Educational Institutions

Conservatory Lab Charter School Foundation Inc

  • Dorchester, MA
  • www.conservatorylab.org

Mission Statement

Conservatory Lab Charter School empowers a diverse range of children as scholars, artists, and leaders through rigorous academic and music education. We enrich our community through performance, service, and collaboration. As a laboratory school, we develop innovative educational approaches that impact children in other schools and programs.

Main Programs

  1. El Sistema
  2. Expeditionary Learning
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

As a Boston public charter school, Conservatory Lab serves a diverse population drawn from throughout the Greater Boston Area. Admission is through a lottery process, with preference given to siblings of current students.

ruling year

1999

Principal Officer since 2008

Self-reported

Ms. Diana Lam

Keywords

Self-reported

education, elementary, music, charter school, public school, Boston, El Sistema, orchestra

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EIN

04-3443578

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Performing Arts Schools (A6E)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Conservatory Lab has taken tremendous strides in the past year. We have fully implemented a groundbreaking El Sistema orchestral program, extending our school day to provide each student with two and a half hours a day of orchestral music instruction. Students are enjoying the opportunity to reach higher levels of artistry through large ensemble, small group, and private instruction under the direction of ten gifted Resident Artists. They are performing more frequently and for larger audiences than ever before, generating excitement throughout the school and the larger community.In the fourth year of our Expeditionary Learning Curriculum, students have worked closely with community experts to create four professional-quality products which demonstrate their learning. These books are collections of writing and artwork conveying the expertise students have developed through their investigations. The books are on display in local libraries and are now being used to teach younger students. Our young authors are taking pride in having created something valuable to share with the community.Academically, it has been a banner year for our students. MCAS Math and science scores, once in the lowest tiers of the state, have skyrocketed to a level equal to or above the state average. English Language Arts has progressed steadily, so that all tested grades are now ranked in the top 20 for the state, and our low income students are performing well above the state average for their demographic.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

El Sistema

El Sistema is an intensive orchestral instruction program designed to build a strong community through the experience of ensemble performance. Beginning in Kindergarten, each student receives 3 hours a day of music instruction, both instrumental and vocal. Students participate in one of three orchestra ensembles, as well as chorus and private/small group instruction.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

355,000

Program 2

Expeditionary Learning

Students at Conservatory Lab study social studies, science, math, and language arts through hands-on, project-based, interdisciplinary, arts-infused units called Learning Expeditions. Based on the nationally acclaimed Expeditionary Learning model, our unique curricula are designed to motivate students at all levels by engaging them with high-level tasks and active roles in the classroom. Students and teachers work together to create guiding questions and engage directly with primary source material through field work, experimentation, interviewing experts, and studying primary documents. Expeditions culminate in the creation of an authentic product, such as a book, music video, or play, through which students share their new expertise with the school and the community.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

195,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

As a Boston public charter school, Conservatory Lab serves a diverse population drawn from throughout the Greater Boston Area. Admission is through a lottery process, with preference given to siblings of current students.

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

I. School FacilitiesConservatory Lab Charter School needs a new facility that will reflect and realize the mission, serving not only our immediate Conservatory Lab Charter School community but the larger community as well. The school needs a facility that is designed to support our music-focused curriculum and to support the intellectual, artistic, emotional, social and physical growth of all studentsTo become a nationally recognized Expeditionary Learning, music-infused school that indeed is deeply connected to a larger community, we need a state of the art performance space and recording studio/radio station. These two spaces will also serve and be used by the larger community. II. Center for Research and PracticeWithin the first two years of its implementation, the El Sistema program has become an exceptional model for music education as a tool for social transformation.As programs throughout Boston and the United States begin to implement similar programs, Conservatory Lab is poised to create a Center for Research and Practice on site to showcase and disseminate our best practices. This new center would host workshops, internships, and seminars, develop on-line and print publications, and offer continuing education in music and academic instruction.III. EndowmentThe rapid academic, musical, and social success observed at Conservatory Lab in the past three years has been a product of collaboration among a team of talented academic instructors and resident artists, who have created a culture of excellence among the student body through both instruction and example. In order to preserve and enrich this culture in the coming years, it is necessary to build an endowment through which we can continue to provide our students with the tools for learning and the leadership of highly qualified instructors.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

CONSERVATORY LAB CHARTER SCHOOL FOUNDATION, INC.
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Conservatory Lab Charter School Foundation Inc

Leadership

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Ms. Diana Lam

BIO

Diana Lam, is a visionary with sophisticated first hand knowledge of education policy and change. She has a strong national reputation for raising student academic and artistic achievement. most Recently in November 2014, she was named a Barr Fellow by the Barr FoundationBefore coming to Conservatory Lab as Head of School in 2008, she worked as Vice-President for Global Education and Community Outreach for Christel House International and co-edited the book Educational Improvement: What Makes It Happen and Why, (Editors: John Bransford, Louis Gomez, Diana Lam, Deborah Stipek, Nancy Vye, Harvard Education Press, 2009).Ms. Lam was the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the New York City Department of Education, where she was responsible for joint implementation of Children First reforms: a multi-year effort aimed at dramatically improving New York City Public Schools. She ensured Arts were made an equal priority area with Literacy and Mathematics based on her belief that each is critical to a complete education.She served as Superintendent for Providence Public Schools. In Providence, Ms. Lam overhauled the administration, implemented a citywide literacy initiative, initiated the redesign of high schools with an emphasis on youth development and worked closely with the community.Prior to her tenure in Providence, Ms. Lam was the first female superintendent in San Antonio, Texas where she won national acclaim for her accomplishments, including a dramatic increase in student achievement. In 1994 when Ms. Lam first came to San Antonio, it was the worst performing school district in Texas, with 42 schools rated as ""low-performing"" by the state. By 1999, none received that rating, and student scores increased dramatically in all subject areas.Ms. Lam has also served as superintendent in Dubuque, Iowa and Chelsea, Massachusetts, where she worked to eliminate tracking by race and gender, thus ensuring all students equal access to a good education. She was named Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The school has been on a growth trajectory towards its goal of becoming a national leader for music-infused project based learning and music education. For the past several years, the school has a renewed focused on building internal capacity by strengthening curriculum and instruction in all subjects using the Expeditionary Learning model, and recruiting and building the first El Sistema program embedded in a public school in the United States; three years into the program, the school now boasts three orchestras and a wind ensemble. The school has recruited a strong faculty, has invested in professional development for them, improved test scores, earned charter renewal, and has pioneered an innovative performance based teacher evaluation and compensation contract. Conservatory Lab has become an active member of a national network, Expeditionary Learning, and the student products generated have received noteworthy attention. The Conservatory Lab Charter School Board effectively provides leadership and direction and has expanded its circle of donors and friends."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Gary Gut

Retired

Term: Feb 2002 - June 2014

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?