The House is home base in school for each Dalton student, and the House Advisor is the parents' key contact with the school. In the First Program and Middle School, House is comprised of students in the same grade. In the High School, House includes students from each of the four grade levels, creating a microcosm of the larger High School community. In all divisions, the House Advisor guides and assists each student in the learning process. The relationship that develops is a close one that supports students throughout their Dalton years.
For the children in the First Program, the House Advisor is also the classroom teacher. In the Middle School, the House Advisor sees the student through the transition into more departmentalized classes. In the High School, the House Advisor serves as a coach and counselor, helping to guide and advise students as they negotiate the rich and multi-faceted curriculum.
The Assignment represents a contract between student and teacher. In addition to defining common obligations for daily class work, long-term projects, and homework, Dalton Assignments are uniquely structured to promote the internalization and refinement of time-management and organizational skills, while offering students opportunities to develop their individual strengths and address their specific needs. The Assignment is introduced in the First Program and increases in scope and complexity through Middle and High School.
The Laboratory is integral to the educational culture of The Dalton School. The word "Laboratory" refers to the one-to-one and small group sessions between students and teachers which augment the traditional classroom instruction, combining study, research, and collaboration. Students and teachers schedule these Labs at specified times throughout the school day to discuss Assignment projects, expand upon questions of interest that arise in class, clarify issues, and explore new facets of a topic they want to pursue. In the High School, there are special rooms for each subject area that give emphasis to this independent interaction between faculty and students.