School Reviews

Lab is on Par with some of the better public school systems. We are not in one of those decent public school zones. For what it is, Lab's tuition is very steep. The school admin is disorganized and there are a few too many teachers that leave something to be desired. We applied to other privates for our child. Unfortunately, we have been rejected two years in a row. We stay at Lab because DCPS is beyond terrible and circumstances prevent us from moving.

Lab is not what it used to be. We've been a Lab family long enough to know that it isn't good and it isn't terrible. Lab is where you go when your local public is abysmal for special Ed kids and your child is underserved & miserable. Is Lab great? No. Is Lab good? Eh... Is Lab convenient? Nope. Lab is notorious for poor communication. For kids with language based LDs, ADD, ADHD or executive functioning issues, communication is critical! Most schools have a several fantastic educators and a crop of lousy teachers. Lab is no different. Tuition is high ($40K+) and the fundraising is relentless. At a private school, one would expect decent teachers and prompt removal of consistently sloppy teachers. The social aspect of school is not great at Lab because it is difficult to maintain close friendships with kids who live all over Md, Va and DC. Driving all over the beltway to bring your child to visit their Lab friends becomes a burden. Participating in sports or after school activities is a logistical issue, if you do not live near the school. I envy public school families because everything, including friends, is literally at their front door. Lab grads usually get into small colleges or community colleges but a very small percentage actually earn a degree. That $40K+ Tuition may be more beneficial to your child if it were invested for their future. If I had to rate my local public school, it would get a D-. If I had to rate Lab, it would be a consistent C-. -- I don't have lofty expectations.

My teenager has gone here 8+years. Good option if your kid truly can't make it somewhere else. Classes are small and the integrated speech language and OT services are utilized by many parents. I really can't say all the years of (extra cost) speech/OT therapy have made much difference. Once you're here it's hard to leave since your kid ends up being behind his/her peers at other schools like St Andrews, Field School, or many public high schools in Fairfax, Arlington, Montgomery counties. The tuition ($44K in 2015) is higher than any other private school in the entire DC/MD/VA area but the education is just an adequate approximation of the full load at places like GDS, Sidwell or Potomac School. Most Lab kids end up going to some sort of small college, although increasing numbers are taking a gap year since they're not ready for college. Lab is not very transparent about costs/fees and even though it's a small school the communications with parents are no better than a good public school. Best for kids who would otherwise attend DC schools and since DCPS is one of the few local areas that cover tuition (although you'll still need to fight for it with DCPS).

The eye-opening personal account in Ron Susskind's moving New York Times article (March 7, 2014) is a must-read for those interested in the school. (I am a university professor not affiliated with school.)

It should be noted that the fund raising practices of this school far out weigh the educational benefits. This institution takes full advantage of board members in high profile positions. As well as board members taking advantage of an association with a school that poses as a unique institution. Surrounding jurisdictions are doing a much better job with learning difficulties and disabilities and have the resources to sustain a competent special education program that include the arts and creative teaching approaches.

My son attended The Lab School from elementary to high school. He came there from a disasterous public chartered school experience where he was made to feel ignorant and unappreciated by his peers. The Lab was a most welcomed relief from the very first day! He immediately found a peer group and began to like school and himself again. Academically, The Lab School's ability to capture the child's strengths while working on his/her challenges, paid off in spades for my son. It was a wonderful experience for him (and me). I highly recommend this school.

I had attended this school for 8 years before moving to my areas public school. It may sound funny but I wanted to be less cared for. After a couple of months at my private school, I noticed that I really took for granted the unique type of school that LSW was. The positive aspects of this school were the attention, small class sizes, definately the friendships, the teachers, and the overall atmosphere. The disciple aspects of the school could use improvement, as well as more advanced classes. The athletic department was also decent, but has potential for improvement considering the size of the gym, quality of the equipment, and, not to mention, the pool. Overall my experience at LSW was taken for granted, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for just an overall great school.

I am currently a freshman at the lab school and I just absolutely love it! The teachers are so helpful every step of the way. When they help you they give you easier tips on how to solve a math problem or question. The classes are narrowed down by 6 to 8 kids. It makes everything so much easier and you get constant attention from the teacher. If you have/had trouble making friends at your school, well guess what? You'll be welcomed in like 'part of the family' as we call it. Everyone is so close to one another at the lab school and no one is ever really mean to each other. Every year we get some new kids and we always ask them the question, 'Did you like your old school?' About 95% of the time we get the answer, 'I hated my old school!' I love it here!

I am student at lab and i have bin there for 6 years it this school is Sweet!

My sister attends the Lab School and she absolutely loves it. It is a great school and she always has something to do. The parents are involved a whole lot with the extracurricular activities. Including plays, sporting events, etc.. I really think that their discipline is very mediocre. That is something that I think they need more of. I'm glad my sister ended up going to the Lab School instead of staying at her old school.