Parent-Teacher Cooperation

The ‘Art’ of Educating Our Kids

The Lab School is an innovative learning environment – grounded in arts education, individual support, and a hands-on curriculum – that may be just what the doctor ordered for kids with ADHD or LD.

Non-traditional learning at school with ADHD kids working in garden
Non-traditional learning at school with ADHD kids working in garden

Imagine your child going to a school where the teachers and students “get him.” Imagine a school where he doesn’t have to feel bad about having a learning difference and/or an IEP. It’s the norm there.

Imagine a curriculum that uses the arts — visual and performing – to teach math, reading, and other academic subjects. The Lab School of Washington — a day school for children with dyslexia, ADHD, and learning differences — offers all of those benefits, from first grade through high school.

“We understand that your child learns differently, and that the way his or her brain is wired makes the traditional learning process hard,” says Katherine Schantz, head of school. “But we have proven, over 45 years, that our non-traditional, arts-infused teaching methods are effective in helping a child master academics.”

The Lab School has a great vibe: The curriculum is multi-sensory, experiential and hands-on, and rigorous. Students benefit from small class sizes and an unusually low student/teacher ratio. Many public schools don’t understand ADHD or support students diagnosed with it, but The Lab School gives individual attention, recognition, and positive reinforcement to young learners.

Teachers at The Lab School have a saying: “If the teaching isn’t working, change the teaching.” Teachers spend a lot of time trying out and implementing strategies to unlock each student’s potential. Most of them have master’s degrees, and all are trained in diagnostic-prescriptive teaching and intensive academic remediation.

Students at The Lab School benefit from one-on-one evaluations, resulting in academic strategies that meet their needs. Although some clinical services are integrated into the classroom, a child may need additional services to ensure that he succeeds. The majority of students at the school receive some level of clinical support.

The Lab School knows that parents are a critical part of their child’s success at school, so it offers lectures from top ADHD and LD experts to nurture the opportunities and navigate the challenges that learning differences can present.

Challenge, revelation, collaboration, reflection, revision, production – these are crucial to The Lab School’s approach to education. “Using art as a gateway to rigorous academics, we recognize our students’ potential, identify their strengths, and approach their ‘differences’ as advantages,” says Schantz.



Updated on October 5, 2017

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  1. I read this article several times and realized that it is very useful for our family. Then I followed the https://www.labschool.org/ and read the Objectives Lab School of Washington. It turned out that the goals are large and have a social and pedagogical resonance. There were questions:
    1. What is the guarantee of education that all students realize their potential?
    2. A fascinating education that stimulates curiosity and the desire to solve academic and experienced tasks can actually lead to addiction and dependence. Students get used to this kind of education and cannot continue to study in regular colleges and universities;
    3. How often is the correction of the individual curriculum carried out to ensure intensive, systematic correction and differentiated learning;
    4. What forms and directions allow to fully use the visual and performing arts to facilitate the educational process;
    5. Schools have long divided students into audials, visuals, kinesthetics, digitals. Training adapts to most of them, and this is not a novelty. Question: “What can multisensor and experimental teaching methods bring to class?”;
    6. I agree. One of the most effective ways to achieve a goal is to support and educate parents about differences in learning! How is it done ?;
    7. The thesis to study new methodologies in the field of studying the differences seems to be very vague and requires a specification, so that it would be understandable to parents sending their children to http://www.labschool.org. What specific new methodologies will be used ?;
    8. Regarding the implementation of the most efficient technologies in all Lab School programs is not entirely clear. It would be logical to list what has already been implemented and what is supposed to be implemented;
    9. If we do not provide reliable professional development opportunities for teachers and staff, we will not get progress in teaching children. In my opinion at Lab School, this is mostly done. Such a complex and painstaking process cannot occur only on enthusiasm;
    10. To share the results of their programs with public and private schools – to the credit of the Lab School it will be a very democratic process because each method in this area is copyrighted and must be protected.

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