This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Discovery Charter Ii1
Posted February 20, 2015
- a parent
This school is a nightmare. The leadership is terrible and the teachers have no idea what they are doing They are all new (lots of turnover) - and the school has now had two principals - both nearly fired (pushed out) -because crazy parents control the school. So, once again - the superintendent needs to split his time between both DCS campuses. The superintendent (honestly) just doesn't like parents. We were there for one full year - nightmare of a year -- and switched to our neighborhood school this year. My child is so happy to have changed schools. She sees for herself what she was missing academically - and it is funny, but more parent participation happens at our good-old-fashioned school.
The two previous comments left by parents refer to DCS 2 campus, which opened in 2013. This new school is located at 762 Sunset Glen Dr, San Jose, CA 95123. DCS 1 campus has been open for several years. I believe DCS 1 opened 2006. They are similar in many ways and many ways not. 2014-15 is my son's first year at DCS 1 - entering the 6th grade. He is extremely happy and challenged. He says he can tell which kids are new and which kids have attended since kindergarten. The 'old' timers are much more collaborative kids who 'naturally' work in teams to do classroom work. I believe there are less than 200 middle school students. I'm grateful that my child will be known with in this school community by so many teachers, administrators, students and parents. Quoting another DCS middle school parent, "DCS is a kinder more gentler middle school experience."
If you are looking for a school and a community that embraces the whole child and engages your child this can be it. If you are an individual that is more in traditional education this school will not be it. Obviously selecting a school program for your child is important, so check this school out carefully. Discovery's program is not for ever child or family. This school is only in it's second year. The teaching staff is strong and they are implementing and launching more and more of the program as the year goes on. This school will be in start up mode for at least another year or two, but SO worth it.
Discovery Charter is now in the second year. The curriculum works around participation models, both hands on learning for students and parents in the classrooms helping teachers with small groups. The emphasis is on the whole child, so academic, social, and emotional goal are all included in each class day. It is amazing to see how all the students are able to talk to parents, asking questions or sharing. Classes have students with differing strengths and the small group approach gives teachers (and parents) the flexibility to move students through curriculum at the students level (great at math but not English? ). 10 field trips per year has students seeing and talking with the 'real' world. The school uses Positive Discipline to teach communication skills and problem solving. My son loves to go to school. He has been able to use his interests in projects (both individual and group), and been able to help others with theirs. His teachers have been wonderful, and encourage him to explore his interests. So there are some issues. Some parents and teachers are finding this is not a good fit. As a new school the facility and offerings are changing.
It is a privilege to have my children at this school. We are all so fortunate that the administration agreed to work tirelessly to start another school based on Discovery 1. It simply didn't seem fair not to share the privilege with the rest of the county- so we were so lucky they started Discovery 2. Yet, so many people with children fortunate to be there do nothing but complain. I challenge you, parents (as a parent of 2 d2 students) to ask yourself what matters: is my child happy? I personally have never seen so many happy students at a school. That is my measure of success. If you're looking for Private school for free.. This isn't for you. If you want to roll up your sleeves and be part of something different and amazing for children, a whole child experience.. Please join our community and make it stronger by working to enrich the program. You won't find a more progressive, creative and caring staff elsewhere. There's always going to be challenges along the way- that's how we learn and build strength. Just like our kids are doing every day. Expecting perfection is unrealistic and avoids personal growth for all involved.
We just completed the first year at D2. My son was in 1st grade and he loved it. Prior to attending Discovery 2, he was at a Montessori which we were happy with until we realized he was not at grade level in reading and writing. But with a school that did not provide homework and we as parents backed off on making him read at home he caught up and made great strides in reading. I would say it was all his teachers doing, she was fantastic! There are way more great teachers then poor and the worst teacher is not coming back and the school hired another what I think will be another great teacher that my other child will get next year. For this being the schools 1st year I was surprised to how well it went. My child hated his montessori school but loves D2 and can't wait to start again in August. I think the new director will be great and she seems to be a better fit for the school. Sometimes the turn over is a blessing. I recommend this school to anyone looking for a great progressive education approach where kids don't groan about homework and actually learn and love it.
In looking at the reviews, I see a common theme -- this approach to education has the potential to create engaged, self-directed learners. I agree. This philosophy can work (see D1), but honestly (and understandably), DCS 2 isn't there yet. There are several challenges that this first-year campus has faced this year, from wall-less classrooms that allow noise to carry throughout the facility to the administrative and teacher turnover (the Director and, to date, three faculty members). Like others mentioned, there are several experienced and creative teachers who offer exciting learning opportunities; there are also teachers who have struggled (and need support) with this educational model. Consistency is an issue and so is classroom environment (some teachers maintain a productive environment for learning while others, quite simply, do not). The school needs more time and it needs more oversight, particularly from Dale. He is on campus a couple of days per week, but truthfully, the school needs him there more. I think the next few months will offer the administration and faculty the opportunity to develop a foundation for success. I hope families can stick it out.
I'd want to write something for people who are thinking to apply for this school for their kids. First of all, I'd say this is a very good school. The ideas of teaching, learning as well as activities are on the cutting edge. Even though the infrastructure of this school is not ready, parents are so much into it. You will appreciate the craziness of parent involvement. Nevertheless, the implementation for teaching and learning is somehow the biggest issue that needs immediate attention. If your kids are lucky to be assigned with an experienced teacher, I'd say that's the perfect situation. Otherwise, you are on your own, especially on academic standards. It's not just behind others, it's far behind!! I had my kids (4th and 2nd) enrolled at DSC2 for one semester. Unfortunately, one was in the perfect situation but the other one wasn't. After we came back to our neighborhood school, the second day my kid said "thank you" to bring him back. He realized that a lot of things he didn't learn at DSC2. He is trying to catch up now. I am glad we come back, but am also grateful to have the experience to try DSC2. DSC2 is just not for us. I wish you all good luck at DSC2.
Discovery 2 is in it's inaugural year. My son is high functioning autism spectrum and has been thriving in this environment. It's parent participation so there are many involved in helping my son learn. It's positive discipline which helps my son grow to be a good citizen who thinks critically. The curriculum is open and focuses on critical thinking and creativity. There is a resource teacher, speech therapist, and occupational therapist on site. The facility is top notch as far as charter schools go. The community is active and dedicated to developing all children at the school.