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Durham Performance Learning Center Holds

First Graduation Ceremony

Three students find success through non-traditional high school


(Durham, NC) January 22, 2008 – The Durham Performance Learning Center (DPLC) graduated its first class of students on Wednesday, January 23, 2008. Three students were given another opportunity to earn their high school diploma when Communities In Schools of Durham partnered with the Durham Public Schools to open the new non-traditional high school. The DPLC was made possible partly through funding passed through the Communities In Schools of NC (CISNC) office and the national Communities In Schools, Inc. partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


“These three students graduating is a great success story,” said Bud Lavery, executive director of Communities In Schools of Durham. “It means that instead of dropping out of school, they now have plans to pursue college and a career. This graduation ceremony shows our students in Durham that earning a high school degree is important and that the Performance Learning Center is serious about offering a solution to the dropout issue.” 


The first class of DPLC graduates included:


David Bynum: David Bynum needed one more credit to graduate from Hillside High School in Durham. He found out about the Durham Performance Learning Center and immediately appreciated the flexibility it offered. David was able to continue working two jobs while finishing high school at the same time, something that would have been virtually impossible in a traditional high school setting. After graduation, David plans to attend community college.


TyQuan Thomas: TyQuan only needed four credits to graduate from high school. He was originally attracted to the DPLC because it would allow him to complete his credits in 70 days instead of 90 days at a traditional high school. He was interested in the flexibility of working at his own pace and using the online curriculum offered at the DPLC. TyQuan spent his first month and a half at the DPLC not really progressing in his work. However, once something clicked with TyQuan, he became extremely focused and started flying through his course work. The DPLC Services Coordinator was amazed at the difference in his work habits between the start of the school year and the end of the semester. He was able to work quickly and stayed focused on one subject at a time, which seemed to really work best for him. TyQuan is now a high school graduate and has plans to attend NC Central University.


Rashaad Williams: As a student at Riverside High School, Rashaad had fallen behind his classmates due to excessive absences. He first came to the DPLC because enjoyed the option of completing coursework from home and at his own pace. Rashaad and his good friend decided to both apply to the DPLC and challenge each other to stay in school and graduate. Rashaad’s attendance improved drastically and he only missed one day in the first two months of school. Even though his friend ended up enrolling in a different program, Rashaad stuck with it and is now enrolled at a community college and is well on his way to earning his college degree.


Durham’s PLC is housed in the bottom floor of Northgate Mall and contains four separate classrooms. Students complete their coursework on computers using NC State Department of Public Instruction-approved software along with associated instructional time from their certified teachers, who are called Learning Facilitators.  DPLC students are also assigned community mentors, and have opportunities for internships with Durham or Triangle-based companies.

About Communities In Schools of Durham

For over 15 years, Communities In Schools of Durham has stayed focused on their mission: to champion the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life. Communities In Schools takes a holistic approach to drop-out prevention by addressing the physical, emotional, social and academic needs of children and families through a wide range of tutoring, counseling and mentoring programs; cultural and community service activities; and advisement for post-secondary education, financial aid, scholarships and career services. For more information about Communities In Schools of Durham, visit


About Communities In Schools of North Carolina

Communities In Schools has earned its place as the nation’s leading community-based organization helping kids succeed in school and prepare for life. There are 39 local operational affiliates in North Carolina serving over 400 schools and other sites. During the past school year, CIS served over 130,000 youth and family members and it maintains a presence in the five largest school districts in North Carolina.  For more information on Communities In Schools of North Carolina, visit