What is a charter school? A charter school is a public school and is TUITION FREE. Conventional public schools enroll students who live within “district and school limits”. In conventional public schools, the school a child attends is solely based upon where he/she lives. A charter school enrolls students who are interested in a very specific mission and vision. Every child is allotted a per pupil allocation which goes to the school that he/she attends. A charter school receives those funds from the state in order to provide an education to that student.
Are you an accredited school and do you take ISTEP? Discovery is an accredited school authorized by Ball State University. We are held to the same standards as traditional public schools/districts, submit the same reports as public schools, and take all mandated standardized tests such as ISTEP and IREAD 3.
Are all the teachers certified? Discovery teachers are fully certified teachers.
What is the length of your school day? Students attend school from 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily on M, T, Th, & F. On Wednesday, students are in attendance from 8:00 a.m.-1:50 p.m. The early release is utilized for professional development.
Is the Discovery School calendar the same as Duneland’s calendar? Discovery Charter School’s calendar is very close to the Duneland School Corporation calendar. However, per our charter, our school year may run a day or two longer than the Duneland calendar.
How many classes do you have per grade level? We currently have 3 sections of Kdg.; 3 sections of 1st grade; 3 sections of 2nd grade; 3 sections of 3rd grade; 3 sections of 4th grade; 3 sections of 5th grade; 2 sections of 6th grade; 1 section of 7th grade; and 1 section of 8th grade.
How many students are in each class? There are 22 students per class in Kdg., 23 students per class in 1st grade, and around 25 students per class grades 2nd grade through 8th grade.
What classes are offered outside of traditional academic courses? Students have opportunities in Music, P.E., and Integrated Technology. We currently also offer band to 6th-8th grade students. In grades K-4th grade Art is organized through parent volunteers and is offered to students two times a month. In grades 6th -8th grade students have Art as part of their specials class rotation in addition to Music, P.E., and Integrated Technology.
How do you become a part of Discovery? You need to fill out an application which is available on-line or in the school office. If you are applying for Kindergarten, the child will participate in the lottery. If you are applying for 1st-8th grade, you will be placed on a waitlist in the order the application is received.
What is the lottery and when is it held? All students applying for Kindergarten will be entered into the lottery. Siblings of students currently enrolled have preference, so spaces occupied by those students for the 2017-2018 school year will be slated. A drawing will then occur to determine students to be offered positions. Once all of the Kindergarten spaces are filled; the drawing will continue to determine waitlist spaces. The lottery will be held on March 15, 2017. To participate in the lottery applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on March 8, 2017.
How will I know after the lottery if my child receives a spot? You will be advised via e-mail within 1 business day regarding the status of your child. We will notify lottery participants to inform them if they are selected. In addition, if not selected in the lottery, you will be notified and given your waitlist status.
If I am on the waitlist how likely will it be that I get into Discovery? There is no real predictability for likelihood of acceptance. It varies by grade level. We can only advise that the waitlists continue to grow and change so it is always best to apply immediately.
Do I need to apply each year? No. Once you have applied, you will remain on the waitlist and that list will roll over to the following year. Therefore, if a child is not admitted in Kdg. there is an opportunity for them to be admitted in 1st grade.
What is place-based education? It is an approach that allows students to anchor their learning in their local place (the environment and the community). Wherever and whenever possible, students connect classroom learning to their place. In the younger ages, there is an emphasis on appreciation of the outdoors. For this reason, students go on extended weekly hikes.
How is academic success measured? In the Spring of 2015, 83.7% of students passed English Language arts (State Average was 67.3%) and 78.6% of students passed math (State Average was 61%). Discovery Charter School has earned the grade of ‘A’ each year from the Indiana Department of Education with the exception of our first year, which we earned the letter grade of ‘B’.
What courses are offered in upper grades? Currently we offer English/Language Arts; Social Studies; Math; and Science. Students also participate in P.E.; Integrated Technology; Art; and Music based electives
What extra-curricular activities do you offer? Currently we offer 4H, Run Club, Basketball, Spanish Club, Young Rembrandts, Chess Club, Art Club, Piano Club and are regularly looking for additional programs to offer our students.
Do you use Ball and Stick or D’nealian handwriting? We use traditional ball and stick handwriting.
Do you have a full time nurse? We do have a full time nurse on staff.
Do you have a gym? Beginning in December 2016, we will have our building expansion completed. Not only does this include additional classrooms, but also a shared gym/cafeteria space! A bulk of the P.E. activities happen outside as we want students to engage in their surroundings and be outdoors as much as possible. We also want them equipped with physical activity they can do right outside their back door.
Do Discovery students go on Field Trips? As part of our philosophy, our students regularly participate in learning experiences that take place outside of the school setting that connect to content that is being taught in the classroom. For example, Kindergarten students visit Coffee Creek at various times throughout the year to identify natural patterns in nature as the seasons change.
How much time do students get for lunch and recess? Students get 30 minutes of recess and 25 minutes for lunch. Students participate in recess before lunch as studies show it increases appetite and provides a transition back into instruction. Students do go outside year round for recess. In addition to recess students also go outside for field work.
Do you provide transportation for students?
The school does NOT provide transportation for students. The parent or guardian will need to arrange transportation. Where possible, carpooling will be arranged by PAC during registration.
Transportation for students with disabilities will be based on need and determined by a case conference committee meeting.