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Discover Some of DPS’s Many Programs and Activities


Durham is considered the arts capital of the state of North Carolina, and that is most definitely reflected in Durham Public Schools. The arts are thriving here, in every school at every age. DPS students have top-notch instruction in the arts, whether it is in the visual arts, drama or music.

Our local universities, the Durham Arts Council and area hospitals routinely exhibit DPS student artwork. DPS students also are encouraged to submit their work to regional, state and national competitions, with a great deal of success.  “An Evening of Entertainment” event showcases student talent for thousands each winter in a benefit for the DPS Scholarship Foundation.



Durham Public Schools values athletics as well as academics. This school district boasts strong team sports and individual competitors, and our sports program consistently fields some of the best athletes in the state. Athletics provide an opportunity for students to learn cooperation, leadership, competitiveness, fair play and self-discipline.

A variety of sports are offered for different grade levels, and athletics are available for elementary, middle and high school students.  Please check with your school to find out if a certain sport is offered at that school.


Magnet Schools

Durham Public Schools offers many magnet school options for students who are interested in applying to a school with a particular specialized program, non-traditional instructional method, or one that operates on a year-round calendar.


Higher Education Partnerships

DPS is very fortunate to be located near some of North Carolina’s outstanding universities. Our higher education partnerships with schools such as Duke University, North Carolina Central University, Durham Tech and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are truly thriving!

North Carolina Central University and Durham Technical Community College both host small high schools on their campuses. Duke University, through its Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, is providing support to seven schools that are close to its campus. Duke also is sponsoring a revival of the Spelling Bee, and DPS elementary and middle schools are fully engaged in this effort. DPS and Durham Tech are partnering to bring the Gateway to College program to Durham.  Through this effort, students who have dropped out of school can be dually enrolled and earn high school and college credit.


School Clubs

Durham Public Schools offers a wide variety of clubs and extracurricular activities in all of our schools, from elementary school to high school. DPS clubs aim to further enrich students’ curricular experiences by offering extracurricular opportunities to continue learning and service outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to participate in clubs that match their interests. Whether a student is interested in service, curriculum-related or special interest clubs, they will find activities that enrich learning. Please contact your local school for their club and extracurricular offerings.


AIG Program

Durham Public Schools believes that it is our responsibility to provide a challenging education for all of our students. Services for academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) students are an integral part of this overall goal to achieve an excellent level of education for all. We recognize that academically and intellectually gifted students come from all ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic groups and that they are gifted in a wide range of academic and intellectual abilities. The process used to identify students in need of gifted services must be ongoing, reliant on multiple measures, free of bias and non-exclusionary.
Our goal, therefore, is to differentiate the educational program for academically and intellectually gifted students. The program offers a variety of settings and learning opportunities to enhance the students’ freedom to develop and to demonstrate gifted behaviors. Because students require guidance as they develop, we provide support to help them reach the highest levels of their capabilities. Support comes not only from within the school system, but also from parents and community members who provide extended learning activities to broaden the students’ experiences. Through cooperation from all of the adults in their lives, we are able to meet the goal of educating these students for success in the 21st century.