Latest at Durham Public Schools
In a media briefing on March 12, Superintendent Eric J. Becoats discussed topics impacting students and parents.
THE RESULTS ARE IN
Students that applied for one of the district’s 23 magnet schools through lottery were notified earlier this month of their acceptance. Over 8,500 applications were received. About 1,900 of them came from students currently attending private, charter or home schools. The overall application numbers are up this year by about 30 percent.
With goals to utilize school facilities, promote diversity and offer relevant programs to students in the district, the DPS Board of Education approved five new magnet schools to be implemented during the 2013-14 school year:
• Holt Year-Round Elementary will transition to a Language Academy offering Spanish and Mandarin Chinese beginning with the kindergarten class.
• Lowe’s Grove Middle will become a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics school offering “Techways,” including digital media technology, robotics and design technology, environmental technology and arts and kinesthetic technology.
• Neal Middle will also become a STEM school with an emphasis on engineering and design.
• Chewning Middle will be converted to the School of Creative Studies. Enrolling grades six to 12, students will focus on media and entertainment arts, graphic design, architectural design and literacy arts.
• Southern School of Energy and Sustainability will comprise of four small schools. Beginning as a freshman, students can select the School of Computer and Technology Engineering, the School of Infrastructure Engineering, the School of Business Management and Sustainability, and the School of Biomedical Technology.
2013-14 BUDGET UPDATE
As in pervious years, inflation and growth plus funding restrictions equal deficit. In April, Becoats will present the BOE with his proposed budget. The school system faces challenges, including the impact of $1.7 million from sequestration. In the meeting, Becoats warned that effects could be felt down the road and could change Title I funding.
With a projected shortfall of over $12 million for 2013, restrictions in the Central Office’s budget, transportation efficiency and state discretionary reductions are under construction.
STAKEHOLDER FEEDBACK SURVEY
From March 18-29, parents and DPS employees are encouraged to take the Stakeholder Feedback Survey on www.dpsnc.net. Questions will accesses services, internal communication and professional development.
Y.E. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
The East Durham Children’s Initiative led 14 students (left) from Y.E. Smith Elementary (above) to embark on a bus tour to Washington, D.C. Students will visit the National Archives and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.
The tour is the first of its kind for EDCI. Follow their journey on Twitter (@EDCI_NC) or on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/East-Durham_Childrens_Initiative.