Student teacher with preschooler

Georgetown Hill at Hood College Lab School


The preschool, operated jointly by the Hood College Department of Education and Georgetown Hill, provides an education for children who are three and four years old. Class sizes remain small to insure ample opportunities for teacher interaction and learning for each student.

Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, the Lab School will extend its operating hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, the school serves as a learning laboratory and field placement site for Hood students pursuing teacher certification in early childhood education. Hood students have opportunities to observe children, curriculum and best teaching practices, as well as develop professional skills while working in the Lab School's classrooms. It is a component of Hood’s NCATE- and NAEYC-accredited teacher education program. Hood students continue to study teaching and the development of children by observation and practicum experiences in the preschool.

Established in 1929 by Onica Prall, a Hood College professor, the Child Development Laboratory School provides education for preschool children from Frederick and surrounding communities, as well as for children whose parents are employed by Hood College.

Mission and Philosophy

The program is designed to support children’s development and classroom research by faculty or supervised college students. The preschool program is based upon a developmental philosophy and a constructivist orientation of teaching and learning. We believe that children learn in different ways and at different rates. Our commitment is to provide educational experiences that are developmentally appropriate for each child and will enhance physical, emotional, social, language and cognitive development.

Constructivist learning requires hands-on engagement with ample opportunities for children to choose their own activities, and a rich language environment to stimulate children’s thinking. We recognize the value of educational play as a pathway to learning. Each day the Laboratory School provides a lively mix of art, science, music, numeracy, language and literacy in our indoor and outdoor classrooms. From a constructivist perspective, children are natural scientists and, given the opportunity, will engage in experimentation and problem solving on their own.


Hood College's Department of Education is committed to our local community. Along with the strong partnership with Georgetown Hill, we also maintain partnerships with:

Contact Us

Phone: 301-284-8144