Saturday, September 29, 2012


“Discovery School is such a great school!”

“We made the right choice by sending our child(ren) here”

“Every one here is so welcoming and helpful.”

“Please let me know how as a parent I can help out in school”

These are some of the comments that we hear parents make to each other and to teachers, validating once again what a wonderful school Discovery School is! Cornerstone to our success is parental involvement. It makes our community richer. Depending on your time availability and resources, here are some ideas on how our parents can help and continue making this the great school it is. Come in and talk to your child(ren)’s teacher and see how you can get involved!

Come to school to assist.
1.     Share information with a student or class about a hobby, a career or a talent.
2.     Share information with students about a country you visited or lived in.
3.     Help coach an athletic team.
4.     Help plan a new playground for the school.
5.     Help plan a theme-based presentation for students.
6.     Help present a theme-based program for students.
7.     Demonstrate cooking from a particular country or culture to students.
8.     Share a particular expertise with faculty (such as use of computers, dealing with disruptive students).
9.     Help students plan and build an outdoor garden or other project to beautify the outside of the school.

Help arrange learning opportunities in the community.
10. Go on a local field trip with a teacher and a group of students.
11. Contact a particular local business or organization regarding possible cooperation.

Serve on an advisory or decision-making committee.
12. Serve on a school committee.
13. Serve as an officer or collaborator in the school's DPTO.

Share information or advocate for the school.
14.     Serve as a member of a 'telephone tree' to distribute information quickly.
15.     Help translate information from the school into a language other than English.
16.     Provide transportation to a parent-teacher conference for a parent who needs a ride.
17.     Write an article for publication in a magazine about the school's activities.

Increase financial resources available to the school.
18.     Help write a proposal that would bring new resources to the school.
19.     Donate materials to the school.
20.     Arrange for a business or other organization to donate materials to the school.
21.     Help with a fundraiser for the school.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Importance of Mid Term Progress Reports

The Discovery School teachers sent their mid term progress reports this week. These reports serve an important role in allowing teachers, students and parents to track how well the student is doing in school during a 4 week period, before report cards are issued at the end of each quarter. They give students a chance to correct study habits, modify their behaviors and make other changes to keep themselves on a positive academic course.


Purpose - By creating and sending home progress reports, teachers show parents where their child stand with their academic achievements and in-class behaviors. Parents may appreciate this information so that they can reward their children for doing well or make changes to the at-home schedule by implementing more study time to help kids get back on track academically.


Student Awareness – Mid term reports give students an academic advantage. They get to see how well they are in class. This helps eliminate some of the shock that comes when they get their end of the quarter or year report cards. With mid term progress reports, students have the chance to identify their improvement needs and make changes to bring their grades up before the final report cards are released.

Teacher Tracking - Teachers can track how well their students are doing in class and learning the material through school progress cards. By issuing these mid term progress reports, teachers are forced to review student strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis. The teacher can then determine whether the lesson needs to be readdressed with the class. Since teachers have classroom standards to reach, mid term progress reports can help them see whether the class is meeting those academic expectations.


Communication Link – Our mid term progress reports are just anoter communication link between teachers, students and parents. Through  them, everyone involved has the same information and understanding of the student's progress in school. This helps keep information consistent between all parties and opens the door for communication between teachers and students, students and parents and teachers and parents to the benefit of the student's education.

What to do next? – If you have not done so, please sign and return the mid term progress reports to your child’s teacher. If you would like to discuss the mid term progress reports in a conference, and one has not been requested by a tecaher, please call the school as soon as possible to set up an appointment. Our students’ educational achievement and success are our goal, and your involment is crucial in achieving this. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MAP TESTING AT DISCOVERY SCHOOL September 18 to October 5, 2012

What are the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)? - Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are a series of tests developed by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) that measure your child's general knowledge in reading, math, and science. Students from 1st to 10th grade will be taking MAP tests Starting September 18, 2012. This is the first of the regularly three scheduled testing sessions at Discovery School each year.  The results of these tests give students, parents, teachers and administrators some excellent data to help make educational decisions.

What are Measures of Academic Progress Used For?
- They measure your child's progress or growth in school. You may have a chart in your home on which you mark your child's height at certain times-such as on their birthday. This is a growth chart. It shows how they have grown from one year to the next. The Measures of Academic Progress also measure your child's growth, except they measure your child's growth in Reading, Math skills, and  language Usage.
How Do the Tests Measure Growth in Learning? - The Measures of Academic Progress use scores to measure growth in reading, math, and science (gr. 7 only). Scores depend on two things: how many questions are answered correctly and the difficulty of each question.
What Do the Tests Cover? - Each Measure of Academic Progress is made up of parts, which are called goals. Take a look at these sample goal areas for each test. Your child will take tests with goals that are similar to these: Reading , Word Meaning, Literal Comprehension, Inferential Comprehension, Evaluative Comprehension, Mathematics, Estimation and Computation, Number Sense, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Measurement, Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability, Patterns, Functions, and Algebra, Problem Solving and more.
When you, your child, and your child's teacher look at MAP results in the Student Led Conferences on Friday October 26, 2012 it may become apparent that certain goal areas need more attention than others.

Do All Students Take the Same Test? - Yes and no. - All students take a computerized reading, math, and language usage test. Although every test has questions covering the same goal areas, not every test has the same questions, and the test questions vary in difficulty.
In a computerized adaptive test, the difficulty of the test is adjusted to the student's performance so each student sees different test questions. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered the questions up to that point. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. This enables the school to monitor the growth of students of all abilities.
How Important are the Tests to Students and to Teachers? - These tests are very important because they keep track of each child’s progress or growth in the basic skills. They let teachers know where students' strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas. MAP is just one look at how children are doing. Teachers already routinely assign projects and tasks, administer other tests, discuss student work, and report grades. These are all very important ways of looking at student progress. This information allows teachers to make the best instructional desicions to meet all of their students’ needs.
The best thing your child can do to prepare for testing is to work hard in school every day. Regular attendance, good nutrition, and adequate rest are also important components for successful test performance. Reminding your child to do the best he/she can is a good practice. Please check with your child’s teacher if you would like the specific days and times when these assessments will be administered.
MAP assessments are just one of the many tools that we use at Discovery School to offer each child the best education possible!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


At Discovery School we recognize that each student is unique. One Size DOES NOT Fit All. Each child learns differently. That is why  more than 3 years ago we adopted an assessment tool that would enable us to measure the progress that each student makes in his or her grade’s curriculum.

MAP tests are computerized adaptive assessments that test differently, allowing teachers to see their students as individuals – each with their own base of knowledge.MAP assessments provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path. Because student engagement is essential to any testing experience, these tests offer the students test items that interest children and help to capture detail about what they know and what they’re ready to learn. It’s information teachers can use in the classroom to help every child, every day.

Last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 20 of our teachers participated in an onsite training with an NWEA specialist to further use the data that the MAP assessments provide in order to maximize instruction and meet our students needs when teachers are delivering their curriculum.

Next Tuesday, September 18 we begin our first testing session for the 2012-2013 school year. Our students in grades 1-10 will be taking the assessments in Math, Reading and Language Usage. We ask that parents stress to their child(ren) the importance of taking these tests and giving their best effort.  Teachers need accurate measures of each student so that they can plan the activities and resources to meet each student’s needs.

If you would like more information, please visit or ask your child’s teacher how this wonderful tool allows them to help your child in class.