Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a laboratory school?

A laboratory school has an affiliation with a college or university.  Lab schools engage in five types of activities that are key to the development of excellence in education:

  • Education
  • Research
  • Clinical teaching experiences
  • Curriculum development and evaluation
  • Professional development and dissemination
What sets Falk School apart?

Falk School’s unique offerings foster creativity and provide the foundation for lifelong learning.  Falk graduates reap the benefits of their early education throughout the remainder of their formal education and well beyond.  Parents seeking a Falk education appreciate the value of the investment they are making in their child’s future.

How old does my child need to be to start kindergarten at Falk?

Children need to be five years old by September 1st of their kindergarten year.  In order to be considered for kindergarten, we ask that applications be submitted by December 31st of the year prior to entry. The parent tour, parent interview, and student visit must be completed before acceptances are made in early February. We do require that an application be submitted before a child can visit.

Does Falk only accept children at the kindergarten level?

No. Falk accepts students at all grades kindergarten through eight.  Kindergarten is our largest point of entry; sixth-grade is another big point of entry.

How important is the date of application for grades 1-8?​

Falk has rolling admissions and will accept applications at any time.  Date of application is not relevant to our acceptance process.

Do families have to reapply every year?

If your child is not accepted for the year you apply, you can choose to have their file remain active for the following year.  You do not need to reapply, but we do ask that you update your contact information by completing an online re-inquiry form.  There is no fee for re-inquiring.

What are the school’s hours of operation?

Our classrooms open at 8:00 AM.  The school day begins at 8:30 AM and ends at 3:15 PM.  Extended day programs are available at an additional fee.  The morning program runs from 7:00 to 8:00 AM.  The $10.00 fee includes breakfast. An additional breakfast can be purchased for $3.00.  The afternoon program runs from 3:30 to 6:00 PM. The afternoon charge is $10.00 between 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM; beyond 4:30 PM is a $15.00 total fee.

What is the teacher-to-student ratio?

Falk School’s teacher-to-student ratio is 1:9 without interns or student teachers.

Do we only use student teachers and interns from Pitt’s program?

No.  We also use students from Duquesne (counseling and technology) and Penn State (art and elementary).

What is your homework policy?

At the primary level, we use dramatic play and family activities to connect learning between school and home.  Beginning in the intermediate, children receive homework that extends their classroom learning, typically beginning with math practice and reading.

Does Falk give standardized tests?

Yes.  We give the TerraNova tests in 5th and 7th grades.  Our 4th grade looks at the test, and discuss and practice the skills involved: sustained quiet, specific periods of time to complete tasks, transferring answers to bubble sheets, and answer elimination strategies.

What are your practices around competition?

In general, setting children up to complete against each other is counter to our belief that we learn best through interaction and collaboration.  There are group activities, such as robotics club and middle school sports, where we compete as teams.

Where do Falk School graduates attend high school? 
The class of 2017 graduated to the following high schools:  
Ellis School Pittsburgh Allderdice High School CAS (Center for Advanced Studies)
Forsyth Country Day School (North Carolina) Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy of International Studies 
Fox Chapel High School Pittsburgh CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) Magnet High School
Jesuit High School (Michigan) Shady Side Academy
North Allegheny High School Winchester Thurston School
North Catholic (Cardinal Wuerl)