The Discovery School at the Bay Area Discovery Museum is the only museum-based preschool in California, and we draw upon the Museum’s 25 years of child-directed, open-ended, inquiry-driven learning, as well as best practices in creativity development from the Museum’s research division, the Center for Childhood Creativity. The Museum also provides an unmatched location at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on 7.5 acres in Fort Baker with quick access to beaches, natural habitats, historic batteries and hiking trails.

Our Approach

The Discovery School is a Reggio-inspired, research-based preschool program that offers children the freedom to pursue their passions and ideas through play and guided inquiry. Children are encouraged to make choices, take risks, and spend the time they need to construct their own understanding of the world. The Discovery School emphasizes process through experimentation and repetition, allowing children to develop and test their own theories and discover multiple outcomes. Ultimately, the goal of The Discovery School is to spark in children a lifelong passion for exploration and creative problem-solving and prepare them to thrive in school and life beyond.


At The Discovery School, children’s curiosity and interests shape a flexible, project based, open-ended curriculum. Educational experiences are designed to support the growth of the whole child in all domains: cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and academic. Children are exposed to academic skills such as literacy, math and science, as well as art, music and performance, in a play-based environment.

A strong emphasis is also placed on the development of children’s executive function skills, relationship development and self-regulation. In daily activities we take advantage of our inspiring location, exploring the Museum exhibitions and the outdoor environment around Fort Baker. 

Documentation and Reflection

At The Discovery School, educators engage the methods of observation, documentation and reflection with children and parents in order to make learning visible and allow all to see learning progress through the year. We collect and often display classroom documentation (recorded through notes, photos, drawings, voice recordings, videos, etc.), compile weekly reflections and hold weekly educator collaboration meetings to analyze the documentations and formulate our next steps for the child’s curriculum. We involve parents and families in the documentation process and weekly reflections become part of an ongoing conversation between parents, children, teachers and peers about the children’s learning.

Tour The Discovery School

Wednesday, February 10
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

The Discovery School classroom at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

This is a parent-only event (infants in arms are welcome). Please come ready with your curious mind and any questions you may have. You will receive a visitor's sticker to tour the whole Museum after our classroom tour. Coffee and light breakfast treats will be provided. 

Please RSVP to Elisa Pagliarulo at epagliarulobadmorg with your tour date and number of people in your party. 

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