Frequently Asked Questions - The Discovery School

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact The Discovery School?

Find out if TDS is right for your family! Call or email Michelle Barreras, Head of School at (415) 339-3991 or

Is The Discovery School a preschool?

Yes, we are licensed as a childcare center by the State of California and feature a staff of fully qualified teachers. Our Facility Number is 214005255.

Will children learn academic skills at The Discovery School?

We believe that our unique educational approach, which offers free-choice learning in an open-ended, child-directed environment, prepares children for lifelong learning. Through our emergent project-based curriculum, kids use math, literacy, creative problem-solving, and social skills to create the meaningful learning experiences they will need for later academic success.

Do you serve snacks or lunch?

We provide a simple nutritious snack of at least two food groups each morning. We do not provide lunch. Children must bring their own lunch.

How are students selected?

Once we receive completed applications, our staff determines which families are the best match for the program. Factors include scheduling, age of child, philosophical harmony, and gender balance of program.

Can children drop in to The Discovery School?

No. The Discovery School requires enrollment for the school year. We are required to maintain a specific staff to child ratio at all times.

What is a laboratory school?

As a laboratory school, or lab school, TDS is open to top university researchers who are conducting studies on child development in a preschool setting. The lessons and research that come out of our preschool will shape the national dialogue on how educators design experiences to set kids up for lifelong success. Our status as a lab school also benefits TDS teachers. They receive access to cutting edge research from the leading thinkers in cognitive development and early childhood education, giving them opportunity to implement this innovative research immediately in the classroom.

Where is The Discovery School located?

The Discovery School is located at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) in Sausalito. BADM and The Discovery School are located in Fort Baker, part of Golden Gate National Park.

Do students spend time outside?

Students spend plenty of time outdoors exploring the beaches and habitats of Fort Baker, fostering a deep connection to the natural world. Additionally, we have one-two 100% outdoor days per month, where students have an entire day of school held outdoors.

How do students interact with BADM's research division?

The Discovery School students receive full access to BADM’s exhibits and resources, including exclusive when the museum is closed to the public on Mondays.

What elementary schools have students of The Discovery School been accepted to?

The Discovery School students have been accepted to the following elementary schools:

  • Greenwood
  • Lycee Francais- French School
  • Manor
  • Marin Country Day
  • Marin Primary
  • Park Elementary
  • Presidio Hill School
  • Reed Public School
  • SF Public
  • Saint Luke’s
  • SF Friends School
  • The Garden House
  • The Nueva School