Frequently Asked Questions

Please find the Frequently Asked Questions below and know that we at Durham Charter School want to empower you as parents with the appropriate information needed to make an educated decision regarding your child’s future.

Please see the FAQs below and the Information Session PowerPoint shared during the spring sessions. Also, please get in touch with enrollment@durhamcharter.org if you have more questions or would like to request a tour.

Durham Charter School – 2023 Information Session Powerpoint

By 2030, Durham Charter School (formerly Healthy Start Academy) will serve over 1200 students from grades K-12 in Durham County with one goal: “To prepare our students to succeed in either college or career.”

Our school exists to provide all children the opportunity to obtain an outstanding comprehensive education that includes rigorous Academics, as well as diverse opportunities to develop mastery in the Arts, Athletics, and Engineering. That said, our programming in Arts, Athletics, and Engineering has just recently been launched and will be developed over the 3-5 years as we grow. More details about some of the specifics are outlined below.

Currently we serve 769 students in K-10. In five years, we will reach full capacity of 1200 students. The breakdown by grade is as follows:

Durham Charter Grades and Students

Character education is one of our most important pillars. Everything we do focuses on building the 3 Cs of Character, Culture, and Community. 

Our values spell the word P-R-I-D-E: Positive Attitude, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Empathy. As you walk the halls of our school you will see banners adorning the walls with quotes from great leaders that represent each of these values. 

Students earn points daily as they demonstrate these values in a variety of ways.  Some examples are showing Determination by pushing through a difficult math problem or exemplifying Empathy by supporting a friend who is upset. Teachers practice demonstrating our values daily in Morning Meeting in grades K-3. Grade levels come together every other week as part of PRIDE Time to discuss successes and challenges that the grade has encountered as a group that week. In addition, our students are celebrated and recognized for showing the values in our monthly Community Circle. Classes that lead the way in showing the values during the month get to earn one of our “Lester the Lion” statues which they paint in the colors of their homeroom college.

Students in K – 3rd have the following extracurriculars 1 to 2 times each week:


Focus: Exposure in Arts, Athletics, and Science

  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • PE
  • Library Media

Next year, we expect to also offer Science, and Performing Arts. 

Students in 5th – 8th choose a daily elective for 1 semester. Orchestra is a yearlong course.


Focus: Developing Mastery in Arts, Athletics, and Engineering

    • Orchestra
    • Chess
    • PE/Tae Kwon Do
    • Dramatic Arts (2024-2025)
    • Possible Future Offerings:  
  • Visual Arts (Painting, Photography, Ceramics) (2024-2025)
  • Engineering and Robotics (2024-2025)
  • Fencing (2025-2026)

Students in 9th Grade have a variety of high school level electives to select from as well as additional focus in Arts, Athletics, and Engineering. This past year we offered: 

  • Music Production
  • PE/Health 
  • Visual Arts
  • Home Economics
  • Astronomy
  • Computer Science & Keyboarding
  • Next year we will be implementing AIG in grades K-1 and then expanding the program one grade level a year. 
  • In high school, students have the option of qualifying for an Honors track. 


  • K-8: Zearn Math & Illustrative Math
  • High School: Carnegie


English Language Arts


  • Science of Reading: Lifelong Readers
  • Close Reading: Ready
  • Literature: Fishtank ELA & Reading Reconsidered


  • Engage NY

Middle and High School

  • Boys & Girls Soccer
  • Girls Volleyball
  • Boys and Girls Basketball
  • Cheer 
  • Track and Field 
  • Cross Country

Possible Future Sports

  • Baseball
  • Wrestling
  • Fencing

Sample Sports Schedule