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Engage, empower, encourage. It’s a Discovery thing!

Discovery expectations

Be respectful Be responsible and Be safe with empathy

Our mission

In the Discovery Middle Years Programme community, our goal is to:

  • Engage students in their learning
  • Empower all students to reach their highest levels of learning
  • Encourage the development of positive relationships within a learning community that fosters international understanding, compassion and respect

Discovery Middle School provides many opportunities for our students to discover all they can be, from academics, athletics and the arts to extracurricular programs and activities.

Discovery achieved status as an official International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme school in September 2010. This program is a stepping stone to the International Baccalaureate program at Columbia River High School. Discovery also is one of three middle schools with a program for highly capable students. The Advancement Via Individual Determination program gives students strategies to help them be successful in school and pursue college studies after graduation.

Discovery has an active PTA that helps plan and coordinate school events. Families are encouraged to volunteer at school events.

Our history

February 1994 – Voters approve a $135 million bond that funds 12 major projects across the district, including building Discovery as a new middle school.

Fall 1995 – Discovery Middle School opens its doors with 835 students.

December 1995 – Astronaut Cady Coleman visits Discovery and Alki middle schools.

December 1995 – Discovery Middle School receives the 1996 Learning by Design Award, chosen by a nationally recognized panel of architects and school facility specialists. It is featured in the 1996 issue of Learning by Design, published by The American School Board Journal.

Discovery Middle SchoolMay 1996 — Discovery Middle School is officially dedicated on Saturday, May 11. A historical exhibit on loan from England highlights the voyages of Captain John Vancouver and his ship “The Discovery.”

Spring 1996 — Discovery Middle School wins a second national award for design. The Shirley Cooper Award is a top honor given jointly by the American Association of School Administrators and the American Institute of Architects.

January 1997 – Gov. Gary Locke visits several VPS schools, including Discovery, just 15 days after being sworn into office.

January 1997 – After placing first in the state the previous spring, Discovery Middle School’s Knowledge Masters team repeats as the state champion and earns a spot in the top 10 percent of all teams competing in the United States.

May 1998 — The school’s inaugural Day of Caring involves 180 students, 23 teachers and 30 parent volunteers engaged in service projects throughout the community.

Spring 1998 – Discovery Middle School’s seventh- and eighth-grade Knowledge Masters team again places first in the state.

October 1998 — A committee headed by Vice President Al Gore recognizes Discovery Middle School as one of eight best-designed schools in America at the National Symposium on School Design in Washington, D.C.

October 1998 — U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley visits Discovery Middle School. Flexible spaces, new technologies and partnerships with businesses and the community are integral in the district’s 27 new and remodeled schools.

May 2000 – Discovery Middle School is one of 10 schools highlighted as a national design model in a report from the U.S. Department of Education titled “Schools as a Center of Community: A Citizen’s Guide for Planning and Design.”

June 2005 — Discovery Middle School students participate in tapings for the Nickelodeon channel.

November 2009 — This school year, teachers in all VPS schools engage in Professional Learning Communities, following Discovery’s adoption of PLCs nearly three years ago.

March 2010 — Representatives from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation surprise students at Discovery Middle School with $150,000 worth of new instruments. The movie that inspired the foundation featured a marching band from Fort Vancouver High School. The movie was filmed in Portland, Oregon, in 1995.

Fall 2010 — The school’s Family-Community Resource Center opens.