About Sandy Ridge

  • Principal: Dr. Lanisha Hinton
    Address : 1417 Old Oxford Rd., 27704
    Phone : (919) 560-2695 Fax: (919) 595-4222
    Hours of Operation : 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
    Enrollment : 493


    Our learners are the future.  We believe in the importance of engaging all stakeholders in creative expression in a data driven classroom utilizing 21st Century technology to inspire students to reach their full potential.  

    Mission Statement

    Sandy Ridge Stars use creative expression to reach their full potential.

    About Us

    Since the beginning of time, the arts have been a staple among people of all societies. Durham is no different. Our town places high value on the arts and recognizes their importance in educating the whole child.  Sandy Ridge opened in August 2011 as a visual and performing arts elementary school. Sandy Ridge centers on teaching and learning – providing strong instruction in the core curriculum, through the lens of the visual and performing arts. In the summer of 2019, Sandy Ridge Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School became a member of A+ Schools of North CarolinaIn January of 2020, Sandy Ridge was named a National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America. (Sandy Ridge will become a neighborhood school beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.)

     Sandy Ridge features numerous arts-related learning activities to enhance the educational experience:

    • Multiple choral music and theater performances annually
    • Multiple art gallery walks annually
    • Regularly scheduled residencies with visiting professionals and artists
    • Regularly scheduled art-focused field trips
    • Daily enrichment classes allow students to receive both foundational skill instruction as well as integrated enrichment to bring the arts into core content areas
    • Dance, music, theater arts, and visual arts instruction for all students
    • Extra-curricular activities – clubs, field trips, summer camp opportunities


    Curriculum Integration

    The A+ Schools Program is a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning in all subjects. A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, with the arts continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning.

    For more information, visit: http://aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov.

    A+ Schools of NC

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is A+?

    The A+ Schools Program is the largest, longest running, most successful arts-based whole-school reform effort in the nation. Since 1995, A+ Schools has been using the arts as a catalyst for creating connections and making school an engaging, meaningful and enjoyable place to teach and learn. A+ evaluators have consistently found that A+ Schools have been able to respond to accountability standards in both effective and creative ways, meeting standards in N.C.’s high-stakes testing program without narrowing the curriculum by deeply integrating the arts into instruction.

    How are the arts used in A+ Schools?

    In A+ Schools, arts education is approached in three ways:

    • Arts Integration – bringing together arts and non-arts objectives to create hands-on, experiential, connected and meaningful learning experiences.
    • Arts Education – developing an understanding and comfort in the elements, principles, history, processes and works of each art form.
    • Arts Exposure – creating opportunities for students and staff to experience artistic works, performances and careers both in the school and in the community.

    What does all this mean in the classroom?

    It means that children are exposed to and educated in a variety of art forms: dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts. It means that they learn in collaborative, creative environments that support and enhance each child’s unique way of learning and provide a rich variety of opportunities for reaching mastery. It means that teachers work together to integrate the arts, the sciences, literacy, math and humanities into creative, meaningful lessons. It means that children experience hands-on, real world application of learning objectives that connect across disciplines. It means that children are given opportunities to become more curious about their world, that they develop the tools for seeing connections among subjects and ideas, and that they are better prepared for the their future in the 21st century. It means that teachers, students, and parents are invested in life-long learning and celebrating their school community. For more information on A+ Schools of North Carolina, please contact: Michelle Mazan Burrows, Director, (919) 807-6503.



    Significant Building Features

    98,638 SF elementary school with a student capacity of 640.

    The project is registered with the US Green Building Council for LEED Gold Certification.  Some of the sustainable features include:

    1. Light colored concrete at the bus driveway and parking area, and a light colored reflective roof finish reduce the heat island effect of this facility.
    2. The two-story classroom wing for grades 2 through 5 reduced the overall site disturbance area.
    3. Grass pavers reduce impervious area to improve the quality of water run-off from the site.
    4. The building envelope achieves the highest insulation value that reduces the size of mechanical equipment, and along with lighting and building automation controls, reduces overall energy consumption when compared with other schools of this size.
    5. Each classroom has optimal natural daylighting and views to the outside.

    The site includes a nature trail intended to support learning opportunities about natural resources and preservation of plant species.  The site is directly adjacent to conservation land managed by the North Carolina Plant Conservation Program, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  The smooth coneflower, an endangered plant, is protected on this site.

    Interactive projection systems are provided in each classroom.

    Because the site was formerly a tobacco farm with several building foundations remaining on the property, the building massing and design uses barn vernacular for inspiration (gable roof form, 'lean-to' canopies and field stone base) as its primary elements of design.