Welcome to OpalSchool.org

“Great ideas have legs. They take you somewhere. With them you can raise questions….Puzzlements invite the most precious of human abilities to take wing. I speak of imagination, the neglected stepchild of American Education….”

~ Elliot Eisner, late professor of art and education, Stanford University

A great idea! Inspired by the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy


Opal School

A great idea with legs that took children, parents and educators on an inspiring journey for 20 years, exploring great ideas through the languages of the arts and sciences. Opal School closed in June of 2021 with Portland Children’s Museum, casualties of the pandemic, leaving us with a rich legacy of teacher research.


Opal School Online

Opal School Online remains accessible! The site is intact and available for teacher research as a trove of information, provocation and inspiration, at no cost to educators, preschool through grade 5.

Opal Expanded Archive

One of Opal’s thought partners, Teaching Preschool Partners is creating an expanded archive of Opal’s research and practice with the assistance of a generous grant from the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.

The archive will invite new voices to share experiences in living with today’s education challenges and possibilities.

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Strengthening education by provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where creativity, curiosity and the wonder of learning thrive