Model Laboratory School

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Model Laboratory School
Sign at entrance of Model Laboratory School.jpg
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, Kentucky 40475
Type Laboratory School
Established 1906
School district Private (EKU)
Director Dr. Eric Parker
Grades K-12
Enrollment 715 (as of 2006–07)
Color(s) Red and blue
Mascot Patriot
Information 859-622-3766

Model Laboratory School is a semi-private laboratory school located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, Kentucky, United States.

It was the first laboratory school established in Kentucky. It opened its doors on September 11, 1906 (four months prior to the opening of Eastern Kentucky State Normal School). It was initially organized as a private school to provide its students with facilities and opportunities of a superior level, as a demonstration school to acquaint college students with the methods of teaching, and as a training school to give prospective teachers practical experience in teaching.

The school was located on the property of Walters Collegiate Institute and was housed in the Central University Building. Col. E. H. Crawford was appointed the first director of the school, but due to his late arrival, J. A. Sharon was made acting principal and actually served as its first administrator. Colonel Crawford served one terms as director, followed by Professor Ira Waite Jayne (1907–09) and E. George Payne (1909–1910). Dr. John Grant Crabbe, then President of the college, assumed the duties of the directorship and held that position until he retired in 1918.

As early as 1911, Model was participating in football, basketball, baseball, and track, and was a participant in the first Kentucky High School Basketball Tournament. The school progressed in modes and methods of public education in spite of many hindrances such as changes in enrollment and the dropping and re-establishment of the high school grades. In 1936, Model High School and the city school, Madison High, combined to enrich their programs and to avoid a duplication of efforts. The schools were accredited jointly by the Southern Association of Secondary Schools as Madison-Model High School. The two divisions retained their respective organizations, but combined such activities as commencement, athletics, and music until the schools were separated in 1961.

R. A. Edwards served as director of the Training School from 1918 to 1954 and as principal of the high school until he was succeeded in 1935 by Dr. J. Dorland Coates. Dr. Coates served as principal of Model High School from 1935 until 1954, when he succeeded Edwards as director of the entire laboratory school. Dr. Henry Martin was appointed the director of the Elementary Training Center in 1954. With the completion of a new school plant in 1961, the elementary and high school divisions were combined and Dixon A. Barr was made the director of the new Model Laboratory School.

Plans for the new Model Laboratory School were initiated in 1959 by President William F. O'Donnell and the Eastern Board of Regents. The new building replaced the Cammack Building and the historic University Building which had housed "old Model" since 1906. The current building was named for Dr. H. L. Donovan, President of Eastern from 1928 until 1941, and was occupied in September 1961. The school was integrated in the fall of 1967.

Model Laboratory School is currently home to around 720 students in grades pre-k through 12. Enrollment is open to the public, but there is a strict limit as to the number of students per grade level, along with a fee for tuition. Model consistently ranks among the top 10% of schools in Kentucky in regards to the state's accountability testing system, the Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT), and provides an opportunity for future teachers from EKU's College of Education to gain valuable experience in a real classroom environment.

The school's mascot was formerly the Rebels, but was changed to the Patriots by the student council in 1973 (in contradiction to the student vote for the nickname "Hedgehogs").

Model is the only laboratory school in the state of Kentucky.

Model offers a wide variety of athletics including swimming, diving, tennis, golf, soccer, baseball, basketball, softball, track, and cross-country. Model also has many clubs and organizations available to its students, including one of the oldest Key Clubs in the country.

Eastern Kentucky University and Model Laboratory School both celebrated their centennial anniversaries in 2006.

Model is a member of the Laboratory School Association or NALS: The International Association of Laboratory and University Affiliated Schools.

In November 2007, Doug Whitlock, the President of Eastern Kentucky University, announced that the construction of a new building to house Model Laboratory School is on the horizon.[1] In 2013, current Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson unveiled preliminary plans for an $83,000,000 complex to house the school.[2] In 2016, it was reported that the next large capital project to be completed on the campus would be the new building to house Model. [3]


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Coordinates: 37°44′17″N 84°18′15″W / 37.73819°N 84.30413°W / 37.73819; -84.30413