Discovery Charter School Phoenix Campus & District Office

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Curriculum » Middle School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum

Adolescence is one of the most exciting periods of intellectual, physical, social and emotional development in the human life span. Children are moving from concrete to analytical thinking. Each child is maturing at their own pace. Discovery Charter Schools recognize this and combining the need for academic proficiency and enlightened responsiveness to the physical, emotional, social and intellectual challenges of adolescence students is what makes for successful middle schools.

The Discovery Middle School Program (Grades 6-8) is based on developmentally appropriate teaching methods that successfully integrate teaching that accommodates the whole child with respect to individual learning styles, developmental readiness and rates of achievement.

The middle school curriculum is California State Standards based, but teaches to the “most essential standards” focusing on a greater depth of learning and understanding. Subject matter instruction is integrated/articulated across the curriculum in all grades. An assigned classroom project can cover several subject areas.

Discovery Charter Schools seek to instill genuine critical thinking skills that help students move toward greater independence and to novel and creative solutions to problems. Our instructional methods foster curiosity, problem-solving, and build critical thinking skills, that prepare students for life-long learning – preparing them for high school, college and beyond.

Curriculum Overview

Core curriculum (English Language Arts and Social Studies) are standards based, and articulated across the curriculum in all grades. Writing and Literature groups make for focused and differentiated instruction. English Language Arts has a strong emphasis on building writing skills and traits, and offers rich diversity of activities and resources.

Social Studies ties in closely with Language Arts and Science. Social Studies is hands-on, interactive, and experiential. Middle School Math is a successful college prep program that has traditional and developmental instruction. The Math program’s approach emphasizes both the discovery process, and develops strong computation skills.

Science is inquiry based, with labs, formal and small group instruction. Naturally Physical Education instruction is included for all middle schools students. Spanish instruction runs from kindergarten through 8th grade. At the Middle School level the focus is for the 8th grade student to complete the year at a high school “Spanish 1” level.

All curriculum is designed for basic skill development, applied cross the curriculum and project based. As is traditional with all our grade levels – relevant learning experiences are important extensions of each field of study, and come in the form of field trips.

Enhancing learning through Technology

Each of our middle school students are issued a Samsung Chromebook for educational use.
Our students use their assigned chromebooks while at school and at home. Additionally each student keeps their “book” the entire time they are enrolled as a Discovery student. 

Discovery has implemented one-to-one computing to further maximize student engagement
in our fast-developing technological world.  Using cloud-based collaboration tools like Google Drive and Schoology, and hundreds of web-based academic sources the students are able to save work, and access it on the Google cloud.

More importantly it is not about the device, but about learning opportunities and experiences. Using cloud collaborative tools student’s individual projects can be evaluated by their peers, and these constructive opportunities lead to and create deeper learning.  Students have access to textbooks, classroom content and enhance areas of learning through self-directed websites with learning and video tutorials to support learning for all subjects. 

Program Offerings

Selectives
Discovery offers a wide variety of classes for the middle school students. The offerings are based on a core set of classes that are important for educational development, while still offering a wide variety of other interest options for the students. The classes are “selectives” because the offerings are based on the skill sets of the teachers, parents (professional or hobbyist) and the requests and interests of the students. Offerings have included the following, but in no way are limited to:

Art
Cooking
Dance
Digital Photography
Drama
Gardening
Guitar/Music
Independent Projects
Junior Achievement
Ornithology
Psychology
Public Speaking
Quilting/Knitting
Service Learning
Technology
Total Fitness
Web Design
Yoga

Advisory - All students participate in morning advisory groups. Trained parents and teachers serve as mentors for small groups of students to help monitor each student’s goals, solve problems, discuss relevant issues, and support one another in their study skills.

Student Government - All of our class levels (Kindergarten through 8th grade) participate in student government. Our middle school students are elected to key positions such as President, Vice President, and School Board Representative. Each (K-8) class has representation giving the students a voice in their school and an opportunity to effect change. All of our 6, 7, & 8th graders are expected to take leadership roles within the Discovery Charter School community and serve as mentors and friends to the younger students.

After School Sports - Every student wishing to participate in the after school sports program may do so. Every student makes the team. Naturally this does not make Discovery Charter Schools an athletic powerhouse. What it does is give students who would naturally not try-out for a team the safety to do so, teaches teamwork and sportsmanship without pressure. Current teams include: Boys Basketball & Soccer, Girls Basketball & Soccer, and Track and Field for all.

High School and Beyond

Discovery graduates attend a variety of private and public high schools throughout the Bay Area such as:

Archbishop Mitty High School
Palo Alto High School
Bellermine Preparatory School
Mid Peninsula High School
Saratoga High School
Los Gatos High School
Notre Dame High School
Santa Clara High School
St. Francis High School
Lincoln High School
Kings Academy
Prospect High School
St. Lawrence High School
Westmont High School
Morgan Hill High School
Kehillah Jewish High School
Los Altos High School
Summit High School
Milpitas High School
Presentation High School
Morgan Hill High School
Valley Christian High School

Our graduates continue to expand their passions and opportunities in high school:

80% Honor Roll
10% Leadership
40% Gifted
78% attend their local high school
20% attend private or faith based
2% attend an alternative high School
30% High School Sport Participation
10% Music & Arts

As our alumni continue their educational journey they can be found at a wide variety of institutions (and many more):

UC Berkeley
UC Davis
Duke
Willamette
West Valley CC
Stanford
MIT
St. John
Ithaca College
San Jose State
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
St. Mary's University
Santa Clara University
Brown
DeAnza CC
Rhode Island School of Design
NYU
UC Santa Cruz
Columbia
Kenyon
Northwestern
San Diego
Harvey Mudd