The Renaissance School's roots originate from the University of Massachusetts Early Childhood Laboratory School. The Laboratory School, which was located in Skinner Hall, served as the primary teacher training and research site for the School of Education for seventy-one years. It provided quality care and early education to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers from the local community. Dotty Meyer was the director and master teacher of the Laboratory School for sixteen years.
The University closed the Laboratory School and reallocated Skinner Hall to the School of Nursing in May of 2004. Parents and staff were heartbroken to see the school close and encouraged Dotty to seek alternate space to begin a new program. The Renaissance School opened in the lower level of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in September 2004. The name "Renaissance" was selected to highlight the renewal or reawakening of the Laboratory School in a new location.
Dotty continues to connect with colleagues in the UMASS College of Education,
and the Renaissance School serves as a practicum site for 2-4 student interns each semester. Both undergraduate and graduate students from many departments including Linguistics, Education, Psychology and Communication Disorders,
continue to use the Renaissance School for research studies with parents' permission.
The Renaissance Preschool enjoys a reputation for being a special place where children, teachers, and parents learn and grow together.
We warmly welcome
international students and visiting scholars with young children to our preschool. Many families come from all over the world to work and study at the University - some may be hoping to find a caring place for their child to make new friends and learn how to speak English as a second or third language. We invite everyone to become part of our preschool community! We provide a warm, supportive environment for all children and families to grow and learn together.