In May 2019 — after almost three years in thoughtful development — The Lab School presented its Strategic Framework, a mission-based document that establishes the school’s areas of strategic focus.
As the Lab School endeavors to transform the lives of the students it serves and continue to lead in the field associated with students with learning differences, it will advance six priorities:
Lab strives to ensure that all students have a rigorous, innovative, arts-centered, culturally diverse educational experience reflecting current research in effective educational practices for students with language-based learning differences that promotes the growth of each individual. That educational experience stimulates inquiry and passion, promoting student progress on pathways toward postsecondary-, civic-, and career-readiness.
- Lab further develops systemic methods of program evaluation assessing teaching effectiveness in improving print literacy, essential content knowledge, and self-efficacy; and in developing competency in the arts and technological learning tools of the 21st century.
- Lab builds upon current measurements of growth for individual students that target skills determined to be critical to functioning successfully in this century.
- Lab continues and expand the use of the arts, grounded in academic research and defined in the broadest sense, as a pathway to learning, building habits of mind, and opening opportunities for careers in a myriad of fields.
- Lab continues its initiative to develop age-appropriate criteria and curriculum for building cultural competency in all students.
- Lab continues its efforts to employ the research and practices from the field of positive psychology for wellness to ensure the capacity of every child to be able to access learning on a daily basis.
- Lab systematically reviews academic research in order to stay current with best and most innovative practices in the education of students with learning differences and students with the potential to use critical analysis to think differently.
- Lab continues development of an alumni outreach and evaluation network, in which the experiences of Lab School graduates are surveyed, analyzed, and reported to assess relevancy and effectiveness of programming.
Lab maintains its focus on attracting and retaining an exceptional and diverse team of teachers and leaders who champion creativity, collaboration, and a dedication to continuous improvement — all to support Lab’s students as they discover their passions and reach their full potential.
- Lab expands its relationships with schools of education that are notable for the diversity and caliber of students and for a course of study that is especially suited to the progressive and creative Lab School teaching and learning environment.
- Lab continues to support in-service training and mentoring programs to prepare and inspire new teachers to work with its students with language-based learning differences.
- Lab maintains emphasis on an effective and rewarding professional development strategy and investment focused on: performance improvement including cultural competency; professional advancement; attention to research; and innovation. Lab will place emphasis on time for professional sharing among faculty and staff.
Lab continues the implementation of its “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [DEI] Strategic Plan (2018)” to assure the primacy and sustainability of its DEI goals, strategic investments, and supporting organizational structures.
- Lab attains robust student, faculty, staff, and board diversity that corresponds with a culture and environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all, regardless of background, identity, circumstance, or life experience — and that yields educational benefits for all.
- Lab continues to strengthen its engagement with the parent community, recognizing the importance of this work for the success of DEI strategic plan.
Lab continues to engage collaboratively with families to develop supportive and effective communications regarding issues affecting student academic, social, and emotional development. Lab promotes a parent community that is active and involved in support of Lab’s mission.
Lab values direct teacher outreach to families to augment their understanding of curricular and co-curricular aims and initiatives as well as individual student progress.
Lab advances parent-community involvement initiatives to support more opportunities for engagement to grow a stronger sense of connection between parents and school personnel — and among parents — to foster an environment of shared understanding and trust.
Lab is committed to the responsible stewardship of school resources and the provision of facilities and technology that provides mission-aligned, future-oriented, learning opportunities for its students.
Lab continues to devote every dollar it receives — earned and given — to maximize the impact on its students through the provision of excellent teachers and staff, facilities, and resources. In that context, Lab builds and maintains thoughtfully balanced budgets in order to maintain financial health.
Lab studies and vigorously pursues avenues within the scope of its mission to increase funds designated to offset tuition and other costs for students without sufficient means to finance a Lab education.
Lab continues its analysis of the impact and costs associated with its related services model, with a focus on viable innovations that enhances delivery and efficiencies in ways that complement classroom instruction.
Lab continues to monitor and assess program design elements and financial impacts of trends related to local jurisdictional requirements associated with financial support for students.
Lab continues to be responsive to important national and local demographic and business trends associated with independent schools that may significantly impact financial health of the institution.
Lab continues to expand its local and national leadership regarding best practices in the education of students with learning differences, informed by leading research and emerging trends.
Lab expands relationships with major schools of education and other sources of thought leadership and actionable research. It also evaluates and pursues, as warranted, prospects for collaboration with neighboring districts and schools.
Lab engages in ongoing exploration of the value and viability of establishing a research and evaluation affiliate, with the aim of studying the learning of students at Lab and sharing best practices in the field of education regionally and nationally.