This website utilizes cookies to provide you the fullest experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies. See Laurel School's Privacy Policy for cookie and privacy details.
Academics & Arts
Upper School (Grades 9-12)

The 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 events. 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.”

The Four Capstone Categories

List of 4 items.

  • Civic Engagement

    Through an interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based approach, Candidates in the Civic Engagement category will explore what it means to be an engaged citizen working to improve her community, her state, her nation and her world.
  • Entrepreneurship

    Through an interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based approach, Candidates in the Entrepreneurship category will explore issues related to business across different stages, sizes, industries and markets and apply that learning to their own initiatives.
  • Global Studies

    Through an interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based approach, Candidates in the Global Studies category will explore global issues by identifying and analyzing a multitude of perspectives, including one’s own and those of others.

    Through an interdisciplinary, experiential and community- based approach, Candidates in the STEAM category will explore many intersections of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in order to understand and to apply multi-disciplinary strategies to an endeavor.

Capstone Requirements

List of 4 items.

  • Ninth Grade

    • March of Ninth Grade: Complete the Capstone application.
    • April of Ninth Grade: Interviews
    • May of Ninth Grade: Selections of Capstone Candidates announced; cohort activities focusing on leadership skill development and peer bonding at Laurel’s Butler Campus and in Cleveland.
  • Tenth Grade

    • First Semester of Tenth Grade: Bi-weekly, student-led discussions in each cohort.
    • December of Tenth Grade: Students may exit or enter the program depending on what is best for individual students.
    • Second Semester of Tenth Grade: Bi-weekly, student-led discussions in each cohort.
    • February of Tenth Grade: Each Candidate designs a Research Focus and presents it to a panel of Capstone faculty.
    • Spring of Tenth Grade: Refine research focus; Capstone Mentors assigned.
    • Summer of Tenth Grade: Candidates begin background research on their topic of choice, and may complete a relevant Protégé internship.
  • Eleventh Grade

    • Eleventh Grade Year: Each Candidate, guided by her Mentor, works on her Research Focus; bi-weekly cohort meetings continue and serve as peer-review sessions for progress of each Research Focus.
    • Spring of Eleventh Grade: Each Candidate works to complete a draft of her completed Research Focus (a paper or project).
    • End of Eleventh Grade: Each Candidate submits a full draft of her work. Summer of Eleventh Grade: Candidates
  • Twelfth Grade

    • Fall of Twelfth Grade: Candidates finalize their research work and make plans to share their work with a larger audience.
    • January through March of Twelfth Grade: Candidates share their work with a larger audience.
    • April of Twelfth Grade: Candidates make oral defense of Research Focus to Mentor and Capstone committee.
    • Senior Showcase: Capstone Candidates receive special designation, becoming Capstone Scholars.

Capstone Glossary

List of 5 items.

  • Capstone Candidate

    A participant in Capstone
  • Capstone Mentor

    An adult with expertise in the topic of a student’s Research Focus who helps guide her process
  • Capstone Scholar

    A designation for completing the Capstone Experience
  • Cohort

    A small group of grade-level students in a particular Capstone category
  • Research Focus

    A research-based paper or equivalent project designed by each Candidate with guidance from her mentor


List of 1 items.

Common Questions About Capstone

List of 9 items.

© 2022 Laurel School. All Rights Reserved.