Elementary school choices for parents

by Administrator 19. January 2012 14:57

Parents of rising kindergartners have many questions in the months leading up to the start of school, when their child will begin their journey into the public classroom.  Starting kindergarten is one of the most important transitions a young child will experience.  On top of the doubts and fears that parents may have, they are also faced with important choices.  Some of the most frequently asked questions by parents include:

How do I locate my child’s assigned school?
Go to the Durham Public School home page at www.dpsnc.net and click on the Student Map Assignment symbol and follow the directions to locate schools assigned to your address. You may also call Student Assignment at 560-2059.

What are my child’s choices for elementary school at DPS?
Attend your Neighborhood School, apply to a Year Round School, or apply to a Magnet School.

What is a Neighborhood School?
A Neighborhood School is a school that is close to your home, which usually begins in August and ends in June. Call 560-9403 if unsure which is your Neighborhood School. Registration for Neighborhood Schools begins at the school in March.

What is a Year Round School?
The Year Round School calendar begins in July and ends in June. Instead of one big summer break, students in Year Round Schools have three week breaks in September, December, and March.  There are three elementary schools in Durham (Holt, Easley, and Pearsontown) that are Year Round Schools. Every address in Durham is assigned to one of the three Year Round Schools.

What is a Magnet School?
Durham Public Schools has seven Magnet Schools, which are schools that have a special focus such as the arts or foreign languages. For example, Burton Elementary is a Geo-World Magnet that helps children learn about the world and society and Sandy Ridge Elementary is an Arts Magnet, allowing students to take art, music, dance, and performing arts or drama classes.

What resources are available to assist parents in making this decision?
DPS is hosting a Choice Fair on January 21, 2012 from 9 am to noon at Hillside High School. At the Choice Fair, parents can learn about assigned neighborhood schools, year-round schools and magnet schools in Durham and how to apply. Call 560-9403 with any questions or visit the Schools of Choice page on the DPS website.

DPS will host its final Kindergarten Welcome Session of the year on March 6, 2012 from 6 to 7:30 pm at the DPS Staff Development Center (2107 Hillandale Road).  Kindergarten Welcome Sessions cover how to register your child for kindergarten, opportunities for magnet and year-round programs in DPS, information about before and after school care, and conversations with kindergarten teachers.  Call 560-9403 to reserve a seat.

Visit the Partnership Transition to Kindergarten web page or the DPS kindergarten website with additional questions.

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