Independent Learning at Durham Academy

Students who want to develop their own learning experiences can receive school support through two programs: they can conduct a semester-long, credit-bearing Independent Study, or they can pursue a physical or intellectual adventure with a Jack Linger Explorer Grant. The two programs can also be combined, since Linger Grants can be used to finance costs associated with an Independent Study.

Independent StudyJack Linger Explorer Grant
One semester (can be extended)Any length
During school yearSummer or school year
Academic creditNoncredit
Approved by Upper School Academic CommitteeApproved by Linger Grant Selection Committee
Proposals due May 1 or Dec 1Proposals due mid-April

Scenes from the Independent Learning Assembly, April 1, 2022


Role of blogging

All students in Independent Learning Program keep blogs to reflect on their learning, collect resources, and share their experience with others. Peers, relatives, friends, and other supporters are invited to subscribe by email to get notified of new posts on a student’s blog. The comment icon on any post allows viewers to respond. Support these students journeys by posing questions, suggesting resources, or sharing an alternative perspective! (Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately, but the process doesn’t take long).


2021-22 Independent Studies

Fall 2021Spring 2022
Humanure Toilet Design (Mirella Kades ‘22)Humanure Toilet Design(Mirella Kades ‘22)
Jorge Luis Borges (Alan Bernstein ’22)Gender Roles in Corporate Finance (Elizabeth Wong ‘23)
Gender in Congressional Debate (Asia Crowley ‘22)Japanese Language (Jet Tanaka ‘22)
Classic Democracies (Aadesh Achaliya ‘22)American Sign Language (Will Lindsey ‘24)
Conducting (Avery Davidson ‘22)Conducting (Avery Davidson ‘22)
Automation for FRC Robotics (Tate Staples ‘22)Biomedical Engineering–Neta (Neta Ariely ‘24 & Ela Savas ’24)
Building Advocacy (Allison Preble ‘23)Influence of Music (Gavin Levinson ‘22)
Healthcare Discrimination (Rinal Dahhan ‘23)
Linear Alegebra (Taylor Winstead ‘24)
Language and Voice (Olivia Theodore ‘23)

Jack Linger Explorer Grants 2021-22

Humanure Toilet Design (Mirella Kades ‘22)

Crossing the Divide (Emiliano Garcia-Lopez ‘23 and Omar Pasha ‘23)

Jorge Luis Borges (Alan Bernstein ’22)

Pure Hope Foundation Nature Trails (Holly Wilcox ‘23)


Illustration of synapses



Alex Hogue ’21 created this image as part of her independent study of medical illustration.

For a deeper dive, see this recording of an Independent Learning Program exhibition: