DSA has far exceeded my expectations for both middle and high school learning. The teachers are great and attempt to do all they can to help the students reach their full potential. I rated the Parent Involvement as I did simply because I have not done all that I feel I can do yet in assisting my son on his journey through the school. I believe that things are great and only getting better.
We are a new family at DSA (High School), we've come from 9 years of attending a small private school. This has been a perfect transition for our family and our daughter. Although this school is very large it has a very intimate feel. The teachers are young and energetic, they have been excellent. The campus is unique & inviting. There has not been any bullying and the overall student population has been friendly. It's a fantastic mix of individuals. I still can't believe we are not paying for this!
A lot of people I know have applied to this school, but very few got in. As it is a a performing arts school in all. But however, I'm pretty upset with the staff quality. If you decide to message the principal (in which I did) it took EXACTLY four months for a reply. And it was just around three sentences. I'm also shocked that this school is one point below from my school. (Mine is an 8). Kids there are always talking about DSA but now, I'm not so sure if this is my school. No, I do not attend but I wanted to. I realize that this school should just stick to actors and I'll stick to science.
Durham School of the Arts is one of a kind. It has exceptional teachers, exceptional guidance and staff and a amazing principal. The dedication of all of these helped us through some difficult times. The academics and arts programs are a treasure!
This school has many good things to offer it's students. Most of the teachers and programs at this school are very good, but I am sorry to say that the front office staff at this school is the rudest I have ever delt with at any school before. The ladies at this school's front office answer the phone with bad attitudes and are very reluctant to help parents and other visitors in that enter the front office. The older lady that works in the front office with the all white, short hair, (she does attendance for DSA) is down right Hateful to some visitors in the front office, for no reason. She is comfortable with her job and feels she should be able to talk to the schools visitors with disrespect. This woman should be fired or at least moved to the back office so no one has the misfortune of dealing with her again. I'm surprised a school with so much to offer would have front office staff that acts so unprofessional all the time. The principal or someone at the school board needs to retrain or replace the DSA front office staff quick! If this office staff's rudeness continues, the parents will eventually file a complaint with the school board.
Pure luck that my son got in to DSA. His life has turned a page. He started at DSA in the 6th and now he is a 8th grader. He starts to enjoy Shakespeare, creative writing, music and art. I have to say that seeing my son's growth and changes in just a little bit than 2 yrs of time at DSA, not only has he kept all straight A in all subjects, two of subjects he has been in are AIG program. He has worked with tremendous teachers throughout the last 3 years ( we love his current teachers too) in every subject. we just being grateful everyday and hope that our little one could get in too!!
My daughter started @ DSA in the 6th grade and will be a senior this year. It has been a positive experience overall and my daughter has really enjoyed the diversity and opportunities that DSA has provided. My only complaint - this is not the usual neighborhood school so it seems difficult to get parental involvement & assistance in the various groups (PTSA, Boosters, etc). It often seems to be the same handful of parents volunteering @ functions. If your child goes to DSA - please jump in & help make this school even greater than it already is.
This school fosters an atmosphere of respect, academic achievement and tolerance that I have not seen at any other high school. Students learn through arts based and project based ideologies that nurture the students who struggle and allow the strong students to shine. The teachers provide different types of activities that appeal to the different intelligences of students so that they all have a chance to be successful and the arts portion of the curriculum is fabulous.
Culture of respect coupled with academic excellence. DSA's arts-based curriculum gives kids the opportunity to expand their horizons. My children both want to be scientists but an arts education is also helping them to think outside the box.
Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at
school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs
in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.