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Ignite! Online Academy Opens With Virtual Ribbon Cutting


Durham Public Schools held a virtual ribbon cutting on April 14 for Ignite Online Academy, the district’s first full-time virtual and blended school serving K-12 students.

“Ignite will spark a transformative shift in online education,” said Matthew Hickson, the district’s Director of Online Learning. “We will partner with youth and families to personalize learning so that we can bring out the unique genius in each of our students. The Ignite Team will take advantage of the flexibility of online learning to open new possibilities for outdoor learning, work-based learning, and exploration.”

The Ignite! Kindergarten program will focus on early literacy and exploratory learning.  The program will feature outdoor learning days where students will attend class outside of their homes.

For grades 1-8, students can choose between a fully online “flexible” track and a “blended” learning track with both live learning and asynchronous supports. This program will focus on personalized learning and 21st century skills.

High school students will be fully remote with a drop-in learning lab for tutorials and support. High school students will have the opportunity to participate in sports at the school serving their home addresses.

“Ignite Online Learning Academy offers the opportunity for families to benefit from DPS’s outstanding teachers and learning resources while learning in a homeschool environment,” said Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Superintendent for DPS. “This academy also allows families who wish to stay remote due to health, safety, or other concerns the ability to do so while remaining part of the DPS community.”

This innovative and personalized online learning experience aims to build a virtual community among students and staff while providing DPS resources and support during home-based learning.

Applications for Ignite Online Academy opened April 14, 2021, and can be found on or

If you have additional questions on Ignite Online Academy, you can call 919-886-4237 or email