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FAQs for New DPS Parents

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How do I enroll my child in DPS?

Enrollment Step 1: Determine the Student's Eligibility

  • Students who are under suspension or expulsion from a private or public school and students who have already graduated from high school are not eligible.
  • If you are not the student's parent, you must present a copy of the appropriate court order to establish that you are the legal guardian/custodian.

Enrollment Step 2: Determine School

Registration takes place at your child’s school. Please bring the following items to your child’s school when you register.  To determine your child’s school please visit our Student Assignment Maps.

  1. Proof of residence (can be any of the following):
    • Lease Agreement
    • Mortgage Statement or Deed
    • Durham County Property Tax Statement (home or vehicle)
    • Guardianship Documents (if necessary)
    • If residence is not in your name, you will need: A notarized statement from a Durham County resident stating that you live in their home along with their proof of residence in Durham County.
  2.  “Affidavit of Parent or Legal Guardian” - if transferring into Durham Public Schools from a public or private school. This document covers suspension or expulsion from a previous school and/or any felony conviction.
  3. Records Release - Upon registration at the school, parents/guardians will be asked to sign a release form so that we can send for the student’s records which should include a birth certificate, immunization records, a social security number, academic records, testing information, exceptional children’s records (if applicable) among other items.
  4. Copy of the student’s most recent report card and the previous year’s achievement test results are helpful in scheduling the student but are not required.

Can my Pre-K student use the school bus?

Yes, they can. But they will need to use a special bus seat that you must install every time they get on the bus. DPS will provide a seat, but every morning parents must get on the bus to secure the seat. To receive a seat parents must take a training course on securing the seat. The classes take place during the summer.  Please contact Transportation for more information.

 Are there any helpful tips you can give me about riding the bus?

  • Find out what time the bus is expected at the stop in the morning.
  • Make sure your child is at the stop 15 minutes early
  • If the bus is late, wait at least 15 minutes after expected time.
  • Each child should carry emergency contact information at all times.
  • If your child is late and you need to know where the bus is call 560-BUSS

How much does lunch cost?

Reduced .30 .40
Grades K-5 $1.60 $2.10
Grades 6-12 $1.60 $2.35
Adults $1.85 $3.15
Milk .50 .50

What is free and reduced lunch and how do I qualify?

Some families qualify to pay less than full price for a lunch, or qualify for free lunch. Reduced cost meals are 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch. To be a part of this program you must fill out an application. The Free/Reduced lunch application is available in the Office of Child Nutrition, Bacon Street. Children may be eligible for free or reduced meal benefits if: The family qualifies under Federal Guidelines  OR They live in a household receiving Food Stamps or Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Fill out only ONE application per household (unless completing a separate application for a foster child). Multiple applications completed for the same household may cause a delay in the process of determining eligibility. You must reapply every year. If you are denied free/reduced lunch and have an increase in household or a decrease in income you may reapply at any time throughout the year.

What constitutes an excused versus unexcused absence?

There are two types of absences: Excused and Unexcused. An absence is unexcused unless the student's parent/guardian provides written documentation of the reason for the absence. Written excuse must be turned in within three school days of the student's return to school.

Excused absences:

  • A. Illness or injury. When the absence results from illness or injury which prevents the student from being physically able to attend school.
  • B. Quarantine. When isolation of the student is ordered by the local health officer or by the State Board of Health.
  • C. Death in the immediate family. When the absence results from the death of a member of the immediate family of the student. The immediate family of a student includes, but is not necessarily limited to, grandparents, parents and siblings.
  • D. Medical or dental appointments. When the absence results from a medical or dental appointment of a student. A written excuse should be presented with a doctor's signature or stamp.
  • E. Court or administrative proceedings. When the student is a party to or is under subpoena as a witness in the proceedings of a court or administrative tribunal.
  • F. Religious observances. When the student or the student's parent/guardian or custodian adheres to a religion whose tenets require, or suggest the observance of a religious event. The parent/guardian or custodian must seek prior approval of the principal for such absences [and the approval should be granted unless the religious observance or the cumulative effect of religious observances is of such duration as to interfere with the education of the student].
  • G. Educational opportunity. When the student obtains the principal's prior approval of a valid education opportunity, such as travel.

What is my role as a parent of a child in Durham Public Schools?

Parents are encouraged to:

  • Visit your child’s school to meet the teachers
  • Talk with your child’s teacher(s) on a regular basis
  • Read to your child and encourage your child to read to you
  • Make sure your child attends school each and every day and is on time
  • Join the Parent/Teacher Association, contact your school for more information

What happens if it snows or there is inclement weather? How will I know if the schools are closed?

During times of extreme weather, schools will sometimes close for the safety of staff and students. Watch DPS Cable Ch. 4 or major television stations or listen to local radio stations to learn about any school closings or delays. Parents also are encouraged to sign up for the Emergency Weather email alert.