All-School Calendar
  • 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

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

Why Laurel?

At Laurel, our expectations are high and our enthusiasm for highly motivated girls is boundless. As a nationally respected, academically renowned girls’ school (Kindergarten – Grade 12 with a coed Pre-Primary), we take a student from where she is to where she wants to go.

Our commitment to innovation and the best practices in girls’ education, informed by data-driven research, as well as to interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based learning, is what sets us apart. What do parents and students tell us over and over? That no one is invisible at Laurel School: we know our girls well – socially, emotionally and academically. Below is just a sample of the many reasons Laurel is the private school that knows girls best.

Laurel's Mission and Values

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

Values Statement:
Committed to building a just and inclusive world, Laurel girls are courageous, creative, ethical and compassionate.

Laurel's Center for Research on Girls

Established in 2007, Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls (LCRG) influences every aspect of the Laurel community: the faculty’s professional development centers on research about how girls learn; Laurel’s parents benefit from research-based advice about how they can help girls grow; and Laurel students reap the academic rewards of curricula based on cutting-edge research.

In addition to putting the best research to work for teachers, parents and girls, LCRG sponsors original research studies on topics relevant to girls’ development and education. LCRG’s collaborations with researchers from around the country have resulted in numerous presentations at academic conferences and publications in respected research journals. Our most recent study, 21st-Century Athenas: Aligning Achievement and Well-Being — conducted in partnership with Dana Hall School (Wellesley, MA), Dr. Belle Liang of Boston College and Dr. Renee Spencer of Boston University — addresses a significant gap in research literature on stress, well-being and achievement in adolescent girls.

LCRG knows that in order to succeed, girls must be resilient. Laurel School’s curriculum supports LCRG’s five-part formula for building resilience in girls by cultivating creativity, growth mindset, purpose, self-care and relationships.

Two-Campus Advantage

Laurel’s two-campus advantage gives girls an edge by offering unparalleled academic and athletic learning experiences.

Our Lyman Campus in suburban Shaker Heights was built in 1928 and covers 11 acres. Our entire Pre-Primary through Grade 12 community shares one complex and our faculty and students delight in cross-divisional activities. Our younger students find role models not only in the adults who guide and encourage them, but also in the older girls. There is joy, energy and a sense of being a part of something larger than oneself that comes from being in an environment where curious three-year-olds look up to their Primary reading buddies, where an Upper School “cyber-safety” team works with Middle School girls on appropriate Internet behavior and where Kindergarteners sit in the laps of Seniors at assemblies.

Just seven miles east from our Lyman Campus, Laurel students immerse themselves in the natural world at our beautiful 140-acre Butler Campus in Geauga County. The interdisciplinary possibilities at Butler are limitless. In this vast outdoor classroom, students discover scientific and mathematical concepts, create nature-inspired art, poems, dance and music and practice stewardship of the environment. They challenge themselves on our superb Project Adventure Course, compete on our world-class athletics fields and work with Laurel’s strength and conditioning coach in our state-of-the-art fitness center.

While we benefit from being a two-campus school that provides flexible indoor and outdoor learning spaces, we are one school when it comes to our philosophical approach to our students.

Capstone Experience

Laurel School’s Capstone Experience, by design, will cultivate purpose, relationships and leadership using one of four lenses— Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Studies, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics). Capstone Candidates will explore issues through guided research, intellectual discussion, relevant internships and purposeful travel. Using expert guidance from mentors and support from cohort peers, each Capstone Candidate will create a Research Focus based on her individual interests and agency. This innovative program provides committed, interested students with opportunities to approach real-world issues with interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based strategies while building mentor and peer relationships. In developing a sense of purpose, meaningful mentor and peer relationships, and skills of leadership, Capstone prepares a Laurel girl “to fulfill her promise and to better the world.”

More information is available on the Capstone Experience page.

STEM and STEAM

One of the hallmarks of Laurel’s interdisciplinary learning program includes the highly interconnected STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum and research program. Our STEM Research class offers the opportunity for girls to learn and practice “the habits of the scientific mind” as they conduct their own scientific research project at Laurel or off-site. Students present their work at the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF), The Ohio Academy of Science District competition and other national competitions.

Our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Initiative helps to further break down the walls between disciplines by explicitly integrating the arts and design into STEM learning.

More information is available on the STEM & STEAM at Laurel page.

Engineering

As a leader in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) education, Laurel is committed to exposing girls in all grade levels to engineering curriculum.

Primary School science includes the “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum designed by the Museum of Science, Boston and the National Center for Technological Literacy. Engineering challenges underpin many Middle School units of study, including designing better seed dispersal mechanisms in Fifth Grade science or assistive technologies in Seventh Grade science.

Laurel was one of the first girls’ schools in the country to offer an Upper School engineering program. The program offers four innovative courses, each of which allows girls to learn by doing. As a result of the program, more Laurel graduates have gone on to undergraduate and post-graduate engineering programs.

World Languages Program

Our World Languages Program reinforces our mission to empower girls to be global citizens. Laurel is the only school in Northeast Ohio to have the FLEX (Foreign Language Exploration) proficiency-based program offering Chinese, French and Spanish in the Pre-Primary and Primary schools. In Pre-Kindergarten, students have one trimester of each Chinese, French and Spanish. From Kindergarten through Second Grade, every girl is exposed to each language. Beginning in Third Grade, each girl chooses one modern language to study. If a girl starts a world language in Third Grade, she will be prepared for the equivalent third-year Upper School level class by the time she enters Ninth Grade, thereby allowing her the opportunity for more advanced language study in the Upper School.

One Schoolhouse

One Schoolhouse is a direct result of our expertise in how girls learn. In 2009, Laurel joined with three other girls’ schools to found One Schoolhouse (at the time, it was known as The Online School for Girls); today, over 100 schools have joined our consortium. Our position with One Schoolhouse offers our girls a wide array of course offerings and prepares them for online academia that they will likely encounter in their college careers and beyond. In the last six years, Laurel girls have studied AP Psychology, AP Computer Science, AP Macroeconomics and AP Statistics among others.

Design Thinking

For almost a decade, Stanford University has been teaching graduate school courses in Design Thinking; Laurel faculty began an exploration of the methodology in 2010, and as an institution, we’re committed to Design Thinking pedagogy. Students unleash their creativity as they solve problems using empathy, critical thinking and collaboration. Design challenges are geared to the specific abilities, areas of study and student interests found at each grade level. Our Collaboratory provides an exciting space for students to become engaged in Design Thinking, as well as to tinker and innovate.

Technology and One-to-One Program

Students in grades Five through Twelve participate in Laurel's One-to-One Program. This program provides students with their own computer, a learning tool enabling them to acquire and employ 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, research and information literacy, design thinking, and self­ direction. These skills and more combine to prepare Laurel girls for the complex world of the future.

Fifth and Sixth Graders are issued Chromebooks®, while students in grades Seven through Twelve are issued MacBook Air® laptops. Primary Students use iPads®, and laptops, and Chromebooks®.

College Guidance

Our curriculum and commitment to academic excellence prepares Laurel girls for the top colleges and universities in the nation. The Ninth through Twelfth Grade college guidance curriculum guides students through applications, interviews and essays; we also address social and emotional readiness for college, money management and adjusting to life changes. The program emphasizes personal discovery and finding the best fit. Students learn that the college process should not be a means to an end, but rather part of a larger personal growth process.

Protege Internships

Protégé is our signature Upper School internship program. Students build an internship or a research assistantship in an area of strong, personal interest. These out-of-school learning experiences occur in semester or year-long formats, as well as during the summer or over MayTerm. They are recognized on the Laurel transcript. Examples include internships in architecture, research at the Cleveland Clinic or Case Western Reserve University and analysis at financial firms.

Passport Global Initiatives

Laurel’s Global Education Program supports cultural competence through trips, exchanges and curriculum. Educated global citizens bring a broader perspective to their studies and learn to interact with their peers in a global arena. Recent Passport trips have included destinations like France, Spain, Italy, New Orleans, China and Australia.

Service Learning

Intrinsic to Laurel’s fiber, service learning happens naturally and often. Primary School projects have included cleanup of a Lake Erie beach. The Middle School Service Learning Initiative allows girls to find like-minded peers and mentors: affinity groups have worked on projects in support of cancer research, facilities for disabled Americans, children’s issues, animal welfare and more. Upper School girls complete their community service requirement at a variety of local, national and international organizations.

Collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves is an international organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of identity and history in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. In 2014, Laurel became one of over 40 institutions, and the only Cleveland Counsel of Independent Schools (CCIS) school, that make up the Facing History Innovative Schools Network.

 

To speak with a member of our admissions team, contact us today.

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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