Middle School Program

Beginning the summer before their sixth-grade year and continuing through each middle school summer, students attend the Middle School Summer Academy, where they receive instruction from college students at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, and North Carolina Central University in four core subject areas: English, math, science, and Global Connect. Students all enroll in an intensive reading class called Read Fearlessly and then choose elective classes crafted based on college-aged teachers’ passions, talents, and skills, ranging from dance to theater to poetry to yoga to astronomy. All classes at our Summer Academy are small – approximately 8-10 students – so that each student receives individualized academic attention and support. Not only does this programming combat the summer learning loss that many students who do not receive summer enrichment experience, but students also enter the next school year feeling more prepared and confident because they have already been exposed to the grade’s content. Students are also able to attend weekly field trips, during which they learn about their local communities, explore different career opportunities, tour local colleges, and engage in community service. 

During the school year, middle school students are transported on Durham Public School buses each day after-school and come to the W.G. Pearson Center for three hours of after-school programming and enrichment. The after-school program mirrors the structures, values, and culture already well-established in Student U’s Summer Academy. Programming includes daily study skills sessions, intense academic remediation, academic and arts clubs, weekly intramurals, and community building. Perhaps just as beneficial as the academic support students receive during the after-school hours, are the close and supportive relationships they are able to continue building there with their Student U peers and teachers throughout the school year.

MS Summer enrichment: 

  • Instruction in four core subject areas: English, Math, Science, and Global Connect. 
  • Choice of elective class: ex. dance, theater, yoga, and visual arts. 
  • Attend weekly field trips to: learn about local communities, explore different career opportunities, tour local colleges, and engage in community service. 
  • Teachers are matched with a small group of students to serve as their advisor. 

MS Year-Round program: 

  • Attend three hours of daily after-school programming and enrichment. 
  • Students attend Study Skills, where they complete their homework and work towards their goals on their personal Achieve Greatness Plan. 
  • Students attend Clubs focused on the arts, STEM, leadership, weekly intramurals, and community building. 
  • Every 3 weeks phone calls and a family conference once a semester ensures that parents, students and Student U function as a team to support students. 

For more information about Middle School Opportunities, contact April Warren at april.warren@studentudurham.org


Volunteer with the After-School Program

To volunteer with the Middle School Program click here.


During the summer, we are proud to partner with the NCDPI through the USDA Summer Food Services Program to provide healthy meals at no cost to our students.