New York City Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies
Share this school
Creative and well-paced lessons; a history of inclusion
Cramped classrooms, drab building
The NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies is among the most sought-after middle schools in the city. It's a place where bright kids work hard and excel but also have fun and express their creativity. It's a pioneer in the inclusion model of special education and students actively work against homophobia and other injustices. The school has a stellar record of sending graduates to the city's most competitive high schools.
The atmosphere is close-knit and relaxed yet lessons are well paced with little wasted time. Teachers deliver information in a conversational tone and students are comfortable enough to crack a joke or chat with teachers at the beginning and end of the period.
All 6th-graders take the same math class; 7th and 8th graders are split into three different tracks: The top two groups take Regents-level algebra (about 160 out of 200 students), and the highest group goes beyond what is needed for the Regents. "We try to cultivate a love of math," said Megan Adams, principal since 2007. Homerooms mix students of different academic abilities, as do humanities and science classes.
Students take art four times a week, twice as much as is required by the state. In a couple of special partnerships, 7th graders study drama with the New Victory Theater, and 8th graders study visual arts with the Whitney Museum.
Classrooms are cramped, with more than 30 children in each. The building is drab but clean and well-kept.
For lunch, all grade levels are allowed to leave the building, but they need to stay within defined street boundaries. They also have the option to go to the library, participate in lunchtime clubs or play in the yard.
Founded as a 6-12 school, in 2007 Lab Middle School split from the high school known as the NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies. Though the two schools maintain a common vision and share a building (along with the New York City Museum School), they have separate admissions policies. Most of Lab Middle is housed on the fourth floor. About 25 students from Lab Middle attend the high school while roughly 60-65 percent attend specialized high schools. Other popular choices include Beacon, Bard, Millennium and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Special education: There are six homeroom classes on each grade. Two of the six are integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes in which children with special needs are placed in classes with their general education peers and two teachers. Launched in fall 2019, Lab has the only ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Nest program in a district 2 middle school. “It is very appealing to our value system,” Adams said. These team-teaching classrooms are made up of five children with autism and 20 students in general education. The third type of class is a part-time ICT, in which special education teachers “push-in” to assist only during lessons in which a students has difficulty, for example, to help with reading or writing. The remaining two classrooms are general education only.
Admissions: Only students and residents from District 2 gain admission. Lab takes into account 4th grade New York State ELA and math exams, academic and personal behaviors, attendance and punctuality, and the final 4th grade report card. Please check the school’s website for the most up-to-date information, the principal said. There are tours and open houses, including one specifically geared towards students in inclusion classrooms. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, March 2019)