In our Middle School (Grades 4-8), our mornings begin in the school garden area with Tai Chi and Brain Gym exercises, which helps students focus and prepares them for more rigorous academic exercises. Students in Grades Four through Eight receive a firm foundation in STEAM based learning, including but not limited to Science & Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, Social Studies, History, English, Latin, Drama, and Philosophy, as well as interactive Spanish reinforced by the renowned Pimsleur Approach software and iPad applications. We also offer the only elective video production classes in the area. All subjects are interconnected whenever possible and the academic – yet creative and intimate atmosphere – helps develop the vital relationship between teacher and student, enhancing each student’s unique gifts and talents.
Much of our curriculum is based upon hands-on learning, which emphasizes activities that instill an intrinsic motivation and enthusiasm for learning. We believe that the classroom should not consist only of nor be limited merely by four walls, but should enhance a child’s natural enthusiasm and curiosity into the larger laboratory of life.
Parents are offered many opportunities to become more involved in their child’s educational experiences. Frequent conferences keep parents informed about academic and social progress. The faculty and administration believe that involved, informed parents are better able to help their children master the accelerated academic curriculum at Discovery Academy. We also believe that basic manners and etiquette are essential to fostering a positive self-image and attitude in every student, both in and out of the classroom. To reinforce these values, students are taught personal responsibility and accountability through Teacher of the Year, Ron Clark’s, “Fifty Essential Rules.”
From the first step into the school you will immediately see the difference, and as a parent you will also see the difference in your child -socially, psychologically and academically.
Science classes are a mix of hands-on labs and lecture that cover the fundamentals as well as more advanced Advanced Placement (AP) prep in Biology, Physical Science, Botany and Chemistry. All subject matter is intended to take students into a greater laboratory of life that extends far beyond the confines of textbooks or the limits of four walls, setting them on a journey of life-long learning.
Subjects covered include: Life Science, including Biology and the impact of nutrition and life style choices on present and long term health, human anatomy, genetics, including extraction of DNA, Forensics Lab, Earth Science to include rocketry, volcanoes, earthquakes, ecology, weather, botany (including a hands on school garden to include the structure and function of plants), astronomy, the constellations, planets, theories of the universe, etc. Physical Science to include simple machines and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Chemistry, the Periodic Table, types of chemical reactions through hands on experiments.
Many of our students have taken AP Biology in 9th grade alongside their Junior and Senior students and have excelled.
Student Government and Debate / Social Studies
Every year, our students form a student government and student congress and every four years, a mock presidential and vice presidential debate is held to coincide with national presidential elections. Simulated courtroom experiences may also take place, complete with lawyers, judge and jury, while presenting and arguing various Supreme Court cases.
All students participate in researching and writing arguments as well as debating different points of view. All students from Grades 6 to 8 are also eligible to join the National Forensics League, a nationally recognized debate club. Our Social Studies curriculum incorporates hands-on projects, dioramas, dramatic presentations and more, culminating with a Social Studies Fair where each student in Grades 4 through 8 participates in presenting their heritage – complete with costumes, research board, and food of their family’s ancestors.
The fundamentals of Ethics and Philosophy are a natural offshoot of our debate and history classes and teaches students to think rather than be passive learners, to be leaders rather than followers. The entire curricula reaches further than the four corners of each classroom, but into the larger laboratory of life.
Math basics are instilled early to inspire students to easily and earlier grasp advanced Math concepts. Discovery Academy is only one of six schools in the state of Florida to place on the AMC 8 Honor Roll, and has been the number one school the last two years in a row. In addition to our strong core curriculum, we offer extracurricular courses for AMC 8 and Math CLEP prep as well as our Math FUNdamentals course.
Language and Performing Arts
Our Middle School Thespian troupe (Grades 6-8) is the largest in Southeast Volusia County and our students are District and State Champions, including multiple Critic’s Choice awards (Best in Competition).
Plays performed include classic and contemporary works, from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Kindergarten to “Les Miserables” and “Annie” in our Middle School. English classes also include PSAT vocabulary and spelling lists and the use of classic and contemporary literature. Correct grammar, spelling and Latin roots are the foundation.
Spanish as a second language follows the same eclectic principles, including basic vocabulary, spoken and written language that evolves into total Spanish immersion during the class period. Spanish texts and worksheets, as well as skits reinforce the fundamentals. The Spanish Pimsleur Approach software is also used for vocabulary and conversational reinforcement.
Discovery Academy is proud of the exponential growth we witness as students progress in our curriculum. Our classes consistently average 2-5+ grades above their current level and increase exponentially as they continue in our program. By Eighth Grade, our average standardized scores average near the 12.5+ grade level mark. As you can see, by the time our students leave for high school they are fully prepared for what lies ahead and beyond. In fact, we have received numerous accolades from several area high schools regarding our students’ strong academic and values/ethics foundation, stating that there is a clear and positive difference among Discovery students. We are supremely proud of that heritage and endeavor to make a difference for the future of all of our students.