Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.
At the Lower Lab School, the focus is to meet the needs of students identified as gifted and talented, which is defined as someone who shows or has the potential to show an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression. Our goal is to provide an appropriate education for those students in one or several ways: Acceleration, curriculum compacting, and in-depth study that extends upon the mandated to include activities that focus on the evaluation and analysis of information as well as creating new knowledge.
Tell us about a few of the school’s achievements or distinguishing programs.
Last year, we were ranked No. 6 in New York State for achievement on the NYS ELA and Math exams. Our curriculum-based enrichments fortify our whole child approach with grade level experiences in architecture, debate and wingspan, to name a few. Our students also study Spanish, Latin and orchestra. Additionally, in 2016, we opened the Lower Lab Digital Media Center, where children learn digital citizenship, coding, keyboarding, and internet research skills. Across grades K-5, technology is integrated into the curriculum through students’ use of iPads or laptops. Finally, our peer mediation program, in existence since 2008, boasts 40 mediators who are trained to help other students resolve conflict creatively.
Our new schoolwide initiative, now a cornerstone of our community, is called Lower Lab Values, which focuses on Social-Emotional Learning. Every month, since January 2017, all K-5 classes highlight a specific core value through discussions and various activities, which include a Book of the Month, selected to engage students in dialogue around that theme. At the end of each month, we come together as a school to celebrate with an assembly and a fantastic video of our learning experience.
What do you love about your school?
The children are amazing! They are funny, curious, smart, and caring. They work hard, love to be challenged, and also know how to have a good time. The entire staff is passionate about the work, tirelessly striving to support their students both academically and emotionally. Our parents make the community awesome by contributing in so many ways to the success of Lower Lab.