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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Students from SDSU Campus Lab School Reunite for 50 Year Reunion

lab school
Former students of San Diego State University’s Campus Laboratory School returned 50 years later for a class reunion of one of the school’s last few graduating classes.

December 27th saw the reunion of 12 out of the 23 alumni of the SDSU Lab School’s 1965 graduating class. The reunion took place in Jamul, California, and attendees were able to share class pictures and mementos as well as catch up with each others’ lives.

Initially named the Training School, the Laboratory was established in 1900, shortly after San Diego State University’s founding date. The Training School provided instruction for elementary, middle, and high school students in small classes where they could receive more individualized instruction.

The School was renamed to the Campus Laboratory School in 1953 after SDSU relocated to Montezuma Mesa and had transitioned into an observation and research center for both student teachers and students wishing to observe educational techniques and learning strategies in children.

The school experimented with individualized curriculum, a non-graded organizational structure, team teaching, and many other strategies that were considered “outside the box” at the time. Unfortunately, state-level budget cuts forced the school to close its doors in 1970, and the building site was destroyed in 1991 to make room for campus expansion.

Of the attending alumni from the Class of ’65, most still live locally in the San Diego area. However, students from the graduating class came from as far as Washington State, Florida, and Indiana to attend the reunion.

“We were unusual in that we really did care for each other and got along well,” alumna Maria Heckinger said. “We were more like a family that went through thick and thin together.”

More information on the Campus Lab School can be found in the SDSU Library’s database of Alumni Events.