October 1, 2018

Dear Campus School Families,

Did you know that 90% of recent Smith student teachers go on to teach in public schools?

This points to the important public purpose that our private school serves. By training Smith students who go on to careers in public or charter schools, we have a tangible impact on the quality of public schools in our country, and this impact stretches back over our nine decades of existence as a lab school.

This public purpose finds life in other actions as well. We facilitate research that is shared with the larger educational community, both locally and nationally. These projects, which are typically led and implemented by college professors, find expression in educational journals, books, and presentations at conferences and workshops. We also seek to develop, employ, and then share best teaching and learning practices; this work is the essence of a lab school and one of our most vital roles.

Jack Schneider, a professor of education history and policy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, framed the role of a school like ours in a compelling way, writing that “schools with the most freedom to act and the greatest power to affect change must not be fortresses and silos. They must be laboratories and lighthouses.”

This is a very good description and understanding of the impact of our lab school; it is what we aspire to be and do. This is important and exciting work that both serves our students and fulfills our role as a private school with a public purpose.