Middle School Calendar
  • September 2017
    • TueSep19 Grades 5 & 6 Advisory Parent Breakfast 8:00 AMLyman
    • TueSep19 Grades 5 & 6 Parent Coffee 8:30 AMLyman
    • WedSep20 Rosh Hashanah: Classes in Session
    • FriSep22 Professional Day: NO CLASSES

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.

 

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



 

Alyssa Johnson '18 recently completed a week with Look Up To Cleveland as part of its Summer Class of 2017 and came away with a new understanding of her impact and future in the City of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. 

The Look Up To Cleveland program provides students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills, gain a deeper appreciation of our community, and build relationships among a diverse group of young leaders. Participants often say they are better equipped to appreciate all Cleveland has to offer and to become student ambassadors for our region.

LookUp Summer was offered as two separate one-week sessions this summer for 30 rising high school juniors and seniors in each session. Students came from all parts of Cuyahoga County and represented public, private and parochial schools. As part of the week students explored Cleveland’s arts, economy, varying neighborhoods, and developed their own vision for future impact. Along the way, they met with some of the city’s top leaders including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; Federal US Marshal Pete Elliott; and representatives of a variety of community development organizations.

We are proud of Alyssa for her commitment to becoming a leader within our community! 

 

Leslie Segal, Director of the Middle School at Laurel, was recently featured in the Cleveland Jewish News discussing school uniforms and how they affect the learning environment. Ms. Segal is quoted in the piece stating, "The crux of it is that (uniforms) take the focus off of what the (students) look like. There is such a focus on what we should look like and what we are wearing. It allows us as a community to focus on what we deem more important for the students and as people.”

She goes on to say that "uniforms help students focus in the classroom and allow them to not worry about what to wear. The uniforms at Laurel, help instill the school’s values onto the students as well and curbs competition between students."

Leslie also highlight's Laurel's Center for Research on Girls (LCRG) and how its research states that girls should get nine hours of sleep. "Uniforms help shorten the morning process, allowing them to sleep more."

The full article, titled "Dress Codes Create Sense of Belonging, Promote Focused Learning" can be found here.

Currents Magazine recently highlighted the various traditions upheld by area private schools. Two of Laurel School's beloved traditions were included in the article titled "Area Schools Use Time-Honored Traditions to Inspire Students, Create Unity in Community." Excerpts from the article follow.

"At Laurel School, a great tradition called the Gerbera Daisy ceremony is one of several that take place throughout the year. This involves seniors giving a daisy to a kindergartener in August, welcoming them to the Laurel community. In May, the kindergartners then give one to the seniors as a symbol of their leaving Laurel."

"Another tradition at Laurel involves the Junior Ring Chapel, where juniors receive their Laurel rings and then have classmates and teachers turn them as many times as their class year." 

The Cleveland Jewish News recently featured Sandrine Pal, Laurel French Teacher and World Languages Chair, in a story about how children often excel when studying a foreign language from a young age. Sandrine is quoted saying, “The No. 1 reason (that children learn a language better) is that children are developmentally primed to learn languages. Cognitively, when they are young, they are still learning their first language and their brain is very open to learning a second language."

Sandrine goes on to state in the article that "when teaching children language, especially those that are different from English fundamentally, like Chinese and Japanese, it’s better to start learning as early as possible, maybe even teaching both first and second language interchangeably. Along with language proficiency, exposure to the language early on also could open up children to different cultures."

To read the full article click here.


Adventure Music Life blog recently highlighted "Seven Reasons Why LaureLive 2017 was Amazing, Fun, and Inspiring." Blogger Nici Lucas commented that "LaureLive 2017 provided the fun, talent, and amenities necessary for a successful music festival, but the event also provided much more: positivity, inspiration, beauty, innovation, and girl power. If you missed the festival, then adding LaureLive 2018 to your calendar is a must. Check out the top seven reasons why."

The blog lists several reasons why LaureLive 2017 was a complete success and what it means to Northeast Ohio. Among the top reasons: 

  1. LaureLive is the new Northeast Ohio annual music festival, further solidifying the city's significant impact to the rock world
  2. An array of talent from newer artists to bigger names
  3. Laurel students helped to produce the event

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz was quoted in the piece stating that a platform was designed to, "give our girls a really exciting experience from the ground up. The students worked on everything from marketing and budgeting to interfacing with fabulous people like Michael Franti, and all the stuff in between that’s much less glamorous but has to get done.” Ann went on to say that festival-goers can expect the safest, “finest, family-friendly festival for music in Northeastern Ohio, and possibly the world.” 

Though Julia Saltzman '17 graduated in early June, she still managed to wow speech and debate judges on behalf of Laurel in Birmingham, Alabama where, as one of 250 qualifiers, she competed at the National Tournament in late June. As a member of Laurel's Speech and Debate team for four years, Julia was a three-time State qualifier. She capped off her Speech and Debate career at Laurel with six rounds of speeches at the National Tournament. Her stellar performance propelled her into the quarter finals, making her one of the top 60 Extemporaneous speakers in the country. Cleveland.com recently highlighter her accolades in its Chagrin Falls Community Blog. You can read the update here.

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.
  • September 2017
    • TueSep19 Grade 3 Shaker Immersion
    • TueSep19 Grades 5 & 6 Advisory Parent Breakfast 8:00 AMLyman
    • TueSep19 Grades 5 & 6 Parent Coffee 8:30 AMLyman
    • WedSep20 Grade 3 Shaker Immersion
    • WedSep20 Rosh Hashanah: Classes in Session
    • ThuSep21 Grade 3 Shaker Immersion
    • ThuSep21 Rosh Hashanah: NO CLASSES - BUILDING CLOSED
    • FriSep22 First Day of Autumn
    • FriSep22 Grade 3 Shaker Immersion
    • FriSep22 Professional Day: NO CLASSES
    • FriSep22 Rosh Hashanah: NO CLASSES
    • MonSep25 Grade 2 Native American Week Butler
    • MonSep25 Grade 3 Shaker Immersion
    • TueSep26 Grade 2 Native American Week Butler
    • TueSep26 Grade 3 Shaker Immersion

Middle School (Grades 5 - 8)

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,

Leslie K Segal ‘95
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. 

 

All-School Open House

Sunday, October 15, 2017
1:00-3:00 p.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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