Skip to main content

North Dayton Scholars Take Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip to Disney World

The most magical place on Earth played host to a group of scholars from the North Dayton School of Discovery for a special educational opportunity.
A group of 17 students and four staff members flew down to Disney World with many of the students flying for the first time. Middle school students were selected to go on the trip by staff based on good attendance and behavior records.

Group picture of students and staff at Disney.
The group of 17 students and four staff members got to experience three of the four theme parks at Disney World.

The marquee event was a leadership workshop scholars participated in at EPCOT. The session included three parts, according to music teacher Caroline McGaughey. The first section of the workshop included group work related to math, spatial awareness, critical thinking, and kinesthetics.
The second section of the event was all about balance in the workplace. In the final portion of the workshop, scholars were tasked with hiring the best candidate for a job based on specific qualifications. McGaughey said all-in-all, the scholars enjoyed the workshop.
“I have some pictures of some of the students in their breakout groups and their faces when light bulbs went off and they had to do certain tasks,” McGaughey said. “It was really cool to see those light bulb moments. We did get to talk to somebody at the end who was leading the workshop. The students were just asking questions about the parks and they were really interested in what he did. I think it was really successful.”

Scholars participating in a leadership workshop.
Scholars participating in a leadership workshop activity.

Educational engagement opportunities like these have helped North Dayton School of Discovery outperform the local district for four years.
While the trip was an educational opportunity, the group also got the full Disney World experience. Scholars visited three of Disney World’s four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.
During the group’s day at EPCOT, the International Festival of the Arts was happening, so scholars got to see giant cutouts of famous art pieces and Broadway stars performing.

Students at EPCOT.
Scholars at EPCOT enjoying the International Festival of the Arts.

Only one scholar on the trip had been to Disney World before, so the trip was truly a special experience. McGaughey said the students loved the experience.
“They liked it and they had never seen anything so magical before,” McGaughey said. “They loved just every aspect of it. Some of the kids you could tell were trying to act like they weren't excited about certain things like meeting characters. But when certain things happen, you could tell they got very excited.”

Students doing work.
Scholars participating in a leadership workshop activity..

McGaughey said she got great feedback from students and parents alike, and she’s excited to take the trip again in the future.
Check out a school near you!

About North Dayton School of Discovery
North Dayton School of Discovery is a tuition-free, public charter school in Dayton, Ohio, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

Visit North Dayton School of Discovery's blog to read more stories like this.