Friday, September 23, 2016

At Discovery School we recognize that each student is unique. One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Each child learns differently. That is why 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.
MAP dynamically adapts to a student’s responses – as they take the test. The tests present students with engaging, age-appropriate content. As a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty.
· Answer a question correctly and the test presents a more challenging item
· Miss a question, and MAP offers a simpler item
In this way, the test narrows in on a student’s learning level, engaging them with content that allows them to succeed. The result is a rewarding experience for the student, and a wealth of detailed information for teachers, parents and administrators.
This week, for the first time, Discovery School is implementing MAP for Primary Grades

in grade one. These assessments combine diagnostic tests and survey assessments to give you insight into your K-2 students' knowledge of core math and reading. Using these tests, teachers can:
  • Assess achievement levels of early learners so they can spend more time teaching and less time administering individual diagnostic tests.
  • Provide rich information to begin guiding a student's academic career thereby increasing the chances for early academic success.
  • Identify the needs of all primary students and inform individualized instruction.
  • Encourage student participation with engaging test items.
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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

20 Tips For Success In School

Here are 20 ways that will ensure that your kids and YOU have a great school year.
1. A child should eat a good breakfast every morning, Don't let them skip breakfast.
2. Wake them up early enough to get up on time so they are not tardy! Even if that means waking them up 15 or 30 minutes earlier than they used to wake up.
3. Be sure your child gets a good night's sleep. Turn in early.
4. Have them prepare all of their things the night before, including clothes, socks, shoes, booksacks, homework assignments in booksacks,etc. down to the finest details, even hair accessories.
5. Children should keep their bookbags, desks and rooms organized so they can find what they need easily and nothing gets lost.
6. Praise your children, encourage them, use positive reinforcement, work closely with them. Let them know that you are available to help if needed.
7. Create a study routine for your child. A good rule of thumb is to have them do their homework right when they get home.
8. Go over homework together.
9. Check their backpacks and folders for notes, missed assignments, library books, etc.
10. Promote healthy habits like healthy snacks, low in sugar, fresh fruits and vegetables.
11. Children should ask questions. Let them ask questions. That is how we learn.
12. A stress free child is a happy child. A happy child will do better in school.
13. Children should start reviewing notes at least three days before a test. Don't wait until the night before or worse, the day of the test to study for it.
14. Children should write down their assingments carefully. Have your children check their class blogs. Have the number of a few classmates and your child’s teacher in case they have doubts.
15. Parents should be a role model to their children. Your children learn from you. Be positive and supportive of the school system and teachers.
16. Have your child read to you often and regularly.
17. Have them put all of their things in their room right when they get home. This will alleviate the chances of losing or misplacing something. More time is wasted looking for a lost shoe or where they put their backpack.
18. Children should take notes when the teacher repeats something, tells them to write it down or that is very important or will be on a test, or if she writes it on the board. Encourage this habit in your child.
19. Remind your child to avoid cheating and being lazy. Encourage them to do their projects and assigments like reports, ahead of time. Teach them to study and learn, which will make them proud of themselves.

20-Remind your child to read all of the directions, follow directions, read the questions carefully during tests, and to double check their answers after they are done.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

We´re Back!!!

Welcome to what is going to be a fantastic school year at Discovery School. Our learning philosophy, our dedicated teachers and our international student body make Discovery truly a great place to be!

Our Elementary Staff for this school year is as follows:

2nd Grade
Ms. Elena Borjas
Ms. Michelle Laitano – TA
Mr. Andrew Duryea
Ms. Dariela Velasquez
4th Grade
Ms. Karen Raudales
Ms. Linh Rowland 
(Ms. Cristiana Banegas)
Ms. Amy Suhr

Spanish 2-4
Ms. Marisela Urquia
Spanish 5
Ms. Norma Lopez
Sp. Soc. St.
Ms. Nuvia Bautista
Ms. Pamela Cruz
Ms. Carol Rodriguez

Please stop by and meet our teachers, join the DPTO and get involved. Let´s all work together to make this a great year!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Planning Your Child’s Summer

Now that school is out, it is impossible not to think about the activities that as parents you can have for your child. Whether your child’s summer is centered on summer camps, activities and/or travel, child development experts suggest that you include plenty of time for free play on the calendar.

Discovery School is hosting the DISCOVERY ZONE  7 Summer camp for its fourth year. This camp for children 3-10 offers activities such as science activities, brain teasers, cooking, music, drama, games, arts and crafts and much more. Discounts for parents who bring other children to the camp are offered!

Summer vacations offers many opportunities to let children explore the world through play. Whether the child spends most days in a camp or in child care or at home with a parent or caregiver, take a look at the portion of the day available for unstructured activity that gets filled at the discretion of the child. This is not about TV or computer time. Ideally, children should get a ‘balanced diet’ of several types of activities and play, including active physical play, arts and crafts activities, play with siblings and friends, family-centered fun, reading, outdoor time, and more.

Here are a few tips to consider for your summer:

Ø    Lighten up on scheduled activities. Taking something off the calendar frees up time for child-directed play, and can make your day as a parent easier and more fun, too.
Ø    Respect and protect your child’s playtime as much as you do their other activities.
Ø    Limit television and computer time. Plan ahead with your child the times he is allowed screen time, and stick to your plan.
Ø    Stock up on good and interesting books. Choose books that will be fun for your child to read, and they will be practicing the reading skills they need.
Ø    Visit the local children’s museum, which is designed for play suitable for many different ages. There are other museums in the city that are also worth visiting.
Ø    Make the great outdoors your family’s favorite playground! No matter where you live and how much time you have to play, there is always something new to see or do if you use your imagination.
Ø    The summertime can be a great time to provide some tutoring to build skill and confidence in academic areas of need.  Create balanced opportunities for using the summer to build academic strength, increase skills around independence, and address social skills.  .
Ø    Make a weekly craft day. Look for projects that are easy to do and simple to clean.  Focus on what you are good at, and use it to draw out your child's interests.  Remember that building skills in the small things has just as much value as a big, useful project.



Friday, May 27, 2016


Summer vacation is quickly approaching! The last days of school are busy with lots of activities. As we approach the end of yet another school year, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your help, support and interest this year.

We have had another very busy and successful year in school and you, as partners in the education of your children, deserve much of the credit for that. I’d like to offer special thanks to all the parents who:

-         volunteered and gave us help when needed;
-          regularly looked through students' backpacks for notes and messages sent home
-          made sure their children spent time reading at home
-         called in when their child was ill and would be absent from school
-         accompanied teachers on field trips
-         volunteered their time for an activity to enhance the learning that takes place in the classroom
-         recommend our beloved Discovery School to their family and friends.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, safe and enjoyable summer. Hopefully there will be many opportunities for you to talk to, play with and enjoy your children (i.e. have your child make a bucket list of the r things he/she would like to do with you this summer). This is time you will never have again! I look forward to seeing you all in August!

Friday, May 6, 2016


 Please remember that there will be a General Assembly on Saturday, May 14, at 9:00 a.m.  Among the issues to be addressed are 1) the school calendar, 2) the budget for the coming year, and 3) the election of four (4) board members.  Please mark this on your calendars.  We will send out the formal call to assembly on April 29, as directed by the statutes of the Association.

Friday, April 1, 2016


It is hot, hot, hot!!!!!!! And by the looks of it, it will not get cooler any time soon! As we all know, hot weather tends to slow our children down, and often gets hem in a bad mood. It is up to us to keep them hydrated, and maybe even cheer them up in the process.

Whether it is to pack in their lunch box or to treat them after school while working on homework, here are some ideas for cool and refreshing snacks.

1.     Frozen Grapes  - Grapes are delightful on a really hot day! Give them a quick rinse and let them drain, and then roll up in a clean kitchen towel and place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Frozen grapes are almost like little mini sorbets in bite size pieces.

2.     Cucumber Ice Water  - A glass of ice water with a single slice of cucumber in it! How refreshing it is! Take a small jug and fill it with water and ice, and add 3 slices of cucumber and leave it for a couple of minutes. It adds a refreshing flavor to the water, and you can keep filling up the jug with water with the same cucumber slices a couple of times and still get a nice flavor.

3.     Plain Yogurt with frozen berries - Dr. Jonny Bowden, the author of The 150  Healthiest Foods on Earth, recommends stirring in a handful of frozen berries or cherries into a cup of plain yogurt. The frozen berries instantly, slightly freezes the yogurt, creating faux frozen yogurt treat.

4.     Seedless watermelon - Slice seedless watermelon just out of the fridge into individual triangle-size pieces and put them in a stainless steel bowl with plenty of ice.

5.     Apples - An apple a day could help keep you hydrated, as the fruit is 84 percent water. And remember, and apple a day keeps the doctor away!

6.     Pears -. These hydrating fruits are 84 percent water.

For more cool ideas go to:

Friday, January 22, 2016


One of the greater challenges teachers face is not simply getting students to read – it's getting them to enjoy it too. Teachers and parents want their children to open another book when they get home at the end of the day for the mere pleasure of it.

Research has shown that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if a child’s attitude towards reading becomes less positive. If children do not enjoy reading when they are young, then they are unlikely to do so when they get older.
That is why for younger readers in particular, their home environment is critically important. 

What are some ways to encourage school-age readers?

1.     Continue being a good role model - Let your child see you read.
2.     Encourage your child to read on her own at home - Reading at home can help your child do better in school.
3.     Keep a variety of reading materials in the house - Make sure to have reading materials for enjoyment as well as for reference.
4.     Encourage your child to practice reading aloud  - Frequently listen to your child read out loud and praise her often as she does so. Offer to read every other page or even every other chapter to your child. Have conversations and discussions about the book with your child.
5.     Write short notes for your child to read - Write down his weekly household responsibilities for him to keep track of or put a note in his lunch bag.
6.     Encourage activities that require reading - Cooking (reading a recipe), constructing a kite (reading directions), or identifying a bird's nest or a shell at the beach (reading a reference book) are some examples.
7.     Establish a reading time, even if it's only 10 minutes each day - Make sure there is a good reading light in your child's room and stock her bookshelves with books and magazines that are easy to both read and reach.
8.     Talk with your child - Talking makes children think about their experiences more and helps them expand their vocabularies. Ask your child to give detailed descriptions of events and to tell complete stories.
9.     Give your child writing materials - Reading and writing go hand in hand. Children want to learn to write and to practice writing. If you make pencils, crayons, and paper available at all times, your child will be more inclined to initiate writing activities on his own.
10.                        Restrict television time - The less time your child spends watching television, the more time he will have for reading-related activities.
11.                        Visit the library once a week - Have your child apply for her own library card so she can check out books on her own for schoolwork and for pleasure reading. Ask your child to bring home a library book to read to a younger sibling and encourage her to check out books on tape that she can listen to on long car trips.
12.                        Work in partnership with your child's school - The more you know about the type of reading program his school follows, the more you can help by supplementing the program at home. Offer to volunteer in the classroom or school library as often as your schedule allows. Ask the school for parent participation materials.

Friday, January 8, 2016

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 abilities - talk 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 2016!