About Us

20-21 Our Qualities Word CloudThe 2020-2021 staff was asked their three best qualities. Above is a word cloud of their responses!

Our Mission

Explorers learn, collaborate, and innovate with the world in mind.

Our Vision

We learn together as a team and encourage everyone to explore, dream, and discover while making a positive impact in our community.

Our Core Values


Our students learn how to protect our environment and our world across curricular areas. We partner and cooperate with organizations and programs that promote global health and environmental stewardship.


  • National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA
  • U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
  • U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Accelerator
  • Education For Sustainability
  • Green Schools National Network

Personalized Learning

Our school is student-centered and empowers student voice and student choice, and uses research-supported best practices, including standards-based assessment.

Advanced Technology Skills

Our students use technology for innovation and to solve authentic challenges, build new solutions, and safely, responsibly explore the digital world.

Design Thinking

Our students use design thinking ideation – researching, brainstorming, sketching, prototyping, creating, and reflecting – to invent and implement creative solutions to real-world problems.

Social Responsibility

Our school loves each student and our community as a whole, and integrates research-based social-emotional learning programs – including Responsive Classroom – to build positive community and ensure student health, safety, kindness, and wellness.

Our Name

Discovery Elementary School is named after John Glenn, and for his intrepid profession. The famous pilot, astronaut, and senator lived in the neighborhood and played with his children by running orbital patterns in Williamsburg Park, upon which Discovery now stands. “Discovery” also evokes the spirit of learning. A council of students, educators, families, and community members collaborated to select the name, as well as the mascot – the Explorer – and our school colors, red and white.

John Glenn and the Discovery Explorer


About Us
John Glenn speaking in front of the space shuttle Discovery (OV-103) at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where the shuttle sits today not far from Discovery Elementary School. Photo by Rob Shenk. (CC)

About Us

Discovery Elementary School is a community for students, of students, and by students. It is the people, not the building: Our children, our professional educators and support providers, our families, and our network of colleagues and partners work together to ensure that every individual child’s needs are met and that all children fulfill their potential and achieve what they choose.

We are a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School (see: State Press ReleaseFederal Press Release) and a National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA Green Flag School (see: National Dashboard).

We are deeply committed to age-appropriate, research-based child development practices, and to the principles and best practices of standards-based instruction and assessment in a healthy, environmentally-conscious public school setting.

We were founded in 2015 and serve the children of northern Arlington County, Virginia.

At Discovery Elementary School, children are challenged and encouraged to reach their highest potential through researched-based instructional practices. A rigorous academic curriculum is complimented by a focus on social and emotional wellness. Discovery Elementary School’s uniqueness evolves as committed staff, families, and members of the community model collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking.