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Prospective & New Families FAQs

Prospective Families FAQs

List of 15 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. When should I begin the application process?

    In the fall before the anticipated year of entry. We typically meet with families from October to January, and appointment slots and Information Sessions fill up quickly. After January, we continue to accept applications on a rolling basis.
  • Q. For what grades do you accept applications?

    We generally have the most openings in Preschool (3-year-olds), kindergarten, fifth and sixth grade. Openings in other grades may occur when we lose students to attrition. We welcome applicants for all grades, but cannot predict space availability.
  • Q. Are applications accepted after the first round deadline?

    Yes. Applications are accepted after the first round deadlines and will be evaluated if spots remain in the given grade level.
  • Q. At what age does your Preschool begin?

    Our youngest students are 3-years-old. All students entering our program need to be three on their first day of school and be completely potty trained.
  • Q. What age must my child be in order to be assessed for Kindergarten?

    Children need to be 5-years-old before September 1, of the year they will enter kindergarten. We recognize that there are children that fall very close to the deadline date, parents may ask to have their child assessed for early entry. These situations are decided on a case by case basis, wherein a student’s overall readiness academically, socially, and emotionally is always a priority when deciding proper placement.
  • Q. If I have questions about affording Duke School, who should I talk to?

    We have an Indexed Tuition program to help students experience a Duke School education. If you have additional questions, please contact our Admissions Office.
  • Q. Does Duke School accept Opportunity Scholarships?

    Duke School accepts Opportunity Scholarships towards tuition costs. In addition, we have an Indexed Tuition program. Please contact Admissions for more information.
  • Q. What is your policy on accepting siblings?

    We recognize that, for many families, having all children enrolled at the same school is a priority. We value community and love that our campus becomes a home for many. Sibling applicants must meet the same admission criteria as all applicants, but are given priority if openings are available.
  • Q. If my child is "waitpooled," what does that mean?

    A waitpool decision means that your child is a good fit for Duke School, but due to the limited number of spaces available, we are unable to accept all of our outstanding applicants. It is not uncommon for openings to occur during the spring and summer. If a space becomes available, we will contact the parents of the waitpooled applicant.
  • Q. What is the school’s commitment to diversity?

    We believe diversity is critical to help children become confident, independent learners who work cooperatively with others to solve real-life problems. Therefore, Duke School seeks to dismantle barriers that exist because of race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and status, age and gender. We strive to promote an atmosphere of respect, openness, and trust by recognizing, understanding and appreciating differences. We actively seek diversity among students, faculty/staff, administrators and trustees.
  • Q. How many students are in each classroom?

    This is a great question, with an answer about which we are very proud. Each of our classrooms has two fully-certified teachers per class in the Preschool and Lower School and four teachers per grade in the Middle School. 

    Student/Teacher Ratios
    Preschool & Kindergarten
    8:1

    Lower School (1st-4th Grade)
    12:1

    Middle School (5th-8th Grade)
    12:1
  • Q. Do you offer after school programs?

    Yes! We offer a general after care service through our After School Program until 5:30 PM for our Preschool students and 6 PM for all other students. We also offer alternative after school opportunities, Dragon Quests, for those who would like to join a specialized after school activity.
  • Q. Do the students pack a lunch each day?

    Each child at Duke School packs a lunch and snack each day. Children are encouraged to pack healthy foods and drinks. A snack is provided for students in the After School Program each afternoon.
  • Q. How can I be involved as a parent?

    Duke School has a very active Parent School Organization (PSO), which supports the work of the school and the teachers. Parents are encouraged to volunteer for or join a PSO event committee. Parents also volunteer often in the classrooms as "guest experts," sign up to cover lunch/recess period for teachers, as well as help chaperone or drive for field trips.
  • Q. Does Duke School provide transportation for students?

    Our families transport their children to and from campus each day as we do not have bus or van service. Many families will carpool with neighbors and/or friends.

New/Incoming Families FAQs

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What are the school hours?

    Preschool (3 & 4-year-olds)
    • 8:10-8:30 AM - Drop off for Preschool
    • 8:30 AM- School day starts
    • 3 PM - School day ends for Preschool
    After School Program - 5:30 PM pick up for Preschool

    Lower School (K-4th grade)
    • 8-8:15 AM - Drop off for K-4th grade
    • 8:20 AM - School day starts
    • 3:10 PM - School day ends for K-4th grade
    Before School Care (Lower School only) - 7:30 - 8 AM drop off
    After School Program - 6 PM pick up for Lower School

    Middle School (5th-8th grade)
    • 7:30 AM - Drop off
    • 8:10 AM - School day starts
    • 3:20 PM - School day ends
    • 3:25 PM - Pick up
    Prime Time (Middle School After School Program) - 6 PM pick up
  • Q. Does my child need a physical to start school?

    Immunization forms for children must be on file in the appropriate division office by the first day of school. The Health Assessment Form is available on the school’s Web site. You can use the attached Health Assessment form or one provided by your health care provider. Kindergarteners are required to have the 4th dose of the polio vaccine on or after the 4th birthday and prior to entering school for the first time and the 2nd dose of the varicella vaccine prior to entering school for the first time. Seventh graders are required to have a booster dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine, if five or more years have passed since the last dose and one dose of the meningococcal vaccine.

    New Students: 
    Incoming students are required to provide an immunization record.
    Kindergarten:
     Each child needs an up-to-date physical and immunization record.
    7th Grade: Rising seventh graders will need an up-to -date physical and immunization record.
     

    Children who have been prescribed the EpiPen Auto-Injector are required to submit two EpiPens along with an allergy plan to the school before the first day of school. Students will not be allowed to begin school until appropriate paperwork and EpiPens are provided.
  • Q. When will we know who our child(ren)'s teacher is and receive our class list?

    Information regarding teachers and class lists will be released in the first week of August IF your child(ren)'s emergency/health information (to be e-mailed in early July), is submitted.
  • Q. When must we complete our summer paperwork?

    An e-mail notification will be sent in early July to submit your child(ren)’s emergency/health information. Please review the document and confirm that all of your family details are up-to-date before submitting. Your child(ren) will not be permitted to start school on the first day if the enrollment form is not submitted.
  • Q. Is there a summer reading list? Other work my child can do this summer?

    All Duke School students are encouraged to read throughout the summer. Lower School students can read books of their choice at their reading level throughout the summer months. In mid-June, 5-8th grade teachers will e-mail their summer reading letter and supply lists to parents.
  • Q. How will we know about school supplies? What does my child need to bring on the first day of school?

    Preschool-4th Grade: The school provides classroom supplies. 
    Middle School (5-8th Grade): You will receive an e-mail in July with a list of all materials your child will need.
  • Q. Are there class visits before the beginning of school?

    Preschool, Kindergarten & 1st Grade: You will receive a letter - as part of the summer mailing, that tells you when your child can visit their classroom at the beginning of the year.
    2nd-8th Grade: You can visit on the Tuesday before school starts. Exact times and plans will be shared closer to the date.
  • Q. How do we sign up for after school care?

    Lower School After School Program registration for preschool through fourth grade is completed online. However, unlike the enrollment process, the registration form is not unique for each student nor will a deposit be due at this time. Although more than one parent/guardian may receive this e-mail, only one registration per child is necessary. Registration will remain open throughout the summer.
     
    Prime Time is the name of our Middle School after school program and is included in tuition. Rising fifth through eighth grade students does not register for after school. 
  • Q. What do I need to know about carline? How does carline work?

    Preschool parents are required to walk in/out their child every day. There is a separate parking lot for Preschool parents.

    Lower School parents have a carline near the Admissions Office entrance and the Middle School carline drops off in front of the Middle School Office. 
     
    Preschool:  You will park in the Preschool parking lot and walk your child to class each day. More details of protocol will be shared on your visit day.
    Kindergarten-8th Grade: Carline will be covered on your visit day. Teachers will also give you a carline sign to help the process.
     
  • Q. What extracurricular opportunities are available to students?

    With a variety of afternoon activities, including a general after school program, private music lessons, and specialized activities, students are able to extend their day in areas they enjoy the most. Middle School students are also able to join the band, chorus, the performing arts (drama) production and/or our athletics program.
  • Q. Does Duke School use a traditional or year-round calendar?

    We operate on a traditional calendar. Our students start the new year in late August and end the year in early June.
  • Q. When is the school calendar set? Who sets the academic calendar?

    The next school year's skeleton calendar is published in mid-December.  The calendar is set by Duke School's Leadership Team.
  • Q. What is DragonConnect and how do I sign in?

    DragonConnect is Duke School's internal community portal! It contains secure information such as our parent and staff directory, your child’s classroom info and updates, the school calendar, parent links, letters and downloads, event registrations, community news, and athletic, academic and community group pages. In August, new parents will receive an e-mail with login instructions.
 3716 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705  
Ph:(919) 493-1827 • Fax: (919) 419-1185
 
Admissions Inquiries | (919) 416-9420