Personalized learning boosts special ed students at Brooklyn Lab School

Mar 24, 2019 by

A Brooklyn school’s commitment to personalized learning draws double the portion of special ed students as its local district

Brooklyn Lab School

Students at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School benefit from personalized learning and two hours per day of small group instruction.

 

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The longer students attend Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School, the better they do.

Many enter in sixth grade performing years behind grade level. By the end of middle school, though, they’re doing better than their peers in District 13. And that’s despite the fact that nearly 30 percent of Brooklyn Lab’s students have disabilities that qualify them for special education services – double the portion of students in District 13 who do.

Brooklyn Lab, which opened in 2014 and serves students in sixth through 10th grade on its way to expanding into a full high school, stands out in a charter sector that has been criticized for pushing out students with complex learning needs. These students may need more time and help from teachers, and they may not test well, thus bringing down a school’s overall performance, which can threaten a school’s reputation and even charter renewal.

This five-year-old school in downtown Brooklyn – which has students in sixth through 10th grade on its way to expanding into a full high school – has developed a reputation for serving children with learning disabilities, in part because of its commitment to personalizing learning.  All students progress at their own rate, not in grade-by-grade lockstep. Teachers get the training and information they need to give all students targeted, individualized supports. That’s the way special education was designed to work. And at Brooklyn Lab, the historical expertise from the special education field finds a logical home in the more recent trend to customize learning.

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