I hope this letter finds each of you safe and well. I want to take this opportunity to provide you with an update as we prepare for the upcoming school year.
As we look ahead, it’s important for us to have a clear understanding of where we are as a district. Prior to the pandemic, student achievement was on the rise, schools were meeting and exceeding performance projections, and enrollment had increased considerably. DPS’s transformation was evident. COVID-19 interfered with our progress. Let me be clear – the growth we experienced over the past few years will continue despite the challenges during the pandemic. I know this because we have the very best professionals committed to student development and success. The heroic efforts of our educators this year affirms the great confidence I have in our ability to engage the minds of our learners and propel them into the future. I see examples of this each day in every school within the district. DPS is ready for the 2021-22 school year.
It has been wonderful to have students and teachers back in buildings learning, and we are excited to welcome all our scholars back in person for the 2021-22 school year. Our normal schedule will resume with year-round schools beginning July 19, specialty schools starting August 5, and our traditional calendar schools returning August 24. We know some families may still want to take advantage of virtual learning. Ignite! Online Academy is available to all Durham families for the upcoming school year and beyond. We are proud to be able to meet the needs of our students and their families through varied, robust educational offerings. While families who choose Ignite! Online Academy next year will not maintain their magnet seat at their current school, I assure you that whether in-person or online, DPS is the destination to success for all students.
I would like to thank our families and the Durham community for your support of our district and students. Your collaboration and understanding have brought us together as a community. A connected community is a thriving community. That connection starts to blossom with our youngest citizens in DPS classrooms. When our students learn together, it not only enriches their lives but further enhances the quality of life for all of Durham.
As we turn the page on this most unique school year, we will not focus on what we may have lost, instead, we will focus on the opportunities that lie before us. Here’s to finishing the year strong!