State of Student U

State of Student U

Watch the video above for our full conversation about our community's COVID-19 recovery efforts and how Student U is reimagining what our programming will look like in the future.

Key takeaways from our conversation:

COVID-19 has affirmed the importance of listening to our families' experiences and needs. We must then innovate to meet those needs. To do so, here are questions we are asking:

  • How are we inviting every student's voice into our education environments? How can we rethink what education looks like to make space for all the voices in the room?
  • We must consider the social and emotional needs of students. How do we leverage partnerships to care for the body and minds of the next generation?
  • How can we eliminate barriers to receiving services (like transportation)? How can we build strong relationships and trust among families and staff to strengthen our services for students?

We need to pay attention to education policy:

  • Policies matter. We need to ensure our students' and parents' voices are at the decision-making table. The lives of our students should inform how we advocate for policy change, which impacts the 33,000 students in Durham Public Schools and whose wellbeing and potential we need to protect collectively.

What is next in 2021:

Relaunching Student U's in-person Summer Academy safely to give time and resources for students to heal from the intense experiences of the pandemic, gearing up to move forward. 
We will focus on community building and continuing our excellent academic enrichment while integrating remediation and assessing students' progress to plan the fall.

Imagine what a core function of advocacy looks like for our institution.
As we are getting out of the pandemic, we are imagining what school redistricting will be like. How do we create spaces for our families to share their voices, informing elected officials as Durham Public Schools evolves?

Creating workforce development opportunities for parents through intergenerational programming. We know the whole family package will lead us to equity, and 60% of our parents said they want to further their education.

Providing every single student in our community with access to the resources, opportunities, and supports necessary to reach their full potential. Students have had significant disruptions in their academic and personal lives. Our children are also resilient and are developing strength from these experiences. They have experienced trauma, and they have experienced joy, and together they are becoming strong leaders.  We can support this development by asking students and families what they need and showing up as a community for our young people.


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