Friday, January 31, 2014


Getting your children to finish assignments is a difficult task for some parents. Teaching your children study habits and organizational skills at an early age can help cut back frustration and poor schoolwork. Even though their academic achievement will benefit from this, these are life-long skills that will be helpful in many areas in your child’s life. Here are a few simple tips.

1. Talk to your child about school. Find out if there are any subjects that he finds intimidating or any that he looks forward to, and see how he feels about his teacher and his classmates.

2. Give your child a three-ring binder to hold her calendar and organize her assignments and notes. Encourage your child to write down her assignments in the calendar. For long-term assignments, help him/her decide how to break the project into chunks with specific goals set for specific dates.

3. Give your child a place to do schoolwork. Children do not mind unique or small spaces, so a corner with a pillow and a sheet draped over it or a space under a table may suffice if you have a small living space.

4. Limit distractions. This may include television, phones, computers and siblings or any other stimuli that can sabotage schoolwork. Turning off all electronics and limiting socializing allows your child to focus on the task at hand and reinforces the importance of schoolwork.

5. Ensure that your child gets breaks when needed. If you are a firm believer in all homework being finished in one sitting, let your child know that it is okay to switch between subjects if he needs a break. If your child has focusing problems, set a timer in short increments, then gradually increase the amount of time that he is working on a task.

6. Reinforce the use of the homework folder our elementary teachers use. Most school folders are labeled one side "Keep at Home" and the other side "Return to School." Make sure your child puts assignments, permission slips, calendars and other important papers in the folder. Go through the folder as often as you can with your child and then periodically check it after she has become accustomed to the routine.

7. Set an example. If you are in school, work on your schoolwork at the same time your child works on his. If you simply have household chores to do, designate a specific chore time, even if you realistically do chores at other times, and make that time schoolwork time as well.

8. Make it fun. Put an incentive chart in your house. Try to stay away from using the chart to earn intrinsic or extrinsic rewards; many children simply enjoy the stickers on the chart. If you also are in school, track your assignments with your child. If you are not, track your chores instead.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Here is a reminder of very important things going on in our school.

CANDIDATE FOR HEAD OF SCHOOL VISIT – We would like to remind everyone that Mr. Wallace Ting will be visiting our school this Thursday and Friday. The agenda for his visit is as follows:

  • Thursday, January 30, 2014, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Teacher Q&A @ Library (only teachers)
  • Thursday, January 30, 2014, 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Informal meet & greet at dismissal time @ Gym (all)
  • Friday, January 31, 2014, 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Parent Q&A @ Library
  • Friday, January 31, 2014, 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Upper Elementary/MS/HS Student Assembly @ Gym (Grades 3 and up)
  • Friday, January 31, 2014, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Lunch at cafeteria (students and teachers)

SCHOLASTIC BOOKS! - This month your child(ren) will have the opportunity to purchase books through the International Scholastic Book Clubs.  This is an optional activity offered by the school, in case you want to motivate your child to read at home and to increase their own library.  With your purchase, our library will accumulate points to redeem for more books for the benefit of your children in our school. Order forms and catalogs were sent home last Friday. The due date to purchase the books online is February 10. The books will arrive to the school in one single delivery, and we will distribute them to the students according to their orders, approximately three weeks after the purchase due date. Please email Ms. Marilis ( ) if you have any questions.

MAP TESTING – This is week two our second MAP testing session for this school year. Please check your homeroom teacher’s blog for specific days and times for these assessments. 


FROM THE DPTO – PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS – The DPTO has been working very hard to organize the traditional Movie Event for Discovery School families. This year, it will take place at NOVACENTRO on Sunday, February 9 at 11:00 a.m. for the presentation of THE LEGO MOVIE

Friday, January 17, 2014

OUR SECOND MAP TESTING SESSION FOR THE 2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR - Our students grades Kindergarten through tenth will begin their second testing of the Measures of Academic Progress for this school year on January 21. These MAP assessments provide teachers with accurate information about student growth and needs, which allows for effective differentiation to take place in the classroom. To refresh our parents’ and students' memory on the importance of these assessments, please take the time to watch the following presentation.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Report Cards will be given out on Friday, January 17. Notifications for these conferences will be sent home on Monday, January 13.. If a parent does not receive a notice from a teacher but would like to meet for a conference, please contact the teacher to set up a time for the afternoon of Friday, January 17. Students will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m, and conferences will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

At Discovery School, we believe that effective communication between parents and teachers is a key component for our students to succeed in school. Please read the following interesting article taken from

A key ingredient for educational achievement is the parent-teacher conference, and to make sure they're successful for both parents and teachers, we've come up with a list of what educators would like parents to know.

The first on the list: Show up, please!

“We know parents are busy, but it is important to carve out time to invest in your child’s education and ensure success at school,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, parents need to take an active role in their child’s education year-round and come prepared to discuss how their child can reach their full potential.” 

Here are the rest of our tips for parents:

Get Ready - Do your homework prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning:

ü      Any questions about the school’s programs or policies.
ü      Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his life at home.
ü      Questions about your child’s progress.

Ask Important Questions - Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include:

ü      What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
ü      How does my child get along with classmates?
ü      Is my child working up to her ability? Where could she use improvement?
ü      What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?

Initiate the Action Plan - Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher put together. Discuss the plan with your child and track his progress. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher throughout the year with regularly scheduled “report card” conferences that can keep the communication lines open.

“Parents are the best resource for a child to make the grade,” said Van Roekel. “When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year.”

Friday, January 3, 2014


A new year can mean new resolutions for both children and adults alike. Children are never too young to participate in setting New Year’s resolutions. In fact, parents and children may have more success if they make New Year’s resolutions as a family, with every family member having a specific part, and all are accountable for them.

When planning, it is important to set resolutions or goals that are clear, achievable and measurable.  Resolutions can be made at any age, but it may be most effective to start with school-aged children.   Parents should ask them, ‘What’s something you want to be better or different this year?’ and help them map out how to get there.

Some helpful reminders for parents helping children with New Years Resolutions (and sticking to them):
1.      Set goals that are clear, achievable and measurable for the child and his/her abilitiestalk about making them specific. If a child wants to do better in school, have him pick a specific subject. Set a goal. “I will do better in school by raising my grade in science from a 3 to a 4” or “I will study two nights before every Spelling test instead of just the night before.”

2.      Consider setting goals as a family, with every person doing his/her own part –  this is a great lesson for teamwork AND for all working together towards a common goal. Sitting down for dinner, going out once a week as a family, or each sharing a chore at home are great examples that involve everyone.

3.      Avoid setting too many goals - A long list of resolutions is simply too overwhelming. Young children should focus on one thing they want to improve and older children should limit it to two or three. Talk with your children about what is most important and focus on those. Then maybe take your own advice and set few for yourself, too.

4.      Write Those Resolutions Down - Writing things down makes them more real. Write down the resolutions in either a private journal if your child wants it to be private or on a piece of paper that is posted someplace visible if your child doesn't mind everyone seeing. Older children could possibly begin a journal to track their resolution journey. 

5.      Follow up periodically to see how children are doing with their goals; Trouble-shoot challenges together - Ask your children how their resolutions are coming along. Suggest ways that they can stick to their resolutions. If they mess up, encourage them to try again. Let them know that January 1st is not the only day for resolutions. They can start them, or re-start them, whenever they want.

6.      Reward children for success along the way - Verbal praise goes a long way! Sticking by our resolutions provides parents with an invaluable opportunity to teach children that rewards not always have to be tangible. Children can learn early on that the reward itself is perseverance, and knowing that something they set their mind to can be done.

7.      Be an Example For Your Kids - Do you have your own resolutions? Share one of them with your children. Then do your best to follow through with it. Compare resolution notes with your children from time to time. Encourage each other. Remember, parents are mentors for setting resolutions.  Model the type of behavior you want as a family and everyone will be more successful. 

Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2014 for all of us!