Discovery Charter Schools began serving families of Jefferson Parish in 2013. Originally an idea held by a small group of Jefferson Parish residents to reform public education has since grown into a successful and high demand charter school network. Founded in 2013, Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy opened its doors to 420 students in grades Pre-K-3rd, 5th and 6th grade. Each year, Kenner Discovery added more grade levels and students. Now in its seventh year, the school has a bustling student body of 1,826 students in grades K-12 and over 200 full time faculty members.
In 2018, the Jefferson Parish School Board approved Discovery to replicate and open a second school in 2020. The second Discovery school was able to become a reality through a community partnership with Ochsner Health System. The Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy will open in 2020-21 school year and will educate even more Jefferson Parish students.
WHAT ARE DISCOVERY CHARTER SCHOOLS?
Discovery Charter Schools are open-enrollment Type 1 charter schools authorized by Jefferson Parish Public School Systems. All Discovery schools are free public schools that have the flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual students.
The mission of Discovery Health Sciences Academy is to provide a rigorous learning environment where students achieve academically, develop intellectual curiosity, and practice environmental responsibility while exploring health and science topics and careers.
Core values are the HEART of our school culture. Our core values; Honor, Endurance, Academic Achievement, Responsibility, Tolerance (HEART) are the pulse that reinforces positive student behavior. Kenner Discovery incorporates social skills and character development into the daily academic curriculum. School culture is shaped by a character skills program, positive behavior techniques, restorative justice, and conflict resolution skills.
The Discovery Health Sciences Foundation Board of Director's vision is to establish a Pre-K through 12th grade charter school network. Our concept allows us to “home grow” future healthcare professionals and healthy citizens for our community. The experienced leadership team of Discovery delivers an innovative accountable model of education. Discovery students will be college and career ready.
Lower school students learn about good nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, physical fitness, and a sustainable environment. They explore science and technology with 21st century tools across all subjects. They help maintain a butterfly and herb and vegetable garden. Reading, writing, and assessments are connected across all subjects. From an early age, students understand how they learn, make informed choices, set learning goals, and track their progress.
Middle and high school students follow the scientific method and practice science exploration. Through health and environmental literacy they'll learn about preventive physical and mental health measures, establish personal health goals, examine public health concerns, analyze environmental issues and research effective solutions. They learn to propose questions and research answers. They use technology, traditional research, and writing to create evidence based reports. Reading, writing, and assessments are connected across all subjects in the curriculum. Our students understand their personal learning style, act as their own best advocate for learning, and track their personal learning goals and academic progress.
Student achievement is the most important and first unifying theme. With a shared leadership model which develops school wide ownership, Kenner Discovery administrative team and stakeholders established a creative and rigorous academic learning environment with a strong school culture. At the core of our academic philosophy are data-driven planning, high quality instruction, college and career readiness, health & sciences infusion across subjects, 21st century educational technology, hands-on learning, inquiry instruction, and problem solving through synthesis and evaluation.
We believe education is a joint effort and commitment from teachers, students, and parents. Kenner Discovery emphasizes and creates multiple opportunities within the school for student-parent relationships to grow and flourish. The entire framework—pedagogy, curriculum, informed, high quality instruction, rigorous assessment, careful and caring character development, health sciences integration, and the home-school partnership—is built to provide students with knowledge and inventive, flexible minds that they will use to continue their education or training to be active citizens in this diverse nation and global world.