Frequently Asked Questions

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Discovery FAQs

What is Montessori Education?
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood.  It is an approach that values the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.

There are many potential benefits of the Montessori three year cycles for for children, and starting in preschool, the Montessori approach lays a foundation for children starting out in their education process.  These important early years prepare a student for their learning experience to come.

Does Discovery strictly follow a Montessori curriculum?
The Discovery Early Childhood Program closely follows the Montessori curriculum for ages 3 through 5. As students enter our Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms, the educational program applies a combination of Montessori and progressive educational approaches to support optimal student learning, mastery, and student engagement in their own education.
Is Big Sky Discovery Academy a non-profit or private organization?
BSDA is a 501c3, non-profit, independent school with a community learning center that offers academic and enrichment classes for youth through adults.

Academy FAQs

What is Mastery Based Learning?
Mastery-based learning occurs in an educational setting where student progression is dependent on successful completion of various tasks and understanding of concepts rather than seat time. At Discovery, we employ the Mastery–based teaching method because we believe that student progression through a course should be dependent on proficiency as opposed to amount of time spent on academic work.

In a traditional school setting, teachers struggle to remain attentive to the needs of all students, as they must engage the more advanced students while helping the struggling ones catch up. At any given point in a lesson, a teacher must decide whether to move through the material aggressively and add more challenges and twists to the problems presented, or build in more of cushion for those who are confused. Any one of these strategies is bound to leave some students feeling bored or confused.

At Discovery, our Mastery-based learning approach supports teachers in individualizing student learning-allowing students to move through coursework at their own pace.

What grade levels are offered?

Discovery offers an Early Childhood Preschool for ages 3-5 year olds and Elementary, Middle, and High school programs.

Learning Center FAQs

What is the Community Learning Center?

The Community Learning Center (CLC) offers academic and enrichment classes and workshops for all ages from youth to adult evenings, after school, weekends and during the summer.