Middle School Calendar

On the heels of their Scholastic Art Awards received earlier this year, Caroline Kahn '17 and Katie Dinner '17 each won the Herbert Ascherman Award for Photography, a regional award that is presented to two students each year. Caroline Kahn also received a Gold Key award for her photography and Katie Dinner received both a Silver Key and an honorable mention for her photography.

The Scholastic Arts & Writing Competition is an annual competition open to local students in Grades 7-12. The panel of judges is comprised of professional artists, art educators, writing and writing educators. More than 3,000 entries for both art and writing were submitted this year.

Congratulations to these students for this amazing honor.

On March 7, 2017 six Laurel students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 participated in the Northeastern Ohio Science & Engineering Fair (NEOSEF). Maryum Ali '18, Linnea Tyler '19, Katie Chen '20, and Katelyn Shakir '20 all earned 2nd place at the fair. Olivia Wenzel '20 received 3rd place. 

Grade 10 student Priya Khadilkhar earned an impressive 1st place in the regular judging and also walked away with four special awards: American Statistical Association, American Psychological Association, Cleveland Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and Cleveland State University Department of Psychology.

Many of the students are in Laurel's STEM Research class and while there was no specific topic focus at the event, each of the students chose their own category and had about two months to put their presentations together. Congratulations to all the girls on these incredible achievements!

  

 

Crain's Cleveland Business publisher and editor Elizabeth McIntyre recently attended a panel discussion hosted by Laurel's Entrepreneurship Capstone Students on the documentary film, "Dream, Girl" - a celebration of female entrepreneurs. She highlights that "the young women at Laurel know the power of female leadership because it's front and center in the school's mission to inspire girls to fulfill their promise and better the world. To be living, breathing 'Fearless Girls.'" She goes on to state that Laurel's mission is "what prompted the school to launch its Capstone Experience program last year, which gives students the chance to explore real-world issues while further developing their leadership skills in one of four areas: civic engagement, entrepreneurship, global studies and STEAM (a twist on STEM, "science, technology, engineering and mathematics", that adds "arts" to the mix.)"

Panelists at the event included Heather Ettinger '79, managing partner at Fairport Asset Management; Stephanie Silverman, publisher and owner of Your Teen Media; Nichelle McCall '01, CEO of Bold Startups; and Laura Bennett, COO and co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance, each of whom shared their experiences in creating and running their own businesses. 

The editor goes on to highlight many of the inspiring messages shared during the panel discussion. "Persistence is one of the most valuable things," and "shatter stereotypes whenever you can," were just a few.

Click here to read the full story in Crain's Cleveland Business

Kathryn Purcell, Associate Head of School and Director of Enrollment Management at Laurel was recently featured in a Cleveland Jewish News story highlighting the importance of school culture and how it plays a crucial role in school selection.

Many factors can determine which school a child attends. Class size, programs, location and extracurricular activities can impact a parent's willingness to send a child to a particular school. But, parents should also consider a more abstract notion that exists within a school. School culture focuses on how staff members interact and uphold a shared set of values and beliefs and the school’s effect on students – like teaching practices, diversity and relationships within the school. When it comes to school choice, local educators say school culture should impact their choices as well. 

Kathryn is quoted saying, “(A school’s culture) allows a child to feel visible. You don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks,” Purcell said. “The sense of community kind of dictates how valuable a child feels at a school.”

She goes on to say that even though culture is an intangible factor when choosing a school, it’s just as crucial as anything else. A school’s culture encompasses not only the how the school feels, but also how it interacts with itself. These interactions should be a big part of deciding which school is the right fit.

Click here to read the full story.

Congratulations to the Laurel girls from Grades 5 and 6 who competed in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) math competition on February 18, 2017! Laurel sent three teams of four this year--two from Grade 5 and one from Grade 6--and all received Blue Champion ribbons. The competition included 18 Fifth Grade teams and seven Sixth Grade teams. Similarly, teams from Laurel's Seventh and Eighth Grades competed on March 5 where they received the Champion Award and Medal Award respectively. 

The competition was comprised of four events, each roughly 15 minutes in length. Teams were tasked with working together to problem solve and work through mental math, construction and mixed application problems. Laurel students have been preparing since December to compete and their performance did not disappoint! 

Congratulations to all of the girls on their hard earned achievements!

 

The Laurel Swimming Gators were firing on all cylinders at the Northeast Ohio Swimming Districts, which took place on February 17, 2017 at Cleveland State University. In total, the team earned an impressive five spots on the podium and a total of 14 medals. More importantly, four Laurel swimmers qualified for States in three events!

Morgan Miklus ‘19 qualified in both her individual events, the 100 Free and 100 Back, where she placed 2nd in each. The 200 Free Relay team of Morgan Miklus, Katherine Hagen ‘18, Linzy Malcolm ‘20 and Erin Dyke ‘17 also qualified for states after each swimmer dropped at least a half a second from their time.

In addition, the 200 Medley Relay swam by Morgan Miklus, Rose Pophal ‘19, Katherine Hagen, Erin Dyke came in 8th, dropping four seconds off their time and moving two spots up. The 400 Free Relay swam by Katherine Hagen, Victoria Hagen ‘20, Linzy Malcolm, and Erin Dyke placed 8th after dropping an impressive eight seconds from their time to move up three places. Victoria Hagen, placed 16th in the 500 Free and Rylee Betchkal ‘18 moved up four places in her 100 Breaststroke.

Something must have been in the water because of the 19 events that took place, 14 were best times, four were second-best times and one was a second-best season time! Out of 36 teams in attendance Laurel came in 6th!

Moving onto States, Morgan Miklus really shined, earning a podium spot in eighth place with a lifetime best 100-yard backstroke in 57.00 seconds. She also finished 10th in the 100-freestyle in 52.89 seconds. Read up on the Gators impressive showing at States in the Chagrin Valley Times.

 Congratulations to all the swimmers on their hard-earned victories.

In her latest New York Times piece titled "When a Teenager's Coping Mechanism Is Spongebob," Lisa Damour Ph.D., delves into some of the typical coping strategies adolescents turn to when faced with stress. She states that "being a teenager isn't easy. Thanks to puberty, neurological and hormonal developments introduce teenagers to an era of emotional fragility so it's no surprise that adolescents find handy, if sometimes quirky, ways to reset when they are feeling overwhelmed."

Laurel Ninth Grader Samantha Eisner was included in the story, explaining that childhood pleasures offer comfort because "they take you back to the days when the biggest problem you had was choosing what crayon to color your dress in your third grade self-portrait."

You can read the full New York Times article here. A second story on the same topic also recently aired on CBS This Morning. Click here to take a look.

 

 

Dr. Tori Cordiano, a clinical psychologist and the Assistant Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls (LCRG), recently contributed to the article "Single Parenting: Communication is Key" in the January/February issue of Your Teen Magazine. In the article she states that "clear, fair communication between single parents and their teens helps to pave the way to a trusting relationship that withstands the ups and downs of adolescence."

Click here to read the full piece.

Cleveland Council on World Affairs Laurel StudentsCompeting against schools with teams of 20-35 students each, Laurel’s five Middle School delegates to the Cleveland Council on World Affairs' Junior Model United Nations Conference at John Carroll University produced three winners!

Representing France in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Sarah Goraya '21 and Ria Raj '21 won the Superior Delegation Award, which is the highest group award possible for each committee.

Representing the Netherlands in the Human Rights Commission, Izzy Atzemis '21. brought home the Gavel Award, which is the highest individual award possible for each committee.

In order to achieve these impressive results the students put themselves in the shoes of foreign diplomats and are then able to tackle and find solutions to the most pressing international issues. Through their commitment to the program the participants become empowered to investigate the world, recognize different perspectives, communicate ideas to diverse audiences, and apply what they learn creatively during research, debate, and conference time.

Congratulations to the three award-winners plus Carrie Bifulco '21 and Laine Roberts '21, who also represented Laurel well.

The Cleveland Institute of Art recently announced the winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. The annual competition is open to local students in Grades 7-12. The panel of judges is comprised of professional artists, art educators, writers and writing educators. As in past years, this year’s competition saw nearly 3,000 pieces of artwork and writing samples.

Congratulations to the following 29 Laurel students who won 35 awards (25 for art and 10 for writing) at this year's Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. Each Gold Key piece will continue to the national competition held in New York City.

 

ART AWARDS:

Gold Keys:

Mia Freer ‘17
Drawing and Illustration

Caroline Kahn ‘17
Photography

Grace Murphy ‘17
Jewelry

Lucia Pabon ‘17
Painting

Micki Reisman ‘17
Ceramics and Glass 

Henley Schulz ‘18
Photography

Christina Steele ‘17
Printmaking

Silver Keys:

Nicole Ahmed ‘17
Ceramics and Glass

Katie Dinner ‘17
Photography 

Isabel Friedman ‘17
Photography 

Ellie Martin ‘17
Painting

Caroline Megerian ‘18
Photography

Audrey Moore ‘17
Ceramics and Glass 

Maggie Navracruz ‘17
Architecture and Industrial Design
*Done at CIA Summer Pre-college program

Julia Saltzman ‘17
Digital Art 

Amanda Shao ‘18
Ceramics and Glass 

Natalie Thomas ‘17
Drawing and Illustration

Adelle Walker ‘17
Jewelry

Honorable Mentions:

Katie Dinner ‘17
Photography

Mia Freer ‘17
Mixed Media 

Alex Harris ‘17
Mixed Media 

Sophie Hatch ‘17
Mixed Media

Bridget Napoli ‘18
Photography

Julia Warner-Corcoran ‘17
Drawing and Illustration

Violet Watterson ‘20
Mixed Media
 

WRITING AWARDS:

Silver Keys:

Madeleine Massey ‘18
Poetry (four entries honored with Silver Keys)

Olivia Savona ‘19
Critical Essay

Brooke Siegler ‘17
Personal Essay/Memoir 

Honorable Mentions:

Madeleine Massey ‘18
Personal Essay/Memoir

Janaan Qutubuddin ‘20
Poetry

Tuyen Reed ‘20
Poetry 

Daania Tahir ‘19
Personal Essay/Memoir

  • March 2017
    • SunMar26 Spring Break Camp
    • MonMar27 Spring Break - NO CLASSES
    • MonMar27 Spring Break Camp
    • TueMar28 Spring Break - NO CLASSES
    • TueMar28 Spring Break Camp
    • WedMar29 Spring Break - NO CLASSES
    • WedMar29 Spring Break Camp
    • ThuMar30 Spring Break - NO CLASSES
    • ThuMar30 Spring Break Camp
    • FriMar31 Spring Break - NO CLASSES
    • FriMar31 Spring Break Camp
  • April 2017
    • MonApr03 CLASSES RESUME For All Grades
    • MonApr03 Dream Week

Middle School

All Girls School In Shaker Heights, OH Image - Laurel SchoolYou need only step into the north wing to sense the bustling energy of budding scientists, artists, writers and thinkers diving deep into their learning. The Middle School experience at Laurel is inspired by the work of our Center for Research on Girls on how girls learn best. Experiential learning balances time-honored traditions, and strategies are tailored to each girl as she finds and develops her voice.

Girls learn by doing. They create and conduct experiments in science, they build and draw models to visualize concepts in math, they memorize and act out scenes from Shakespearean plays, and they investigate and debate constitutional issues. Research about the power of authentic, project-based learning has led us to teach design thinking; in our new Collaboratory for hands-on prototyping girls combine habits of mind from each STEAM discipline: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math.

We know girls love choice, so programs in the Middle School are individualized. Each girl advances at her own pace in math, some accelerating to Geometry or Algebra II by Eighth Grade. Girls elect Spanish, Chinese or French, speaking in the target language during class and reaching Level III by Upper School. In Seventh Grade, girls ready for more intellectual rigor add Latin, too. Our One-to-One Technology Program supports each girl’s learning, and girls intrigued by programming tinker with computer game design during electives or in their free time.

Laurel girls rise to creative challenges. Many girls represent Laurel in off-campus competitions in science, global issues, math and writing. Girls choreograph and perform dances; they compose and sing songs; they strive on the fields and courts. Girls dream, dare and do every day in Laurel’s Middle School!

We would love to share more of our interdisciplinary program built on Laurel’s longstanding traditions of excellence and innovation. We hope you will visit soon to see for yourself all that Laurel has to offer each girl!

Sincerely,

Hope Ford Murphy ‘73
Director of the Middle School

Leslie K. Segal ‘95
Co-Director of the Middle School

Philosophy

English 5-8

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. Through a context-rich approach in which they learn to identify patterns, they develop language skills for oral and written communication. 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.

Social Studies 5-8

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.

Mathematics 5-8

Mathematics is 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 and criticalthinking skills.

Science 5-8

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. Studies in Fifth and Sixth Grade are thoughtfully integrated with units in other disciplines such as English, math, and social studies while Seventh and Eighth Grade courses serve as introductions to the fields of earth science, chemistry and physics.

World Languages 5-8

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.

Visual Arts 5-8

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. Working in the visual arts engenders the development of many positive habits of mind, not the least of which are perseverance, taking risks, and willingness to explore options and embrace revision as a part of the process.

Performing Arts 5-8

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.

Physical Education 5-8

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.

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. 

 

Middle and Upper School Open House

Saturday, April 8, 2017
10:30 am-12:30 pm
Lyman Campus

More information and RSVP


"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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