Monday, February 23, 2015

Help with Financial Aid for College? It is FAFSA Day on Saturday 2/28

Students who plan to attend college for the 2015-16 school year need to complete financial aid forms.  Get some free help on FAFSA Day, February 28th.
 State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) personnel will be available at all 254 Credit Union branches on Saturday, Feb. 28, 9 a.m.-noon to help students and their parents complete and electronically submit the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. The program is free and open to students who plan to attend college in the 2015-2016 academic year. For more information, please visit:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ACT Academy: February 21 and 28--Free for DPS High School Juniors

What: An enrichment and enhancement program that meets for one session of a student's choice the month prior to March 4 ACT testing date.  (All juniors take the ACT for free as part of the NC testing program and can use the results for college.)  This program is designed to help students better understand the ACT test format and to increase skill knowledge for higher scoring and overall success on the test.

 Who: High School Juniors (must be a DPS student)

 When and Where: The academy program will be from 9am to 3pm for any DPS junior. The Academy will be held at Durham School of the Arts. The dates for the 2015 ACT Academy are: February 7, 14, 21, and 28. Students will only need to attend one session date. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided to students attending.

Logistics: All juniors throughout the district will be invited to participate in the program since everyone must take the ACT. Each instructor will have approximately 15-20 students in a class, and there will be five teachers per tested subject area: ACT Overview and Test Strategy, English, Writing, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Science Reasoning.

Transportation is available. Check out the bus pickup times and locations:

Registration required, register at 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Autism Society's Summer Options Fair has been postponed until next Tuesday, 2/24

ASNC Summer Options Fair Postponed 'til Next Tuesday 2/24

The Autism Society's Summer Options Fair, (originally scheduled for Tues. 2/17) has been postponed until next Tuesday, 2/24 at Extraordinary Ventures at 200 S. Elliott Road, from 7:00 - 8:45 pm. Join us to learn about camps-both day camps and sleep away, therapeutic opportunities, such as speech, OT and social skills training, as well as opportunities containing vocational training and recreation.

Childcare is available if you RSVP with ages of the children to (childcare provided by UNC's Autism Society chapter). The group will give homework help if needed and will have some fun stuff to do!

A representative from First In Families will be on hand to discuss financial assistance options for summer programs. 

Participating groups include:
Camp Lackey Gap
Camp Grace
Camp Royall
3 Irish Jewels Farm
and many more...


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Important Forum about New State Report Cards--Thursday February 5th

Friends,  DER believes it is important for our community and parents to understand what exactly the new state report cards are saying and what they are not saying about our public schools.  We think this will be a great meeting to get in depth information. Hope to see you there...

What Do These Report Cards Mean?
A Community Conversation on School Report Cards, Assessment, and the Schools Durham’s Students Deserve

What:  Community forum to discuss the meaning behind state-level report cards issued to Durham Public Schools and the steps we can take to improve all of our schools

Where:  Riverside High School Media Center (3218 Rose of Sharon Rd.)

When:  Thursday, February 5 from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M.

Who:  All students, faculty/staff, parents, and concerned community members

On February 5, 2015, the state of North Carolina will issue report cards to each school in the state based on the performance of that school’s students on standardized tests.  This mandate, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly, will impact public perception of individual schools and the systems that they are in, as well as the morale of students, educators, and parents.  But what do these grades actually mean?

Please join us for an evening of discussion about the state grades and the work that we are doing to make each of our schools be a place in which our students can thrive, our parents can engage, and our educators have the respect and tools that they need to succeed.

This event is open to all. There will be simultaneous interpretation.   

Monday, February 2, 2015

Outdoor summer positions for youth 16-24--Great Opportunity!

NC Youth Conservation Corps is Now Recruiting for Summer Positions 

The NC Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) is accepting applications ( from youth ages 16 to 24 for 2015 summer crews. The crews begin on June 20 and end seven weeks later on August 8. The application deadline is May 15th but APPLY NOW because applications are accepted on a rolling basis and positions are already being filled.

NCYCC crews work on high priority conservation projects, enhancing natural areas and making them more accessible for public use. Participants are organized into crews of 8 to 10 participants and work (and live) outdoors under the close supervision of highly trained leaders.  We plan to have four to five crews in 2015, and they will build trails, restore habitat, remove invasive species, and enhance local and state park lands across the state. Learn more about being a crew member HERE

National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest Deadline 2/15--For High School Students with Prizes

For high school students (ages 14-18):

Martin Luther King, Jr. used his words to change history. How will you use yours? 

To participate, go to Grand prize: $5,000! Contest timeline: December 25, 2014 – Feb. 15, 2015.

Who Can Participate?

The National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest is open to US High School students ages 14-18 (as of the Feb. 15 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories. After viewing Paramount Pictures film SELMA, contestants will respond to the Contest topic with an original 500-700 word essay and videotaped speech reading of their essay. For
It all started with a speech:
At the age of 15, a young Martin Luther King, Jr. entered a high school public speaking competition with his submission called, “The Negro and the Constitution.” He was in his junior year, and he won the competition. On the bus ride home, young King and his three companions were told to give up their seats to a white couple who had just boarded the bus, and they stood for several hours on their way back to Atlanta.
It has been widely written that the high school speech Dr. King wrote inspired his “I Have a Dream” oration, since all of the concepts in his competition submission were encapsulated into the historic 1963 speech. There are striking parallels between the two writings. That is the power of words.
Selma Speech & Essay Contest Topic:
“The movie Selma tells the story of how Martin Luther King, Jr. and others peacefully protested to advance voting rights. What do you think needs to be done today to protect individual freedom and self-determination? What are you doing or will you do to peacefully advance those rights?”
Contest Prizes:
·         One grand prize: $5,000
·         First runner up: $2,500
·         Second runner up: $1,000
·         Seven honorable mentions: $500 each
·         $300 cash prize for each teacher/mentor who sponsors a top 10 finalist

Contest Timeline:
·         December 25, 2014, 12:01am EST: Official Opening of Selma Contest & limited release ofSelma film
·         January 9, 2015: Wide release in theaters of Selma film
·         Feb. 15, 2015, 11:59pm EST : DEADLINE for submissions
·         March 2015 Winners notified
·         April 20-22, 2015 Award Ceremony held in Philadelphia, PA

The Selma Speech & Essay Contest is made possible through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and in-kind support of Paramount Pictures.