Primary School Calendar
  • June 2017
    • FriJun30 Online Forms for 2017-18 School Year Due Today!
  • August 2017
    • FriAug04 Summer at Laurel Ends
    • WedAug23 FIRST DAY OF CLASSES for Grades K-12 (Half Day for K)
Ann V. Klotz was recently quoted in Crain's Cleveland Business regarding the Mastery Transcript Consortium, a group that wants to rebuild how high schools record their students abilities and achievements and, in turn, upend how colleges and universities evaluate their applicants. Laurel School is a member of the consortium and Ms. Klotz is quoted saying, "It's been a long time coming in this country for significant education reform. We want to be on the ground floor with something that has the potential to make real lasting change for our kids." The article states that "How this transcript of the future might look is still in the works, but the idea is to develop one that signifies the complete "mastery" of a specific skill. Rather than be organized around a specific academic department, the mastery transcript model is organized around performance areas — like leadership, communication, ethical decision-making, etc. The performance areas and credit standards would be tailored to the individual crediting school, but the idea is to create a consistent format across schools." Read the full story here.
Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, authored two pieces featured in the New York Times this month. The first, titled "Asking Girls and Boys, What Would Wonder Woman Do?" highlights the importance of "making Wonder-Woman a full-family experience." In her column Lisa states that the film "can open conversations with our children about how they might use their own influence. Would our daughters and sons stand passively by if they saw someone being bullied? Or would they use their own power to stick up for those who have less of it?" Her second column, titled "No, Your Teen Doesn't Hate You. It's Just Summer," explains how teens need to have alone time. She states that "Teenagers are charged with the impossible project of becoming independent while still sleeping under our roofs. To accomplish this paradoxical task, they distance themselves psychologically in order to prepare to part physically." Her column goes on to state that complaining isn't unusual, teens generally do hear their parents despite eye rolls, and the quirks don't generally last.

The Top Workplaces 2017 was recently issued by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Laurel was included among the top 50 companies (150-499 employees) on the list! In addition, Ann V. Klotz was included in a story that accompanied the list, which offered advice on leadership versus "just being bossy." Ann is quoted saying, "Not everybody needs to be a stand-on-the-table leader who gives orders and makes a lot of noise. What I try to do is set an example that everybody needs to really choose their abilities, and not be afraid of or apologize for the abilities that don't come naturally. We put a lot of pressure on kids to do everything well, to check all the boxes, when they can excel in different ways." She goes on to say that "Leadership isn't always about being the boss; leadership is about shining the light on other people." Click here to read the full story.

Laurel Seventh Graders took a field trip back to the year 600 A.D. when they spent their last two weeks of the school year on a simulated archeological dig that took place at the Butler Campus. It was there that the students made discoveries about the Whittlesey  tribe -- Paleo Indians who lived along the Cuyahoga River from 600-1000 A.D. Reporter Lynn Ischay with the Plain Dealer paid a visit to the site to learn more about The Dig and what they were uncovering. Her resulting story, "Laurel School Students Dig Archeology" featured an album of photos that helped show readers how impactful outdoor learning can be for students. 

Carrie Ruhrkraut, Grade Seven team leader and Middle School math teacher was included in the story stating, "This is the culmination of their Humanities program. We debated the use of Native Americans as mascots, from their perspective as seventh graders. After they unearth this Whittlesy site, we'll talk about whether or not their perspectives have changed." The reporter commented that "While on the site, the girls were in constant motion, kneeling on the wet sand, carefully scraping or brushing layer after layer, in search of clues to the Whittlesy lifestyle. They worked with their partners, screening bucketsful of sand, then running to help another student plot the location of her find on the 2x2 grid." Click here for the full story.


When the Chagrin Valley Times visited LaureLive on June 11 reporter Ryan Dentscheff noted that "unlike many multi-day music festivals across the county, a noticeable portion of the guests were children." When he sat down with Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz to discuss the two-day festival and Laurel's involvement in the event, Ms. Klotz stated that "We did not want to be Bonnaroo. We wanted to be something that you could bring your primary school aged children to. That was important to us and important too that there be things for little kids to do because it's a drag if you come to something and there's nothing for your children." Ann also commented on the variety of the vendors at the event, all of which are local. "I believe that each of us in this region of the country needs to invest in Cleveland and in Northeast Ohio, and this is part of our making a contribution -- bringing great music, a cool event that we don't have anything quite like it and showcasing our incredible campus." Click here to read the full article. The Cleveland Jewish News also paid a visit to the festival and spoke with Rachael Grossman '17 who worked closely with Elevation Group, who partnered with Laurel to produce the event. The story titled "Student Help with Production of LaureLive 2017" can be found online.

"There are glamorous aspects to putting on a music festival—like booking bands—and some less-than-glamorous aspects—like determining how many Porta Pottys you’ll need," reported Andrew Cass of The News-Herald, who visited with a few Laurel students and staff on day two of this year's LaureLive. The story highlight's the partnership Laurel established with The Elevation Group, whose owners taught a semester-long elective where students took away lessons that go far beyond music. Antonina (Nina) Schubert '17 states in the piece that she has "Always had a passion for music. Seeing how something like this is put together is really cool. It’s a behind-the-scenes look.” Doing her Senior Project with The Elevation Group, she was able get an even closer look at the process, working side by side with the owners. Olivia Savona '19 shadowed the stage manager during the festival. That job gave her a better appreciation for what goes into a concert. She had the opportunity to speak to someone working the lights, getting an inside look at what they do. “It’s a lot more than just music. There are bits and pieces that can interest anyone," she was quoted saying.

The Plain Dealer also paid a visit to the festival. Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz is quoted in the piece stating, "Music with a Mission ties into Laurel's mission to inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world. I love what LaureLive offers our girls, who are given the opportunity to learn about and participate in the process from start to finish and take that experience with them once they leave the walls of Laurel."


WOIO paid a visit to LaureLive on Saturday, June 10 and saw firsthand how Laurel students played a role in the production of the two-day music festival taking place at Laurel's Butler Campus. Danielle Vinokur '17 was interviewed about her experience and was featured saying, "We saw press releases being written, we went to interviews with radio stations, so it was really cool seeing everything going on." Rising Junior Brynn Pierce '19 was also interviewed about what she has learned. "I've learned everything, from how much it costs to put on something like this to all the little details we have to pay attention to, to make everyone happy at our concert. It's awesome. I think that this is a good way to see whether or not you might like the music industry."

Trey Wilson, Laurel's Director of Strategic Partnerships, and Headmistress Ann V. Klotz were also on camera for the story. Ms. Klotz stated, "I am so excited that this festival gives the opportunity to put real-life learning into action for our girls. For them to be both entrepreneurial and think about their creative side is a pretty amazing opportunity at Laurel." View the full story online here.

The buzz around the second LaureLive, taking place June 10-11, 2017, started early this year when the Chagrin Valley Times wrote a story titled, "Laurel Students Behind Scenes of Music Fest." The article highlights the elective roughly 25 students chose to take that kicked off in January where they met each week with the owners of Elevation Group, the production company Laurel partnered with to put on LaureLive. The class focused on all aspects of producing an event of this magnitude--from securing and working with talent to merchandising, insurance and permitting. The class looked at all aspects of production and LaureLive weekend is the culmination of those efforts, where the students all will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on way. The article quotes Trey Wilson, Laurel's Director of Strategic Partnerships, who states that "This isn't happening in a vacuum. They're not just jumping in and doing one weekend without thinking of the preparation that went into it. They get a broad overview from people that have genuine expertise and during the weekend, they will have a way to engage in the event itself. From where I sit, that's a really effective model." Molly Easly '17 and Rachael Grossman '18, both of whom have been working closely with Elevation Group outside of the class, are also featured in the article talking about their role in the event and their take on the overall experience. 

Additional media highlights of Laurel students and their participation in LaureLive appeared in Cleveland.com, where Peighton Taylor '18 was interviewed and the Cleveland Jewish News.

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz sat down with Micki Byrnes, President and General Manager of WKYC Channel 3 - Cleveland, for a “Square Talk” segment that aired on May 14. Ms. Klotz addressed the topics of girls and math, women and STEM careers, and the growing strength of all-girls’ schools throughout the country. View the full interview here.

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. 

  • June 2017
    • FriJun30 Online Forms for 2017-18 School Year Due Today!
  • July 2017
    • TueJul04 Independence Day - BUILDING CLOSED
  • August 2017
    • FriAug04 Summer at Laurel Ends
    • MonAug21 Fifth Grade and New Student Orientation
    • WedAug23 FIRST DAY OF CLASSES for Grades K-12 (Half Day for K)
    • WedAug23 Middle School Fall Athletics Begin

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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