May 26, 2016
Dear Discovery Family and Friends,
It is an exciting time in the life of the school as our academic year draws to a close. In September, we celebrated the milestone of Discovery's 25th anniversary and here we are in May, experiencing the most successful enrollment season in our twenty-five year history. I could not be more pleased. We are not, however, resting on our laurels. We continue to take advantage of opportunities to enhance the Discovery program for our students and their families.
Beginning in 2014 with the adoption of our Strategic Plan, we have been conducting research among faculty, staff, and our families to more clearly define the benefits that the Discovery experience provides students. Since August, we have worked to refine our messaging so that we can more clearly share our story with current and prospective families. The results are in, and I am thrilled to share with you our newly defined benefits, our refreshed name and logo, and our new tagline. These new tools will help us more clearly express our story through the outcomes of our program and unique learning environment.
The benefits of The Discovery School experience extend far beyond the classrooms and our village style campus:
Act Your Age. All across Discovery’s learning spaces – from the ticking and clinking and bubbling of STEaM lab inventions, to the intricate design of Montessori classrooms, to the please-grow-so-we-can-pick-you vegetables of student-tended gardens – boys and girls are acting their ages. Childhood is still sacred here, not to mention adventurous, creative, curious, exuberant, imaginative, innocent, playful, and wonder-filled. This is learning.
Build a Brilliant Foundation. Friends used to ask her if it was strange being in the same class with kids of different ages. She told them it would be weird not jumping into Math or Reading as fast as she wanted. Those skills she honed in Discovery’s lower grades – independent learning, collaboration, focus – are now empowering her to thrive in the IB. She has audacious ideas. She has big questions. She perceives a connectedness in life around her. Her mind is opening wide and she will never see the world the same way again.
Become Your Best Self. He begins reading well ahead of the children of his parents’ friends. During a club soccer game, he steps between two pushing-and-shoving players, a peacemaker. His father interrupts him – three eggs too late – conducting a ‘gravity experiment’ in the kitchen (note: gravity still works). At a birthday party, he engages a shy girl sitting by herself. Soon, she is red-faced with bright laughter. The boy is resourceful but reflective; self-aware but selfless; confident but kind. More than just a better student, he is becoming his best self at Discovery.
Find Your Inspiration. She holds a plastic stethoscope in her small hand and is a doctor curing Nana. He sits in the driver’s seat of the family car and flies a rescue helicopter through an ocean storm. She writes lyrics for her rap musical – scraps of scribbly paper filling her pockets – and bows to a standing ovation. He is fascinated by the regenerative abilities of starfish and splices their DNA to help wounded soldiers. At Discovery, master teachers guide students to find what inspires them. Here, there is a new world in the making.
Discover Your Voice. He and his classmates reflect on the teacher’s question. There is an obvious answer, but he thinks there may be a more effective method to achieve the same end. The problem reminds him of a discussion in a different class the day before. It also reminds him of something he read in the news this morning. He mulls his theory, mentally trying it on for size. It is innovative, but he could be wrong. He might even look foolish. He raises his hand. He will take that chance. He has a voice. He will always use it.
Learn About Your Child. The evening is a whir of eating, cleaning, homework, kids to bed, and more work. There is an email from her son’s teacher and she reads about his triumphs that week. The teacher’s tone is professional yet personal and her son’s individuality radiates through each typed word. This woman knows her son. It dawns on her in that moment that just as Discovery is teaching her son about the world, they are teaching her about her son.
Make Your Mark. She is an exceptional student at one of the most admired high schools in Jacksonville. She is a leader in and out of the classroom, studying multiple AP courses while founding a club to educate children in overseas refugee camps. More than well rounded, teachers refer to her as ‘all-rounded’ in college recommendations – she is a more complete young woman. While classmates look toward the future, she prepares to create it. Like other Discovery graduates, she will make her mark.
Thank you for your continued commitment to The Discovery School. It is through your support and sharing these unique benefits that we will continue to prosper as a school. Please share your experiences with those you know who could benefit from what we have to offer at The Discovery School.
We have a wonderful story, and I hope this will inspire you with some common language as you share yours!
All the best,
Head of School
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