Early Education

Office of Early Education (OEE) Staff

Michael Umeh

General Preschool Questions

(919) 560-3505 or (919) 560-2000 ext. 26001


Suzanne Cotterman

Director, Office of Early Education

(919) 560-2000 ext. 26011


Karen Thompson

Preschool Coordinator

(919) 560-2000 ext. 22162


April Washington

Instructional Coach

(919) 560-2000 ext. 35727


Qushanna Glass

Instructional Coach

919-560-2000 ext. 91202


Leslie Greene

Child Find Coordinator

(919) 560-3933


Maria Salazar

Preschool Interpreter

(919) 560-2000 ext. 26262


Beatrice Springs

EC OEE Preschool Assessment Teams Coordinator

(919) 560-2000 ext. 26009


A.Patricia Townsend

Whitted School Coordinator



Durham Public Schools, (DPS) provides special education services to children who are found eligible in one or more of fourteen disabling categories. Some of the eligibility categories include developmental delay, speech language impairment and autism, among others. Upon eligibility determination, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed for each child outlining the services required to meet the child’s special education needs. Some of the services may include special education support from a teacher, speech language therapy, occupational therapy or physical therapy. The placement and frequency of service delivery is determined by the IEP team. DPS offers a full continuum of services and children are placed in the least restrictive environment. Children who are found eligible may begin receiving services on their third birthday and services are provided according to the DPS school calendar. If you feel that a child is in need of special education services and you would like to make a referral, please contact Leslie Greene at 919-560-3933. If the child has been evaluated or screened, those reports can be faxed to Ms. Greene at 919-680-6942 to help with the referral process. Durham Public Schools will conduct screenings and/or evaluations necessary to determine eligibility at no cost to the family. If your child has a current IEP and you are moving to Durham County, please call April Washington for assistance. April and Qushanna Glass also helps families with questions about their child’s classroom assignment. Durham Public Schools also serves at-risk four-year-old children through our Title I pre-kindergarten program. Eligibility for this program is determined through a universal application and screening process conducted in the winter and early spring for children who will be four years old on or before August 31 of the program year. The screening process is conducted in conjunction with Durham’s Partnership for Children, Durham Pre-K and NC Pre-K. Some programs do require income information. Parents interested in applying for these programs should call Durham’s Partnership for Children at 919-403-6960. Available spots are limited and placement is based on eligibility requirements for each program. For general information or questions about Durham Public Schools’ preschool services, please call 919-560-3505.

Who to call for help with…..

  • Referrals for special education: Leslie Greene- 919-560-3933

  • Transfer IEPs/ classroom assignments: April Washington 919-560-2000, ext. 35727

  • Universal application for preschool programs. (4 year olds as of August 31 of the program year): Durham’s Partnership for Children- 1-833-PREK-EDU (1-833-773-5338)

  • General preschool information: 919-560-3505

Office of Early Education Core Beliefs:

  • Durham Public Schools is a Pre-K -12 school system and preschool builds the foundation for our early learners.

  • Parents are the child’s first teacher.

  • Respecting families and building positive partnerships are critical.

  • The Office of Early Education intentionally collaborates within Durham Public Schools and with community partners to align services, curriculum, resources and policies.

  • All stakeholders are an important part of the Office of Early Education’s vision and mission, and are valued for their contributions.

  • By providing appropriate access, participation, and support, all children learn and progress.

  • Highly effective staff using research-based instructional strategies, best practices and data are essential to building a strong foundation for every child.

  • Leadership is encouraged, creativity is valued, collaboration is mandatory, and continuous improvement is expected.