A Brief History of The Lang School
The Lang School, located in New York City, was founded in 2009. Our school was established with a vision to provide an educational environment that specifically catered to the needs of twice-exceptional (2e) children—gifted students with learning differences. The Lang School was the first elementary school of its kind in the United States. Over the years, our school has grown into a K-12 program and has continued to shape its programs and practices to fulfill its mission of empowering our unique and exceptional learners.
Though the school formally opened in 2009 in lower Manhattan, for several years prior, an informal home-school program developed in consultation with experts in the field designed to build upon children’s precocious abilities and strengthen skills that were getting in their way seeded what would eventually become The Lang School. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by 2e learners and the lack of suitable educational options available, the Lang School was created to address these students’ specific needs. The school was named in honor of the founder’s high school teacher, Cyril Lang, who insisted on teaching his tenth graders Aristotle and instilled in his students a passion for education and advocacy.
In its early years, The Lang School operated as a small, independent institution, initially set up to serve a group of sixteen students. The school's philosophy engendered a design that provided a rigorous and child-centered education that integrated supports for 2e learners. The curriculum was designed to be empirically validated, meaning that instructional methods and interventions were based on research and evidence-based practices. See supplementary materials for examples.
As The Lang School gained recognition for its unique approach to educating 2e children, the demand for its programs grew. Originally located at 56 Reade Street, the school opened with two classes, K–2nd and 3rd–5th, each with eight students. The space was also shared with a group that ran after school and weekend programs for 2e learners. The school quickly outgrew this space and moved to 11 Broadway. This new location provided sufficient space for up to 40 students and included a lobby/reception area, gym and Lab/Maker Space with several nooks and break out spaces. There were six classrooms all off of a common hallway and several offices for administration and specialists.
During the 2020-2021 school year, the school moved to its current location at 26 Broadway. In the spring of 2023, the school acquired an additional 2000 square feet of contiguous space to support the growth of the upper school program. Contemporaneous with these moves, the school also continued to refine its curriculum and instructional practices to align with its mission and meet the evolving needs of its students.
Throughout its history, The Lang School has continually sought to ensure that its offerings are aligned with its mission and philosophy. This commitment has led to the development of unique programs and practices that distinguish the school from others in the education landscape, such as: close collaboration between school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, learning specialists and classroom teachers; Independent studies for students in the Middle and Upper Schools; End-of-year Round Table presentations in which students share and defend their work; and structures such as Case Conferences that strive to ensure a child-centered and individualized approach to teaching and learning, with an emphasis on nurturing purpose, passion, and talent.
As The Lang School has grown, it has also cultivated a strong sense of community among its major constituents, including students, teachers, parents/guardians, leadership, and trustees. The collaborative and inclusive culture of the school has played a crucial role in supporting the mission and creating an environment where all members feel respected, valued, and supported.
The Lang School has grown from a small basement school serving two students to a thriving educational community that serves the unique needs of many 2e children. Through its commitment to its mission, the school has continuously adapted and evolved its programs, practices, and culture to provide a rigorous, supportive, and empowering educational experience for its students.
A tailored multi-disciplinary plan is created to target each child’s unique needs in a classroom context, where extensive enrichment and acceleration options complement our robustly differentiated curriculum for grades K through 7. We employ evidence-based practices — OTMP/OST, Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD), Zones of Regulation, Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), daily report cards & more, as needed — to develop self-awareness and self-regulated learning.
We prepare 8th to 12th graders for college by incorporating their unique needs and passions into each school day, offering early opportunities for the development of individual talents, which keeps motivation at the heart of each school day. Our integrated interventions include OTMP/OST (to develop executive functions), SRSD, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), CPS & more, as needed. In BASIS classes, students receive academic acceleration or support 1:1 from content-area specialists.