Through the Telescope…Volume 17

“MAY THE ADVICE YOU GIVE AND THE ADVICE YOU RECEIVE BOTH BE GREAT GIFTS IN YOUR LIFE”.D. Price

Happy Good Advice week, for this is the week that the perceptive Red Dragonfly, Princessa Roja returns to the honeysuckle bush above the pond in Sly the Silky Terrier’s yard.  You may have heard of Sly the Silky Terrier as Sly the Fox.  Pricessa Roja  has new advice for us all this year, and it comes to us as a new song that she sings over and over for  Sly, the Koi in  the pond, Dejavu the mocking bird, the lizards, the bullfrogs, the rabbits, the bobcat, the coyotes and for anyone else passing through the yard and taking the time to listen.  I heard her song and I am sharing it with you.

“The advice we give and the advice we receive

Are great gifts that show we care

Smarter together than on our own

Through the ideas that we share

Here is great advice so don’t think twice

For sure, you’ll clearly see

You’re on your way to a very fine day

Good Advice for you from me

You my friend can tell me how to see what I should do

The answer’s clear for me to hear

Good Advice for me from you.”

As you sing this song and celebrate Good Advice Day, take the time to thank those who have given you good advice; take pride in the good advice you have given, and choose this day to pass along that advice that you really want to share but haven’t taken the time to do it.

I obviously get good advice each day, and the best advice I received today, came from one of our teachers.  She suggested that at our next all staff meeting we should have each of our teachers take the time to describe how they experienced school and then share how they would like to see learning different here at Discovery Charter School.  We have the opportunity to be educational entrepreneurs, and yet we fall back to teaching the way we were taught when we were in school.

We have advice for parents and that is to take a close look at our leveled learning objectives to be found on our web site.  One of the foundations of our program is the fact that there is solid research that tells us that FAMILY INVOLVEMENT IN LEARNING IS A KEY FACTOR IN THE SUCCESS OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOL.

We expect each of our families to download copies of our leveled learning objectives for each major subject area and to use them to guide their involvement in their students learning experiences.  Each one is in a checklist form and set up for easy use to evaluate student skills.

OUR METHODOLOGY IS THE SAME FOR EACH CURRICULUM LEVEL, KINDERGARTEN THROUGH LEVEL 8

Discovery Charter School – Teachers, Students, Families, and Community in a Learning Partnership

Family Guide to Total Learning Objectives: Creating Knowledge Through Questions, Projects, Experiences and Problem Solving

WELCOME TO LITERACY

“Open up the treasure chest

To see what you will find

Answers for your questions

And a fortune for your mind”

METHODOLOGY

All instruction at the Discovery Charter School focuses on total learning. We feature a blended teaching method that engages students in acquiring knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry and experience based process. Learning is structured around authentic questions, carefully designed projects and targeted learning experiences. Teachers, students and families are fully involved in planning and implementing learning experiences and projects. Our instruction blends the processes of thinking, developing skills and gaining knowledge allowing students to “understand”, “know” and “do”. We support students in learning and practicing skills in problem solving, communication, and self-management.

We integrate curriculum areas, thematic instruction, and community issues. Assessment of performanceis on content and skills using criteria similar to those in the work world, thus encouraging accountability, goal setting, and improved performance. We focus on meeting the needs of learners with varying skill levels and learning styles and we target individual interests to engage and motivate bored or indifferent students. We highlight the Learning Team Concept focusing on the synergistic power of teachers, students and families working together. We develop Individualized Learning Plans closely aligned with curriculum guidelines, benchmarks, and standards.

We take a great pride in our “Love of Learning” and “Collecting Data” checklists that accompany our “Methodology” descriptions.  The “Love of Learning” checklists and the “Data Collection” checklists are developmental and they expand basic learning and thinking skills at each learning level. This focus on defining learning and the information collection process for each student’s interest areas are basic to who we think we are as a school.  Families should review and discuss these checklists weekly and all project research should be driven by those discussions.

May is a celebration month and we are celebrating our first year of existence as a charter school with family celebrations at each site.

Hillpointe will lead off with a Spring Festival of the Arts talent show, potluck dinner and a wide selection of booths and activities.  The Festival is scheduled for 4 to 8 PM on Thursday, May 17th.

Mesa Vista will follow with a family carnival and special events program on Thursday, May 24th from 3 to 7 PM.

We encourage our families to attend each event at each site, and all new families are invited to both events.

May will also feature a wide variety of community outings and field trips planned for students at each site.  We encourage families to join us on these projects whenever possible.

We will be asking for advice and opinions from our families, and our staffs as we distribute and collect survey information to guide us in our self-evaluation and in our planning for next year.  You will be receiving those surveys the second week of May.  We greatly appreciate the candid sharing of suggestions, advice, criticisms and compliments that our families are comfortable sharing with us.  We will summarize all data collected on the surveys and share the results with both school communities the first week of June.

We are very excited that we will have new Discovery Charter School t-shirts for sale at each school celebration in May.  They will all feature the owl Logo and they will come in the School Colors of Blue, Black and Silver.

WE have a contest going at school for students to predict the first day that it will officially reach 100 degrees as recorded for Las Vegas at McCarron Airport.  We are opening that contest to families and each family is encouraged to submit a guess prior to 4:00 PM this Friday, May 5th.  Please email your guess to Dave Price at dprice@dcslv.org. The closest 10 guesses will win one of our new T-shirts.  Good luck!  A little research in past weather history will assist you in your guesses.