About Us


Our elementary school opened in 1896 on the first floor of the Sullivan Building, the flagship building of the Salem State University (then called the Salem State Normal School). We moved to our current building in 1912, and became the Horace Mann Laboratory School in 1935. Since our founding, we have benefited from a close relationship with Salem State University, which sends eager education students to our school to support our mission and learn the art of teaching.

Educating the Whole Child

At HMLS we recognize that students require academic and social-emotional skills as well as regular physical activity in order to succeed. We work to foster a warm, welcoming atmosphere where students are willing to take chances and be supportive of one-another. We incorporate the Responsive Classroom approach, which helps us to create a safe, challenging and joyful environment.

Unique Attributes

Smaller Classes

At HMLS, we have one class in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade that is capped at 15 students. These homerooms were originally designed for student teachers, but now serve as classroom spaces.

Student Teachers, and Curriculum Block Students

Each semester we have student teachers, and Curriculum Block Students (juniors in Education Programs). They are able to teach small reading and math groups, assist students with their class work, as well as support the classroom teacher in unique projects.

University Resources

Beyond connections with the Education Department, students take part in projects such as water sampling with the Biology Department, essay writing with the History Department, and bicycle safety with the Salem State Police.

Mainstage Auditorium - Students have use of the university's well-appointed auditorium for assemblies, choral concerts and instrumental rehearsals.

Teaching University Classes - Several of our teachers teach classes at Salem State University, maintaining a vital link between current research and best practices.


Our school represents the best of the new and the old in school construction. Classrooms have ample natural light and many wonderful views of Salem. Original molding and wide hallways make students and faculty feel welcome, while 25 new iMacs and 20 laptops on a portable cart give students the tools they need to access and manipulate information. In addition, we have 50 new I Pads available for student use, particularly in science and technology. All grade 4 and 5 classes have interactive white boards, as do several other classes in our school.

Our cozy cafeteria requires that we cap lunch periods at 60 students, which provides each grade level with their own lunch and recess time. This also serves to provide a calmer, less intimidating atmosphere.

Academic Programs

Guided Reading is the foundation of our literacy program at grades 1 through 4. One of the hallmarks of Guided Reading is that each child is assessed completely at the beginning and middle of each school year and taught with a small group of students at his or her instructional level. We also teach writing at the lower grades using the Superkids program and using Writer's Express at the upper grades.

In mathematics, we are committed to the Everyday Mathematics program at all grade levels.

Community Involvement

Our school is supported by an active Parent Teacher Committee. They organize social events for parents new to the school, help bring in cultural events, and organize fund-raisers. We worked with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to roll out a Safe Routes to School, which builds community through organized, safe walking and bicycling programs.

After School Programs

After school HMLS hosts Destination Imagination, Lego League, and Boys and Girls Club. In addition, we have transportation to various after school programs.

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