The Discovery Center School, San Francisco:
The Discovery Center School (DCS) is an independent, co-educational school for students in Kindergarten through to 12th grade. We are located in Northern Park, San Francisco, and are proud to serve families in Northern Park, Central North, Anza Vista, Hayes Valley, Inner Richmond, Laurel Heights, Pacific Heights and surrounding communites throughout the Bay area. The student population richly reflects the diversity represented in the Bay Area with regard to socio-economic, religious and ethnic differences. We offer remedial classes as well. Each student is seen as an individual, with unique talents, interests and achievements. DCS is accredited by the National Independent Schools Association. For the past 36 years, The Discovery Center School provides a supportive learning environment for the development of all our young learners. Small class size and a tutorial format results in success. High school graudates have continued on to the best colleges and universities around the world.
The DCS curriculum, which uses materials from various publishers and incorporates selected manipulative and enrichment materials, supports and provides:
* The core learnings in basic skills and knowledge as articulated in the California Learning Frameworks.
* The process of teaching students to think critically and to identify and use many thinking skills and behaviors.
* The process of teaching students to communicate effectively and meaningfully.
* The process of teaching students how to demonstrate their knowledge.
* Meaningful, engaging, and useful tools that interest students in the learning process.
In addition to their homeroom teachers, all students receive instruction from a school librarian, an art specialist, a Spanish teacher, a computer teacher, and a physical education teacher. Instrumental music is available for students in grades 1-8 and we are in the process of creating a vocal music program.
An Extended Day Program is provided from 7:30-8:50 a.m. and again from 3:30-6:00 p.m. Supervised, unstructured play, homework support, and crafts are available to students. A full compliment of fall, winter, and spring workshops/enrichment sessions are also available for a fee.
Primary School Program:
In grades K-2, the focus of our curriculum is to provide each student with a strong basic foundation in initial reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The love of good literature is nurtured through many special projects. Students learn to write stories, keep journals, and write letters. Students develop the basic understanding of numerals and number systems. Emphasis is placed on the operations of addition and subtraction. The concepts of time, money, simple geometry, probability, and measurement are also explored.
Mathematical thinking is identified and practiced. The concepts of family, school, and community serve as the foundation for social studies. Under the guidelines of the California Learning Frameworks, students begin their studies into scientific inquiry, using units of study in the physical and natural science areas. Computers are used as a tool to augment the search for information, and an aid in beginning the art of organizing information through desktop software applications. Introduction to Spanish begins in Kindergarten and continues throughout the grades. Physical education and art are integrated into the curricular week. A good deal of emphasis is placed on the joy of learning!
Intermediate School Program:
In grades 3 - 5, the students continue to build on their developmental foundation. Portfolios of their schoolwork are kept for these three years in order to help them use reflective assessment of their progress as a technique to help set their learning targets. In reading, writing, speaking and listening, the emphasis is placed on developing a strong repertoire of skills in the area of comprehension and fluency. An array of literature genres (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, legends, fables, etc.) are read and discussed. Writing as a process is studied. Students learn the basics of prewriting, drafting, and editing their own work. Proper sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and paragraph development are emphasized. Students continue developing the basic skills involved in mathematical operations, with the addition of multiplication and division.
The strands of geometry, probability and statistics, measurement, simple algebraic thinking, problem solving, decimals, and fractions are also included. In social science, students learn about natural landscape formations, explore Native American cultures, and learn about California and then United States history. Through research projects, field trips, performance based project learning, and independent study, they expand their knowledge of the people, cultures, and rich traditions of the world, both past and present. In applied science, they continue to promote their critical and creative thinking skills.
They learn to use the scientific method of forming a hypothesis, collecting data, problem solving, and generalizing. Areas of study may include animal and plant life, energy, light, sound, and space. Formal instruction in Spanish continues, as does art and physical education. Educational and cultural field trips expand the classroom beyond the walls of the school. Computers are used to support the learning in the classroom. Keyboarding is offered, along with continued expansion of information gathering and sorting skills, and in the use of various applications to organize and present their projects.
Upper School Program:
In grades 6 - 8, students rotate through their core subject classes–language arts, literature, math, social studies, and science–using a block schedule. Students in grade 6 have two teachers: one for language arts, literature, and social studies; and one for math and science. They continue with Spanish, physical education, and art instruction, as well as an integrated course of instruction in computer application skills. In grades 7 and 8, students differentiate further, providing them with subject-area teachers in five academic areas in order to prepare them for a high school routine. The students at this juncture solidify their core knowledge base of functional literacy, mathematics, and social and applied sciences.
Upon this strong foundation, they continue to become more proficient in gathering and evaluating information, identifying and understanding relationships, mastering critical thinking skills, and communicating effectively with meaning and direct intent. Small group projects are balanced with personalized independent performances. A 2+ year portfolio is constructed, culminating in a product their first semester of 8th grade that includes a personal resume, an autobiography, samples of work, a self analysis of learning style, and a reflection of their years as a K-8 student. This is a tool that students can use in pursuing the application process to the High School of their choice.
The reading program at this level consists of reading and studying selected literature. Study of literary terms, vocabulary development, familiarity with authors and their work, identifications of plot, viewpoint, setting, characterization, symbolism, tone, irony etc., are among several key elements of this program. In a variety of creative, expository, and persuasive writing assignments, students continue to focus on writing as a process, emphasizing fluency, coherence, and voice as well as the mechanics of writing. Students also explore the areas of public speaking and dramatic expression.
In grade 6 students work with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and integers in all of the operations. Other areas of study continue to include the strands as defined by the National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics. Students are expected to demonstrate mathematical reasoning and thinking through projects and demonstrations. In grades 7 and 8 students work into pre-algebra by studying equations, proportions, integers, and formulas in preparation for high school algebra. In social science, students study ancient civilizations, beginning with Mesopotamia, Egypt, early Asian civilizations, and ancient Greece. Geography skills and note taking are emphasized. Students become more familiar with the people and events that formed contemporary American society. Cause and effect relationships are explored. In science, students become familiar with scientific concepts relating to the universe, the structure of the earth, geologic time, classification of living things, human biology, an introduction to chemistry, and elementary physics. Continued focus is placed on the scientific method of inquiry and analysis.
Students are expected to participate in the annual Science Fair. Demonstration of knowledge through papers and projects is routine in these areas. Instruction in Spanish is continued for all students through grade 8. Physical education and art instruction is continued for all students. Use of computers, including elements of graphic design, use of spreadsheets, data base, and web publishing applications are explored. Students continue developing advanced word processing skills, and write, edit, compile, and distribute a student generated school newsletter. Out of school field trips to various cultural and educational sites continue to be an important part of the students' educational experience.
Summer Odyssey Program:
Summer Odyssey, our day camp and enrichment program, is designed to offer a balance of enrichment classes, field trips, and traditional summer activities in a safe and nurturing environment. The program is divided into sessions which gives parents the option of either partial or full summer care for our students.
Students in grades 6-8, under the guidance of our Athletic Director, may participate in the Bay Area Private Schools Sports League. Our sports program currently includes cross country, track, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and baseball.
Email: Contact Us
|Address: 1442 Fulton Avenue, San Francisco, California , USA|
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