Primary School Calendar
  • May 2017
    • MonMay22 Dare Week
    • FriMay26 After School at Laurel Classes End
    • MonMay29 Dream Week
    • WedMay31 After School Supervised Play and MS Den End

The Cleveland Jewish News recently spoke with Leighann DeLorenzo Laurel's Upper School theater director, who began teaching a Testimony Theater course this semester after visiting Israel in January 2016. In Testimony Theater, survivors of the Holocaust are paired with young people, and the survivors tell their stories. The students then write the stories in a theatrical framework and perform an original theater piece based off the story. On May 4 the 12 students enrolled in Testimony Theater performed the stories of three survivors for a full house. Leighann was quoted in the story saying, “As we move forward as a community, it’s also about extending that lens forward into the now, into the present, whether that has to do with the current refugee crisis, civil rights, equal rights, any other movement where we’re really talking about people that are marginalized." She said having her students learn the stories of these survivors was an important part of their education. “We can really use these painful stories of yesterday that are also incredibly inspiring and really they can be transformative for our students today and turn them into the upstanders they should be and inspire them in their education at Laurel." Click here to read the full article. 

Playhouse Square announced its Dazzle Awards nominees on April 28 and we are excited to share that Nora Hyman '17 received a John and Patricia Chapman Best Actress nomination for her role as 'Audrey' in Laurel's production of Little Shop of Horrors! The Playhouse Square website states that "The Dazzle Awards aim to inspire and honor excellence in high school musical theater, and to recognize the importance of musical theater and arts education within the Northeast Ohio community. A panel of adjudicators attend one production at each participating school, provide educational feedback on the official evaluation form and determine nominees and awards for participating schools. This regional program culminates at the Connor Palace with the Dazzle Awards, modeled after the Tony Awards®, to recognize outstanding musical theater productions and students. The winners in the Best Actor and Best Actress category will have the opportunity to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City." The Dazzle Award winners will be announced on May 20, 2017. The grand prize winners in The John and Patricia Chapman Best Actor and Best Actress categories will go on to represent Northeast Ohio at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as “The Jimmys,” in New York City, presented by The Broadway League.   

Laurel School's Annella Fernandez '17 is being recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Cleveland (NAMI GC) for her efforts to raise awareness of mental illness among her peer group. Annella will receive the Mental Health Teen Award on May 5 during the NAMI GC Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony will honor outstanding achievement in promoting and providing mental health services for individuals, families and organizations in the year 2016. Naturally drawn to the study of psychology, Annella has spent time shadowing a pediatric psychologist. In 2016 she wrote What I Learned and What You Need to Know: A Brief Introduction to Behavioral Disorders in Adolescents, a collection of vignettes about the patient cases she shadowed along with factual information about the mental health diagnoses. Congratulations to Annella!

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz recently lent her voice for NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Member Voices, a new podcast series about the individuals who make up the independent school community. Each Podcast features a discussion with a different staff member at an NAIS-member school about his or her role, challenges, successes, inspiration sources and more. Ms. Klotz was one of the first to launch in the series, which has been very well received within the independent school community. Click here to listen to Ann’s podcast on leadership, empowering girls and the ways in which the Center for Research on Girls fuels our practice at Laurel. 

Laurel School alum Marne Levine '88 was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article highlighting her role as chief operating officer for Instagram. Ms. Levine, a former White House official, arrived in the Silicon Valley in 2015 and "has been helping Instagram mature into a full-fledged business." The article quotes Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder and chief executive, who calls Ms. Levine "'an efficiency guru' who has helped the app avoid some of the pitfalls of rapid growth."

Prior to joining Instagram, Ms. Levine served as vice president of global public policy for Facebook, where she "grew the policy team, which manages Facebook’s relationship with governments and responds to privacy laws and regulation, from fewer than a dozen people to more than a hundred." The article goes on to state that "once Ms. Levine moved over to Instagram at the beginning of 2015, she dove in with the creation of a formal budget, giving the company a comprehensive view of its spending for the first time. She also pushed to expand the Instagram partnerships team, which manages the app’s relationship with public figures, publishers and others to ensure that they continued to flock to Instagram. She helped hire influential figures such as Eva Chen, former editor of Lucky magazine, to oversee its fashion ties, and Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, who led Beyonce’s digital strategy, to run music partnerships."

The article details Ms. Levine's path to success at Instagram. Click here to read the full story. 

Northeast Ohio Parent published an article in April highlighting "Ways Kids in Northeast Ohio are Learning to Help the Environment." The story highlights various local organizations that are working to preserve our environment with the support of kids. Laurel's Outdoor Pre-Primary School, which educates students age 3-5 outside year-round regardless of the weather, is detailed in the article. The piece focuses on how students develop an immense respect for living things, learn about habitats and ecosystems, and develop a stewardship and understanding of environmental responsibility through composting and recycling.

Audrey Elszasz, Outdoor Pre-Primary teacher and Outdoor Education Specialist at Laurel, is quoted in the story saying “above all, they learn to understand the human impact on the Earth and discover how we can interact with nature and do no harm. These students develop such a love for the planet and learn to think about how to always do right by it.”

Laurel parent Rebecca Coley says her daughter’s experiences with the program include “hiking to base camp and traversing down challenging terrain, being independent and excited to put on her gear and get muddy, catching salamanders with her bare hands, and investigating animal tracks.”

 

Laurel School was pleased to host Frank Bruni, New York Times Op-Ed columnist and author, on April 6. Mr. Bruni spoke to Laurel parents, faculty, staff, trustees and local alumnae on the college admissions mania and how where you go to college does not define you. The talk, based on his best-selling book, Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, was a lively one attended by more than 250 people. 

Your Teen Magazine had a chance to speak with Mr. Bruni prior to his talk at Laurel and the resulting Q&A, titled How to Pick a College And Other Great Advice from Author Frank Bruni, which highlights the bias of early decision, recent changes in financial aid, open-mindedness and more. In this Q&A, Mr. Bruni states that "Education is about so very much more than the onramp to college or than college itself. It’s an ongoing, all-encompassing, lifelong thing."  

Laurel Eighth Grader Isabella (Izzy) A. '21 competed in the 2017 Ohio K-12 Chinese Speech and Essay Contest on April 8, 2017 at Cleveland State University. This annual competition is held for elementary, middle and high school students from Ohio. During the competition, students compete by either composing an essay or giving a speech in Chinese on a selected topic. The contestants are judged by experienced Chinese language teachers, and prizes are awarded during a ceremony at the end of the contests. Izzy competed among 22 students in the intermediate level for Grades 6-8 and placed second in her category! Congratulations to Izzy on this well-earned honor.  

 

A recent EdSurge article titled "What Would Happen if Learning in School Became More Like Working at a Startup?" highlights the abundance of startup and entrepreneurial programs springing up in and around K-12 schools across the country. The article states that "Successful students, like startups, are those who are resilient, constantly absorbing new information and challenging their assumptions. What’s more, an entrepreneurial culture, carefully scaffolded, can help schools transform and unlock learning in ways that more traditional coursework cannot."

Laurel physics teacher Taylor Kaar, who also serves as Director of Entrepreneurship, is included in the story, which highlights both the Capstone Experience and the Veale Venture Challenge, two entrepreneurship programs offered to Laurel Upper School students. Taylor is quoted saying, “At Laurel School, we know that being an entrepreneur is a mindset, one that requires resiliency, problem solving, and passion. These are skills and traits that we feel are universally desirable today, and we know that the skills a girl learns at Laurel School’s entrepreneurship offerings will be transferable to any field.”

Covering four years, the entrepreneurship category of the Capstone Program asks high school students to lead and drive their own learning. The Veale Venture Challenge, through a series of steps—including the development of a business plan and a presentation to investors—aims to help students start a business while they are still in the school.

Laurel students Grace Murphy '17 and Henley Schulz '18 recently earned National Silver Medals in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Grace and Henley have been identified by panels of creative professionals as the most talented young artists and writers in the nation. This year's contest attracted more than 330,000 works of art and writing. Of these, only the top one percent were recognized at the national level.

Grace received a National Silver Medal for her earrings, titled Squiral. Henley was awarded a National Silver Medal in the Photography category for her color photograph titled Surrounded. Congratulations to Grace and Henley for their incredible achievements! 

  • May 2017
    • MonMay22 Dare Week
    • MonMay22 Gator Golf - Laurel Athletic Booster Golf Outing Mayfield Country Club
    • MonMay22 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • MonMay22 US May Term
    • TueMay23 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • TueMay23 US May Term
    • WedMay24 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • WedMay24 US May Term
    • WedMay24 Grade 9 Picnic for Class of 2021 and Families 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    • ThuMay25 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • ThuMay25 US May Term
    • ThuMay25 Renaissance Faire Reception 5:30 PMLyman
    • ThuMay25 Grade 6 Shakespeare Play: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriMay26 After School at Laurel Classes End

Primary School

Laurel School PrimaryWhat a joy it is to see every jumper-clad girl bound through the door each morning to ask and answer her own questions! Innovative teachers design small classes that dare each girl to step up, to challenge herself, to reach beyond what she already knows. We partner with parents to celebrate each girl as we propel her through the remarkable transformation from curious Kindergartener to confident Fourth Grader.

In Primary, our interdisciplinary curriculum is inspired by findings from Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls. We know how girls think, learn and feel. Students are guided to make informed guesses about how the world works then test their hunches with experimentation. Grade-level themes shape deep investigations of big ideas and help girls add strength to their understanding by connecting learning in each subject.

As girls grow, they tend their own class gardens in our courtyards and greenhouses; LAB Days spent out at our 140-acre Butler Campus further their inquisitiveness about the natural world. Teachers steer girls to follow their questions to classroom books, the Primary’s Lake Library, the science lab and online sources. Each girl’s distinctive imagination grows through reading and the arts as she works with hands-on, minds-on materials to express her understanding creatively.

Come see for yourself! You need only amble down the game hall to see the latest feats of our Primary School engineers: girls design and build toys, rides and machines. Our youngest students develop their ears for world languages in Chinese, French and Spanish, ready for immersion in one language by Third Grade. On an Assembly day, you may find girls performing what they have discovered, sparking the curiosity of other girls. We hope you will visit us soon to see Primary girls at Laurel joyously learning in action!

Sincerely,

Heather Diemer Havre ‘86
Director of the Primary School

Bella Patel
Associate Director of the Primary School

 

Philosophy and Essential Questions

English K-4

Through a comprehensive, integrated language arts program, Laurel girls become independent, fluent readers and writers. Students read a variety of genres and learn vocabulary, reading strategies and new perspectives. Laurel girls grow from seeing their own experiences reflected in the material they read. They learn to communicate effectively and to practice the research process while making connections with other coursework. Students assess their writing through self-evaluation and peer and teacher feedback.

  • What makes writing worth reading?
  • How is this story my story?
  • What techniques make writing clear, creative and persuasive?
  • How can I make valid inferences based on contextual clues?
  • How can the process of reading texts help formulate my moral development?

Social Studies K-4

Laurel’s social studies program prepares students to become responsible and productive citizens. Through our integrated, engaging curriculum, girls deepen their understanding of the world and apply their knowledge and skills to make effective personal and public decisions. They learn to think independently, conduct research, write effectively and express themselves orally through dynamic lessons that address students’ learning styles.

  • How does where people live affect how they live?
  • What is the influence of past events and tradition on the present and the future?
  • What factors, including geography, contribute to the rise and decline of civilizations?
  • What forces support the development of regions?
  • What are the responsibilities of active and involved citizens?

Mathematics K-4

Mathematics are integral to functioning efficiently and effectively in today’s society. We value the purposeful use of mathematical resources in decision-making and celebrate the beauty of thoughtful mathematical procedures. Laurel teachers facilitate individual and collaborative investigations in which they require students to construct their own mathematical knowledge. Participation in this journey refines students’ computational, manipulative, problem-solving, critical-thinking and logical-thinking skills.

  • What is the pattern and how do I know?
  • What tools do I use to solve problems?
  • How can my knowledge of mathematics help me when I encounter unfamiliar problems?
  • How do I communicate mathematically to represent my ideas?
  • How do I construct mathematical knowledge and build connections to the world?

Science K-4

The Laurel School science department seeks to provide every girl with the tools to courageously explore the physical world and to become an ethical, compassionate contributor to it. We believe that hands-on experimentation and teamwork are essential to girls studying science. Our students achieve success in thinking critically, solving problems creatively and articulating their ideas and findings to others.

  • How can I investigate the natural world as scientists do?
  • Why is it important for me to work collaboratively while conducting hands-on experiments and communicating the results of our scientific research?
  • What can I do to help solve real-world problems?
  • How do I positively and negatively affect the physical world around me?
  • What can we learn from mistakes?

World Languages K-4

Studying languages in Grades K through 8 creates a solid foundation for children to become lifelong language learners. Teaching is done almost entirely in the target language to provide students with an immersion-style experience. Our goal is for students to develop a sense of confidence in their own abilities, to function in the target language and to genuinely enjoy language learning. Exposure to different languages and cultures broadens girls’ worldviews, enhances their sense of empathy and promotes curiosity about the world.

  • How does learning to speak other languages enable us to contribute to a global society?
  • What can different cultures teach us about our own way of living?
  • What kinds of connections does multiculturalism empower us to make?
  • What impact does learning one language have on the accessibility of other languages?
  • How does learning to communicate in another language enhance critical-thinking skills?

Visual Arts K-4

Art is a language of expression and communication. It involves discovering ideas and transforming them into visual form. This process is nurtured through exposure to diverse examples of art (in our own and in other cultures) and through repeated opportunities to work with a variety of art media and techniques. The visual arts involve developing the ability to look analytically, while offering an exploration of varied materials and processes.

  • What is art?
  • Why and how do people create art?
  • How does visual art communicate?
  • How and where do artists get their ideas?
  • How do I use materials to visually articulate an idea?

Performing Arts K-4

In a classroom community, students learn to take risks as they explore their creativity. They engage in exercises that develop basic skills in each art form. As girls move through the performing arts curriculum, they grow from practicing the skills to using the skills in varying forms of self-expression. A cumulative curriculum allows students to build on previously mastered skills and to take each art form to the next level. Emphasis is placed on a creative, engaging process that leads directly to a final product.

  • How do the performing arts express and shape culture and identity?
  • What makes a good performance?
  • How do the performing arts enhance my view of the world and the way I identify beauty and movement?
  • How do the performing arts promote risk-taking and communication?
  • How does process affect final product/performance?

Physical Education K-4

The P.E. program is designed to help girls attain a basic understanding about the body and its capabilities and limitations in movement. Through a variety of activities, students explore movement and develop spatial awareness. Girls are encouraged to understand their personal strength and to cooperate with others. As the girls progress through Middle School, basic skills, knowledge of sports, physical activities, fitness and game play are emphasized.

  • How do I use my body and the space around me to participate in activities safely?
  • How do I demonstrate a respect for difference during physical activity?
  • Why are sportsmanship and teamwork important?
  • What concepts and skills are essential to successful participation?
  • How does my behavior toward others impact my effectiveness as an athlete?

An All-Girls’ Independent College Preparatory School for Grades K-12 and Coed Pre-Primary
Lyman Campus Butler Campus
216.464.1441


Laurel's Mission Statement:


To inspire each girl to
fulfill her promise and
to better the world. 

 

All-School Open House

October 2017
exact date and time coming soon
Lyman Campus


"Laurel transforms students into strong women through an exemplary education and an atmosphere built on growth." Caitlin Cronin '16


"During my time at Laurel, I developed the mental aspect of my tennis game -- staying focused and staying in every match. The support that I've gotten from my team and my coaches has really helped me to do that." Danielle Buchinsky '15


"Laurel encourages its girls to try things they think they can do, things they don't think they can do, and even things they never thought about doing." Jazlynn Baker '16


"Laurel is a place where almost every girl can find a home. The community here is extremely accepting and diverse, and every student has her own ideas and opinions that are valued by everyone."Rebecca Brichacek '16


"Confident, independent, open-minded, fearless. That's what comes to mind when I think of what Laurel has given to my daughters." Laurel Parent

 

“The greatest gift Laurel gave me was the gift of lifelong friendships with classmates, teachers and parents of classmates. We have a special bond based on our shared experiences.” 
Betsy Sweeney Backes ‘78

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