What We're All About...
The Discovery Charter School offers parents and 75 4th through 8th grade students a dynamic, community-centered public education alternative. In a unique learning environment, students develop and learn to apply skills that enable them to become lifelong learners, critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators, and good citizens.
MissionThe mission of the Discovery Charter School is to develop the whole person, respect the learning styles, interests, and abilities of each student, and help each to determine his or her role and responsibility within the learning community.
HistoryThe Discovery Charter School was established in September 1999. Discovery has since thrived by utilizing the "discovery" approach to teaching and learning developed by the School's co-founder Barbara G. Weiland over 30 years ago. By engaging in the learning community, each child uncovers his or her own unique talents and abilities through a hands-on, interactive, problem solving, exploratory learning process.
Discovery is a public school, chartered by the State of New Jersey to serve the children of Newark.
Students who attend Discovery are chosen by random lottery and waiting list, on a first-come-first-served basis.
A grand majority of Discovery students show improvement on their NJASK scores each year they continue at Discovery.
While satisfying the National Common Core Curriculum Content Standards as well as the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards, the School's multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary curriculum incorporates such courses as mechanical engineering, physics, historical research, and environmental science. The School's innovative approach encourages students to pursue their own questions and interests as they become aware of their individual strengths and learning styles.
Through a network of community partners that includes other schools, museums, charities, and local colleges, Discovery Charter School students share their time and talents and discover the personal and social advantages of becoming active and concerned members of the community.
Thematic Social StudiesA lot of the learning that takes place at Discovery revolves around important issues that are both historical and current. Teachers and students profoundly delve into these topics using many diverse fields of study. Studying the issues in the Discovery method creates a meaningful learning environment for teachers, students, and parents.
For example, in 2012, a unit was developed around voting rights. Students read and analyzed primary source documents and listened to recordings related to civil rights events such as the 1848 Women's Convention in Seneca Falls, the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, and the 2011 Wisconsin Voter ID law. A law component incorporated the comprehensive study of Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A math unit took the students through a simulation of the congressional redistricting of a state, exposing the effects on the outcome of congressional elections. Students wrote poems about the stories of current voters who are unable to vote due to new voting regulations. And, a visual arts component asked students to design their “walking card," which students then had to carry to walk in school. This interdisciplinary experience engaged the students deeply in voting rights and connected literature to law to writing to math to art.
ScienceThe science curriculum emphasizes the development of strong observation skills. While students learn to read difficult scientific articles from diverse sources such as magazines and the New York Time Science section, they also learn through hands-on activities. Students may experiment with the buoyancy of a lump of clay, draw onion and cheek cells observed with a microscope, measure evaporation rates, or simulate the formation of an alluvial fan on a streaming table. Teachers favor coaching the students into evaluating their own hypothesis and push students to build their knowledge from their experience and their reading.
Language ArtsThrough the reading and discussion of novels and rigorous practice in essay writing, students are guided in how to decode difficult texts and to express their voices clearly and elegantly through writing.
MathematicsFrom adding whole numbers to solving system of linear equations, from recognizing patterns to using the theorem of Pythagoras, we strive to maintain strong basic skills and develop problem-solving strategies. We believe in “not telling.” Students explore new math concepts through complex open-ended problems that lead to multiple solutions. Students learn to explore problematic situations, explain and justify their work, as well as critic the work of their peers. The teachers’ role is to create an atmosphere where students are not afraid to be wrong but gain confidence in building problem solving strategies..
VocabularyStudents add 30 new words per week to their vocabulary, which is reinforced through daily drills and usage of the strategically chosen words. Each week's list is geared to expand the vocabulary of a specific grade level.
New York TimesArticles from The New York Times on a specific topic or theme are pulled from the archives of the paper and read every morning, which spurs a considerable amount of daily discussion. The paper introduces our younger students to complex subjects, such as national and global politics, science, arts and medicine, while also broadening their vocabulary, grammar and ability to comprehend complex ideas. Our older students bring the debate to the next level, following some stories and subjects throughout their years here.
Extra-Curricular ProgramsThere is an assortment of additional subjects that enhance the standard curriculum at Discovery. These programs include:
- KIDS IN BUSINESS
- Weaving and Fibers
- Law School
- Boat Building
- Bicycle Building
- Visual Arts
- Physical Recreation and Nutrition
- Sewing and Fashion Design
- Medical School
- Instrumental Music
- Soap Box Racers
- Tai Chi
- History Train
Discovery boasts a colorful staff of full-time teachers, part-time instructors, and administrative professionals. We partner with schools, businesses, and organizations from diverse specialties. We also offer many opportunities for you to join us, whether it's volunteering, professional development, or career opportunities.
- Barbara Weiland | Co-founder, co-leader, and teacher
- Irene Hall | Co-founder, co-leader, and teacher
- Cheryl Rogers | Language Arts Teacher
- Denis Cretinon | Math, Science and Engineering Teacher
- Mohammed Kabbani | Math and Science Teacher
- Pierrette Smart | Teaching Assistant
- Ryan Reedell | Science Teacher
- Reshma Roy | Math Teacher
READ OUR TEACHER'S BIOS HERE.
Our Administrative Staff
- Rahima Ali | Teaching Assistant
- Daniel Awari | Medical School Instructor
- Michele Brody | Weaving and Fiber Instructor
- Elsa Caporale | Weaving Instructor
- Simone Coonrad | Dance Instructor
- Glen Fitton | Percussion Instructor
- Jonathan Gilman | Music Instructor
- Latia Glover | Teaching Assistant
- Sean Smith | Physical Fitness Instructor
READ OUR INSTRUCTOR'S BIOS HERE.
Our Board of Trustees
- Mary Muldrow – Parent, member since 2007
- Irene Hall – Co-Leader, Discovery Charter School (non-voting)
- Cheryl O’Brien - Vice-President, FedEx
- Paul Vance - Board President, Member since 2004
- Barbara Weiland – Co-Leader, Discovery Charter School (non-voting)
- Kim Robinson - Parent
- Rabiyyah Ingram - Parent
- Zahar Nasar - Parent
Our PartnersDiscovery Charter School is proud to partner with a number of Newark area, as well as state and national corporations, businesses, organizations, foundations, and educational institutions:
- Broadway House
- Community Foundation of New Jersey
- Far Hills Country Day School
- Folk Engineered Bicycles
- Frost Valley YMCA
- Harvest Table
- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
- Jersey Cares
- KIDS IN BUSINESS®
- Link Community School
- New Jersey Charter School Association
- Newark Charter School Fund
- Newark Public Schools
- Newark Regional Business Partnership
- NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology)
- Project U.S.E.
- Rutgers University
- Rutgers Center for Effective Learning Practices
- Rutgers Law School
- Schools That Can
- Seton Hall University
- St. Benedict’s Preparatory School
- UMDNJ (The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey)
- Victoria Foundation
VolunteerDo you have diverse and unique talents or skills that you'd like to share with children? Come help with homework, teach special skills, and assist with projects. Whether you cook, garden, write, draw or work with your hands, our students can benefit from your knowledge, experience, and perspective. A background in education is NOT required. To learn more, please contact us.
Professional DevelopmentThe Discovery Charter School is a registered professional development provider with the State of New Jersey and can tailor a full-, part- or one-time program to fit your schedule, either here or at your choice of location. For more information, please contact us.
Career OpportunitiesCurrently, there are no faculty openings at Discovery Charter School.