My daughter attends this school and I have been nothing but thoroughly impressed. The individual attention is phenomenal, the science and math labs impressive and needed in all schools, the integration of physically disabled students smooth and natural, and the teachers highly dedicated. My main concern upon enrolling her was that art and music might be de-emphasized or lack luster, but that has not been the case. The Art teacher seems passionate about his teaching and my daughter came home fascinated with Claude Monet. The music teacher gives his all and seems to care and is adept in his subject. As a mother with a music background, I am pleased with the art and music. My daughter is happy and engaged and I will certainly send my other children there. As a side note, many schools become so focused on the FCATs and other standardized tests, that the scores are high on sites like GreatSchools, but the students still haven't learned anything except how to take a specific test (and how to suffer from teacher-pressured test anxiety). Test scores cannot and should not be the determining factor in choosing a child's school.
Well, the school isn't what it was since the new principal took over. It's hard to say how things will be next year, but most notably, the new principal does not seem responsive to emails, is late to meetings, the last one to get to school and the first one gone. He seems to refer to his assistant Principal to make decisions for him and never seems to be busy like the previous was. He just doesn't seem to be a real "go getter". But yes, he is very nice.
Since the new principal came in, the school has not been the same. We no longer get messages in voicemails, the staff isn't always available as it used to be and some teachers need to retire and others should've never been hired. There's a handful of great teachers but unfortunately the bad ones outweigh the good ones. I'm taking my child to a different school.
My daughter has been attendeing Durrance for the past 3 yrs and i love this school. The Principal, vice principla and all the teachers go an extra mile for their students. I am totally overwhelmed by their commitment for excellence!!! Way to go!! keep the good work going!!!