The Lang School & Ren Academy mission

The Lang School and Ren Academy educate twice-exceptional (2e) children – gifted students with learning differences. We offer these highly promising learners a rigorous, child-centered, empirically validated education with integrated supports that foster independence and self-advocacy. We model and teach students to lean into challenges, own their impact, and empower them to speak up and stand up for equity and social justice. For most people, the school years are about fitting in, while adulthood is about standing out; for 2e children, standing out comes early. At Lang, through the nurturing of purpose, passion, and talent, exceptionality is not only recognized but celebrated.


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 5. 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.


For most, the school years are about fitting in. But for 2e & gifted kids, standing out comes early. Through the nurturing of purpose, passion & talent, being exceptional is not only recognized but celebrated.


Mission & Philosophy

Our school is named after Cyril Lang, the founder’s tenth grade English teacher. Mr. Lang was a suburban Maryland public school teacher who, in 1979, taught what the local Board of Education deemed overly challenging material to his “ungifted” students, engaging them in Socratic debates about Machiavelli’s The Prince and Plato’s Republic, texts normally limited to 12th-grade Advanced Placement classes. Although the school where he was working threatened to fire him if he did not teach what was commonly considered 10th-grade material in more traditional ways, he persisted. “I made a premeditated, intellectual decision to continue teaching the way I had,” he said at the time. “There’s nothing wrong with the genetic makeup of these students. It’s the educational system that’s declining. We are bearing witness to the triumph of mediocrity.”

The Lang School offers high potential, gifted, and twice exceptional (2E) students in grades K through 12 a child-centered, classroom-based, STEM- and STEAM-driven education informed by the ethics and poetics of the humanities. Our specially trained gifted and special education teachers differentiate both the content and delivery of our flexibly standards-based academics, so every student receives an education that fits. 


Curious young minds thrive here — perhaps for the first time — learning at their level with affinity and ability peers in small classes of no more than 12 to 15 students. For most people, the school years are about fitting in while adulthood is about standing out; for 2E children, standing out comes early. At Lang, through the nurturing of purpose, passion, and talent, exceptionality is not only recognized but celebrated.


At the heart of everything we do is student talent development, which surfaces and stokes passions, provides structure and viability for big ideas, instills a sense of purpose and commitment, and, ultimately, develops gifts. Lang is an independent school that supportively seeds, sows, and grows the inspiration of tomorrow's innovators and thought leaders.


Academics at The Lang School are based on MESH™ (Math, Engineering, Science, + the Humanities), a paradigm shifting, cross-curricular framework that propels education beyond STEM- and STEAM-based programs. MESH™ posits the equal importance of these four major knowledge domains; that they are best explored in an integrated way; and that the skill sets emphasized by each exponentiate learning and discovery in the others. Perhaps most critically, MESH™ restores at its core what STEM and STEAM have left behind: a critical, speculative lens 2,500 years in the making that brings values and ethics back into focus through the humanities, a domain defined not only by art (and the arts), but by history, philosophy, literature, language and linguistics. MESH™ is engineered by STEM, inspired by the arts, and driven by the humanities.


Our menu of integrated and 1:1 empirically validated supports in education therapy, speech, OT, and counseling target academic strengths and challenges, — as well as social-emotional learning — evolving, shifting, and fading as your child develops self-regulated learning and increased independence.