Discovery High School Principal, Aaron Smith, addresses Common Themes and Myths:
Discovery High School does not have AP courses.
Myth buster alert! While Discovery may not offer as many AP courses as a large, comprehensive high school, we have selected a handful of AP courses which all students will experience. Our AP courses are less about covering a tremendous amount of content and more about themes and processes, thus being more accessible for all students. They are also much more adaptable for a project-based environment (like the real world). Beginning next year, all Discovery freshmen will take AP Human Geography as their social studies class, while our sophomores will have AP Seminar for their English class and AP World History for social studies. AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to demonstrate critical thinking, collaboration, and academic research skills. A perfect fit! In addition to having the option to take the AP exam at the end of the term for possible college credit, our AP for all approach will result in a 100% participation score for AP offerings at Discovery. Why is this important? A 100% participation score is more attractive to universities when compared to a lower participation score at a school with many AP courses. Bonus!
It is not possible to take four years of math at Discovery.
Wrong again! Our students will have the same math pathways and opportunities as our other high schools, including pre-calculus and calculus.
Discovery High School does not have as many electives.
There is no getting around it. A smaller high school program cannot offer as many electives as a much larger school. However, we will continue to add options as we grow and have other flexible and personalized pathways. We will continue to offer Spanish as a world language and hope to add Mandarin as well. Additionally, we have courses such as coding, music production, guitar, and multimedia and film where students can spread their creative wings. We also offer design and engineering courses operating out of our world-class fabrication lab led by Bruce Whitefield, the highly successful Camas Mean Machine Robotics coach. Lastly, our commitment to passion projects gives students the opportunity to dive deep into an area of interest and to explore possible career paths.
Discovery is not a high school for college-bound students.
This one is absolutely false. Ultimately, colleges and universities are seeking students with a high GPA, competitive SAT scores, and additional interests outside of their classwork. Discovery High School graduates will receive a transcript with a traditional GPA that looks like any other high school. In fact, Discovery students have more opportunities to improve their GPA based on our standards-based and growth-mindset approach. In other words, we believe students should have multiple opportunities and avenues to demonstrate their learning and growth, versus a more rigid approach focusing on homework completion and one-chance exams. Lastly, institutions of higher education are looking for students who can demonstrate skills beyond memorizing content. A portfolio of projects and an ability to articulate Discovery’s emphasis on developing their success skills of collaborating, communicating, creating, critical thinking, and time management will help our students stand out in a crowd of applicants. Just ask one of our model schools and mentors, High Tech High in San Diego. High Tech High is a well-rounded project-based school that has been around since 2000. They also have a 98% success rate when it comes to college admittance.
Due to the nature of our flexible schedule and focus on collaboration, the learning experiences at Discovery High School are not designed to support part-time students. However, students may attend Discovery High School until their junior or senior year and then transfer to CHS if they wish to go the Running Start direction. This would not impact their credits or path to graduation. Our Discovery juniors and seniors will focus on internship opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.