A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area


We nurture our students growth and challenge them to set high, hopeful expectations for their learning and development.

The Upper School uses a non-graded, non-ranked, narrative evaluation system that is personal and comprehensive. Each trimester families receive extensive written evaluations that review the student’s overall progress in each course including: achievement on papers and exams; contributions to class; sense of responsibility; and growth of understanding. Students earn credit or no credit for each course.

For students preparing applications for admission to colleges and universities, the College Counselor reads all term reports for all classes from all years in the Upper School and writes an academic narrative summarizing the student’s performance across eight curricular areas: English and Language Arts; Mathematics; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; Foreign Language; Cultural & Visual Arts; Life Skills & Service; and Physical Education.

Does lack of grades hurt college admissions?

We find that our narrative assessments not only do no harm to our students, but often provide an advantage. We are not the only school that provides narrative evaluations, and continue to be at the forefront of what is a growing movement toward authentic assessment in high schools across the country. Our College Counselor works to continually strengthen our relationships with colleges and universities, and admissions officers have learned that these narratives allow them to more fully understand all that our students will bring to a campus community. They partner with us to get to know who we are and what we do.