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Durham School of the Arts

Durham School of the Arts


Principals: David Hawks
Address: 401 North Duke Street Durham NC 27701
Phone : 919-560-3926
Hours of Operation : 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Enrollment : 1550
Our Website | Our Calendar | Virtual Tour


The mission of Durham School of the Arts is to help students from diverse backgrounds to fully realize their individual academic and creative capacities through a rigorous educational program emphasizing visual and performing arts. Our goal is to support students throughout their seven years at Durham School of the Arts to reach their graduation day prepared to take on the challenges of college, career, or specialized training. In addition to academics, arts, and technological skills, we know that it is our job to prepare students to be creative problem-solvers, team players, effective communicators, and good citizens.


To fulfill our mission, Durham School of the Arts has defined five major goals that define our approach to instruction:

Rigorous Academics

Durham School of the Arts offers a strong academic program that includes challenging courses for students at all levels. We offer honors and advanced placement courses, as well as enrichment classes for students who need extra work with basic skills.

Visual and Performing Arts

Durham School of the Arts offers beginning through advanced arts courses in band, chorus, piano, strings, guitar, art, sculpture, photography, dance, theater, and creative writing. Arts classes balance creative processes with technical skills so that students gain the tools they need to develop their unique artistic voice.

Integrated Approach to Learning Through the A+ Philosophy

The A+ philosophy is based on research demonstrating that people possess multiple intelligences or talents which allow them to learn through a variety of activities. Interdisciplinary projects, cooperative learning, and discovery learning are examples of this philosophy.

Student-Centered Program

Durham School of the Arts' program prioritizes individual needs through customized course selections and individualized instruction. School life at Durham School of the Arts emphasizes choice, personal responsibility, and respect for individual differences.

6th- Through 12th-Grade Center

Durham School of the Arts is one school, not a separate middle and high school. We emphasize ongoing personal development by expanding expectations, independence, and responsibility each year. Many courses at Durham School of the Arts are open to students in different grades. Entrance depends on interest, experience, and readiness.

Services for Academically/Intellectually Gifted Students

Durham School of the Arts offers academically gifted language arts classes in 6th-8th grade. These classes are open to students who can succeed with a more demanding curriculum that emphasizes higher order thinking skills. Middle school students can take advanced math courses, and begin Integrated I in the 7th or 8th grade depending on their success with the IOWA test. High school students can elect to take honors or advanced placement classes in all academic subjects provided they meet DPS prerequisites.

Community Involvement

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

  • Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership
  • North Carolina Central University
  • FAST Track
  • American Dance Festival
  • Durham Scholars


State ABC Rating :

  • 2010-11: High Growth, School of Distinction (85.2%)
  • 2009-10: High Growth, School of Distinction (82.5%)
  • 2008-09: High Growth, School of Progress (74.5%)

End-of-Grade/End-of-Course Test Scores

School Scorecard

NC School Report Card


From I-40:

Exit I-40 onto the Durham Expressway (Hwy. 147) going west. Continue on the Expressway for approximately 6 miles and exit at Duke Street. Continue going north on Duke Street through downtown Durham. Shortly after you cross Main Street you will see Durham School of the Arts on your left.

From I-85:

Exit I-85 at the Gregson Street exit near Northgate Mall. Continue south on Gregson Street to Morgan Street. Take a left onto Morgan Street and immediately take a left onto Duke Street. The school will be on your left.

Link to Google Maps

Improvement Plan

School Improvement Plan