Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School

Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School

Infobox School
name = Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School

motto =
established = 1931
type = Private
affiliation =
district =
grades = K–8
president =
principal =
head of school = Dr. Wendell McConnaha, Director
dean =
faculty =
staff =
students =
enrollment = 275
athletics =
conference =
colors =
mascot =
free_label =
free_text =
free_label2 =
free_text2 =
location = Allequippa St
Pittsburgh, PA 15261 coord|40.4470|N|79.9597|W|region:US-PA_type:edu|display=title
country = USA
contact number = 412-624-8024
website = [ Falk School]
The Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School is a private kindergarten through eighth grade laboratory school of the University of Pittsburgh. It is located on the University of Pittsburgh's upper campus on Allequippa St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Falk Laboratory School was established in 1931 under a charter agreement between the University of Pittsburgh and benefactors Leon Falk Jr. and his sister, Marjorie Falk Levy. The school was named in honor of Leon and Marjorie's mother, Fanny Edel Falk. [] It features inquiry based instruction and creates, writes, and delivers its own curriculum. []

Originally chartered as a progressive experimental school for demonstration purposes, Falk School's charter was amended in 1946 to include practice teaching as one of the school's functions. It is the only known laboratory school to have a legal charter that stipulates its purposes and functions. Over the years the faculty added to the school's original functions to incorporate educational research and to integrate new educational practices as they are developed. [] [] []


Falk School opened on September 14, 1931 with 78 enrolled children, a principal, seven full-time teachers, and a part time teacher from the Department of Physical Education. Martin P. Chworowsky served as its original director. Falk School absorbed the Community School, and existing progressive demonstration school which had been established following the discontinuation of the School of Childhood of the University in 1921. [;cc=pittmiscpubs;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=falk%20school;rgn=full%20text;idno=00afj8718m;didno=00afj8718m;view=image;seq=0513] [;cc=pittmiscpubs;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=falk%20school;rgn=full%20text;idno=00afj8718m;didno=00afj8718m;view=image;seq=0499] Falk School originally including a nursery, kindergarten, and first through sixth grades, it originally admitted children from 2 and one-half to twelve years of age and had an original capacity of 155 children. A health program was directed by the Women's Medical Adviser of the University of Pittsburgh. The three lower grades had sessions between 9am and noon and the upper grades from 9am to 3:15pm.

By the end of Falk School's sixth year, it expanded to eight grades with full training for high school. [;cc=pittmiscpubs;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=falk%20school;rgn=full%20text;idno=00afj8718m;didno=00afj8718m;view=image;seq=0514] Ongoing expansion and renovations are due increase the current enrollment of 275 students to 410 by the 2009-2010 school year. []

Tuition for Falk School was originally $200 a year for lower grades and $275 a year for upper grades. [;cc=pittchancellor;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=falk%20school;rgn=full%20text;idno=1930e36913;didno=1930e36913;view=image;seq=69;node=1930e36913%3A33;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset] Current tuition tops $8,700 a year. []


A gray stone school house with Old English slate shingle roof, the Falk School building was design by Janssen and Cocken and built in 1931 at an original cost, including endowment, of $325,000. The cornerstone of Falk School was laid in August 1931 and contains, among other papers, a speech read by Majorie Falk Levy which she described the life and charter of her mother, and the school's namesake, Fanny Edel Falk. [;cc=pittchancellor;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=falk%20school;rgn=full%20text;idno=1930e36913;didno=1930e36913;view=image;seq=0068;node=1930e36913%3A33]

Expansion of the Falk School, from the convert|28000|sqft|m2|sing=on facility to a convert|65000|sqft|m2|sing=on facility is currently underway and expected to be complete in December 2008 and renovations of the current building are scheduled to be completed in 2009. The $21.1 million expansion and renovations will allow for increased enrollment. The new convert|38000|sqft|m2|sing=on academic wing for the school will including 14 classrooms for Kindergarten through eighth grade, a new computer classroom, art room, library, cafeteria, science room, and support areas. The outdoor play area will be relocated to the west side of the building and a new play area will be constructed on the gym roof. [] [;cc=pittchancellor;g=documentingpitt;xc=1;xg=1;q1=falk%20school;rgn=full%20text;idno=1930e36913;didno=1930e36913;view=image;seq=69;node=1930e36913%3A33;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset] [] [] []


The Director of the School at Falk is a University of Pittsburgh Department Chair, and the Chair of the Falk School Board is a University of Pittsburgh Vice Provost. Falk School faculty teach courses in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. It is a teacher training site with as many as 13 Master of Arts Teaching candidates per year. Falk School features and after school child care program. []

Current Staff

Falk School starts its 2008-09 school year on September 4th. The staff for the 2008-2009 school year is as follows:Principal- Dr. Wendell McConnaha*Assistaint Principal- Dr. Marian Vollmer*Administrator- Ms. Shelia Tally-Armstead* Administrative Support- Ms. Tina Mattis*Administrator II- Ms. Kelly DeGroot*Administrative Support - Ms. Cindy MazzottiScholarships and Development- Ms. Lori Wertz (Previously in Intermediate)*Head of Counseling Program- Ms. Carmela Maccarellli (Previously in Middle School Spanish)Nurse- Ms. Susan Sholtis*

Kindergarten- Room 112Head- Ms. Jill Sarada*Helper- Ms. Diana Dimitrovski*First and Second Grade- Room 111Head- Dr. Marian Vollmer*Intern- Ms. Angela Russell*First and Second Grade- Room 115Head- Ms. Megan O'Brien*Intern- Ms. Jen Porter*First and Second Grade- Room 116Head- Ms. Laurie Williams*Third and Fourth Grade- Room 221Head- Ms. Phyllis Scherrer*Helper- Ms. Berry Steiner (previously with Megan O'Brien)*Intern- NONE*Third and Fourth Grade- Room 222Head- Ms. Lindsay O'Sullivan*Intern- Mr. Paul Pagoda*Fourth and Fifth Grade- Room 224Head- Ms. Joanne Ridge*Intern- Mr. Shane McPherson*Fourth and Fifth Grade- Room 225Head- Ms. Jackie Metcalf*Intern- Ms. Danielle Fox*Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade- Spanish Room B-5Head- Ms. Illiana DeRemer*Intern- Ms. Ashley HellmannSixth, Seventh, and Eight Grade- Science Room B-4Head- Ms. Eileen Coughlin*Intern- Ms. Brittany Fredericks (Coughlin)*Sixth, Seventh, and Eight Grade- Social Studies Room B-12Head- Mr. David Kramer*Intern- Mr. Joseph Dwulit*Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade- Language Arts Room B-13Head- Mr. Gregory Wittig*Helper- Ms. Ellen Smith (Casey)*Intern- Ms. Norma Yocco*Sixth, Seventh, and Eight Grade- Math Room SB-3Head- Mr. David Ross*Intern- Mr. Zachary Boboth*All Grades- ArtHead- Dr. Pamela Armstrong*All Grades- MusicHead- Dr. Lee Ann Conover*Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade GuitarHead- Ms. Darylana Godfrey*All Grades- LibraryHead- Ms. Linda Herward*All Grades- GymHead- Ms. Laura Hunt*Intern- Mr. Brent Lopick*All Grades- ComputerHead- Ms. Barbra Bianco*Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade SpanishHead- Ms. Kristin Davin*Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade- SexualityHead- Ms. Niki Gorecka*All Grades Alexander Technique (Posture)Head- Ms. Lonna Wilkinson*Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade All subjectsMs. Lori Wertz*Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade All subjectsMs. Berry Steiner*

-Names in parenthesis indicate that the teacher was recently, or soon to be, married. The name in parenthesis is their future last name.


Language Arts

Kindergarten- Basic reading, early writing skills are developed with children. Teachers encourage children to write their own names, and read easy-reader books.1st Grade- Children begin handwriting worksheets, and continue reading. Various types of writing excersises are used, to such as writing letters to story characters, and coming up with drawings of short-vowel sound words.2nd Grade- More advanced curriculum of 1st grade. Children write their own stories, and read short chapter books.3rd Grade- Children write a 'watered-down' version of the book report, and continue on with handwriting excersises, using workbooks.4th Grade- A portfolio on the subject of a book is made by children. Children participate in novel groups. In some classrooms, students work on book reports, and write ABC books for younger children.5th Grade- All students write book reports, and story books. All 5th grade language arts classes are taught by Ms. Joanne Ridge.6th Grade- Students work on the I-Search, an independent research project, book reports, and literature cirlces.7th Grade- Children work on the We-Search, a group research project, various writing activities, and monthly book reports.8th Grade- Students work on independent research projects, novel groups, and community service.


Kindergarten- Recognition of numbers is practiced with children, and basic addition is taught.1st grade- Addition and subtraction is taught, along with various counting excercises including negative numbers.2nd grade- Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, along with worksheets are used.3rd grade- Fractions and decimals are introduced along with place values.4th grade- Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with fractions and decimals is taught.5th grade- Graphs, pre-algebra, and money matters are taught.6th grade- Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are taught with negative numbers, along with abacuses.7th grade- Algebra begins.8th grade- Algebra is continued. A few students start Algebra 2.


Kindergarten- N/A1st Grade- Basic experiments are used, along with nutrition.2nd Grade- Explorations of prehistoric life and the human body are taught.3rd Grade- The history of flight, and plant life and trees are explored.4th grade- Crime, and the Plant Classification system are taught.5th grade- The human body, along with basic puberty knowledge are taught.6th grade- Cells are explored, microscopes are taught how to be used, and an in-depth course on the reproductive system is taught.7th grade- Global warming, and trees are taught.8th grade- Famous scientists, and deadly disesases are discovored.

ocial Studies

Kindergarten- N/A1st Grade- Focus on one country is taught.2nd Grade- Children learn about basic communications, and transportation devices.3rd Grade- Consumer sciences are taught.4th Grade- Early explorers and countries of the world are on the curriculum.5th Grade- The early US history, and the current US are taught.6th Grade- Natural disasters, and the 'anatomy' of the earth are taught.7th Grade- Focus on one continent, and the people, animals, government, and diseases of that continent.8th Grade- US History.


Kindergarten- Basic Spanish words and phrases.1st Grade- Spanish games and worksheets are introduced.2nd Grade- Spanish-speaking countries are taught.3rd Grade- Children continue to learn about Spanish-speaking countries.4th Grade- Children learn about animals, foods, drinks, clothing, and school supplies in Spanish.5th Grade- Story books are read completely in Spanish.6th Grade- Spanish classes are taught in complete Spanish. Children learn 'surrvival Spanish'.7th Grade- Students hold parties on the days of Spanish holidays. Children study in-depth to a single Spanish-speaking country.8th Grade- Memory books are created entirely in Spanish. Students hold plays in Spanish.


Kindergarten- Children explore different color mediums.1st Grade- Children use clay, paints, and markers to create pots, and various gifts for parents.2nd Grade- Artists use paints, pastels, markers, clay, and charcoal to study the techniques of various artists.3rd Grade- Children learn the proper way to use clay, and use that to make puppets, and various other things.4th Grade- Children learn about famous artists.5th Grade- Artists learn how to create things from 'outside of the lines'.6th Grade- Students learn how to use the technique of sculpture.7th Grade- Students learn techniques from various local artists, and use them in their own art work.8th Grade- Students combine all of the concepts they have learned, and create a final project.


Kindergarten- Basic songs are sung.1st Grade- Children experiment with various different instruments.2nd Grade- Various composers and musicians are studied.3rd Grade- Children learn how to play different instruments, and monthly perform them in class.4th Grade- Students are taken to concerts, and study classical music.5th Grade- African drums and music are studied.6th Grade- Modern music is compared to Asian and European music.7th Grade- Children learn about folk music.8th Grade- Cultural music is studied.

External links

* [ Falk Laboratory School web site]
* [ University of Pittsburgh]
* [ University of Pittsburgh School of Education]

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