Sunday, October 3, 2010

Strong Durham Schools


What it is: As a mom of young children and former teacher in Durham, I was very interested when this website was sent to me by one of our readers.  We love living in Durham, and we want to give our children the best education possible.  I have been very interested in hearing people's personal stories about sending their children to Durham Public Schools to figure out what we will do when my sons reach school age.

This website does exactly that.  It gives information about DPS including testimonials about the individual schools so that parents can make an informed choice.  Another one of the benefits is that you can actually contact the parents who gave the testimonials if you have further questions or concerns.  This was a very welcome source of information for a curious parent who wants to send their child to a local school and also a great school.  Check it out and let us know if you have any other insights.  I have not had a chance to explore the website fully, but it looks great and I wanted to pass the information along.

Here is a description of the website that was sent to me by it's creator:

Real stories from parents in Durham Public Schools

October 1, 2010

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult and stressful.  Strong Durham Schools, a new website designed by parents for parents, is here to help!  It contains hundreds of stories from parents, teachers, and students associated with Durham Public Schools (DPS).  The site breaks down the stories by school, making it easy to find the schools you are considering.

Strong Durham Schools contains:
  • Testimonials from parents, teachers, and students from almost every DPS school
  • Articles about testing and what the scores really mean
  • A guide designed to help parents navigate DPS with information about neighborhood schools, year-round schools, and magnet schools
  • An article about finding the appropriate kindergarten for your child
Strong Durham Schools was begun by Elizabeth Tolman, a DPS parent and member of the Durham Allies for Responsive Education (DARE).  Elizabeth had trouble getting real information beyond the rumors about the schools when her daughter was entering kindergarten, and wanted to create a place where other parents could share their information.  Although Durham Public Schools is aware of Strong Durham Schools and is supportive of it, its staff has provided no oversight on the design, content, or maintenance of the website.  Strong Durham Schools is completely run by parent volunteers.

Strong Durham Schools is found at

For more information or to speak with the authors of one of the site’s stories, contact Elizabeth Tolman at

Associated links:
  • Durham Allies for Responsive Education, a community organization designed to support and strengthen Durham Public Schools
  • We Dare Ideas, a “great ideas” blog designed to help parents and teachers start projects at their schools


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just went to the website and I think it's worth mentioning that they don't publish negative comments about the schools. Although schools in Durham can be great, they are not all positive and by not publishing any critiques, it weakens the strength of the reviews there.

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