Tuesday, October 29, 2013

School Suspensions and Discipline to be subject of Public Conversation in December

School discipline policies and practices have long been the subject of conversation in the Durham community. Suspension rates, while experiencing a decline in recent years, are generally considered to be too high with a disproportionate impact on minority students. A complaint to the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) was filed earlier this year.   

To address concerns and develop community solutions, DPS will host Community Conversation sessions about discipline and suspension this December. The district is reaching out to all community stakeholders who want to make a difference--teachers, parents, faith communities, non-profit and public agencies, government officials, and anyone else who wants to address this issue, including our young people. There are three choices of meetings to attend:

Saturday, Dec. 7, 10:30-noon, Staff Development Center at 2107 Hillandale Road.
Monday, Dec. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., Northern High School at 117 Tom Wilkinson Road.
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6:30-8 p.m., Southern School of Energy and Sustainability at 800 Clayton Road.

DPS staff will also provide an overview of current initiatives to reduce suspensions and support suspended students.  A few we plan to highlight on the blog in the month of November.  

We hope that you will consider participating and encourage others, especially parents and youth, to attend.  Making sure the schools hear from stakeholders in this issue is important.  Here are two articles concerning the upcoming sessions:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Durham Public Schools Magnet Fair on Saturday November 2nd

The Durham Public Schools Magnet Fair will be on Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 10:00am-1:00pm at Southern High School.  School tours will begin in November and run through January.  The lottery application period will be January 13-31.  We'll have more information and tips on the Durham Education Resources about the lottery as we get closer to the application period.  DPS' magnet website has not been fully updated for 2014-15, but much of the information on the various offerings is current http://magnet.dpsnc.net/
Here is the DPS flyer about the magnet fair.


AIG 101 Session with DPS Advanced Academics and Durham PAGE on Thursday

With a new three year plan emphasizing rigor and consistency across DPS AIG programs and a renewed emphasis on parent communication, this is a good time to get more knowledgeable about Gifted student / AIG programming in Durham Public Schools.  We want to encourage parents of AIG students to attend this program.

AIG 101 for Parents of Gifted Children
Learn about gifted characteristics and identification procedures, differentiated curriculum and instruction, gifted personnel working with your children, enrichment opportunities available for interested students, and partnerships.

DATE:  Thursday, October 24, 2013
TIME:  6:00-7:30 PM
LOCATION:  Staff Development Center, 2107 Hillandale Road, Durham, NC

The event is co-sponsored  the DPS Department of Advanced Academics and Durham PAGE (Partners for the Advancement of Gifted Children) and will feature Beth Cross, the DPS Director for Advanced Academics.

Register at durhampage.org

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kids Quiz the Candidates--Kids Voting Durham Youth Candidate Forum on Thursday 10/17

This Thursday evening, students can interact directly with City Council and Mayoral candidates at Kids Voting Durham’s Youth Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 17th from 6:30-8:30p.m. at the Holton Career and Resource Center at 401 N. Driver Street.  All candidates are currently scheduled to attend the Forum.  Bring your student...older elementary through middle and high school can participate most effectively, but all are welcome.

Children, Youth, and Adults are invited, but only young people get to ask the questions and lead at this popular forum. The forum is conducted in a unique roundtable format where 1 or 2 candidates sit together at a table with a small group of youth and engage in genuine conversations instead of pre-planned answers.  The candidates rotate between each of the small groups.  Adults can listen in and learn quite a bit about the candidates for themselves. These young people are tough questioners.

Young voters (and grownups too!) can also educate themselves about the candidates by downloading the Kids Voting Candidate Guide for City Council and Mayor from www.kidsvotingdurham.org.   The guide was prepared for youth by youth with students from Durham School of the Arts Octagon Club with answers from the candidates themselves.  It is our opinion that the Kids Voting Guide is the best one out there!   

Monday, October 14, 2013

Workshop on Advocating for Your Gifted Child Wednesday, October 16th

This Wednesday's Advocating for your Gifted Child workshop with Durham PAGE is a great opportunity to get together with other parents and talk about advocating and supporting your child in school.  Any parent can attend.  Your child does not have to be formally labeled as gifted or in a particular program to attend. Come and find out more about the unique challenges in advocating for gifted and advanced students and learn some strategies for your advocacy toolkit.
Parent & Educator Information Session
Advocating for Your Gifted Child
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Durham Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster Street, Durham, NC

Advocating for Your Gifted Child
This workshop equips parents with practical ideas and suggestions about how to effectively advocate for your gifted child.
·      Learn about local and state policies and resources to support advanced students. 
·      Ask better questions and find ways to address common parent-school communication challenges. 
·      Build stronger collaborative partnerships with your school and teachers to support your advanced learner and help your child meet their potential.   
About the Speaker
Donna Rewalt is the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Durham Cooperative Extension Agency.  Donna is also the Program Coordinator for the Strengthening Families Coalition.  The Coalition offers Parent & Family Advocacy and Support Training (PFAST), Latino PFAST (LPFAST), and Parents as Leaders (PAL) Academy.

Register online at www.durhampage.org
Seating is limited.  Durham PAGE members have priority through October 7 then registration will open to the general public. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bullying Workshop on October 12 and Bullying Prevention Month

We have found that workshops offered by FAN and ECAC are of great quality and well worth our time.  This Bullying workshop is very timely with Bullying Prevention Month in October.  It is a great time to learn more.  For additional information, look at the National PACER Center website for more about Bullying Prevention Month and Bullying Resources.

Workshop:  When a Bully Provokes: Things Every Parent Should Know 

Sat., October 12, 9:30am-12n, Freedom House, 102 New Stateside Dr., Chapel Hill

Once again, the Family Advocacy Network (FAN), a program of Mental Health America of the Triagirls bullyingngle (MHAT), teams with the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center (ECAC), to provide a unique learning experience for parents of children with mental health conditions and other special needs. In recognition of BULLY AWARENESS MONTH, FAN and the ECAC will bring important information to your attention about the harmful effects of bullying and what strategies parents can implement to prevent and empower your child as they navigate bullying situations.
This workshop is offered free of charge, though a $10 donation is suggested to help organizers with expenses.  Training materials and refreshments are provided. This workshop will start at 9:30am.  For more information and to register, go to

Click for Bullying Workshop Info and Registration

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Seminar on College Admissions and Financial Aid

Planning for college can be a confusing and complicated process.  Many parents (and students) find it stressful.  A local college planning organization, A2Z College Planning, is offering free seminars for parents of high school students interested in college.  The seminar focuses on scholarship opportunities and what students and families need to be working on right now to be ready.  The seminars are free with required registration.  It is a one time workshop with multiple dates.   More information can be found at: 

A2Z College Planning

Workshop Dates: 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 (6:30-8:00 PM)
Location: South Regional Library, 4505 S. Alston Avenue, Durham, NC
Registration link: Click here

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (6:30-8:00 PM)
Location: Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro Street, Durham, NC
Registration link: Click here

Wednesday, October 30 (6:30-8:00 PM)
Location: Carrboro Parks and Recreation, 100 N. Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC
Registration link: Click here