Primary School Calendar

Laurel's varsity golf team recently closed out an incredible season! After placing second in the Northeast Sectional Golf Tournament the team qualified to compete in States, which took place October 13 and 14 at Ohio State University's Scarlet and Gray Golf Course in Columbus. 

The team, coached by Upper School Spanish Teacher and Director of Service Learning Marti Hardy, went on to break their District record of 352 strokes when on day one of States the team shot a 339. The final result was a fourth place finish. Jami Morris '21 was honored as Second Team All Ohio, Taylor Thierry '21, shot a hole-on-one on the Par 3 17th hole, Grace Durdle '19 and Haley Thierry '21 both had their personal best scores and we watched Sophia Levinson '18 play her last hole as a Laurel Senior. Congratulations to the golf team on a fantastic season! 


The Cleveland Jewish News recently spoke with Laurel's Associate Head of School, Kathryn Purcell, to discuss the benefits of a private high school. At Laurel, there is a number of benefits. I think the environment allows the girls to be serious students, to be themselves and to connect with one another in a way that doesn’t add any social pressures or any expectations in how they are supposed to behave." She goes on to state that Laurel is "a smaller environment, and with that, we’re able to grow relationships with each girl so she knows (the school) has her back. In general, at private schools, teachers are of high caliber and they are incredibly dedicated to their students. It’s a community-driven experience." Kathryn also highlights in the piece that Laurel is seeing more students take an active role in the decision process. "They know if they want an academically rigorous environment." Click here to read the full story.

 

In her latest New York Times column, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, tackles adolescent curiosity and how they will satisfy it online. She states that, "Young people have always been curious about sex, and when our teenagers have questions, the internet is usually their first stop, for worse and for better. Adolescents can and do find highly explicit sexual material online, and an emerging body of research tells a worrisome story about the place of pornography in young people's lives." Dr. Damour goes on to state that "teenagers also turn to the internet for information about relationships and sexual health."

In this digital age there is no shortage of topics to tackle with adolescents - from dating violence to how all consuming relationships can become with a smartphone in hand. The column hones in on how parents can address these topics by talking with teenagers about pornography and by directing them to dependable online information. Lisa provides several useful resources for parents and their teens, and offers a variety of approaches to take when broaching the topic. Click here to read the column in its entirety.

Hope Murphy, Director of Studies for K-8 at Laurel, recently spoke with Cleveland Magazine for an article on the "four C's", critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, and how each of these play a vital role in Laurel's curriculum and how students learn from a young age.

The story highlights how, using an interdisciplinary approach, Laurel School encourages the Four C’s by taking one theme and extending it across subjects. Hope is quoted saying "As early as age 5, students recognize the power of their own voice and of adults and older students to listen to them. They learn the importance of bigger questions and the broader community." In the article, she goes on to talk about how social emotional development is a key focus for early learners. Kindergarten teacher Nicole Franks and First Grade teacher Laura Marabito are also quoted in the story, highlighting examples of how the four C's play out in the classroom.

"Kindergartners at the Shaker Heights girls’ school learn about animals in the rainforest and think critically about the question: “How does where the animals live affect how they live?”  

They research the subject in a science lab and then go on a field trip to visit animals at the RainForest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. In class, kindergartners use their artistic skills to build a habitat that represents the rainforest environment.  

“Both the art teacher and the science teacher help draw out the girls’ understanding of an animal they have researched,” says Laurel kindergarten teacher Nicole Franks. “They supplement what students are learning in their homeroom about regions of the world through reading literature or nonfiction about the region in language arts and social studies."

Click here to read the full article.

 

 

Missy Rose, Director of College Guidance at Laurel, was recently included in a Cleveland Jewish News story focused on the various benefits of taking a gap semester or year prior to college. In the article Missy is quoted saying, "While academically, (the student) may be ready for college but socially, they might not be ready. Another reason can be that they feel burned out from working hard in high school and they just can’t imagine getting back into that with only a two-month break. They might want to use their brain in a different way." Missy also notes in the piece that these options are an ideal way to further personal development. Click here for the full story.
Congratulations to our ninth grade golfer who won the Regional Drive, Chip and Putt competition (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) at Muirfield Golf Club on Saturday, September 16. She will go to the Master's Tournament in Augusta, Georgia in April to play in the National Tournament. She plays number one for Laurel’s varsity golf team and has led our team to the lowest 9 hole, 18 hole and tournament scores in the history of golf at Laurel School. 

Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, recently co-authored a piece in the New York Times - Well - Health guide titled "How to Be a Modern Parent." 

The piece states that “Modern parents have the entire internet at their disposal and don’t follow any single authority. It’s hard to know whom or what to trust. Here, we’ll talk about how to help your child grow up to be a person you really like without losing yourself in the process.” The article touches on many different aspects of parenting starting with how to promote good sleeping habits from the start to fighting food battles with toddlers. The piece go on to touch on a variety of social issues such as bullying, gender and academic pressure and provides guidance and as to how to handle sometimes difficult parenting challenges.

 

Kana Cummings '18 has been named a Semifinalist in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. She is included in a pool of approximately 16,000 talented high school Seniors that will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be awarded in the spring. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists will be notified of this designation in February. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Congratulations to Kana on this wonderful achievement!

Cleveland.com recently highlighted the news from Laurel School announcing a $10,000 grant awarded by the Veale Foundation, a forum, of which Laurel has been a member for five years, that instills an entrepreneurial mindset in high school students through experiential learning.

The money will be used to fund Laurel's entrepreneurship activities and programs throughout this school year. Those include the school's Capstone Experience, which cultivates purpose, relationships and leadership, and its Veale Venture Challenge which, through a series of steps, aims to help students start a business while they are still in school.

To read more click here.

Laurel School graduates Nora O'Malley '05 and Phoebe Connell '04 were recently featured on Cleveland.com and in The Plain Dealer where they discuss their newly launched Aida snack line. When the snacks they made for their groundbreaking East Village wine-tap bar, Lois, turned into an object of desire among other food pros in the neighborhood, the two decided to move the snacks "from their cheese boards to online sales, the shelves at Eataly, Manhattan's fine foods court, and now to Cleveland at The Grocery, a little Ohio City spot specializing in local food. Along the way, The New York Times gave them a nod in print, calling their snacks addictive."

"It became a cult thing," Nora recalls in the story. "They'd say things like, 'I'll trade you some of my house-smoked salt for some of your currant crisps."

The article also discusses where the concept for these snacks came from. Phoebe states that "the sourdough cracker recipe is a direct steal from the bread made regularly by her father, Tim Connell, still a history instructor at Laurel. While she once was embarrassed to show up at school with homemade bread, she now 'misses it incredibly'. The crackers, 'a riff on that bread', have their own cheese-like flavor from a five-day fermentation."

Read the full story and more about their success here



 

  • October 2017
    • MonOct23 MS Swimming Begins
    • MonOct23 MS Swimming Parent Meeting 6:30 PMLower University School
    • TueOct24 LSPA Picture Retake Day Lyman: Multipurpose Room
    • TueOct24 Grades 3 & 4 Theatre Workshop 5:30 PM
    • WedOct25 US Basketball Parent Meeting 6:00 PMLyman
    • FriOct27 NO CLASSES for Pre-Primary & Primary (Parent Conferences)
    • FriOct27 US Basketball Begins
    • SatOct28 ISEE Testing for Prospective Students
    • TueOct31 Halloween
    • TueOct31 Primary Halloween Parade 2:00 PM
  • November 2017
    • WedNov01 Alumnae/Senior Class Dinner 6:30 PM
    • ThuNov02 US Swimming Parent Meeting 6:00 PMLyman

Primary School (Kindergarten - Grade 4)

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. 

 

Pre-Primary and Primary
Open House

Saturday, January 6, 2018
9:00-11:00 a.m.
Lyman and Butler Campuses

More information and RSVP here

 


"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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