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From the head

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All students and their parents are assigned to a Discovery Group during the school year. The Discovery Group acts much like an advisee group at a traditional school, yet goes beyond that to create an on-campus “family” for each student. Just like in a healthy family, the “adults” need to work together to set an example, but they also need to encourage student leadership. Guidelines and actions for a successful Discovery Group include:


  • Know every student and family in your group.

  • IPSES - Know the Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, and Social aspects of each of your students.

  • Hyde Discovery Curriculum - This is Hyde's character curriculum, which is aligned with the CASEL social-emotional standards.

  • Regular updates - Keep parents informed of Family Education timelines. Also, send them photos and texts and call them, especially when there is something to celebrate.

  • Attend family night dinners (Disco Dinners) on Thursday nights and look for opportunities to have social time off campus, on campus, and away from the dining hall at local restaurants or at a faculty member's house/apartment.

  • Help anyone who may be struggling - Work with the Dean's area, the Academic Dean, and other community members to help a student get back on track.

  • Look for opportunities to check in and get eyes on your “students” throughout the week.

  • Communicate with parents in a timely manner. 

  • Create a safe learning space during the Discovery Group seminars and work to strengthen your seminar facilitation skills.

  • Know the seminar guidelines and use them to keep the Discovery Group meetings focused.

  • Set the tone for respect and behavior and look for opportunities to share yourself with the group when that sharing will enhance the setting and not detract.

  • Celebrate moments of success.

Just like any family, we also take a long view. Not every group meeting, seminar, dinner outing, or community service opportunity will be successful. Students and faculty work to build a culture that will bring out the potential in each student, not to mention in the adults. As faculty member Katherine Mondanero said about her group, "These students are full of energy and are a true delight to work with each week. During our recent dinner outing in town, it was clear that they are building trust in each other and also having fun!"


Hyde Discovery Groups are a long-time tradition at Hyde and serve as the foundation for our community culture. If you wish to learn more about how Hyde is working with other middle and high schools around the country to bring the Discovery Process into school culture, please reach out to Malcolm Gauld at


Laura D. Gauld '76

Archive: From the Head