A-Z Index


Since its earliest days, Northwest has offered high-quality education to children in Maryville, and that tradition continues today with offerings for children from 1 year old through sixth grade. Located centrally on Northwest’s campus in the Everett Brown Education Hall, the Horace Mann Laboratory School enrolls children in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade, and the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families offers both an early child care center for children from 1 year old to 3 years old, then a Reggio inspired preschool, ages 3 years old to 6 years old.

Horace Mann and the Leet Center place an emphasis on innovative and interactive teaching practices accompanied with individualized instruction by dedicated and caring faculty and staff. While benefiting from Northwest programs and activities, the school’s teachers also incorporate state-of-the-art technology into students’ learning.

Horace Mann and the Leet Center also serve as clinical teaching environments for students in Northwest’s School of Education. The relationship between master teachers, instructional aides, and practicum teachers allows children to reap the benefits of a low student-to-teacher ratio in classrooms that implement innovative teaching practices and provide learning experiences designed to stimulate each child’s creative learning abilities and problem-solving skills.

Offering a core curriculum and working in concert with the University, Horace Mann and the Leet Center offer unique learning opportunities, which have included guitar lessons, the study of robotics, lessons about crops and animals at the University farm, and Spanish and sign language lessons. Students from multiple countries also add to the school’s diverse environment. 

The schools offer a traditional nine-month academic calendar for elementary-age and preschool students as well as a year-round daycare programs for infants and toddlers.. Afterschool care, known as Bearcat Club, also is available.

Mission, Vision & Values


Horace Mann Laboratory School is an integral component of the Northwest Missouri State University teacher education program. “A Higher Education Begins Here” focuses on student success-every student, every day.


Horace Mann Laboratory School will provide exceptional learning for K-6 children and teacher education programs.


  1. Unwavering focus on student success
    • Through an exemplary elementary education
    • Through an exemplary pre-service clinical experience
  2. Active, connected, and collaborative learning environment
    • Through modeling best practices
    • Through effective communication among colleagues and stakeholders
  3. Scholarship-lifelong learning and being leaders in our fields
    • Through on-going professional development
    • Through dissemination of best practices
  4.  Respect diversity and ethical behavior
    • Through the care and support of our stakeholders
    • Through a commitment to established policies and procedures
  5. Strategic thinking and performance excellence
    • Through research collaboration with the Department of Professional Education
    • Through data analysis


Horace Mann Laboratory School (HMLS) is a Kindergarten through Grade Six Elementary School in Maryville, Missouri. It is part of the Northwest Missouri State University School of Education and serves a threefold mission: teacher education and preparation, research, and exemplary education for the children that attend the school.

Since its establishment in 1906, Horace Mann Laboratory School has been committed to the education of children. The Lab School has been an exemplar of developmental, social, and academic education through an inquiry-based learning environment.

  • Every child is an individual with special talents, learning styles, and developmental readiness.
  • Horace Mann Laboratory School provides the learning environment to help each and every child succeed through creativity, development of critical skills, through development of personal awareness, and community responsibility.
  • We work in partnership with parents, community, teachers, and children to support and enhance the learning of each child.
  • Horace Mann Laboratory School is part of the School of Education and promotes research and professional inquiry.
  • The School of Education prepares pre-service teachers for their professional life with various bachelor's and master's level programs. The school provides a role in this preparation.


  • HMLS is a member of the International Association of Laboratory Schools


  • Horace Mann Laboratory School and the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families is part of the School of Education of Northwest Missouri State University. The Director of the Lab School consults with the Dean of the School of Education on issues that affect personnel, budget, and proposed policy changes. The Director and faculty collaborate to make decisions concerning curriculum, admissions, and grade/class placement.