Philosophy, Vision, Mission, Core Values

School Philosophy

The Discovery High School philosophy mandates a different view of high school discipline and behavior. As a part of that, we have as our guiding principle The Durkheim Dictate, which reads as follows:

“When norms are sufficient, laws are unnecessary, when norms are insufficient, rules and laws are unenforceable.”

This does not mean there are no rules. What it does mean is simply this:

  • We believe 21st century citizens who have an internalized code of ethics are better equipped to be global citizens.

  • We believe we can better help students change unacceptable behaviors and celebrate behaviors and practices through an emphasis on the internal rather than the external.

  • Students centered ethically, need not be concerned about rules. They do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

  • At the same time, we take care in holding our students to our behavior expectations and norms.

  • Student indiscretions, misbehavior, absences, tardiness and similar infractions should be dealt with by holding students accountable for consequences of their actions.

  • This is best done through the teacher-student and counselor-student relationship and progressive restitution by the student to make up for missed opportunities. This is the natural consequence of bad choices.

  • As a school, we strive to not just administer consequences, but also work to develop the highest levels of moral development in our students. Students with a strong, internal code of ethics need not be concerned with rules and consequences.

That is our ideal.


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Every student will be college, citizen, and work ready.

Discovery High School Behavioral Norms and Core Values

EF Hutton:  This norm is used to gain the attention and attentiveness of those to which it is directed. When spoken to an assembly of students or in the classroom, it means, “I have something I wish to say.” To those to which it is spoken, it means, “Stop whatever you are doing and attend to the person speaking.” As a school norm, we immediately attend to those who ask for our attention using this phrase.

Keep the World Beautiful: Simply put, we take our role in keeping our world beautiful by taking responsibility in keeping our building and surroundings clean and neat. What this means in practical terms is that our students are expected to not only clean their surroundings, but to accept the responsibility of picking up trash or cleaning even when they themselves did not create it.

The Pepsi Philosophy:  This simply is a reminder for students to stay on task. Time on task is proven to be a major factor for student success. Any faculty or staff member may simply cite the phrase to get students to return to the task of learning.
This norm captures the spirit of taking care of business first, then rewarding ourselves when the work is accomplished.

The Weak Mind Rule: This is the moral, ethical principle of not talking about others in a negative fashion.  We believe that: Super minded people talk about ideas; Average minded people talk about things; Weak-minded people talk about other
people. The latter is neither healthy nor morally correct. We expect Discovery High School students to engage in conversations of substance about ideas and things, not each other.

Rule of Angels: This norm and expectation says that students will always engage in their very best behavior, no matter the situation. For example, in the event a visitor or substitute teacher visits our campus, our students will treat them with highest
levels of respect and deference.