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School Philosophy

The D'Evelyn Program has been developed to continue the alternative educational environment exemplified by the Dennison Fundamental Alternative School program. It is based on the belief that all students, not just an elite group, should be held to rigorous academic and behavioral standards, and that all students can achieve in a challenging program. We, the Initiating Committee, believe the purpose of education is to convey an essential body of cultural knowledge to the next generation, and that a solid liberal arts education is required in order for all citizens to be effective participants in their communities.

Independent, analytical reasoning, based on objective knowledge, is an essential skill and will be encouraged throughout the program. There will be an emphasis upon year-to-year sequential continuity in the development of basic knowledge and competence, with gradually increasing complexity and requirements. A mastery of the skills and knowledge acquired through the study of the basic academic subjects is the foundation for all subsequent learning, regardless of the student's future pursuits.

Though the academic disciplines are distinct, they are also related and reinforce each other. A sound, content-rich curriculum should consist of a healthy balance of required basic subjects, augmented by equally challenging electives. The students will be evaluated using an objective grading system which will have letter grades (A through F). Each graduate of the school will have completed successfully at least the following areas of study:

  • 4 years of English - reading and analyzing major works of literature, writing as a means of thinking, public speaking, and critical listening
  • 4 years of Social Studies - Western Civilization, World History, American History, American Government, and Geography
  • 3 years of Mathematics - Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II
  • 3 years of Science - Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
  • 3 years of Foreign Language
  • 1 course in the Fine Arts

All students must demonstrate ability to use a computer for basic word processing, participate in physical education, and choose electives to complete the 22 credits required for graduation. Students desiring a more challenging level of studies will be able to select advanced level courses to replace required courses during their junior and senior years. Such courses may be in the form of the International Baccalaureate (IB) courses or advanced placement courses. 

There are several operating principles critical to successful implementation of this philosophy.

  1. Good discipline and order will be maintained to ensure an atmosphere conducive to effective teaching and learning.
  2. Courtesy and respect for high moral and ethical standards will be required, and patriotism will be emphasized.
  3. Class sessions will meet daily for a consistent period of time on a regular schedule.
  4. Students will remain on campus during the entire school day.
  5. At specified intervals, each student will receive letter grades based on individual performance, in each course of study.
  6. Teachers will have the responsibility to assign homework which is purposeful and relevant.
  7. Assigned textbooks will be mandatory for each student in each course. In addition, other resources will be available, and the use of primary sources will be encouraged.
  8. Parental involvement will be strongly encouraged.
  9. For students in need of special assistance, tutoring will be available.