Return to Headlines

Durham Public Schools COVID-19 Return To School Plan


Haga clic aquí para leer en Español

Durham Public Schools has developed a Plan B Recommendation that will be presented to the school board on November 19. Parts of this COVID-19 plan are in place now and preparations are underway for when our students can return to in-person learning in January or later if necessary.

Plan B recommends that students Pre-K through 5th grade attend face-to-face learning two days a week. The students will be placed in a cohort group — Cohort A will attend Mondays and Tuesdays and Cohort B will attend Thursdays and Fridays. Pre-K through 12 Self-Contained, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Visually Impaired students will attend face to face learning four days per week with a modified schedule to increase to a full day of in-person learning. Optional Wednesday academies for 6th and 9th-grade students as well as high school arts, CTE, and ESL students would begin on February 15.

For students who wish to remain in remote learning, we are ready to launch Ignite! Online Academy. DPS is developing a COVID-19 dashboard to share information with our community, operational support, teachers, and staff should there be a positive case or potential exposure within a school or facility.

Below are key components of the Plan B recommendation:

  • Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings while on campus and school buses to ensure safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Signage has been purchased and will be placed on the exterior and interior of schools with directional markers and reminders that everyone should wear their mask, wash their hands, and social distance.z
  • Schools have designated classrooms for Exceptional Children's that will be equipped with PPE and HEPA filtration systems

  • Touchless thermometers will be used to check staff and student’s temperature.

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be set up for use in various areas of our schools.

  • Training for staff on the proper use of PPE, handwashing, disinfecting, and social distancing will occur before the return of in-person learning.

  • Schools/facilities will be frequently cleaned and disinfected.

  • Outdoor air intakes have been increased and schools will be using MERV-13 air filters that capture airborne viruses and bacteria from coughs and sneezes.

  • Daily transportation protocols include pre-route inspections, driver and monitor symptom screening before entering the bus, cleaning, and disinfection of high-touch areas and seating each day along with the stocking of PPE and cleaning supplies. No more than one passenger may be seated per school bus bench seat, with the exception that members of the same household may share a seat.

The school district will host a press event at the Fuller Building, 511 Cleveland St., Durham, on Monday, November 16 at 11 a.m. to address this plan and answer questions.

We believe that this plan will allow DPS to successfully allow students to return to in-person learning in a safe environment. However, we are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 and its impact on our students and staff. We will not reopen if it is unsafe to do so.

The DPS Board of Education will have the opportunity to review this plan, hear from the public, and discuss in detail during the upcoming school board meeting.

For more information on our response to COVID-19, you can visit our website at

Thank you for being part of the DPS family!


To view the complete presentation, CLICK HERE.