To inspire curiosity and a life-long love of learning through memorable and engaging hands-on experiences in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education
To deliver a world-class educational experience through cutting edge science for the next generation of world changers
We value quality, creativity, inspiration, experiences, people, learning, progress, caring and an open culture. Our leaders have a proven history of responding quickly and making thoughtful decisions confidently based on facts. Discovery School will provide an engaging, academically rigorous educational experience based on the individual needs and strengths of each student. We will foster creativity, innovation, wonder, joy, passion, and positivity in an affirming, safe, and just environment that strengthens character, leadership, responsibility, compassion and service alongside academic growth. With deep roots and connections in downtown Springfield, we will not only be bringing the world to the classroom but will also be taking students out into the world to learn. We practice problem solving, critical thinking, individuality, and failure in a way that gives children the safety to take academic risks and gain the confidence needed to obtain higher levels of achievement and develop their unique gifts. We commit to loving our students and developing their talents.
While COVID-19 is changing how we learn, teach and come together as a community, the Discovery Center will remain a welcoming, fun, engaging, creative, inspiring and safe place for kids to learn and grow. With over 100,000 hours in COVID-care, we’ve pioneered best practices on keeping people safe. We are committed to the health and safety of our community and will follow recommendations from the scientific community.
Freedom of Inquiry
It is essential to the mission of the school for students and teachers to have freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts that might conflict with certain political, religious, or ideological beliefs without being targeted for repression. Conflicting viewpoints will not only be allowable but encouraged when maintained in a respectful, safe emotional atmosphere at age appropriate levels of conversation. We will ask our staff and students to do their best to keep conversations strictly to scholarly viewpoints using a research based approach. Teachers will be trained to carefully avoid controversial matters that are unrelated to the subject discussed or are best addressed at home. Thoughtful and respectful conversations on differing opinions will be allowable when contained within our school values of quality, creativity, inspiration, experience, people, learning, progress, caring and an open culture.
Commitment to continuous improvement
Discovery School will be built on the foundation of proven efficient and effective abilities of the Discovery Center to adapt and evolve to meet the ever changing needs of our community. We ask all constituents including staff, students, parents, and members of the board to commit with a genuine desire to learn, succeed, and innovate. In our open culture when new methods or plans are discovered that will help us meet a clearly defined goal or objective, we commit to staying flexible and adapting together for the success of our students.
Admissions Policies and Procedures
- Submit application for admission
- Complete admissions testing
- Complete enrollment packet
- Participate in family interview
- New student is accepted for enrollment
- Space is reserved once enrollment contract has been completed
Criteria for Admission
Students age 5 – 11 who thrive in flexible environments with mixed ages and abilities, enjoy a challenging intellectual environment, and can work independently with few behavior challenges are ideal candidates. Immunization records are required for admission. Because of the current climate of COVID-19, it is recommended for all students to have reliable internet access and an internet connected device to work on from home. We reserve the right to refuse admission or re-enrollment to any student.
Students will be pre-assessed in the areas of reading (or reading readiness), writing, math, fine motor skills, and ability to follow directions. The main purpose of the student evaluation is to get a baseline for measuring academic growth. Once a student has been evaluated for admission, a family interview will be scheduled. This will be a time for questions, to confirm parents and school administrators are on the same page about commitments made to one another, and to ensure matriculation will be mutually beneficial for both the needs of the student and the school. Information collected from the student evaluation and family interview will result in an admissions decision by the school. Families will have 48 hours to complete the enrollment packet before their spot will be opened to another student.
All incoming students will be placed on a waiting list until at least 5 or more students complete the enrollment process, at which time a classroom will be open to no more than 10 students. If more than 10 students are accepted for admission, students 11-15 will remain on the waiting list until a second classroom of 10 students can be opened. All students on the waiting list who do not receive a spot in a classroom will be refunded their enrollment fees.
To protect our small class size of 10 students we ask all admitted students to make a one year financial commitment.
Application fee – one time $25 non-refundable
Admissions pre-assessment fee – one time $100 non-refundable
New student enrollment fee – $500 due at time of contract submission, can be combined
with monthly tuition payments if first month’s tuition is received by enrollment deadline
Tuition – $8,000 choose either option
- 10 monthly payments of $800 due the 1 st of August – May
- 5% discount if paid in full at time of enrollment ($7,600)
It is our goal to offer a diverse socioeconomic community with a sliding tuition scale once scholarship funding becomes available. Families will be asked to sign a one year financial agreement at time of enrollment.
Instructional Tools and Programs of Study
Pre-assessment will occur before each unit of study. Assessments to measure growth, development, and achievement of students will be ongoing throughout each instructional period and will be communicated to parents.
Instructional tools will be based on the individual academic needs and interests of each student and particular stages of brain development for the age of the student. These tools will include but are not limited to project based hands on learning, use of technology, songs, stories, creative imaginative play, guided discovery, kinesthetic (linking the learning to the senses), exploration, field trips, guest speakers, expression of concepts through artwork, plenty of time for kids to ask questions, and lots of body movement. We will place no limits on how fast a student can learn or how much time they need to learn hard things. We will utilize the rich network of connections the Discovery Center has fostered for over 20 years to engage appropriate partnerships to facilitate instruction for the age, needs, and abilities of each student.
Curriculum will be linked across the following disciplines:
- Fine Arts
- World Language
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
- Computer coding, robotics, design thinking, engineering challenges, 3D printing, virtual
and augmented reality, gamified learning.
- Teaching in partnership with organizations such as NASA and the Smithsonian
- Could include: FIRST LEGO League, math club, chess club, science Olympiad,
August 24 – First Day of Semester 1
September 7 – Labor Day (no school)
October 16– Teacher InService (no school)
October 23 – Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 25-27 – Thanksgiving Break
December 23 – Winter Break Begins
January 4 – First Day of Semester 2
January 18 – Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. (no school,
students and families will be invited to march together with our community)
February 15 – President’s Day (no school)
March 15 – 19 – Spring Break (no school)
April 23 – Teacher InService (no school)
May 21 – Last Day of School
Summer of Science 2021
Discovery School students may participate in all summer of science camps with 12 months of tuition payments instead of 10.
Hours of Operation
Students may be dropped off at the main entrance between 7:45 – 8:00 am and picked up at 3:00 pm. Extended care options are available as needed for an additional fee. Each adult who has permission to pick up your child must be listed in the enrollment packet. All adults will be required to show photo id before picking up a child. If a parent calls to add an adult to the approved pick up list, a staff member will call the parent back at the number on file to confirm the request prior to dismissing a student.