Boy learning at computer

The Global Division

Access The Lab School’s unique, highly specialized approach to learning from anywhere around the globe! 

  • Designed for students in grades three through six with mild to moderate language-based learning needs such as dyslexia who live outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area
  • Half day of virtual classes in reading, mathematics, and writing provided by experienced online teachers with expertise in learning differences
  • Organized in small groups to allow for individualized instruction  
  • Focused on developing a toolbox of skills and self-advocacy strategies to enhance success in any educational setting

Our Global Division, enrolling now for the 2021-2022 school year, will offer virtual access to our research-based reading, math, and writing curriculum. Our faculty and staff — specialists in learning differences education — provide individual attention, recognition, and reinforcement that gives each young learner the extra support they need to succeed.

The Lab School’s brick and mortar program pioneered the integration of arts and academics.   Art has been found to be a pathway to deeper learning as it engages the child’s procedural memory, strengthens attention and stamina, deepens perspective and empathy, and allows learning to truly “stick.”

The Global Division builds on this experience to bring art and academic integration to the next frontier of learning, the virtual platform.

Our virtual program enhances students’ learning while minimizing the instructional barriers that get in the way of academic performance. Consider Lab’s Global Division if you live outside of the DC Metro area, your child has a language-based learning difference such as dyslexia and also…

  • experiences anxiety that prevents them from fully focusing in an in-person learning setting.
  • has attentional challenges that impact their ability to concentrate in a larger group setting.
  • is being home-schooled and requires a more specialized approach.
  • suffers from a medical condition that causes fatigue making a full day of in person learning difficult.
  • lives somewhere that does not provide access to a high quality intervention program designed specifically for children with dyslexia and language based learning differences

The expertise of our faculty and staff working with students with learning differences, and their deep understanding of each individual student and his or her learning profile, is what fueled our ability to make the leap to distance learning so effectively. Thanks to our success teaching core academic skills virtually during the Covid-19 Pandemic — and as a top thought leader in the field of learning differences education — we are uniquely qualified to offer what we do best — help students turn their differences into advantages — to students in any state, country, or learning situation.

Since 1967, The Lab School of Washington has been transforming the way students think about themselves and about learning. We understand that our students’ challenges have nothing to do with intelligence, but come from differences in the way they learn. And because we know that, The Lab School is different in how we teach. Learn more about The Lab School here

Hear from our Director of Innovation and Virtual Programs Amy Oswalt 

 

 What is the focus of the Global Division? 

The Global Division will provide daily intervention services that will prepare students to thrive. Students learn both the academic and the self-advocacy skills needed to improve their academic performance by engaging in daily classes — each held for an hour — in the areas of reading, math, and writing. We greatly value personal relationships that develop among teachers and classmates and, even though this is an online program, our skilled teachers, with their small-group classes, will ensure that these relationships are an integral part of the learning experience.

We know students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences need reading instruction that is based on scientific evidence. Our approach is grounded in Orton-Gillingham (OG), which is not a method, program, or system. Rather, OG is a direct, explicit, multisensory approach to teaching literacy that is highly individualized and based on the Science of Reading

Students engage in daily literacy instruction with an OG-trained teacher. These focused lessons are tailored to each student’s needs and work on:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Decoding
  • Spelling 
  • Reading fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension strategies

Our customized reading sessions provide the intensity and depth necessary for emerging, developing, and proficient readers.  

Mathematics in the 21st century requires a different approach. Our brains are designed to think visually about math. Building students’ mathematical understanding doesn’t just mean strengthening one area of the brain that is involved with abstract numbers; it means enhancing connections between areas of the brain and strengthening visual pathways. To assist us in this, we utilize the Multi Sensory Math approach for mathematics instruction.  

Our virtual learning classes are well suited for this type of mathematical learning. Students engage in:

  • rich, visual, and creative math tasks.
  • building on previously learned skills while learning new concepts.
  • daily opportunities to interact with numbers flexibly and conceptually.
  • hands-on learning with mathematical manipulatives.

Writing is an essential part of our daily lives and as such, effective writing skills are indispensable. A key facet of our writing program involves The Writing Revolution (TWR) — a national program that enables students to establish and enhance literacy and critical thinking skills. Our students’ writing prowess is developed and strengthened through daily contextual writing work. Students learn and progress in all stages of the writing process and use writing for a variety of purposes. Principle goals of our writing program include:
 
Highlighting the direct connection between spoken and written language by:

  • increasing complexity and coherence of  language through explicit instruction at the sentence, paragraph, and multi-paragraph level
  • developing note taking skills
  • using writing as a method for improving analytical thinking, study skills, and engagement Improving study skills

“Our daughter has absolutely thrived in The Lab School's virtual learning platform; Lab's engaging and tailored curriculum has brought many amazing options to her academic life. Every single member of The Lab School has gone above and beyond to make her online learning experience inclusive. For work, we needed to leave the DC area and were devastated at the thought of leaving Lab. Being able to stay with Lab, while simultaneously engaging in extracurricular activities at our local school, is a dream come true. Our daughter has the absolute best of both worlds and could not be happier.”
—  
 a parent of one of our virtual learners

How does the Global Division work?

Girl learning at computer

Student Groups

Using our own teaching experience along with recommendations from educational research such as that of the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, our students are placed in learning groups that consist of two-three students per reading class and four-six students per writing and math class to allow for individualized instruction. Small group instruction creates an environment that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding as well as receive feedback from other students and the teacher. Our small learning groups allow us to match instruction directly to the needs of individual students.

Teacher in front of camera and laptop

Our Teaching Staff

Our teachers are proven masters in their field.  Our teachers have degrees in education and have completed additional coursework to enhance their ability to teach children with language based learning differences. They have experience teaching in a virtual environment.  Our teachers are with the students 100% of the time that the student is in class online - all classes are synchronous - so students get the assistance, feedback, and encouragement they need to be successful. With robust professional development opportunities including training in Orton-Gillingham and The Writing Revolution, faculty and staff at Lab focus on each child’s strengths.

pencil graph chart

Measuring Progress

The virtual setting requires partnerships between our teachers and our families that are collaborative, transparent, and mutually supportive, therefore, our reporting process is one of the cornerstones of our program. Because we know that our families are deeply invested in understanding the progress their child is making in our program, we provide a weekly summary of each student’s learning. We also conduct formal testing quarterly and provide this information to our families in the form of a virtual parent conference as well as a written report.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How to apply

Because we recognize the unique nature of this program, we ask that you reach out to Amy Oswalt by email or phone to begin the application process.  We have limited spaces and want to ensure that we have students for whom this program will work well.

Questions?

Reach out to us at any time. We are here to help. 

Weekly Zoom sessions on Thursdays at 11AM | Join Zoom Session​ 
 

Amy Oswalt

Amy Oswalt
Director of Innovation and Virtual Programs
amy.oswalt@labschool.org 
(202) 944-2231

Before joining Lab to lead the Elementary Division in 2018, Amy worked in schools on three continents. Her experience has varied from working in public schools that received significant Title 1 funding to a private school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Amy spent significant time teaching and leading in International Baccalaureate schools, and she has guided two schools through the IB authorization process. As a former school head, Amy understands the importance of new program development and the need to design solutions for students and families in K12 education. Amy has degrees in Linguistics, Special Education, and Education Administration, and is widely regarded as a creative, visionary, and innovative thinker and educator.

$32,000 annually 

Basic Tech Requirements:

  • A device possessing a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. 
    • Smartphones and other mobile devices are not supported.
  • Chrome is the recommended browser.
  • High-speed internet connection (Cable, DSL)
    • Satellite internet service and cellular wifi hotspots may be subject to speed and reliability issues and could result in unsatisfactory performance.
  • A headset with microphone.
  • Access to a printer 

Payment Options for Tuition

The first step in the Admissions process is to reach out to the Global Division Head, Amy Oswalt: amy.oswalt@labschool.org or (202) 944-2231. She will set up a time to meet with you to discuss the details of the Global Division to make sure that this is the right fit for your child. She will direct you to the next steps in the process which will include completing an enrollment packet containing the online application and the following items:

  1. The complete report of a current Psycho-educational Evaluation (the testing may not be more than 2 years old). If you need help with this, please reach out to our Reservoir Psychology Group.
  2. Report cards, attendance records, and standardized testing from the current and previous year.
  3. Student Strengths and Needs Profile completed by the current Reading/English teacher and the current Math/Science teacher .
  4. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 if applicable.
  5. Non-refundable $100 fee