January 2021


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Durham Public Schools partnering with Greenlight Durham for COVID-19 Support

Representatives from Greenlight Durham, a Duke University initiative aimed at providing COVID-19 support to keep businesses and organizations open, spoke about the new partnership with Durham Public Schools during Thursday night’s board meeting. The hope is that through the partnership, the district can better engage community members and work towards getting students and staff safely back on campus.

For DPS families, the Greenlight Program proposes to engage and provide important information regarding COVID-19 and testing within the district and community. The partnership will support:

- Connecting Durham Public Schools families to community resources, including community health workers and social support programs

- Rapid antigen testing for DPS athletic programs

  • Build capabilities and capacity to test for COVID-19 within school environments
  • Increase confidence with families and staff for school environments to launch clinical programs

- Vaccine hesitancy and adoption survey

  • Readiness assessment of DPS staff for vaccine adoption and dissemination

  • Inform communication strategy to drive vaccination programs

- Vaccine town halls and small group meetings

  • Community town halls led by diverse experts in English and Spanish

  • Small group meetings to surface and discuss concerns

“We believe through the school system we can inform people to prevent vaccine hesitancy,” said Dr. Mark Sendak, a clinical data scientist at Duke University. “Many schools are seeing that it is the most vulnerable families that are not able to participate in on-site learning even when the classroom is reopened. There are many families where children live in multi-generational households and the parents have to make the tough decision to keep kids home because they don’t want to get grandparents sick. DPS is positioned to reach a wide audience and we really want to reach families. We think if we are successful with this, we can help pave the way to on-campus learning.”

“I am so excited for this partnership,” said Natalie Beyer, DPS board member. “I am very excited to hear about the focus on equity and am hoping that as we go forward, we can start testing and using the app and other tools in our learning centers and learn from that for our reopening plans.”

Greenlight Durham uses technology to help connect staff members with testing, provide access to community services – including COVID-19 relief payments – and provide information on vaccine availability.

To view the full presentation that was presented to DPS board members, click here.

Newest Durham school named Lyons Farm Elementary School to honor history of area

During Thursday night's school board meeting, board members voted and approved to name the district’s newest school Lyons Farm Elementary School, which will be built on land that was purchased nearly a decade ago off of Scott King Road.

The 50+ acres was once owned by the Lyons, whose family leased portions of it out to tobacco farmers. Through post-reconstruction and much of the 20th Century, the Lyons family fought legally, emotionally, and sometimes physically to keep their land and protect their livelihood. Through their farm, the Lyons were one of many African American families that contributed to the growth and economic opportunities for Durham.

The name "Lyons Farm Elementary School" was chosen after nearly 700 community members weighed in on what the name of the new school should be; all were taken into consideration.

Lyons Farm Elementary School will be located in Southern Durham, an area where there is an urgent need for additional elementary school seats to relieve crowding and provide equitable opportunities for all DPS students, present and future.

We hope by selecting a name for the school that honors the family that once owned the property, we are capturing the importance of the past, present, and future of the area and its infinite possibilities.

The DPS Magnet/CTE Lottery Application Process Explained

DPS Office of Student Assignment, CTE/Magnet Programs, and Multilingual Resource Center will hosted a webinar to explain the magnet lottery registration process. Applications are being accepted until Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. | Click here to learn more or submit your application now.

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Congratulations to our #WeAreDPS 2021 winter graduates!

We are extremely proud of their hard work and dedication. Take a look at the photos from our ceremony held last week by clicking here. | #ClassOf2021
DPS Winter Graduation 2021 | January 21, 2021 | 2 pm


About Durham Public Schools

Our school district is one of the top 10 largest in the state, serving more than 32,000 students in both the city and county of Durham. Durham is on an upward trend, recognized all over as one of the hot spots in the south -- from food to history to music to education -- more and more people are learning what those of us here already know: Durham is the place to be!