Laurel School’s Capstone Experience, by design, cultivates purpose, relationships and leadership using one of four lenses— Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Studies, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics).

Capstone Candidates 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 creates 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

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  • Civic Engagement

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

    Through an interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based approach, Candidates in the STEAM category 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

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  • Ninth Grade

    • January of Ninth Grade: Complete the Capstone application.
    • February/March of Ninth Grade: Selections of Capstone Candidates announced
    • March of Ninth Grade: Each cohort begins to meet bi-weekly for student-led discussions.
    • May Immersion Week of Ninth Grade: 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; planning for March cohort trips.
    • 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; planning for March cohort trips.
    • March of Tenth Grade: Student-planned cohort trips to a city of the group’s choice. In past years, cohorts have traveled to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
    • April of Tenth Grade: Using the lens of her Capstone category, each Candidate designs a Research Focus and is assigned a Capstone Mentor.
    • May Immersion Week of Tenth Grade: Each Candidate works on her Research Focus.
  • 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.
    • May Immersion Week of Eleventh Grade: Each Candidate works on her Research Focus.
    • Summer of Eleventh Grade: Each Candidate works to complete a draft of her Research Focus.
  • Twelfth Grade

    • Fall of Twelfth Grade: No work on Capstone as the focus is on the college process—though a student’s Capstone Experience certainly could serve to highlight college applications.
    • January through March of Twelfth Grade: Candidates complete final draft of their Research Focus.
    • April and May of Twelfth Grade: Candidates make oral defense of Research Focus to Mentor and Capstone committee.
    • Capstone Banquet: Capstone Candidates receive special designation, becoming Capstone Scholars.

Capstone Glossary

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  • Capstone Candidate

    A participant in Capstone
  • 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

Questions?

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Common Questions About Capstone

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