Our Laboratory Schools

The Salem State Preschool was the first preschool program on a Massachusetts state college campus. Nearly 40 years later, it remains an integral part of the entire community. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the state's Office of Early Education and Care, the preschool enrolls the children of Salem State students, faculty and staff. Its curriculum promotes a developmental Reggio Emilia-style approach. Our preschool provides a state-of-the-art site for field observations and practica as well as professional and parent development. Each academic year, the director and assistant director provide supervision and resources to about 200 Salem State fieldwork and student observers from the departments of psychology, occupational therapy and social work as well as education.

The Horace Mann Laboratory School is the education department's oldest partner. Located on Salem State's North Campus, the K-5 school emphasizes literacy development, subscribes to the guided reading approach and is the recipient of a reading excellence grant. Horace Mann utilizes to the Responsive Classroom© approach to holistic education, which promotes the idea that the school and the classroom are communities of learners. In Responsive Classrooms, children learn and practice social behaviors along with their academic tasks.

Robert L. Ford Elementary and Middle School in Lynn is a preK-8, culturally diverse, urban community school based on the "full-service" school model, a model that provides families with the social and health services they need to support their children's education. It offers before- and after-school day care services, Saturday and summer programs, psychological services, and evening classes for parents in ESL, GED high school equivalency and citizenship. Ford partners with Salem State to aid underserved children and their families through the Partnership for the Education Village, and was recently named a NASA Explorer School. Ford offers Salem State students and faculty many opportunities for fieldwork, research and project participation. The FASST (Ford and Salem State Together) Program is an on-campus after-school program that engages candidates and other Salem State students as leaders in enrichment activities in the arts, technology and health and wellness. Each semester, 60 Ford children in grades 3 through 8 come to campus to take mini-courses in nutrition, computers, art, and wellness. The project director is the associate dean of education. Faculty advisors for FASST come from the departments of education, computer science, art, and sport and movement science. The School of Education provides teaching materials, the School of Graduate Studies provides a graduate assistant for the program, the dean of the Schools of Human Services contributes bus transportation, and the Ford School provides a liaison teacher and color-coded T-shirts (important to keep the children organized, and not lost.)

The Saltonstall School, just a few blocks from campus, is a year-round, multi-age grade K-8 school. Affiliated with Harvard's Project Zero, it offers a multiple-intelligences approach to instruction where learning activities incorporate the linguistic, mathematical, musical, kinesthetic, and social talents of all children. The curriculum covers all subject areas, with special emphasis on science and technology. Salem State School of Education faculty helped develop the Saltonstall School as part of a two-year planning group that included all stakeholders.