Welcome, Black Student Fund Families!

Are you searching for a school that engages and stimulates your child’s interest in learning and also includes exceptionally qualified teachers and specialists who can address your child’s specific learning needs?

Curious. Intelligent. Empathetic. Bursting with potential. This is Lab.

At The Lab School, you’ll find learners of different races, cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, families, and economic status. Our student body is diverse and yet they all share one thing...

Students at Lab learn differently. 

At Lab, we understand that learning challenges have nothing to do with intelligence, but come from a difference in the way your child learns. And because we know that, The Lab School is different in how we teach.
We invite you to scroll down and explore The Lab School of Washington, and we hope to have the chance to meet you in person and share more about Lab’s extraordinary programs.

All our best,

Lab Admissions​

Learn more about...

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Virtual Admissions Information Sessions & Families of Color Meetings

Families of Color Meetings with Dr. Anthony Perry are an opportunity for parents of color and parents of students of color to hear more about the environment at Lab for people of color and how their child will be supported. 

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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We consider our diversity work of utmost importance at our school and in our world. At Lab, we are actively listening, talking, and working with more intention around our commitment to the span of issues that fall under the umbrella of diversity.

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Expert Services

Lab clinicians provide therapy and evaluations for children, adolescents, and young adults through The Reservoir Group at The Lab School of Washington. Access three disciplines in one place – Occupational Therapy, Psychology & Wellness, and Speech, Language & Literacy.

Some FAQs:

College Acceptances List (2017-2021)

At Lab, our college advisory team gets to know our High School students from the minute ninth grade starts — or before! — so that as they grow and zero in on their strengths and interests, we are there to help them find that right fit.

College and Career Counseling

Yes. The Lab School of Washington serves students and parents by providing a safe and pleasant ride between Lab School and various stops in the Greater Washington area.

Visit LABus - Transportation


Stories from Black Faculty:

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In his proposal for the Aaron Boose Memorial Fellowship, High School Science Teacher Jonathan Alexis noted that “the recent uprisings of civil unrest and social justice demonstrations, the systemically established racial disparities within STEM professions [had] come to the forefront of [his] conversations [. . .] with fellow science educators.” These conversations, and his own research, led him to ask what he could do in his current practices to address these disparities. To that end, Mr. Alexis will spearhead a year-long extracurricular cross-divisional Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics [STEAM] curriculum for a select cohort of Lab School 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th grade students from racially diverse backgrounds. Through a series of workshops, created and facilitated by Lab faculty and staff, students will “... be better equipped with not only confidence in some of their STEM skills, but also a tentative educational pathway they can follow in order to achieve their STEM career aspirations.”

Christopher Edmonds

High School Internship Coordinator Christopher Edmonds’ father always told him, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Sound advice. In his role at Lab, not only does Mr. Edmonds help place his juniors in year-long internships that embrace their passions and encourage their intellectual and personal growth, but he also teaches a Career Literacy Class that on many levels underscores his father’s insight that listening is as crucial a communications skill for life as is talking or presenting.

Mr. Edmonds came to Lab in 2018 with robust experience working not only in college and career readiness in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, in particular with underserved populations, but also
for not-for-profit funds and university programs designed for the advancement of minorities. “I find here at Lab that teaching students who learn differently makes us better teachers. And I believe vehemently that we need to build programs around people instead of around educational outcomes.”

“My class is rooted in character education, which I believe is tantamount to improving society. To prepare students for life after graduation, I focus on four components. The first is developing core competencies where students learn to apply classroom lessons to professional skills. Things like logic and problem-solving skills (Math) or writing a résumé, cover letter, or professional email (English) are applied in my class. Next comes occupational competencies where a student, for example, who loves animals may take an internship with a veterinarian only to discover that the career interest is less about animals and more about biology. The third component focuses on students developing professional competencies like interviewing or negotiating skills, and the fourth homes in on the expansion of one’s network and social capital.

Class projects to develop these competencies include, among others, conducting a job interview with a partner and learning to listen and then share that person’s story. The exercise prepares them for their actual interview with an employer. The students also work on a creating a “blueprint of [their] lives” where they ponder questions like “What makes you somebody?”, and “What is your primary value and what would be your life’s slogan?”

With his students and his colleagues, Mr. Edmonds weaves in a great deal of reflection and work around the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative. “Nurturing an appreciation for DEI is a career literacy skill, and an essential life skill,” says Mr. Edmonds. “Part of being in the work force is to see, validate, and celebrate diversity— to ensure that all communities are intentionally included.

“We intentionally talk about the distinction between success and greatness . . . greatness being using your success to help others, especially those less fortunate. My hope is that when my students graduate from Lab, they continue to intentionally step into brave spaces to be themselves and influence policy,” says Mr. Edmonds who seeks every opportunity to dismantle the “cis-male, hyper-masculine, patriarchal conditioning” of his youth. He adds, “Understanding and loving yourself puts you in a powerful position to understand and love others.”

Jewell Watson-Hellkamp

High School History teacher Jewell Watson-Hellkamp is a doer. Although she claims to be an introvert by nature, her enthusiasm and zeal
for teaching, activism, and well, life, seem inexhaustible. Two days before starting at Lab, Ms. Watson-Hellkamp got married and within a month was not only rocking it in the classroom, teaching Ancient World History to her ninth grade classes, but suddenly, she was also appointed advisor for the High School’s Diversity Club. Clearly, she is a juggler as well.

While Ms. Watson-Hellkamp was earning her Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Maryland, she took a job in data entry at The Art Gallery, one of the college’s four art galleries, that specialized in contemporary art. Within two years, she became assistant director at the gallery and discovered her favorite part of the position involved the weekly educational program she led on topics such as Surrealism and Neoclassical Art at local public and private schools located in the DMV area. “Originally, I was not a fan of Contemporary Art, but working with students gave me a new appreciation for it,” she says. “I would develop projects and presentations that tied contemporary art to concepts I cared about and suddenly found doing so more fulfilling than developing and promoting exhibitions or supervising gallery staff.”

After graduation, she said she needed to make a decision between a career in the art world or in education. She chose the latter. For one year, she taught 27 kindergartens with learning differences with one co-teacher. “One year was enough! I realized 5-year-olds were going to kill me, so I set my sights on teaching older kids next,” she says. “My next position was a blessing in disguise. Sure, it was difficult, but any job that followed would seem easy!” Ms. Watson- Hellkamp taught ninth through twelfth graders for three years at an alternative school in Prince George’s County that focused primarily on students with behavioral and learning differences.

Ms. Watson-Hellkamp loves Ancient World History. “It’s my jam,” she says. “I love emphasizing the voices that have been traditionally marginalized. The issue is that kids are so far removed from Ancient World History. I love finding ways to relate modern day events with ancient ones. When my students start to take off their modern lens, well, we have a lot of ah-ah moments in class.”

Her interest in Ancient World History definitely overlaps with her passion and commitment around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The school’s first Diversity Club grew into the Council of Equity and Social Justice, which combines other clubs she either founded or advised over the years, such as Let’s Support Women (LSW) and the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). In addition to being a co-advisor for the Council, she also serves as the High School’s DEI coordinator, which includes running the division’s Affinity Groups. “I am incredibly proud of being invested in supporting Lab with its growing DEI programming. Quite honestly, it feels like there’s a conscious pivot away from the ‘White ally-ship’ model in favor of ‘White co-conspiratorship’ [White people who are willing to put their own safety on the line to support and center Black, Indigenous, and peoples of color and other historically marginalized groups] instead. I have amazing and genuine conversations with many of my White colleagues. Although we still have a lot of work to do, I feel encouraged that the school, as a whole, is truly working toward making The Lab School a more equitable community with a curriculum that reflects the experiences and histories of all people”

What does Ms. Watson-Hellkamp— who also co-teaches Freshman Seminar—enjoy most about working at Lab? “The students, the content, and the relationships with my colleagues,” she says. “I have incredible ‘work wives’, ‘work brothers’ and veteran teachers and staff members that I simply adore. We’ve laughed, collaborated, shared our ups and downs, as well as our challenges and passions. They’re more than just friends at this point and will always be more like family.”


The Lab Student Experience:

Logan Johns

Since sixth grade, Logan Johns ’22 has been called Mr. Mayor. “We joke that Logan is the Mayor of Lab; he knows everybody and is a wonderful connector and community builder,” says Associate Head of High School Christopher Lanier. “He has a big heart and is kind to everyone. He not only checks in with his peers but also with the faculty.”

A student at Lab since second grade, Logan says he has always been a social kid but, in many ways, Lab has helped him step beyond his comfort zone. During his sophomore year, for example, he attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)—the National Association of Independent School’s student equity and justice conference, which focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community—which he says was “hands down the best choice I made in 2019. I knew something electrifying would happen to me there . . . and it turned out to be making friends who I think will always be in my life, and learning a lot about other people who have different points of view from me. And it surprised me to meet people who don’t look like me but who can still understand some of my experiences. I’ll also always remember how Mr. Boose [the late Clinical Social Worker Aaron Boose] helped me grow more comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s powerful.”

During the The 2018 Young Men of Color Symposium and (Re)defining Power Conference, “Unlearning Dominance to Learn Accountability to Experience Freedom,” which Logan attended with several peers and faculty and staff from Lab, he says he had a realization about what he wanted to do with his life. “I met some incredible people at that conference, too, and I started to think that I definitely wanted to pursue a career as a political activist, or a photojournalist. It felt like an epiphany to me,” laughs Logan. “But I guess it’s not that much of a stretch since both my parents are political journalists.”

For two years, Logan has been involved in Eye to Eye—a highly successful national mentoring movement that pairs kids who have learning differences like dyslexia and ADHD with college and high school mentors who have been similarly diagnosed. “I’m really proud of being part of Eye to Eye. I’m big on helping people, especially kids who look like me and who need to understand and accept their LD. I want them to know that their differences are not disabilities or disadvantages, and sometimes they’re even superpowers.”

With a grandfather who ran track and field and played soccer for Jamaica, and parents who were track and field stars in college, Logan thrives on the basketball court, soccer field, and in track and field. “Being on a team is the best. I’m a social person and can talk everyone’s heads off, but when I am playing, I focus,” says Logan. “And it’s not just the sports themselves. Coach Scorah and Coach Baytop [Assistant Physical Education Teacher Joe Scorah ’05 and Junior High Substitute Teacher Gaia Baytop] have been there for me as an athlete, but also in life. When my stepfather died suddenly during my sophomore year, I really struggled. I always felt like I had two dads, and losing him, well, it’s hard to describe. I also had some dark times when Giovanni Little [Class of 2015] was killed; he always treated me like a little brother. Coach Scorah and Coach Baytop definitely helped me through.”

Already worth his salt as a political activist, in spring 2020, Logan co-founded a Black Lives Matter rally at Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda. “All we want is change. A change so that everyone can stop being looked at as a criminal. All we want is to be loved and not treated like property. If I want a change on this planet for my people, then you should, too,” he said to the crowd of several hundred.

“I love my culture. I love who I am, and what I stand for. I shouldn’t get strange looks for having a certain skin color or for enjoying different cultural traditions,” says Logan. “I want to do what I can now—and in the future—to bring people together.”

Mia Van Allen

While many of us were baking sourdough bread and trying to figure out how best to balance work, school, and family life during the pandemic, Mia Van Allen ’16 founded a not-for-profit—the Color of Music Collective—to amplify the voices of people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals in the music industry. She started the initiative with a website and concert series in response to the lack of diversity she experienced in her own music business trajectory. She now runs the organization with a partner and more than 80 volunteers, who also organize free panels to tackle issues of representation within the industry.

Mia graduated from American University in 2020 with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Business and Entertainment. When her long-time interest in feminist rights fell flat in classes, she needed to fill her minor requirement so she randomly chose Entertainment 101 in the Business School. “I fell in love with it . . . with concerts, live music, and the mechanics behind the whole business. Who knew I could make a career of it along with my major in PR?” says Mia who was always the “kid with the headphones on.”

Mia loved American. “If not for Ms. Fleisher [College Advisor Trudy Fleisher], I would never have found and applied to the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) Program. The classes were small, like at Lab, and the fact that it was required to talk to your professors at the beginning of each class where you could say, ‘This is my issue, this is how you can help me, and here’s what I can do . . .’ helped me soar in my classes. And I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t learned so many ways to get around my LD at Lab.”

After three years of hard work and a semester in London, Mia was excited to revel in every scrap of her senior year. She says, “I really wanted to make more of an effort to do what I wanted to do—spending time with friends, going to more concerts, and learning more about the music business by going to conferences and networking all over the world. I had plans to make senior year MY YEAR. I was able to accomplish a lot of that, but sadly COVID got in my way. Seniors couldn’t say goodbye to their lifelong friends, favorite professors, and the worst part . . . not walking across the stage of Bender Arena. The economic climate has made a turn for the worse, but that didn’t stop me. I used my free time to start my own company; I’m proud to say we’re going places.”

Mia is now in Los Angeles, working at The Village Recording Studios and, despite the fire and smoke, enjoying California life. Recently, she was included in Washington Business Journal’s 25 under 25 for Innovation, a recognition for founding Color of Music Collective.

Mia oozes enthusiasm and gratitude. She praises the network of friends and colleagues she continues to build, her college professors, Lab teachers, friends, and family. Oh, and by the way, if you want to join her, she is borrowing a friend’s guitar and taking advantage of free online lessons offered by Fender during the pandemic.

Lab Voices

2021 High School Graduation

Class of 2021 Student Speaker Delano Ballenger reflects on a challenging senior year and offers inspirational words for his fellow graduates. 

What Sets the Lab High School Apart? | Parent Perspective

A Lab parent shares about her son's high school experience at Lab and offers advice to junior high families thinking about next steps. 

What Sets the Lab High School Apart? | Alum Perspective

A Lab alum shares how the tools and habits learned while in high school at Lab set him up for the success he's now experiencing in college. 

Lecture Series

Parents, caregivers, teachers and therapists: if there’s a child in your life with learning differences, chances are you are seeking some advice. Discover the Lab School's popular Lecture Series! Our monthly lectures are rich with information, insights and tips that will help you nurture the opportunities—and navigate the challenges—learning differences can present. 

Explore our Lecture Series 

The Intersection of Learning Differences and Racial Identity

Linda Fleming McGhee, JD, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Using Classroom Reading and Writing Instruction as a Gateway to Address Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity: Practical Strategies and Examples for the Classroom

Melissa A. Wood, MS, CCC-SLP 
Director Speech Language and Literacy
The Lab School of Washington 

Anthony Perry, PhD
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Lab School of Washington 

Questions about Admissions?

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Interested in learning more about our work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Please contact:

Anthony Perry

Anthony Perry

  • Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
  • Social Studies Teacher