Durham Public Schools student enrollment booming in 2019 school year

Monday, September 16, 2019
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DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham Public Schools are seeing an increase in student enrollment for the first time since the 2014-2015 school year.

But school leaders say new neighborhoods and more families moving into the area are not the main reason for its rapid growth in students this year.

"People are starting to notice and people are starting to come home to Durham Public Schools," said Chip Sudderth with DPS.

With charter schools, home schooling and private education as viable options, Sudderth said more Durham parents are choosing public schools.

Approximately 32,000 students were enrolled last year.

DPS was preparing for enrollment to drop this year.

But attendance records show that has not been the case.

By Friday, DPS expects more than 33,000 students will be enrolled.

"It's significant because Durham Public Schools has been declining in enrollment since 2014-2015 school year and all of sudden this year. It's a great leap," Sudderth said.

Sudderth said parents like that many of the district's schools are doing well academically and fewer are low performing.

School leaders also believe their aggressive strategy to share their academic successes and getting support from community advocates helps boost enrollment.

Right now, 13 out of 53 total schools in Durham are now overcrowded.

Current overcrowded schools:

  • Glenn Elementary
  • Holt Elementary
  • Little River Elementary
  • Merrick-Moore Elementary
  • Y.E. Smith Elementary
  • Spring Valley Elementary
  • Creekside Elementary
  • Eastway Elementary
  • Forest View Elementary
  • Hope Valley Elementary
  • Lakewood Elementary
  • Neal Middle
  • Githens Middle
  • Durham School of the Arts
  • Jordan High
  • Hillside High
  • Riverside High

These schools are located all over the county.

More growth in Durham County means the potential for more schools. DPS already owns the land for a future elementary school off Scott King Road near Fayetteville Road.

Tuesday, the school board is meeting with county commissioners to discuss funding new and existing schools through a potential bond and expanding pre-k services.

The meeting happens at 9:00 a.m. at the Old Courthouse on 200 E. Main Street.