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DPS receives $18 million grant to support students and schools

Durham Public Schools is the recipient of a generous $18 million unsolicited grant from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, administered by the National Philanthropic Trust.

“Ms. Scott’s recent gifts to public and charitable organizations have been focused on fostering equity, opportunity, and achievement for American communities,” said Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Superintendent of Durham Public Schools. “We are pleased and humbled that Ms. Scott has taken note of DPS’s commitment to embrace, educate, and empower each student.”

DPS administration will work with the Durham Public Schools Board of Education to prioritize the use of the grant funds.

“I want to thank Ms. Scott for witnessing and supporting the great work of DPS educators and staff to support students and families,” said Bettina Umstead, Chair of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education. “We will focus on using this to enhance our work with schools that will ignite the limitless potential of our students.”

Academic Growth; Social and Emotional Learning

Durham Public Schools saw its highest rate of academic growth in eight years in the 2021-22 school year, with 86.5 percent of schools meeting or exceeding year-to-year academic growth expectations and a double-digit percentage point increase in academic proficiency. The progress partially overcame a steep slide in 2021 after months of remote learning. DPS increased academic proficiency in every subject but one.

Academic excellence is supported by a multi-pronged approach to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), including universal screeners, cultural frameworks to intentionally build community, and research-based SEL curricula to ensure routine teaching of SEL competencies.

Families are invited and encouraged to learn more about all of DPS’s schools and programs by attending the DPS Showcase of Schools this Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Durham Convention Center.