The Discovery Program at Upper Dauphin Area Elementary School is designed to give students a strong foundation for the character education program that is implemented at Upper Dauphin Area Middle School and High School. The Discovery Program at the Elementary School focuses on combining character building lessons with a school-wide positive behavior support program throughout the school.
Each month at the elementary school, students are introduced to a new character word for the month. These monthly character words include; Responsibility, Respect, Kindness, Patience, Honesty, Community, Friendship, and Creativity. Students meet with their Discovery teacher on a monthly basis where these character words are taught through a lesson, presentation, game, story, or creative activity. Students in the elementary school are assigned into mixed groups for their Discovery. These groups (K-1) and (2nd-4th) give students a chance to form bonds and friendships with teachers and students outside of their regular classrooms. Another community building practice of the Discovery program revolves around these mixed Discovery groups. When students are assigned a Discovery group and teacher, they will meet with that same group and teacher for as long as they stay in the elementary school. This allows students to form close relationships with different students throughout the school, including students who may be older than them and can act as role models for younger students within the group.
The school-wide positive behavior support system uses a color system to track students behavior both in the classroom and school wide. Depending on their behaviors, students are able to either move up the chart towards “Role Model Student” or down the chart towards “Parent Contact”. The system supports and encourages positive behavior choices by allowing a student who has moved their color down a chance to make better choices behaviorally to move their color back up.
At the Upper Dauphin Area Middle School we are dedicated to providing our students with a quality education that includes a program for character development. As a school community, we are committed to providing our students with a positive school environment and a supportive school culture. We expect each student to take personal responsibility to do his or her best as well as have the courage to hold others accountable to do their best. To implement these activities, the Middle School student body has been organized into Discovery Groups consisting of students from each grade level. The multi-grade level setting promotes a larger sense of community in the school.
The High School Discovery Program is a means to help young people realize their full potential and improve the school climate for everyone by promoting what good parents have taught their children at home. It reinforces expectations for positive behavior, attitudes, thinking, resiliency, and treatment of others through life lessons. The program structure contains four divisions each consisting of five mixed grade level groups who participate in the following components on a rotating basis:
- Seminar Discussions
- Community Service and School-Wide Jobs
- Team Building Activities
- Academic Intervention/Enrichment
The principles (core values) and traits are detailed below:
Principles (Core Values)
- Destiny – Each of us is gifted with a unique potential to realize a special purpose.
- Humility – We trust in a purpose beyond ourselves.
- Conscience – We achieve our best when we respond with our sense of right and wrong. It serves as our compass.
- Truth – Honesty is our primary guide.
- Brother’s Keeper – We help others achieve their best
Character Traits – Once deep meaning is attached to the principles, people begin to manifest positive characteristics in their behavior and lives.
- Courage – Accept and face challenges.
- Integrity – Be true to ourselves while acting with sound character.
- Concern – Genuine caring for others.
- Curiosity – A desire to explore life and learning.
- Leadership – Helping to make the school and community a better place.