The Discovery Process

"Iron Sharpens Iron"

Discovery Theme  




Accept and face challenges.


Be true to ourselves while acting with sound character.


Genuine caring for others.


A desire to explore life and learning.


Helping to make the school and community a better place.

Principles (Core Values)


Each of us is gifted with a unique potential to realize a special purpose.


We trust in a purpose beyond ourselves.


We achieve our best when we respond with our sense of right and wrong. It serves as our compass.


Honesty is our primary guide.

One Another’s Keeper

We help others achieve their best

School wide jobs MS 2022

Halifax Area Schools and our community partners have been focused on developing the character of our students for over 25 years.

HASD has created a school environment that engages every student purposefully in lessons and activities to assist in their social and emotional development.

Discovery at Halifax Middle School

Discovery at the Middle School was first implemented in 1996 when staff, administration, and parents committed to providing our students with a quality education that includes a program for character development. Over two decades later, we are continually 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 and to 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. Every teacher and every student is involved in Discovery. The multi-grade level setting promotes a larger sense of community in the school and provides each student with a mentor. Students start and end each school day with their Discovery Family. We are focused on making connections with our students and providing activities to build a supportive school community.  All students participate in activities and reflect on their participation. 

Activities include: School Wide Jobs, Performing Arts, Community Service, Intramurals, and Cooperative Games.  Students also participate in Discovery Lessons based on our key words and concepts.

Moral Compass Lesson

Seminar Lessons

Lessons reinforce students making caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations.

Discovery at Halifax High School

In 2004, Discovery was implemented at the high 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 lessons and an action-reflection cycle . The program structure contains four "Neighborhoods" each consisting of mixed grade level groups that participate in the following components on a rotating basis:

  • Seminar Discussions

  • Community Service and School-Wide Jobs

  • Team Building Activities & Intramurals

  • Academic Intervention/Enrichment

  • Clubs

Intramurals 2022

Action & Reflection

Every secondary student participates in activities with their Discovery Family and reflects on giving their best in all situations.

Discovery at Halifax Elementary School

The Discovery Program at Halifax Elementary School is designed to give students a strong foundation for the secondary character education program.  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 theme for the month.  These monthly character themes include:

Be Responsible, Show Respect, Be Kind, Show Concern, Be a Leader, Be a Friend, Be a Brother’s Keeper, Tell the Truth, and Have Courage.  

Students meet with their Discovery teacher on a monthly basis where character words are taught through a lesson, presentation, game, story, or creative activity.  Students in the elementary school are assigned into mixed aged groups for their Discovery.  These groups 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 provides expectations for students’ behavior both in the classroom and school wide.  Depending on their behaviors, students can earn "Cat Stars".  The system supports and encourages positive behavior choices.

Discovery PowerPoint presented by Jared Shade (UDA) and Dave Hatfield at CAIU, PAMLE, and plearn.  Updated Presentation for PA Mid-Level Educators Conference 2020