CPSC Elementary School

Associate Director Raenel Duncan-Edmonds with CPSC elementary students

CPSC's Elementary School serves kindergarten through fourth grade. It's located at 724 Foster Street in Durham's Central Park district. Our diverse urban neighborhood is within walking distance of many community partners and unique places for learning.

The Central Park School for Children is committed to nurturing and guiding the natural eagerness of each child to explore, grow, and relate to others. The school is founded on three principles: that children are naturally full of life, power and confidence; that the best available research should guide our methods; and that children develop best in a community where curiosity, challenges and learning are valued. The school is a community of partners who seek to guide, cherish and be amazed by the children.

What is Project Based Learning?

At CPSC, "project-based learning" starts with a question. The standard curriculum defines a broad topic (for example, weather) and the children decide what to study in more detail (for example, storms). Students read about storms; write about them; use math and science skills to analyze them; use art and movement to explain them. They'll invite in experts, and go to places where they can learn more about storms. By the end of the unit, they will have created many products that show what they know. Some products will be whole-class efforts; others are individual students' creations.

It's a very real-world way to learn. Students build academic skills in the context of real work, not worksheets. Students can use their individual skills and talents to show what they know. The quality of their work is graded against expectations that take into account each child's strengths and challenges.

What Sets Us Apart?


Our teaching methods, and even our school's organization, emerge from research into how children learn best.

Integrated Arts

Art, music, movement and media aren't unrelated classes — they're directly tied into what the students are studying.


With small classes, our students have lots of opportunities to experience — not just watch and listen.

This page (CPSC Elementary School) last updated March 6, 2016