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The Global Division

Virtual school done right! Access The Lab School's unique, highly specialized online approach to learning from anywhere around the globe!

  • Online instruction designed for students eight to fourteen years old with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and other mild to moderate language-based learning needs 
  • Organized in small groups to allow for individualized instruction in a virtual environment
  • Focused on developing a toolbox of technology skills and self-advocacy strategies to enhance success in any educational setting

Our virtual Global Division offers access to our research-based school curriculum with a focus on reading, math, and writing instruction. Our faculty and staff — specialists in learning differences education — provide individual attention, recognition, and reinforcement that gives each learner the extra support they need to succeed.

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 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
  • also has attentional challenges such as ADHD 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
  • prefers to learn in an online setting
  • lives somewhere that does not provide access to a high quality intervention program designed specifically for children with dyslexia and other 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 makes our virtual division truly unique from other online offerings. As a top thought leader in the field of learning differences education, Lab's virtual school is 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

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The Global Division

Each year, our Global Division students participate in Destination Imagination, a program where students work together in teams to solve open-ended STEAM challenges designed to teach the creative process. Under the guidance of our teachers, students work together to create, write and perform a play that meets the annual criteria set by Destination Imagination. The team meets in person in the DC area for the competition.   

Full Story


Hear from our Director of Innovation and Head of Global Division/Virtual Programs Amy Oswalt 


 What is the focus of the Global Division? 

The Global Division provides daily synchronous online learning that prepares 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 know that students take academic risks when they feel supported. We greatly value the personal relationships that develop among teachers and classmates and, our skilled teachers, with their small-group classes, ensure that these relationships are an integral part of the virtual 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?

Student Groups

  • Small group instruction to create a collaborative online learning environment
  • Typical group size: 3 to 6 students
  • Match instruction to each individual student’s need

Our Teaching Staff

  • Experienced and well trained in both content and virtual instructional strategies 
  • Utilize a strengths based approach to learning
  • Lead our learning community to ensure all students find success and belonging

Measuring Progress

  • Daily formative assessments used to guide instruction; quarterly summative assessments used to track student growth
  • Frequent communication between home and school 
  • Face to face conferences (via our online platform) three times per school year

Beyond Class Time

  • Bi-weekly one-on-one coaching sessions for all students to help them stay on track while online and to ensure our students’ needs are being met
  • Optional in person meet ups throughout the school year allowing students and parents the opportunity to hang out together in a fun, relaxed environment
  • Annual events such as our Destination Imagination competition and summer family “Return to the Nest” retreat


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 (202-641-5847) to begin the application process.  We have limited spaces and want to ensure that we have students for whom this program will work well.


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

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Amy Oswalt

Amy Oswalt
Director of Innovation and Head of Global Division/Virtual Programs 
(202) 641-5847

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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.

$26,125 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: or 202-641-5847. 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).
  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