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Beyond the Textbook

Leadership Institute

Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Institute, a high-level specialty program encompassing the areas of mathematics, science, technology and engineering. In small groups facilitated by mentors who are professionals in their fields, students explore the frontiers of their imaginations through projects such as Coding, Puzzlers, Debate Team, Journalism, and Lego Robotics. These long-term research projects provide a hands-on cooperative learning experience that builds confidence and skills in an intellectually challenging environment.

Debate Team

There are two sides to every competitive debate. The proposition team makes a case in favor of the debate issue, while the opposition creates a case against it. Members of the LHS Debate Team train to take both sides of controversial, exciting, timely questions. Topics have included issues as diverse as cell phone policies in schools, the benefits vs. harms of credit cards, nuclear weapons development in Iran, and whether junk foods should be allowed in public schools. Students learn to construct intricate arguments both for and against these topics, while developing confidence, public speaking skills, research and persuasion techniques.

Literary Project

Participants explore a variety of literary forms including haiku, sonnet, fractured fairytales, cinquain, and short story. Young authors publish the LHS Lit Mag, an annual magazine showcasing their skill development and creative spirits. It’s an opportunity to become a published author and to express observations in a uniquely powerful modality.


Identifying news. Getting the news. Writing the news. Publishing the news. Broadcasting the news. Student reporters learn their craft and apply best practices to keep LHS informed.


Members of the Robotics team engineer specialized robots to resolve engineering challenges. These exciting problem-solving opportunities involve generating solutions to engineering problems such as repairing hydro-dams and power lines, moving a wave turbine, and repairing solar roof panels. Robots are designed to address the special issues posed by each setting. Students develop creative problem-solving skills while learning the principles of robotics, and utilizing spatial intelligence to create working machines.

Imagining In HTML

It’s creating dynamic web pages your own way using HyperText Markup Language, the classic cornerstone of professional webpage construction. Students receive their commission to build a website to represent an engaging theme and then do all the research and programming to accomplish the task. No cookie cutter or out-of-the-box solutions allowed, middle school students construct from top to bottom. And their solutions are elegant!


Explore foundational robotics and programming concepts by navigating through the engineering design process. Move blocks of graphical code to test and improve plans of action you create, collaborate with your friends to brainstorm your ideas, and then share the results with your coding community. Put your robot to work as you like it and get your game to play as you intended – it’s all in the code!


Takes math beyond word problems to problem solve fascinating “How do they do that?” happenings. And then it’s also off to the shop to build games to inspire math throughout the LHS community. Puzzlers looks under the magician’s sleeve, it is part CSI, and it’s a gateway to great fun with math.

Student Advisory

The advisory program provide students the opportunity to develop a close relationship with a faculty member, who can offer advocacy and support in a variety of academic and social situations. The faculty member partners with the student to communicate effectively with other teachers, administrators, and family members to address challenges and facilitate growth. The program allows for the close supervision of each student, and increases confidence and feelings of groundedness by reassuring the student that there is one person on the faculty who is keenly aware of, and knowledgeable about, his or her progress in every phase of school life. Each Middle School student is assigned an advisor, and meets regularly with the advisor throughout the year.

Middle School Shakespeareans

Middle School students whose creative spirits lead them to the stage can take part in the Middle School Shakespeareans, who perform each year in the CUNY Shakespeare Festival. Students utilize Shakespeare’s original text to create an original ten-minute play, which they perform alongside peers from other schools at an off-Broadway theater in New York City. LHS partners with a teaching artist, who engages students in acting workshops to prepare for this performance. This is an unforgettable opportunity for students to engage with classic works of literature, and express themselves on the stage in a highly unique capacity.