Educational Approach

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At Hudson Lab School we strive to empower students to be the architects of their own lives. This begins by taking ownership for the process and the products of their school experience. Together, students and educators work to set individualized goals, monitor real-time progress, and provide personally meaningful learning experiences. In the classroom, student voice is an integral part of the learning design. Community meetings in which communication skills are modeled, scaffolded and valued are a part of the daily routine. Student wonder is the impetus for our hikes, play and work times. Throughout every learning journey, children are encouraged to make thoughtful choices and to effectively advocate for their own learning needs and the well-being of each member of our community. Student agency is intentionally woven into the arc of the Hudson Lab School experience, ultimately supporting each child’s ability to make a difference in their world.


Project-based learning prepares students to frame and solve real-world problems and issues through developmentally appropriate exploration. Projects begin with a meaningful question or problem that students work to solve or answer using a multi-step process. Projects require students to utilize multiple learning techniques, including core skills like reading, writing and math as well as research, logical deduction and other 21st century skills. Projects come in all sizes: Some are individual but many are too large and complex for one student to do alone. As a result, project-based learning often encourages teamwork.


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. Students who are deeply connected to the natural and human systems in their immediate environment will be able to see, understand and intentionally impact any place they move into in their future. 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.


Project-based learning is a context-rich interdisciplinary approach in which the project acts as a springboard for all core subject areas. With the support of personalized facilitation, either one-on-one or in small groups, students will build skills essential to the pursuit of engaging questions and design challenges.

Design Thinking offers a pathway to innovation that is flexible and non-linear, and leads to the development of intellectual fortitude. We begin with empathy to fully understand a problem or challenge. Expansive ideation follows, raising more questions and revealing multiple possibilities to pursue. Once a direction is chosen, iterative phases of creation unfold, feeding and being fed by curiosity, passion and perseverance. As students take ownership of this process, they gain insight into how they learn, and what is academically, personally and collectively required to create and complete a project of their own design.


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 morning and afternoon 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 failure as part of the design process. Each day Hudson Lab School students seek ways to positively impact our school, our community, and our environment.