Duke School Return to School Plan

Dear Duke School Families,

I write today to share with you Duke School’s Return to School Plan.  Please review the plan in its entirety, knowing we are actively preparing at this time to welcome all students to campus when school begins on August 19, 2020. As you review the models outlined in the plan, please keep these points in mind:

  • Safety is paramount. Prioritizing the health and safety of our students, employees, and families is the foundation of our plan.

  • We are informed by experts. The decisions and plans outlined here are based in guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, the Durham County Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and our Duke School Health Advisory Group: Dr. Ethan Basch, Dr. Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, Dr. Susanna Naggie, and Dr. Bimal Shah. Our Health Advisory Group and members of our COVID-19 Task Force are currently working on comprehensive and detailed policies and procedures that will follow this plan, translating our models into action.

  • We are guided by Duke School’s mission and core values. Every decision we are making is on behalf of our students and our commitment to their wellbeing and growth as we continue to provide an exceptional educational experience during this unprecedented time.  In the development of our plan, we have modeled our core values to think boldly and to creatively shape our future as we prepare the next generation of problem solvers for our complex world. We thank you for your partnership and support as we move forward.

  • We will remain nimble and anticipate changes. Finally, we ask that you recognize that decisions and modeling for fall are based on many factors related to COVID-19. Things will continue to change quickly - both in the few weeks before the start of school, and once the year begins - and we will continue to update our plans and keep you informed with clear and transparent communication, welcoming your feedback and engaging in the courageous dialogue that defines our community.

Please join me and school leaders for virtual community conversations to discuss the Return to School Plan. Mark your calendar for your grade level session(s), and Zoom links will be forthcoming:

July 21

               Preschool—12-12:45 PM

               Kindergarten and First Grade—4-4:45 PM

July 22

               Second and Third Grades—12-12:45 PM

               Fourth and Fifth Grades—4-4:45 PM

July 23

               Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades—12-12:45 PM

These sessions will be recorded. We will provide another update the week of August 3.

Lastly, you will find attached an Intention to Use Modified Distance Learning for Fall 2020; please review this short form as well and, if applicable, let us know if your family will use the Modified Distance Learning option by July 24.

Thank you for your partnership and support as we eagerly and thoughtfully prepare to welcome your children back to campus.

Warm regards,


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