Lab School

What is Lab School? 

The Bethlehem Central Lab School is a small, rigorous high school program that is open to all district students in grades 9-12. Lab School is located within the larger high school, with students attending most of their classes together, in the E wing of BCHS.

Most Lab School students enroll in the program in grade 9 and this decision is usually made by students and families in the spring of the eighth-grade year. 

Lab School is committed to providing an intellectual and personal challenge for each student. The small-school learning atmosphere allows students, teachers and families to build a strong rapport and provides greater opportunity for teachers to tailor programs to meet the needs and styles of the individual student. Students work toward mastery level understanding of core subjects and teachers can provide students who need it extra time or extra help to master concepts.

Founded in 1992, Lab School is an innovative program for students who would like to experience high school a little differently. Learning combines the regular Regents-level curriculum with opportunities to explore subjects in depth and up close with educational trips, research projects, and Lab School retreats that provide a “living classroom” with hands-on learning and team building. 

As you may be aware, Lab School enrollment has been a challenge over the last several years. The Lab School program will undergo a review process beginning in spring 2024 to determine whether it can be sustained given these enrollment challenges or if an alternative cohort-based program may be offered to students in the future. Should there be substantial changes made to the Lab School program as a result of the committee’s work, students who commit to attending Lab School in grade 9 in 2024-25 will have the option to take the remainder of their classes in the general high school program.

The goal is for our cohort-based learning community to represent the same diverse student body as in the larger high school: unique interests, individual learning styles and abilities, and different socio-economic backgrounds. 

Personal growth and academic success are equally important for Lab School students. Students who thrive in a smaller setting are encouraged to learn more about Lab School. 

Lab School At-a-Glance

  • Not experimental, but based on different teaching styles and more interactive class discussion.
  • Less lecturing but more of a college prep.
  • A more involved learning experience instead of direct instruction.
  • Small, cohesive group of teachers knowing all students.
  • Small school feeling in a large school.

To learn more about the Lab School Community, mastery-learning based curriculum, unique educational trips and events, and advantages in college preparedness, download the Lab School Brochure

Apply to Lab School

Entrance into the Bethlehem Lab School includes an application process and a lottery-based system is used if the number of eligible students applying in a single year is greater than 30. When the lottery is needed, selection is completely random and audited by the administration. 

If you are unable to access the brochure above, please contact the BCSD Communications Office at 518-439-3650.

Meet the Lab School Faculty

Get to know the Lab School teachers.

Lab School college acceptances

Lab School students are uniquely prepared for college and have college applications that stand out. Internships, research projects, honors courses — in STEM, humanities and research — as well as four years of community service enrich the high school transcripts of Lab School students. View the list of College Acceptances since 2015

Lab School Schedules 

View what a typical Lab School schedule looks like

Want to know more?

Learn more about the Lab School, a small “school within a school” at Bethlehem Central High School, by watching the videos below: