Thursday, September 18, 2014

We Might Be in a New Building, But Our Values Are the Same!

Moving into a new place can certainly change us. Where we are often can redefine us, and make us into something we never intended to be. For staff and students at Discovery High School that has been a concern from the start when talk began about the move to our new building located in the Thornton Educational Center. Place does have the ability to transform us, and sometimes those transformations aren't what we intend, but with Discovery, we do intend to hold tight to those values that make us unique, in spite of new surroundings and a larger student body.

Discovery High School's core values and school norms are:

  • We believe that ethics, knowledge of what's appropriate as well as right or wrong, is best internalized rather than written down as a "code of conduct" or ethics. We believe our students and staff "do the right thing because it's the right thing to do."
  • We believe in listening to what others have to say, as manifested in our school norm entitled "EF Hutton." When anyone speaks and has something to contribute, we listen.
  • We believe we all have a responsibility to "Keep the World Beautiful." We take it as our personal responsibility to keep our immediate world clean.
  • We believe in the Pepsi Philosophy, which means take care of the business of learning and doing first, then give ourselves permission to relax.
  • We believe it is not moral or ethical to talk about people. Productive and constructive conversation happens about ideas of substance. We don't believe in engaging and talk about people. This is known as our "Weak Mind Rule."
  • Finally, we believe all students must act with the intention that they will engage in their best behavior at all times. This is known as our Rule of Angels.
As we move into this school year, our conversations with our students quite often revolve around living these values and norms. In that sense, place has not affected what we as Discovery High School believe as important. Our intention as a school community is remain true to who we are no matter where we are.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Discovery High School Moves In to Its New Home

Things have been really busy at Discovery High School the past two days. We've had about 50 students and 10 parents on campus, helping with the furniture moving, unpacking, and cleaning. Our classrooms are taking shape. The office area and cafeteria is operational. The cafeteria and gym are getting finishing touches in preparation for our open house event. I want to personally thank so many of our students and their parents who have helped us with their school.

Discovery High School's New Entrance

Office Coming Together

Entrance Hallway Freshly Painted
Science Classrooms Coming Together
Courtyard Area
Mr. Barham's Room

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Discovery High School Has Left the Building! Looking to the Future

"A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure." Pema Chodron
Today Discovery High School began the day at its North Ashe Avenue location. Tomorrow, though not completely organized, Discovery High School will for all practical purposes be at its new location. Discovery has endured much in its short history.  While many times schools come to be more known by their location, not so with Discovery High School (Newton-Conover Health Science High School, The Newton School). It has never been a location. Over the years, those who cultivated Discovery, never intended for it to be identified by its location. For those of us who have been a part of Discovery, the school is its students, its parents, its teachers. It's name has changed, and now its location has changed. Discovery has changed too, but that is always the case. The old adage, "Nothing stays the same" is as true about our school as anything else.

But, as we transition to a new campus, let's not forget we're still Discovery High School. While as Chodron points out, "We can never avoid uncertainty," I do agree that this "not-knowing" is part of the New Discovery High School Adventure.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Community Service Opportunity & How to Document It

Community service is important to us at Discovery High School. Part of being a citizen of the world is giving back our time to worthy causes and to better our communities. That's why we ask all of our students to earn 150 hours of community service before they graduate.

This year, because of all the questions and concerns about how to document that time, we are going to make sure emphasis is placed on community service from the beginning, and someone will be checking at least once per semester to make sure that time is documented in each student's community service folder.

Tomorrow, August 13, we offer another opportunity for our students to earn community service time by helping with our move to the Thornton Building, our new home. To document that time, students will only need to write down the dates, times, and total amount of time served each day, and have one of the staff members sign off on that time. They will then need to turn in that documentation and log it in their folders when school starts.

Community service is important and we at Discovery want our students to be the kind of citizen that gives time back to the communities in which they live.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Discovery High School's New Home at Thornton---Some Photos

Today, I wandered over to our new home and Thornton to see how things are going. Since last spring, a great deal of work has been done. Some work has been done on the restrooms, and the fence enclosure for the inner courtyard has been installed. Paint is going up every as well. Here's a bit of what I saw today. Please don't mind the mess, we're moving!

Discovery's New Entrance

New Entrance Doors Outside the Office

New Halls of Discovery High School
Outside Science and Math Classrooms

Discovery's Hallways Emptying Gradually...Closer to Thornton

Amazing! The old hallways at Discovery High School are clearing! Maintenance has been working hard, as you can see from comparing our earlier post with the photos below. Hallways are clearing.

Eerily, Discovery's Halls have become more and more empty as the move continues.

Discovery High School Is on the Move! Thornton Bound!

Welcome to the Discovery High School Principal's blog. Parents, students, and interested school community, this is the new way I want to communicate news, information, and what is happening at Discovery High School. Why use a blog? Simple. I can get information to you through this medium quickly, and I can share it out using any device. This blog is my commitment for the 2014-15 school year to provide information to parents as much as possible.

Many of you have been asking about the status of our move. Maintenance has started moving teacher materials to the Thornton Building. Currently our office is still located at the 605 Ashe Avenue, Newton, NC address. Please keep checking back. I suspect we will be moving any day now.


Parents and students, we will be giving out schedules at our Beginning of the Year Open House on August 20 at 6:30 PM. We are planning to hold this event in the gym at our new location. Both new students and current students are invited to attend. At our Open House, we will be providing information regarding traffic during morning and afternoon drop-off, new policies and procedures, and provide tours of our new building.

Parents, thank you for your patience in advance. Things are going to be a bit messy as we transition to our new building, but we will make sure we are available.

As you can see, we are still sitting in boxes, but today crews are moving them.