Admissions and Enrollment
Enrollment in the Laboratory School is open to the public. The Lab School, as a program of the University of Minnesota, provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The school operates on the University of Minnesota semester calendar, and enrollment is for the entire academic year. Once admitted, it is expected that a child will continue until ready to attend Kindergarten.
We ask that prospective families take a tour of the Lab School. During this visit you will meet with a staff member who will talk with you about the school's mission, philosophies, and practices. You will have the opportunity to observe children engaged in the program and to ask questions. To schedule a tour, contact Amy Pieren at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-625-6549.
Enrollment priority is given to children currently attending the Lab School and their siblings. Current families are sent enrollment information for the next school year in mid-January. A $200 per child non-refundable enrollment fee is due within 14 days of receiving a re-enrollment/sibling enrollment offer from the school. More information about current family enrollment can be found in the Current Parents area of our website.
New family admissions
Within the pool of applications from new (non-currently attending) families, enrollment priority is given to children of previously enrolled families, as well as to achieving a balanced age, gender, and race/ethnic mix among enrolled children. Remaining openings are filled by random drawing from the pool of applications received November 1 through February 28. Applications not selected during the initial enrollment period will be included in a random drawing for wait list positions. Wait listed applications will remain active throughout the school year, and parents/guardians will be contacted if a space becomes available. All final placement decisions are made by the school staff and are contingent upon the adjustment of the child.
There is a $75 per child non-refundable application fee. The school must receive this fee in order for an application to be considered. The application fee covers administrative costs and does not guarantee placement at the Lab School. If the fee presents a financial hardship or you receive state (Think Small, CCAP) or University child care funding, please contact Amy Pieren at email@example.com for information about a fee reduction or waiver.
Parents/guardians of children selected will be notified by March 31. A $200 per child non-refundable enrollment fee is due within 10 days of the placement offer. If the enrollment fee presents a financial hardship or you receive state (Think Small, CCAP) or University child care funding, please contact Amy Pieren at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about a fee reduction or waiver.
Classroom Placement Policy and Procedures
We believe that the placement of individual children in classes is an essential component of creating a positive learning environment for all children. With this in mind, the staff meets at the end of the summer, before school begins, to discuss the best placement for each child. The variables that are considered when placing a child in a particular class include child and group characteristics, and family needs and preferences.
The child characteristics that are considered include the following:
- Identified abilities in each developmental domain
- Identified interests
- Activity level
- Existing peer relationships
Group characteristics that are considered include:
- Potential playmates for each child (new and old)
- Maintaining a balance of ages, gender, and ethnic composition
- Maintaining a balance of new and returning families (i.e., known and unknown child characteristics)
- Maintaining temperament and activity balance
- The potential synergy of the group
Family needs and preferences include (but are not limited to):
- Morning or afternoon placement
- Economic considerations
- Family needs (e.g., another child in the program, car pool requirements, child care needs, etc.)
- Preference of family for a particular teacher or with a particular child
As you can see, a parent request is considered only one variable among many. Often children gain a great deal from a new placement in a familiar setting. One of our primary goals is to provide manageable cognitive, social, and emotional challenges and to assist children (and adults) in the development of constructive strategies for dealing with these challenges.
With this in mind, the policy of the Lab School is to require that preferences for a specific teacher be in writing and addressed to the school’s Director. Any specific issues that parents believe should be taken into consideration should be included. However, there is no guarantee of a particular placement.