Educational Approach

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We engage students in the process to develop agency and metacognition (the ability to learn how to learn). We begin with a clear understanding of each learner and work with students to set individualized goals, reflect on their progress, and provide personally meaningful learning experiences. We adapt lessons to students based on their approach to learning, and we allow students to learn at their own pace through small, dynamic groupings and a mix of direct instruction, independent practice, instructional games, and real-world, hands-on activities. As students successfully master new knowledge, skills and habits, learning becomes fun and students gain confidence and trust in their own learning process.


Learning at Hudson Lab School is drawn from fundamental learning standards and focuses on children’s intrinsic motivation to learn. The core skills of reading, writing and math are taught in small, dynamic groupings based on skill level. Our context-rich, interdisciplinary projects offer students real-world opportunities to apply their knowledge and critical thinking skills to foster deep understanding. Our joyful approach to learning encourages creativity by celebrating failures as opportunities to learn, reflect and reiterate. Because our students work with teachers to define their own personalized learning goals, they co-create a common understanding of what personal success looks like and own their learning progress.


Project-based learning is an engaging, active experience with multiple entry points for diverse learners that invites multiple perspectives and fosters diverse, innovative thinking. It focuses students on the process of learning. Essential questions drive student learning and scaffolded frameworks provide the structure for students to frame real-world issues, acquire new knowledge and skills, and analyze uncharted subject areas. While most lessons stop there, project-based learning pushes students to apply their knowledge and innovate. The project exhibition is a culminating event where students share their projects with an audience. Not only do exhibitions motivate students to persist in the face of challenges, it further solidifies their learning as they reflect on their learning process and communicate their newfound knowledge.


Meta cognition improves and learning increases when students are involved at all stages.

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Developing a sense of place is an integral part of the Hudson Lab School experience. Beginning with the individual within the classroom community, students learn to make meaningful connections between themselves and the people and places that make up their world. Hudson Lab School’s unique positioning within Andrus on Hudson's skilled nursing care facility on 26 acres of land along the Hudson River offers students the opportunity for nature-based exploration and intergenerational learning. As students mature, their studies reflect engagement in ever-widening circles of community and place.


At Hudson Lab School, we value self-awareness and the ability to connect with others as an essential life skill. We integrate social-emotional learning into every facet of the school day: At community meetings, through mixed-age learning groups, intergenerational programming and community involvement, and through gentle group critiques and design challenges that encourage students to accept and embrace failures as part of the design process. Each day Hudson Lab School students seek ways to positively impact our school, our community, and our environment.

“Enrolling our children at Hudson Lab School has been the most beneficial action we have taken as parents in terms of their development. Our children attended a top-ranked Westchester public school from kindergarten through second grade. But it was pretty obvious even then that success was narrowly defined: focused on test-based academic results, leaving little room for personal or community based learning and growth. At HLS, academic growth is based on small group learning. The additional project-based learning concept allows kids to work together, while also delving into their individual areas of interest: students get excited and go deep! The small class size has enabled our children to advance rapidly in academics, while the project-based learning has allowed them the opportunity to alternately be leaders and team-members. They get to work through all phases of a project, from ideating, planning, and executing to finally presenting their results, which might be a film, play, large-scale model or whatever else they envision. We are so happy with the academic progress our children have made at HLS, but we are thrilled with their multi-dimensional growth, thanks to their teachers’ support, in those areas we felt their public school experience didn’t deliver on, such as communication, compromise, resilience, commitment and empathy.”

— Hudson Lab School Parent