Why A Progressive Preschool - 8th Grade?

To Know and Be Known

Ensuring a Safe Place for Preadolescents

  • Duke School is a safe place for children of all ages.
  • Our environment allows emerging adolescents to become confident and poised, and helps them find lifelong academic interests and skills.
  • There is no pressure to grow up too fast at Duke School, or behave like a high school student.

Focusing on Preschool (three and four-year olds) to Eighth Grade

  • Duke School focuses solely on providing the best possible preschool to eighth grade experience.
  • Our Lower School and Middle School programs do not compete with a high school program for valuable human and financial capital.
  • Faculty members love to teach students in this age range and are cognizant of their social, emotional, and physical needs during this formative period.

Predicting Success

  • Numerous national studies demonstrate the advantage of a three-year-old to eighth grade education; they enhance academic, social, and emotional development while bringing about improved self esteem and confidence (Rand Study and National Middle School Association Study).
  • A two-year study by American College Testing (ACT) found that eighth grade academic achievement in an appropriate eighth grade curriculum was more significant in determining future success in high school and college than any high school academic experience.
  • The experiences of our alumni indicate that Duke School provides powerful long-lasting experiences that position students for success in high school and college.

Transitioning to High School

  • In the final year of the Duke School experience we work closely with eighth grade students and their parents to identify the next best placement for high school. Our alumni distinguish themselves in their new schools. Public and independent schools are delighted to add Duke School graduates to their classes.
  • Preparing our students to be productive and happy at the next level is critical to the thinking of both teachers and administrators at Duke School.

Before I became a mom, I had friends whose children entered Duke School in preschool and attended through eighth grade. They were among the most engaging and engaged kids we'd ever met. So when our son turned three, we knew we were headed to Duke School. His preschool experience at Duke School gave him the solid foundation he needed to enter his elementary years fully prepared and confident in his abilities. It's exciting to think about what the next few years will bring! 

Holly, Jim, and Griffin '19