Our Philosophy
The DCS Whole Child Educational Philosophy
We believe students and their family members should encounter caring adults who understand and value their culture and who recognize the importance of forging supportive relationships as a basis for all learning. We work to realize this aspiration by:
• Training teachers and staff to understand our students’ culture and to serve as effective mentors.
• Providing every student with access to a counselor, mentor or social worker.
• Maintaining small class sizes.
• Working with family members and care-givers as partners in their child’s education.

We believe that all students should be prepared to enter college, pursue a career or engage in other forms of meaningful work in our ever-changing global society. We work to realize this aspiration by:
• Offering rigorous academic programs that will help all students meet state requirements.
• Carefully monitoring and working to advance the academic progress of each student.
• Offering Advanced Placement courses and other opportunities for students who want to do extra college preparatory work.
• Exposing students to various career and world of work opportunities.

We believe student achievement and life skills are enhanced through a well-rounded curriculum that integrates social, artistic and experiential learning methods. We work to realize this aspiration by:
• Training our elementary school teachers to integrate artistic and experiential methods in the teaching of traditional subjects.
• Integrating project based learning and studio courses (such as visual arts, music, drama, sculpture, wood working and metal working) into our core 6th through 12th grade curricula.
• Providing a wide array of extracurricular activities.
• Using collaborative teaching teams to develop curricula and improve teaching skills.

We believe students learn best in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe and in a school culture that fosters cooperation, responsibility and self-discipline. We work to realize this aspiration by:
• Establishing a clear code of conduct and holding students accountable for their actions.
• Having trained security and mentoring staff present at all times.
• Engaging students as allies in the process of creating a safe and secure environment.
• Fostering a school-wide culture of self-discipline, collaboration and mutual respect.

We believe in contributing to the well-being of the wider community and in creating new learning opportunities for our students and their families through partnerships with other community-based organizations. We work to realize this aspiration by:
• Forging partnerships with other institutions in order to expand learning opportunities for our students.
• Offering community-based apprenticeships, internships, or projects for our students
• Creating educational and enrichment opportunities for our student’s families and caregivers.
• Fostering understanding of and care for our natural environment among our students.