Advanced Academics

Director of AIG and Magnet Programs

Laura Parrott

Coordinator of Advanced Academics

919-560-2376 Ext. 21303

Durham Public Schools recognizes that students learn in many different ways, and at a variety of levels. Advanced and intellectually gifted (AIG) students will find rigorous programs that challenge and develop their unique gifts and learning styles. The AIG programs in Durham Public Schools begin with assessments as early as second grade, and continue throughout elementary and middle school. Once a student enters high school, a wealth of advanced placement courses, and other special programs, are available.

Department of Advanced Academics

Durham Public Schools will ensure that all students achieve at their highest potential regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status. Each student will make continuous progress and be at or above grade level.

The Department of Advanced Academics will ensure that all advanced and gifted learners make continuous progress from a strong foundation in elementary school, through a rigorous and challenging middle school curriculum, into a high school program that offers the opportunity to complete college-level work before graduation.

Department Mission:

  • The Mission of the Department of Advanced Academics is to design, guide and promote rigorous programs that challenge the advanced and gifted learners of Durham Public Schools.

  • The Department will ensure that all DPS students have access to programs and courses that enhance and broaden opportunities for further education and career success.


  • Increase participation in accelerated courses and programs

  • Articulate AIG nurturing program K-2

  • Identify students with potential for success in advanced courses

  • Provide College Board sponsored training for teachers of AP courses


  • Research and promote programs that allow students to accelerate their education

  • Provide leadership for the district’s AIG plan

  • Provide ongoing professional development for AIG teachers in identifying/serving gifted students

Key Beliefs:

  • Schools have an obligation to identify and provide services for their gifted and advanced students

  • The process used to identify students in need of gifted services must be ongoing, reliant on multiple measures, free of bias and non-exclusionary

  • Strategies must be employed to identify students from groups traditionally underrepresented in gifted populations.