Students enrolled 561
School leader John McCain

Resources:The North Carolina education landscape explained. Learn More »


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2320 Cook Road
Durham, NC 27713

School website
(919) 560-3972
(919) 544-1112
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Southwest Elementary address.

4 stars
Based on 16 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

September 28, 2014
Poor education with teacher who just waited for weekends and summer. Did not return as was anticipating more bad experience s based on what other parents were going through. No follow through to meetings with principal about teacher actions. Principal actually left during school year to pursue his own career ambitions leaving school hanging. Yeah.... every man for himself type of attitude but where does that leave child when problems come up?

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
I also have a kindergartner in the Spanish immersion program. He has loved the program and the school and has made amazing academic progress in an environment that feels structured, secure, and supportive. He loves his friends and teachers and it is rewarding to see him happily running into school in the mornings, excited for another day....

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
My son is in Kindergarten in the Spanish Immersion program. He loves his teacher and is enjoying school. The before school care is good - he loves the breakfast - and the Piedmont Wildlife Program is a real bonus. Loves the Specials of Science and dance and I haven't had any safety concerns for him.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2013
My son started kindergarten in the fall of 2012 at Southwest. We were excited to attend as we could walk to school and had really liked the administration when we toured the prior spring. Our experience, though, was terrible and led us to withdraw our son in October and transfer him to another school for the remainder of the school year. His teacher was very punitive and yelled a lot and my son came to hate going to school (despite the fact that he always earned good behavior marks). I spoke with administration and learned from several people that this particular teacher had a long reputation of this behavior. We were unimpressed with the atmosphere in the school and the principal's lack of follow-up in our situation and decided to apply to transfer to a different school in the county for first grade. We were very disappointed that Southwest couldn't deliver, as both my husband and I grew up in Durham and Southwest used to be a much more respected school.

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2012
Love Southwest! It is a great community, one where I both teach and send my own children. Southwest is diverse and seeks to work with families of all backgrounds, races, and cultures. Our staff is dedicated to nurturing and challenging all children. My son has had a terrific experience so far and I'm looking forward to my little one being in Kindergarten!

- submitted by a teacher
November 16, 2009
Southwest has an excellent and devoted staff. All of my 5 children have been students there and I am truly pleased with their progress.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 17, 2009
Southwest have some outstanding teachers/staff. My grand kids are so highly motivated to go to school everyday. It is great to find so many dedicated professionals at Southwest Elementary School.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 05, 2009
I am very pleased with Southwest.You would be amazed at the teachers passion.It is very clean,and lots of color to make the atmosphere fun.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2009
I can't imagine a better elementary school than Southwest. From the principal, staff,teachers and PTA president you are keep inform and there are plenty of activities that you can be involved. The atmosphere is one of learning.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2009
Very friendly and professional staff. My kids love it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 05, 2008
The Dual Language program at Southwest is great! My child is learning so much Spanish, while still learning all her regular materials in English. Also, the school has great activities such as International Night, the Fall Festival, the book fairs, etc. I love that the older girls are able to participate in Girls on the Run and that all grades can enter the science fair.

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2008
We've been very pleased with this school. The teachers are dedicated, the hallways and classrooms are alive with activity and color, and, most importantly, students are learning. Southwest is one of Durham's hidden gems!

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2008
I have had two children to attend and have been very successful. I recommend this school to anyone that has a love for academic greatness.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2006
This is our third year at Southwest and for the first time I realize how grat we had it the first two years. Right now its early in the year, but I have serious concerns with the teachers philosophy and the level of education being offered.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2005
My sons started attending this school four years ago. I am not pleased with the racial makeup of the classes (90% African American classes, 90% White classes). I chose this school for the ethnic diversity and higher test scores. At first, I did not see this type of discrimination. I am wondering why this has not been an issue since the school has a large student population. The school has a new principal and it has become more apparent that she lacks leadership skills. I have talked with other parents who are not satisfied with what is going on with the school. Some third grade classes do not go to lunch until 2:00pm. School dismisses at 3:20pm. There is no excuse for this. This is the better elementary school in the system so I have no choice but to supplement my children's education with outside resources.

- submitted by a parent
January 01, 2005
I have really enjoyed this school. My twins have been here since K-5 and I have had nothing but great things from this school. Parent involvement is great and the PTA makes a great difference.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2004
My son just completed his first year at Southwest. He had a great kindergarten teacher whose main focus was teaching reading skills. By the end of the year my son read at a 3rd grade level. All of the teachers are generally friendly and I haven't had any problems with staff. There are many fundraisers and activities although getting parent participation can be difficult. I wouldn't want to be at any other school in this district. After lots of research this was the best public school in the area.

- submitted by a parent
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Southwest Elementary
2320 Cook Road, Durham, NC  27713
(919) 560-3972
Last modified Southwest Elementary is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Southwest Elementary Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 19 reviews. Top