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E.K. Powe Elementary School



Principal: Michael D. Somers
Address: 913 Ninth Street Durham NC 27705
Phone: 919-560-3963
Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Enrollment: 366
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E.K. Powe Elementary incorporates five urban neighborhoods: Watts-Hillandale, Crest Street, Walltown, Old West Durham, and the West End, and accepts transfer students who apply for admission from other attendance zones.

The school is situated entirely within one city block on Ninth Street. E. K. Powe has developed an instructional program involving the teaching of integrated thematic units which are science and social studies based and derived from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

Powe has a strong Arts and Science focus that incorporates Dr. Howard Gardner's innovative philosophy of Multiple Intelligences. Our talented faculty has been recruited from all over the country. Each faculty member is dedicated to teaching at E.K. Powe and is committed to our Soaring Into the New Millennium long-range plan.

The mission of the E.K. Powe community is to provide high-quality instruction to each child within a developmentally appropriate, nurturing learning environment.

Powe's vision is to develop lifelong learners by providing:

  • small class size
  • the N.C. academic curriculum
  • an Arts and Science focus, and
  • integrated instruction using a Multiple Intelligences approach


Classroom teachers provide integrated and differentiated instruction suited to student learning styles with instruction grounded in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Ongoing assessment in core subjects occurs and drives both curricula content and instructional practice. Powe has several partnerships with educational institutions including Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, the Museum of Life and Science, the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, and North Carolina Central University. A Science Resource Facilitator works with classroom teachers and provides both lab and small group science opportunities. Additionally, Powe provides visual arts, physical education, choral and instructional music, and drama opportunities for students. A new model Science Center opened in November 2002, and outdoor environmental spaces are in the planning stages. The school operates on a traditional schedule but has extended-day tutoring. Single, multi-age and team teaching classes exist in grades K-2. Classes in grades K-3 have a student /teacher ratio of 1:15. The ratio for grades 4 and 5 is 1:18.

Staff Development and Training
Every certified teacher at E.K. Powe is expected to obtain AIG (Academically and Intellectually Gifted) endorsement within two years to more effectively teach all of our students. Staff will also participate in RAMP (Realizing Achievement in Mathematics Performance) training and various literacy workshops.

Staff Development will begin around the Working on the Work (WOW) framework. The basic belief of WOW is that by providing high quality, engaging student work profound learning will occur and student achievement will increase.

Programs for Exceptional Children
All schools provide speech/language, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology, and orientation and mobility services.

Services for Academically/Intellectually Gifted Students
E.K.Powe School provides many services for the AIG identified as well as other potential students. One AIG teacher serves our K through 4th graders; while the second serves our 5th graders.

Community Involvement
The following businesses, programs, and community groups provide assistance by donating their time, expertise, materials, and financial resources:

  • West End Community Center
  • New Bethel Baptist Church
  • America Reads
  • Duke University
  • Museum of Life and Science
  • N.C. School of Science and Mathematics
  • Home Depot
  • Ninth Street Businesses
  • North Carolina Central University
  • City of Durham Storm Water Services
  • City of Durham Solid Waste Management
  • Duke Center of Inquiry-based Learning


State ABC Rating :

  • 2010-11: Growth not Met, No Recognition (60.6%)
  • 2009-10: Growth not Met, Priority School (53.3%)
  • 2008-09: Expected Growth, Priority School (56.3%)

End-of-Grade Test Scores

School Scorecard

Link to NC Report Card


From I-40:

Exit I-40 onto Durham Freeway (Exit 279). Proceed to Swift Avenue exit and turn right off exit ramp. Turn left at first light onto Main Street. Turn right at first light onto Ninth Street. E.K. Powe is a large brick building on the left.

From I-85:

Exit I-85 at Hillandale Road. Proceed south on Hillandale, turn left onto Club Boulevard. At first light turn right onto Ninth Street. E.K. Powe is a large brick building on the right.

Link to Google Maps

Improvement Plan

Improvement Plan