Charlotte Lab School Weekly Blog

September 23rd from the Wellness Team….

September 16th from the Wellness Team…

Help Kids Manage Stress by Brett Blumenthal

Now that school is in full swing, the stress is starting to mount. Whether our kids are concerned about friends, classes or standardized tests (EOGs anyone?), we can see the stress take hold. Stress is completely natural (and actually good) for children to experience. The key to get them through it, however, is not to make it go away, but instead, to teach them how to deal with it.  

One highly effective way to manage stress is deep breathing. We do this with our son, Alexander, when he is upset or stressed about a situation. This short ritual makes a world of difference in easing anxiety and getting him to relax.

Why it works: Scientifically, deep breathing relieves stress, lowers blood pressure and even aids in digestion. Typically, when we breathe, we do so from our chest. When stressed, our breath becomes shallower, limiting oxygen intake, making us feel even more tense and anxious. Breathing deeply, however, accesses our diaphragm (abdomen) along with our lungs. Using these deeper muscles sends a message to our brain to calm down and relax. That message is then sent on to your body, decreasing heart rate, slowing breathing patterns, and reducing blood pressure.

To try deep breathing with you kids to help them feel less stressed, go here: Destress with a Deep Breath

Get more tips for keeping your family happy and healthy with 52 Small Changes for the Family.  Brett Blumenthal is the International Bestselling author of the 52 Small Changes series and founder of

More De-stressing tips:

September 9th from the Wellness Team…

Save Money with School Lunch Changes - by Brett Blumenthal

On average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. From a food perspective food wasted not only wastes families’ money, but wasted food generates 8 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. So wasted food is not only bad for your finances, but it is also bad for the environment.

According to Green-Child Magazine, families can save $2.32 per child per day or $417.60 per child per school year, from packing a reusable, waste-free lunch, instead of a disposable lunch. So, if you have 2 school-age children, that’s over $800 a year in savings! 3 children, over $1,200. That’s good money that could go toward more important things than the garbage!

The good news is that you can start reducing waste immediately with just a few changes. I was on Charlotte Today talking about this very topic, and you can watch my segment and read all of my tips here.

More Content:

52 Small Changes for the Family provides more tips for keeping your family happy and healthy. Brett Blumenthal is the International Bestselling author of the 52 Small Changes series and founder of

September 4th from the Director of Outreach…

I hope your child(ren) have had a wonderful first week of school and feel connected to the Lab community!

As with all of our work here at Lab, we want to continue our push in cultivating community as a Lab family as well as in our classrooms. It is important to us that every person connected to Lab feels a sense of belonging as we continue to grow our Lab community.

One of the ways we want students and faculty to feel connected is through the implementation of community circles. Community circles are an extension of our work around Restorative Practices and have been proven to not only support students emotionally, but also academically. Read more about community circles here: Edutopia: Building Community Using Community Circles. You can also see the impact of community circles at Valor Collegiate Academy, a charter school in Nashville, TN here: Community Circles at Valor Collegiate Academies. Stay tuned for opportunities in which you can participate in community circles this year at Lab!

Be on the lookout for more information regarding our community building initiatives as we provide more opportunities to connect with others in hopes of strengthening Lab’s culture!

August 26th from the Instructional Leadership Team…

We hope your student(s) arrived home from the first day of school excited for the year ahead.

Our instructional team has been working since the spring to incorporate family and student feedback, to revise curriculum plans, and to create more personalized learning opportunities in all subject areas and at all levels. We believe that families will find this year to be our strongest yet!

We invite you to come learn more about the curriculum changes at our Annual Curriculum Night - to be held on Tuesday, September 17th at the Lower School and on Thursday, September 19th at the Middle School, from 6-8pm. At these events, you can expect to hear about the following:

  • What your child will be learning in each class - the content and skills;
  • How your child will be learning in each class - the approach;
  • How your child will be assessed in each class and through standardized testing, such as MAP and EOGs;  
  • How you can stay up-to-date about what your child is learning and how your child is progressing;
  • How to get extra help for your child;
  • How Advisory will be different this year;
  • Ways to get involved at Lab this year and help create a positive and inclusive community; and
  • An opportunity to get to know other Lab families and faculty better.

So, please mark your calendars and plan to attend the adults-only Curriculum Night events in a few weeks! Stay tuned for more details regarding parking and childcare.

August 19th from the Wellness Team…

Welcome Back! We all hope that your summer was filled with memories, relaxing moments, and some fun and Sun!!  It is hard to believe that the last few days of summer are here and your students will be in our hallways next Monday.  We realize that transitioning back to school can be exciting and the thought of a true “schedule” again might sound wonderful for your family; however, transitioning back to school can also be a hectic and stressful time for all families.  

Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you during the first few weeks.

  • Ease back into a school-driven sleep schedule. Gradually decrease screen time so your children are prepared for the school year. Set alarm clocks closer to your school year wake-up time.
  • Get your family's calendar organized.
  • Create a launch pad where you can put all your forms and kids’ school information.
  • Set up space for homework.
  • Create a structured morning routine. Allow extra time in the mornings the first few weeks.
  • Plan out lunches in advance.
  • Go visit the school and meet the teacher(s). Attend Meet the Teacher Nights this week!
  • Use your resources (don’t be afraid to ask for help): Advisor, Counselors, Teachers, Admin, other Lab friends and families:
  • Stay positive about any stress or anxiety your children are expressing. Remind yourself that your children are in great hands and we will look after them!!

For more guidance and tips for a successful transition back to school, check out this article from the Child Mind Institute: