Power Words:

Each week, every teacher defines two power words in class. These are high frequency words used across the curriculum and are included as the stem to many test questions. Understanding the meaning of these words and being able to apply that knowledge across the curriculum helps provide a foundation for learning.

Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum:

Students read and write in each classroom everyday. Teachers instruct students to read and speak in complete sentences at all times. Appropriate use of content area vocabulary is also emphasized.


DHS's MVP program has been running strong over the past four years. This program is a required seventh period class for all sophomores intended to provide extra support in English and Math before taking the CAHSEE. Curriculum consists of test taking strategies, reading comprehension exercises, and writing a variety of types of essays. The Jane Schaffer method of writing is emphasized.


This test taking strategy is a mnemonic device for students when answering multiple choice reading comprehension questions. By following the steps of the acronym, students are led through the process of close reading.

Cornell Notes:

This AVID inspired note-taking system is utilized across the disciplines at DHS. While the note-taking style is organized and straight forward, it also doubles as a study tool.

Standards Plus English Warm-ups:

A warm-up system recently implemented in the English Department, Standards Plus provides well-structured and scaffolded mini-lessons. The topics of these lessons range from grammar and mechanics to literary devices. Each mini lesson contains direct instruction, modeling opportunities and individual practice.

EAP Promotion:

A campaign to alert students of the benefits of a college education is underway at DHS. This includes promotion of the EAP to all Juniors. The goal is to make students aware that education equals power of choice and opportunity.