Who We Are
The Campus Laboratory School of Carlow University is a Catholic, Laboratory, and Independent School; we are unique among the education institutions in the Pittsburgh region. The Campus Laboratory School offers a distinctive educational opportunity for children Preschool through Grade 8. Early Childhood options include Montessori and Reggio-Inspired preschool programs. Infants and Toddlers are served through the Early Learning Center.
The Campus Laboratory School is rooted in the principles and history of our founders: The Sisters of Mercy. The Campus Laboratory School provides regular religious instruction, Catholic celebrations including liturgy and sacraments, and service opportunities. Partnership with the Diocese of Pittsburgh affords more opportunities, including competition in Diocesan sporting leagues. Our teachers, staff, and student represent many different faiths, and all are welcomed and celebrated here. The Sisters of Mercy embrace five critical areas of concern: immigration, nonviolence, women, racism, and earth. These are embraced in our School community and Mercy values woven throughout the curriculum and extensive service projects.
As a laboratory school, The Campus Laboratory School maintains an integral and strong relationship with Carlow University. We partner with the University on educational experiences, professional development, opportunities for pre-service teachers, and sharing of facilities. The Campus Laboratory School joins Carlow University as a member of Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab satellite network. Additionally, the Campus Laboratory School engages in educational, professional development, and networking activities via membership in the Pittsburgh Association of University Schools.
The Campus Laboratory School provides a supportive and challenging learning environment with rigorous, integrated curriculum. Students are offered authentic and differentiated learning experiences that support their tendencies, skills, and intelligences. An intentional focus on STEAM+ allows children to develop habits of mind and academic skills necessary for logical, scientific exploration while using technology in creative ways. Our PreK-3rd grade curriculum includes strong literacy development rooted in the Science of Reading and integrated with opportunities for children to engage with culturally and linguistically responsive literature. Our Learning Lab provides multi-sensory small group instruction focused on literacy and mathematics interventions and supports development of executive functioning skills.
We honor all aspects of the developing child in our environments by utilizing positive teacher language, interactive modeling, academic choice, and community building activities.
As a multi-generational Campus Lab School community, we believe in fostering intellectual curiosity and student creativity, engaging in innovative and hands-on learning, and cultivating student voice and leadership while centering our work in the Mercy Catholic tradition of faith, love, and service.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
It all began with seven brave Sisters of Mercy who boarded a ship in Ireland with a dream.
The legacy of those seven spirited women who arrived in Pittsburgh in 1843, one of academic excellence and compassionate services to others, has lived on for more than one hundred and sixty years.
To serve the poor, the sick, the uneducated, this band of seven changed the course of countless lives with that simple yet boundless mission.
The Campus School has a rich history that traces its roots to 1844 when the Sisters of Mercy opened Our Lady of Mercy Academy, the first private academy for girls in Pittsburgh, at St. Mary's Penn Street. In 1875, the academy was located on Chatham Street and in 1894 moved to a French Chateau on the present property at 3333 Fifth Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. After a fire destroyed the chateau in 1923, classes continued without interruption in the convent building the Sisters of Mercy built on the property in 1909.
In 1928, Tiernan Hall was opened at Our Lady of Mercy Academy that housed the elementary and high school students. Mount Mercy College was founded in 1929. Early records indicate that most classes were held in the convent while the academy shared library space, science labs and other facilities. With the gradual expansion of both the academy and the college on the same campus, the decision was made to move the academy to a new facility in Monroeville, a suburb of Pittsburgh. In September 1963, grades seven through twelve opened at the new site and continued until closing in 1979. The remaining grades, Kindergarten to grade 6 were renamed Mount Mercy Campus School and became a program of the college in 1963. The college name was changed in 1969 to Carlow College. Mount Mercy Campus School then became Carlow College Campus School. When the college achieved university status in 2005, the school officially became The Campus School of Carlow University. Throughout the years, The Campus School has continued in Tiernan Hall. The Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten program and Reggio-inspired Preschool are located in Trinity Hall. The Campus School uses additional facilities on the Carlow University campus such as the theaters, gymnasium and classrooms.
With deep roots in the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy, the Mercy Spirit is present today just as it was when Our Lady of Mercy Academy was founded. The Campus School's unique partnering of spiritual values and academic excellence fosters in each child a love of life and learning and a sense of responsibility and purpose.
At a Glance
The Sisters of Mercy embrace five critical areas of concern: immigration, nonviolence, women, racism, and earth. These are embraced in our School community and Mercy values are woven throughout the curriculum and extensive service projects. Examples of these service and curriculum projects include:
- School wide collections for those impacted by hurricanes
- Move-A-Thon to benefit the Food Bank
- Pack lunches for the homeless
- Hat and Mitten Drive for local schools
- Scholastic Books Pajama Drive
- Project Feeder Watch
- Make and donate face masks for local community
- Third Grade Thrift Shop to benefit a charity chosen by students
- St. Jude's Trike-A-Thon
- Bags of Caring
- Be the Kind Kid
- International Day of Peace
Dr. Lillian Naccarati