Our Academic Model
LAB is dedicated to serving the highest need students, regardless of their academic level, English language proficiency, or disability. We recognize that learning experiences should meet students where they are, engage them deeply in inquiry and mastery, and tailor challenges in a dynamic, personal manner. We personalize the learning experience for students with diverse backgrounds, interests, and educational needs. Given our commitment to preparing all students for college and career success, we employ innovative, high-quality learning tools, and we aim to design and iterate upon our school model so that teachers can deliver high-quality personalized learning at scale. LAB’s approach is informed by engagement with families, community leaders, and educators, as well as by careful study of successful schools and research-based principles. LAB focuses on:
Rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum and developing habits of success: LAB’s program of study gives students the capacity to learn independently, think critically, and communicate effectively. We set clear expectations for high-quality work in order to cultivate college-ready habits. For instance, there is growing consensus that students should work on tasks with sustained concentration free of distractions, so we give our students real-world projects that involve spending time studying specific texts or topics. Students also need opportunities to correct their own work based on feedback, and we have designed our program to help students establish these habits, which improve learning throughout life.
Entrepreneurial learning: The rate of digital innovation is rapidly reordering the contours of knowledge and work, and LAB must prepare students to succeed in jobs and industries we can hardly imagine today. In this era, good questions are often more important than answers. We offer experiences that foster inquiry-driven learning and instill students with a sense of curiosity in the face of challenge. For instance, working with industry partners and entrepreneurs, LAB cultivates entrepreneurial learners, providing students with opportunities to explore new challenges and learn from others.
Culture of high expectations: We reject the idea that students’ circumstances limit their potential, and instead we uphold uncompromising standards for attendance, homework, classwork, and participation to prepare each student for postsecondary success. We will create a joyful and engaging learning environment and celebrate achievement.
Personalization of support and learning through a unique human capital model: LAB is designed to support and motivate students with a wide range of learning needs. We will ensure that students who are behind are brought up to grade level, and that students who are ahead receive additional challenges to keep them engaged. To do this, LAB is pioneering a unique human capital model that allows for a wealth of personalized instruction during the school day through the LAB Corps Fellowship.
Extended personalized learning time: The LAB school day runs from 8:30am to 5:15pm. LAB provides 1:1 and small group tutoring to extend personalized learning time during and after school. Our web-based learning management system, Cortex, generates personalized learning plans to ensure that each student achieves breakthroughs in learning. LAB offers additional support during school breaks and select weekends.
Family partnership: LAB’s mission of preparing students for success in college and beyond requires dedication and determination from individuals inside and outside of the classroom, so we develop strong partnerships with community leaders, parents, teachers, and administrators. LAB regularly communicates with families in person, digitally, on paper, and via phone to share information about academic and behavioral progress. These communications channels, as well as our regularly scheduled family nights, conferences, and parent leadership council, create robust opportunities for families to engage with our school.