and she did in, ‘Little Black Girls Want Pearls Too.’”[4] The integration was a harsh burden for a lot of those children and families involved. McKissick also writes, “The hurt is so deep from the wounds of more than fifty years ago that they still feel the pain.”[5] McKissick-Melton also write, “We had some difficult times but nothing compared to the older students, including my sisters before me. I had it easier because the kids had not had enough time to learn and display their hatred, racist and their bigoted behavior.”[6] Charmaine McKissick-Melton, PH. D, has since then decided to give back to the Durham Community as an Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication at North Carolina Central University. She is also the daughter of the late Evelyn and Floyd McKissick, Jude Floyd B. McKissick, Sr.

In 1968, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sued the Durham County School System in order to integrate its schools. The Durham County School Board's integration plan was accepted by the Federal District Court in Greensboro. The plan stated that all high schools and junior high schools would be integrated in the fall of 1969. The Federal District Judge gave an extra year for elementary schools due to space limitations and the need to purchase mobile units.

Durham County School System's principals had all been hired during legal segregation, so there was much discussion in the community about how successful integration would be in Durham County. One problem that existed was at Southern High School whose principal was Sidney Ray. Southern High School's mascot was the Rebel, and the high school used the confederate flag, and that the community thought that part of town was the redneck part of town. The mascot was later changed to the Spartan. There was less concern about Jordan High School because it had been attended by more affluent families of all colors. At Northern High School, there was a mix. The school had one of the toughest principals in the district.[7]

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court in Alexander vs. Holmes County Board of Education reversed the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that continued operation of segregated schools in Mississippi was no longer permissible. The NAACP filed suit in the Court of Appeals in Richmond saying, based on Alexander-Holmes Decision, they wanted all of Durham's elementary schools integrated. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the case in December. The judge stated that Durham County and City Schools had been given 15 years to accomplish integration and had failed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled integration would happen immediately.

In the fall of 1969, all three high schools (Southern, C.E. Jordan, and Northern) and junior high schools were integrated as ordered. Durham City Schools' high schools were Durham High School and Hillside High School, which were at this time were still the largest public schools in both the city and county of Durham.

In 1970, Durham County elementary schools were fully integrated. Durham City schools began to decline after integration. Middle- and upper-class began emigrating out of the Durham City School System to the Durham County School System. The Durham City School System became populated with poorer people. Hillside High School, almost entirely black, maintained a good number of middle-class blacks. Due to immense migration, blacks began to control the Durham City School System and elected a majority black school board and a black superintendent.

A merger attempt of the Durham City School System and the Durham County School System was made in 1972. There were several more attempt that failed to gain support. Finally, in 1992 an agreement was reached. During the merger, the Durham County School System's junior high (grades 7, 8 & 9) and senior high (10, 11, & 12) format was abolished and the Durham City School System's format of middle schools (grades 6, 7 and 8) and high schools (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12) was implemented.

In 1992, the Durham County School System and the Durham City School System merged to form Durham Public Schools.

2018-2019 Board of Education[edit]

Board members are:[8] (The Swearing-In Ceremony will take place on July 10, 2018) [9]

  • The chair is Mike Lee (District 1)
  • The vice chair is Steve Unruhe (At Large)
  • Natalie Beyer (District 4)
  • Minnie Forte-Brown (Consolidated District A)
  • Bettina Umstead (District 2)
  • Xavier Cason (Consolidated District B)
  • Matt Sears (District 3)

2017-2018 Board of Education[edit]

Board members are:[10]

  • The chair is Mike Lee (District 1)
  • The vice chair is Steve Unruhe (At Large)
  • Natalie Beyer (District 4)
  • Minnie Forte-Brown (Consolidated District A)
  • Bettina Umstead (District 2)
  • Xavier Cason (Consolidated District B)
  • Matt Sears (District 3)

2016-2017 Board of Education[edit]

Board members are:[11]

  • The chair is Mike Lee (District 1)
  • The vice chair is Natalie Beyer (District 4)
  • Minnie Forte-Brown (Consolidated District A)
  • Bettina Umstead (District 2)
  • Xavier Cason (Consolidated District B)
  • Matt Sears (District 3)
  • Steve Unruhe (At Large)

2014-2015 Board of Education[edit]

Board members are:[12]

  • The chair is Heidi Carter (Consolidated District B). Term expires June 30, 2016.
  • The vice chair is Minnie Forte-Brown (Consolidated District A). Term expires June 30, 2016.
  • Natalie Beyer (District 4) Term expires
  • Leigh Bordley (At Large) Term expires June 30, 2016
  • Sendolo Diaminah
  • Mike Lee
  • Matt Sears

2013-2014 Board of Education[edit]

Board members are:[13]

  • The chair is Heidi Carter (Consolidated District B). Term expires June 30, 2016.
  • The vice chair is Minni Forte-Brown (Consolidated District B). Term expires June 30, 2016.
  • Natalie Beyer (District 4) Term expires June 30, 2014
  • Leigh Bordley (At Large) Term expires June 30, 2016
  • Nancy Cox (District 3) Term expires June 30, 2014
  • Fredrick A. Davis (District 2) Term expires June 30, 2014
  • Omega Curtis Parker (District 1) Term expires June 30, 2014

2010-2012 Board of Education[edit]

The chairman is Minnie Forte-Brown (District A). The vice chairman is Heidi Carter(District B). Board members are:[14]

  • Leigh Bordley (At Large)
  • Omega Curtis Parker (District 1)
  • Fredrick A. Davis (District 2)
  • Nancy Cox (District 3)
  • Natalie Beyer (District 4)

Superintendents[edit]

1992
Kenneth Brunson
1992-1993
C. Owen Phillips
1994-1996
Theodore R. Drain
1997-2006
Dr. Ann T. Denlinger
2006-2009
Dr. Carl E. Harris
January - June 2010
H. Hank Hurd (as Interim Superintendent)
July 1, 2010 - December 31, 2013
Dr. Eric J. Becoats
January 1, 2014 - July 11, 2014
Hugh Osteen (as Interim Superintendent)
July 14, 2014 – October 1, 2017
Dr. Bert L’Homme[15]
October 1, 2017 - November 2017
Aaron Beaulieu (as Interim Superintendent)
November 2017 - Present
Dr. Pascal Mubenga[16]

Statistics[edit]

Durham Public Schools employs 4,697 people (2,243 teachers) and had 33,035 students in the 2016-2017 school year.[17] Durham Public Schools is the third largest employer in Durham, NC[18]

  • Pre-Kindergarten: 426
  • Grades K-5: 15,799
  • Grades 6-8: 6,753
  • Grades 9-12: 10,483

Teacher salaries range from $39,375-$99,359 (includes local supplement and differential).[19]

The school system utilizes more than 300 school buses to transport over 16,000 students throughout Durham every day.

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2017-2018 school year there were 33,072 students enrolled in Durham Public Schools.[20]

Durham Public Schools Student Demographics[21]
2003-04 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2016-2017 2017-2018
Black 56.53% 53.86% na 52.52% 52.12% 46.7% 44.7%
White 29.2% 22.60% na 21.36% 21.13% 18.6% 18.8%
Hispanic 8.9% 17.11% na 19.22% 20.97% 30.1% 30.7%
Asian 2.4% 2.60% na 2.62% 2.44% 2.3% 2.2%
American Indian 0.3% 0.21% na 0.22% 0.29% 0.3% 0.2%
Multi-racial 2.9% 3.60% na 4.06% 3.05% 2.8% 3.2%
TOTAL 30889 32749 32499 32551 32566 33,747 33,072

Schools[edit]

High Schools (9-12)[edit]

Hillside[edit]

Hillside High School

Hillside High School is a four-year public high school. Of more than 300 historically black high schools that once operated in the state before desegregation, only five remain today, with Hillside being the oldest. The school features the International Baccalaureate Program and the Business and Finance Academy. "Students may study electronics, engineering, and child care through the Workforce Development courses, as well as traditional business classes".[22][23] The school mascot is the hornet. Hillside is known for performing arts such as their award-winning[citation needed] Marching Band and Drama Department. Hillside students come from many middle school areas such as Rogers-Herr, Githens, Lowes Grove, Shepard, Brogden, and Lakewood. Hillside enrolled 1370 students in the 2017-2018 school year.[24] The schools current principal is Dr. William Logan.[25]

Jordan[edit]

Charles E. Jordan High School

Charles E. Jordan High School is located on Garrett Road near Hope Valley Road in southwest Durham. The school mascot is the falcon. Jordan students come from many area middle schools such as Shepard, Githens, Lowe's Grove, and Rogers-Herr. The school features career pathways in Agriscience/Biotechnology and Commercial and Artistic Production. Other components of the Jordan community that have won national and state awards include the marching band, show choir, DECA (marketing and business), Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, the foreign language program, and the school newspaper.[26] Jordan enrolled 1,979 students in the 2017-2018 school year.[27] The schools current principal is Susan Taylor.[28]

Northern[edit]

Northern High School is a four-year public high school located in the northern part of Durham. Northern is one of Durham's seven public high schools. Students take 4 classes each day. Northern's mascot is a knight. Northern students come from some middle school such as Lucas, Brogden, and Carrington. Northern offers the Northern also offers specialty course programs like Culinary Arts, Astronomy, Sports Medicine, Mythology, and many more.[29] Northern enrolled 1,536 students in the 2017-2018 school year.[30] The schools current principal is Danny Gilfort.[31]

Riverside[edit]

Riverside High School is a four-year public high school located in Northern Durham. Opened in 1991, this school is one of seven public high schools in the Durham Public School System. Riverside students come from some middle school areas such as Carrington, Brogden, and Lucas. Riverside is SACS & NCDPI accredited, has the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering Magnet, and the Air Force JROTC Magnet.[32] Riverside enrolled 1,826 students in the 2017-2018 school year.[33] The schools current principal is Tonya Williams.[34]

Southern[edit]

Southern High School is a four-year public high school located in southern Durham. Southern is a 4A school, and has football, baseball, and basketball programs as well as the Symphonic Soul of the South Marching Band. Southern students mostly come from Neal and Brogden. Durham Public Schools, with the support of the New Schools Project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has reinvented the high school experience at Southern School of Energy & Sustainability.[35] Southern enrolled 1,429 students in the 2017-2018 school year.[36] The schools current principal is Jerome Leathers.[37]

Middle College[edit]

Middle College High School is located on the campus of Durham Tech. This high school is only for juniors and seniors. There were 197 students during the 2017-2018 school year.[38]

Other High Schools[edit]

Middle Schools (6-8)[edit]

Githens Middle School
Durham Public Middle Schools
Name Principal Mascot Colors Enrollment (2016-2017)
Brogden Latonya Smith Dragon Green, White 542
Carrington Holly Emmanuel Cougar Orange, Black 931
School for Creative Studies (formerly Chewning) Renee Price Gryphon Blue, Green, White 610
Githens Crystal Isom-Adu Raider Blue, Black, White 923
Lowe's Grove Dr. Tekeisha Mitchell Viking Maroon, Gold 601
Lucas Michael Somers Leopard Maroon, Black 531
Neal Michael Fuga Eagle Green, Gold, White 759
Rogers-Herr Kecia Rogers Ram Blue, White 633
James E Shepard IB Middle Micah Copeland Panther Red, Black, White 452
Lakewood Montessori Middle School Dr. Warnele Carmon Lynx Green, White 295

Elementary Schools (K-5)[edit]

Durham Public Elementary Schools
Name Principal Mascot Enrollment (2016-2017)
Bethesda Shaneeka Moore-Lawrence Bulldog 686
Burton Magnet Dr. Kimberly Ferrell Ram 349
C. C. Spaulding Dr. Jamie Carr Bald eagle 268
Club Boulevard Humanities Magnet Terry Phillips Manatee 494
Creekside Arrica Mosley-Dubose Eagle 889
Easley Year-Round Jennifer Hauser Eagle 565
Eastway Shayla Holeman Eagle 542
E. K. Powe Dr. Margaret Goodhand Eagle 476
Eno Valley Rodney Berry Eagle 509
Fayetteville Street Ebony Hopkins Lion 287
Forest View Neil Clay Falcon 737
George Watts Montessori Magnet School Patti Crum Wild Cats 350
Glenn Cornelius Redfearn Lion Pride 709
Hillandale Shannon Gill Hurricane 653
Holt Year-Round Donya Jones Eagle 656
Hope Valley Kristin Tate Eagle 626
Lakewood Elementary James Hopkins Bulldog 450
Little River School Dr. Cory Hogans Beaver 474
Mangum Karen Kellett Pirates 307
Merrick-Moore Matthew Hunt Tiger 607
Morehead Montessori School Cynthia Webb Meerkat 226
Oak Grove Aisha Howard Cougar 603
Parkwood Michelle Bell Panther 557
Pearsontown Rodriguez Teal Panda 809
R. N. Harris Magnet Carolyn Pugh Eagle 317
Southwest Nicholas Rotosky Seahawks 636
Spring Valley Sarah Sanchez Stinger the Bee 536
W.G Pearson Elementary Christy Boykin Tiger 478
Y. E. Smith Letisha Judd Tiger 386
Sandy Ridge Visual and Performing Arts Keri Pitchford Stars 597

Secondary Schools[edit]

Durham School of the Arts[edit]

Durham School of the Arts

Durham School of the Arts (DSA) is a secondary (grades 6-12) magnet school located in downtown Durham, housing 1711 students.[39] Its focus is on visual and performing arts. Offerings include extensive 3D and 2D art, dance, guitar, strings, band, photography, piano, acting, technical theater, and computer classes. Students are enrolled by a lottery system and can enroll as early as the sixth grade.

Lakeview School[edit]

Lakeview School is an alternative school for grades 6-12 to teach those who have a history of misbehavior.

Hospital School[edit]

  • The Hospital School[40] is located at Duke University Medical Center. This school teaches students with health conditions.

School for Creative Studies[edit]

The School for Creative Studies[41] is a year-round secondary magnet school (grades 6-12) located at 5001 Red Mill Road, Durham, 27704. This school opened with 300 students (Grades 6, 7, 9) on July 1, 2013 in the same building that used to house Chewning Middle School. The principal is Renee Price.

References[42][edit]

  1. ^ "Durham Public Schools Information". 
  2. ^ McKissick-Melton, Charmaine. "Charmaine McKissick-Melton: Pain of First Students to Desegregate Durham Schools Endures." Newsobserver. News and Observer, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
  3. ^ McKissick-Melton, Charmaine. "Charmaine McKissick-Melton: Pain of First Students to Desegregate Durham Schools Endures." Newsobserver. News and Observer, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
  4. ^ McKissick-Melton, Charmaine. "Charmaine McKissick-Melton: Pain of First Students to Desegregate Durham Schools Endures." Newsobserver. News and Observer, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
  5. ^ McKissick-Melton, Charmaine. "Charmaine McKissick-Melton: Pain of First Students to Desegregate Durham Schools Endures." Newsobserver. News and Observer, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
  6. ^ McKissick-Melton, Charmaine. "Charmaine McKissick-Melton: Pain of First Students to Desegregate Durham Schools Endures." Newsobserver. News and Observer, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
  7. ^ "Durham High Schools Integration History". 
  8. ^ http://www.dpsnc.net/domain/77
  9. ^ https://www.dpsnc.net/site/Default.aspx?PageID=224&DomainID=77#calendar143/20180710/event/7053
  10. ^ http://www.dpsnc.net/domain/77
  11. ^ http://www.dpsnc.net/domain/77
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  13. ^ Board of Education page, Durham Public Schools, retrieved 2014-05-22 
  14. ^ Board of Education page, Durham Public Schools, retrieved 2010-05-15 
  15. ^ http://www.dpsnc.net/domain/76
  16. ^ https://www.dpsnc.net/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=450&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=5765&PageID=1&GroupByField=&GroupYear=0&GroupMonth=0&Tag=
  17. ^ https://www.dpsnc.net/domain/78
  18. ^ http://durhamchamber.org/economic-development/economic-profile
  19. ^ "District Facts & Figures / District Data". www.dpsnc.net. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  20. ^ "DPS Statistics" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "DPS Statistics" (PDF). 
  22. ^ "Business & Finance Academy / Business & Finance Academy". www.dpsnc.net. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  23. ^ "International Baccalaureate Programme / Mission Statement". www.dpsnc.net. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  24. ^ "DPS Demographics (Hillside)" (PDF). 
  25. ^ "About Us / About Hillside". www.dpsnc.net. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  26. ^ "Jordan High School: About Us". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  27. ^ "DPS Demographics (Jordan)" (PDF). 
  28. ^ "Jordan High School: About Us". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  29. ^ "Northern High School: Faculty & Academic Information". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  30. ^ "DPS Demographics (Northern)" (PDF). 
  31. ^ "Northern High School: About Us". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  32. ^ "Riverside School Profile" (PDF). 
  33. ^ "DPS Demographics (Riverside)" (PDF). 
  34. ^ "Riverside High School: About Us". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  35. ^ "Southern School of Energy and Sustainability (Magnet): About Us". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  36. ^ "DPS Demographics (Southern)" (PDF). 
  37. ^ "Southern School of Energy and Sustainability (Magnet): About Us". Edline. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  38. ^ "DPS Demographics (Middle College)" (PDF). 
  39. ^ https://www.dpsnc.net/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=309&dataid=2316&FileName=Enrollment%20Numbers%202016-17.pdf
  40. ^ Hospital School profile, Durham Public Schools, retrieved 2010-05-15 
  41. ^ The School for Creative Studies profile, Durham Public Schools, retrieved 2013-12-31 
  42. ^ "The School for Creative Studies: The SCS Team". Edline. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 

External links[edit]