Durham Public Schools to operate ‘learning centers’ for up to 900 students

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The Durham Public Schools Board of Education authorized the opening of six “learning centers” for students, the district has announced.

The centers will “provide support for students who need supervision while DPS opens the school year under ‘Plan C’ with remote teaching and learning,” according to a news release.

“Opening our school year remotely is the right decision to protect our students and staff from COVID-19,” said DPS Superintendent Pascal Mubenga. “However, there are many families in Durham who need additional support during the school day. It will take a community effort to support each of these children, but DPS is doing its part.”

According to DPS, the centers “would provide a safe space to complete online learning, meals and snacks, and social-emotional activities. Students would be assigned to small pods with daily wellness screenings, distribution and required use of facemasks, and planned circulation and seating of six feet social distancing.”

The DPS Learning Centers will be operated at W.G. Pearson, Southwest, and Eno Valley elementary schools beginning on Aug. 24.

On Aug. 31, centers will open at Carrington, Githens, and Shepard middle schools for secondary students.

Applications for K-5 students will begin being accepted on Monday. Forms will be available on the DPS website.

Some students will be able to attend the learning centers for free. For those not eligible, the costs per week are listed below:

Regular rate: $140
DPS employee rate: $105
Rate for students receiving free or reduced-price lunches: $70
One-time registration fee (waived for students receiving free seats): $35

The centers will host 450 elementary and 450 middle/high school students for nine weeks, DPS said.

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