The Lang School is a work in progress -- by design. Being the first school of its kind means we cull best practices from the fields of gifted education, special education, and child psychology in a flexible, data-driven, and wholly unprecedented way every day. We adapt these practices for each child who walks through our doors. We offer intensive, ongoing professional development for all staff and are always pushing our individual and collective practices to the next level. Our students needs haven't been served in traditional settings, so we cannot be traditional in our approach-- not in the degree to which we partner with staff, parents and outside providers; not in the degree to which we provide transparency for everyone in our learning community; and not in the degree to which we personally commit ourselves to the success of each child. Lang's leadership founded the school after successful careers in fields that value ethics, creativity and innovation, three of the school's core values. Our team of educators is highly trained, collaborative and exquisitely attuned to the needs of this special population of promising students.
May 19, 2015
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
I would encourage parents who are interested in this school for their children to ignore the reviews, both positive and negative, and go see for themselves through attending an open house and spending some time at this school. The head of school and her husband who is director of curriculum have no previous education experience or training. Have a conversation with them and find out for yourself if you can entrust these people with the education and well being of your child.
Whenever an incidence of bullying has occurred, the leadership at Lang has acted swiftly to shut it down. My son has never experienced bullying, though he has, on occasion, witnessed it. The prompt action of teachers and administrators, however, proved to my son that bullying was not tolerated at the school. As a result, he feels safe and secure at Lang and his self-confidence has blossomed.
I think the Lang teachers go the extra mile to understand what is and isn't working for each student and they try hard to accommodate the enormous diversity of Lang's 2e population. There is an institutional understanding and acceptance of the difficulties these children face day-to-day and a sincere effort on the part of everyone to support these children in ways that are effective and appropriate.
I believe the leadership at Lang is responsive to parental input and has demonstrated a rather unique ability to change and respond to the needs of the student body. This is a very small school and the leadership understands that communication and openness are required to keep Lang growing. This is a dynamic institution that puts student achievement front-and-center and that understands the complexities of its student body. I fully trust the leadership of the school to have my son's best interest at heart.
The teachers at Lang are committed to the challenging work required to keep gifted students engaged. They are intelligent, thoughtful, creative, energetic and supportive. They treat each student with respect and are very involved when/if problems arise. These are teachers who truly understand 2e kids and who thrive on watching these kids grow and explore. Being able to communicate openly with teachers is incredibly important to me and I have found that the Lang teachers welcome parent input and are happy to adjust modalities to meet individual student's needs. It has always been a collaborative and positive relationship and that is because the leadership at Lang deeply respects parental involvement.
I am pleased with Lang's philosophy toward homework and the commitment the school has made toward ensuring that homework supports classroom instruction. There is no "busy work" here and no attempt to overload students beyond their individual capacity. The school also provides parents a comment sheet for homework assignments so that everyone is involved in ensuring that the assignments are appropriate and productive. Nothing is more frustrating to a gifted student than "busy work" and Lang tries hard to keep expectations in line with each student's abilities.
My son has attended Lang since Kindergarten and he is now in the 3rd Grade. I credit the school for his extraordinary emotional and academic growth, for his budding maturity and understanding of the world around him, and for the curiosity and genuine desire to learn that he has developed. The level of personal attention and support, combined with a rigorous and challenging curriculum, have allowed my son to achieve a level of self-confidence I never expected. He has gone from being that child who hates school to being a child who relishes learning and who can appreciate and enjoy the social interactions that a great school engenders. The teachers and staff at Lang are committed and energetic and entirely focused on helping children be the best they can be, both socially and academically.
Since my son (now in high school) started at Lang, everyone from the school leadership to his teachers, and the school psychologists has worked together to create a safe, challenging school experience for him in which to grow and make mistakes. He was bullied a bit (maybe for two weeks) his first year, and the admin and staff turned things around quickly through anti-bullying workshops for both parents and students. Bullying happens in every school; we all know that. What makes Lang special is that it educates its community about bullying and establishes limits beyond which kids can't tread. A handful of parents haven't like these limits, saying kids will be kids, boys will be boys, the traditional lines that don't teach our kids values what they need to learn about compassion or about becoming bully-proof. The academics aren't always right on the money, but the homework feedback forms are taken seriously and the result is my son is happily challenged but not more than he can handle
I would have liked to see earlier and more consistent use of assistive technology for my son's writing difficulties. On the other hand, his teachers somehow helped him push through his utter hatred for writing and, even though I still need to remind him to revise and improve this part of his homework, he now writes independently and at a much, much higher level that's closer to his verbal fluency. He's a talker who's become more of a writer, too
The values of the school seem to be consistent from school leadership to teachers to the front desk. As somebody who runs a business of my own, I have an appreciation for how hard that is to accomplish. I don't see how it's relevant whether or not the head of school has formal education training. She's been running the school for six years. I'm tired of parents whose kids weren't a good fit and seemed to expect the school to let them stay on no matter what their behavior complain about the head of school. She makes the hard decisions whether or not they're popular. That's leadership.