Part-day program classrooms

Two-day, 2 year-old morning class

This group meets on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. We ask that parents remain with the child until the teacher and parent feel the child is able to stay comfortably on their own.


2.0 – 2.5 (Children must be between 24 – 29 months by Sept. 1)

Group size


Three-day, 2 year-old morning class

This class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


2.6 – 2.11 (children must be between 30 – 35 months by Sept. 1)

Group size

14 – 16

Multi-aged five-morning

This class meets Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. This class is open to currently enrolled families only.


3 – 5 (Children must be 3 – 4 years, 11 months old by Sept. 1)

Group size


Multi-aged three-afternoon class

This class meets Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.


3 – 5 (Children must be 3 – 4 years, 11 months old by Sept. 1)

Group size


Classroom placement

Classroom placement is an essential component of creating a positive learning environment for all children. With this in mind, our staff meets before school begins to discuss the best placement for each child.

Our staff consider several variables when placing a child in a particular class. They include child and group characteristics, and family needs and preferences.

Child characteristics include:

  • Identified abilities in each developmental domain
  • Identified interests
  • Temperament
  • Activity level
  • Existing peer relationships
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Age

Group characteristics 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, carpool requirements, child care needs, etc.)
  • Preference of family for a particular teacher or with a particular child

A parent request is one variable among many. Often children benefit from a new placement in a familiar setting. With this in mind, we require parents who wish to request a particular classroom to submit a letter in writing to CDLS Co-Director Sheila Williams Ridge. There is no guarantee of a particular placement.

A day at the part-day program

At the Lab School, there’s always a busy, happy hum of activity. During our three-hour program, children take part in child-directed and teacher-facilitated learning experiences.

Every day offers a range of learning opportunities, including large and small group activities that focus on math, science, art, literacy, sensory, construction/block building, dramatic play, gym, and outdoor play.

Because the Lab School is a half-day program, naps and rest are not part of the daily schedule. Should a child need rest, a space can be provided on a classroom couch or in the school office.

Arrival: 8:30 – 8:45 a.m. or 12:30 – 12:45 p.m.

Teachers greet children and parents.

Indoor play and gym: 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. or 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Children choose from a number of activities available. This time may include individual activities or small group activities.

Individual activities

Individual activities may include:

  • art;
  • math;
  • science;
  • problem solving activities;
  • books;
  • blocks;
  • dramatic play;
  • cooking;
  • construction activities;
  • large motor play; and
  • sensory activities like play with water or sand.

Small group activities

This is the part of the day when 5-7 children meet with one of the teachers to study and learn about topics that are of particular interest.

Small group studies or projects may include:

  • reading books;
  • drawing and art projects;
  • field trips; and
  • guided small group discussion.

Clean-up and large group time: 9:45 – 10:10 a.m. or 1:45 – 2:10 p.m.

This time may include:

  • music and movement experiences;
  • stories and dramatizations;
  • concept development; and
  • group discussions, as children are ready.

Snack: 10:10 – 10:25 a.m. or 2:10 – 2:25 p.m.*

This time is used for informal conversations, concept development, or playing learning games, as well as a nutritious snack.

Dressing and outdoor play: 10:25 – 11:15 am or 2:25 – 3:15 pm

Children choose from a variety of activities in the outdoor learning environment or large motor room including:

  • climbing;
  • running;
  • digging;
  • dancing;
  • biking;
  • woodworking; and
  • exploration of the natural world.

Departure: 11:15 a.m. or 3:15 p.m.

Goodbyes and brief parent-staff communications.

Outdoor play policy

Children play outside except during extreme weather. Please dress your child appropriately to avoid discomfort. Our general policy is that all children who are in school will go outside if their class goes outside.

If very cold air causes your child ongoing respiratory distress, please provide a written note from your doctor. The note should state why your child cannot take part in outdoor play and specific temperature guidelines for us to follow. Our staff will supervise children who aren’t able to go outside.