Students Celebrate Approval of 15 Seats, Creation of New Upper School

On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, the Board of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously voted to grant an additional 15 seats to Conservatory Lab Charter School. Not only does this allow present 5th graders to continue their musical studies next year, these fifteen seats give the school a tremendous opportunity for growth and development. This is a special opportunity to create the Upper School for grades 5 and 6 that will meet the particular needs of pre-adolescents.

Leadership and service will include a student government with responsibility for planning and executing assemblies and other Upper School activities.
Some of the basic key elements of the Upper School include:

• Rigorous curriculum based on the
highest common core standards and
taught by experts
• Participation in all music education:
El Sistema, Listening Project and
Learning through Music Expeditions
• Participation in at least one summer
school as a graduation requirement
• Participation in the youth development
and leadership strand
• Student government with set
responsibilities and expectations
• End of year projects. Perhaps a
musical at the end of the year!
• Grouping into “crews” with musically
themed names. These crews will
introduce single gender multi-age
advisories to create space and time for
girls and boys to meet with an adult and
address specific issues and concerns
• In-depth involvement of and
communication with parents right
from the start

The creation of an Upper School will serve to deepen the educational offerings at
Conservatory Lab. As the 6th graders grow as scholars, artists and peer leaders, they will continue to raise a standard for the younger grades, adding a new richness to the school’s culture of peer learning. This inaugural year will pave the way for future expansion into additional upper grades. Rigorous academics, deep artistry, and leadership development will be key components of the Upper School, which will comprise 28-30 students in grades 5 and 6. Students will continue to benefit from the arts-integrated curriculum, orchestral training, and experiential learning, and an added emphasis will be placed on leadership training, ensuring our students are prepared academically, emotionally, and socially for success in seventh grade and beyond.