DPS will welcome Kestrel, Discovery students ‘with open arms’

Q: Will Durham Public Schools be able to accommodate the students who were planning to attend Kestrel Heights School’s high school program and Discovery Charter School next year?

A: Yes. While there is nothing to celebrate in the state’s decision to close Kestrel Heights Charter School’s high school program, nor the recently-announced year’s delay in opening Discovery Charter School in northern Durham County, DPS is ready to enroll those students today.

DPS has a robust AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) program, skilled programs for exceptional children, a school nutrition program that leads the state in providing healthy meal choices, award-winning teachers and administrators, and the compassion and commitment to meet each child wherever he or she is along the learning spectrum and encourage their advancement.

If your family was affected by these changes we encourage you to visit your neighborhood schools to see what DPS has to offer. Please take the time to take a tour of the school and see for yourself the great things happening. Our principals will welcome you with open arms.

We are currently planning an event for our northern Durham schools where you can learn more about the schools and what they have to offer. Please check our website,, and Facebook page,, as details about this event will be posted in both places.

We believe Durham Public Schools is the best choice for Durham parents and we look forward to providing a great education for your child.

Q: When should I register my child for kindergarten?

A: Now is the perfect time. Any child that has turned 5 years old on or before Aug. 31, 2017, is eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year. If you’re not sure which school your child will attend, just go to and click on the Enrollment section at the top of the page. There you can enter your address in the School Locator tool to learn the school assigned to your address. You can also call the Student Assignment office at 919-560-2059 and they can help determine your neighborhood school.

Our elementary schools are preparing activities to welcome you and your child and prepare you for the transition to kindergarten. By enrolling your child now, you will have more opportunities to meet the teacher, visit the campus and become part of the school community. Dates for special kindergarten preparation events can be found on the website, as well as a wealth of information for families to help smoothly transition their children to kindergarten.

Studies show that children who aren’t in school on the first day of kindergarten are more likely to be absent later, or even to fall behind academically. Our goal is to enroll more children now so that they will be ready when the next school year begins — Monday, July 17, for year-round schools and Monday, Aug. 28, for traditional-calendar schools.

So please take the time to enroll your rising kindergarten student now and ease into the transition to kindergarten.

Do you have questions about Durham Public Schools? Please write and we will help you find the answers.