Award Year: 2020
Discovery staff have high expectations for all. Our school is a place where children take their jobs as learners seriously, staff are professionals who go the extra mile to support children in this journey of learning, parents feel welcome and are given opportunities to be involved in their child's education, and there is an academic environment that teaches the whole child and treats children with dignity. We all get better each day.
- Black/African American: 26%
- White: 38%
- Hispanic: 13%
- Asian: 14%
- Two or more races: 9%
Discovery Elementary School, part of Kentwood Public Schools since 2006, sits proudly on a rise where one can see farmland, a large and growing housing development, a busy road, or an established neighborhood depending on the hallway and the window. Discovery, where all of this vastly diverse scenery serves as a picture frame for the diversity inside. Students speak over 30 languages, come from multiple areas of economic, cultural, religious and racial diversity. Here, the mind's eye of the educator, regardless of the scenery outside, is squarely focused on creating a relationship with children as the foundation for learning inside.
The Flippen group named Discovery Elementary a National Showcase School for the last two years. This award is given to select schools across the country who exemplify relational capacity combined with rigorous instruction. Discovery teachers capture hearts to influence minds. In doing so, the resulting relationships allow students to feel safe, to take risks, to persevere, to question, to contribute, to care, to tackle big questions and engage in rigorous instruction. Principal Debra McNally, who has been at the school since its inception, attributes the school's success to "living" the strong district emphasis on relationship and rigor, growing teacher-leaders, and empowering teacher talent/training to lead and sustain strong professional development.
The staff at Discovery teach the whole child. Each child's interests and individual needs are investigated, explored, supported and celebrated. Everyone comes together as a school family, with parents, to prepare the global citizens of tomorrow.