Primary School Calendar

In May a reporter from Quartz at Work, a global business news organization owned by The Atlanticvisited Laurel's Butler Campus to observe students in Grades Three through Seven who are part of the school's Adventure Girls program as they participated in their long awaited overnight, representing the culmination of a year of adventures together. The article states that "While this may sound like a run-of-the-mill after-school program or summer camp, there’s an element that sets it apart: Adventure Girls is borne out of research on how girls can build resilience. The program aims to create stress-inducing situations and equip young girls with the tools to get through them. Girls get started young so that they’ll be prepared to handle the pressures of high school, college, and life beyond."

Adventure Girl leaders Shannon Lukz and Chuck Allen are both highlighted in the story, as is Dr. Lisa Damour, Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, who highlights the research initiative Laurel has embarked on in the last eight years to examine the relationship girls have with stress and how to build resilience—the ability to adapt well to adversity. 

The article states that "The research findings that Damour uncovered have been crucial for the framework that underpins Adventure Girls and the broader culture at Laurel School. This framework outlines five elements of resilience: creativity, purpose, growth-mindset, relationships, and self-care. Adventure Girls learn these tools in a variety of ways, often through more subtle cues, including the way the adults structure activities and discussions before and after."

The Adventure Girls program is year-round, and meets 12 times each semester. Girls take two to three field trips that involve adventurous activities like kayaking, climbing, or snowshoeing. The program works hard to get parents and teachers on the same page to work toward the same goal—fostering language and behaviors that teach these girls how to handle adversity.

Click here to read the full story.

Cleveland.com recently interviewed Trey Wilson, Laurel School's Director of Strategic Partnerships and Megan Pidcock '21 to learn more about the class 25 students took this past semester led by Denny Young and Steve Lindecke of the Elevation Group--Laurel partners with Elevation Group to produce LaureLive.

The article states that "Large-scale rock concerts have become a summer staple over the past few decades, but few, if any, are largely organized by high school students. That's the case, however, with LaureLive, a two-day concert event that was expected to draw 20,000 people to Laurel School's Butler Campus in Russell Township.

In the piece, Wilson states that "The students learn about things like talent acquisition, contract negotiations and emergency thinking and planning. Like, if there are 10,000 people, how many porta-potties do you need to have?" 

Megan said she was aware of the Laurel class that prepares for LaureLive before she applied to attend the school. It was something in which she was eager to take part. "I love music, and I never dreamed of going to a school with this kind of opportunity. The students involved in LaureLive's production can, on show days, work in the VIP lounge, work with youngsters at an educational activities area, or help to make sure the artists are comfortable during their stay, among other tasks."

Click here to read the full article.

In advance of the third annual LaureLive, which took place June 9-10, 2018 at Laurel's Butler Campus, Freshwater Cleveland spoke with Trey Wilson, Director of Strategic Partnerships, to learn more about the important role students play in working with Elevation Group to produce the two-day music festival. The article states that "A festival held at Laurel—consistently ranked as one of the area’s best K-12 schools—couldn’t exist without an educational component. That’s why Denny Young and Steve Lindecke [of Elevation Group] have, since the festival’s start in 2016, co-taught a class at Laurel’s upper school on music management and festival planning."


"They’ve done a terrific job," says Wilson, of the co-teaching team. Students take the class in order to have a role in staging the festival, whether that’s helping stagehands, working the box office, or even providing talent hospitality. "They’re on hand, in the trenches right next to us," said Young.

Students come to the class for the chance to meet big-name musicians, but they stay to learn the intricacies of running a music festival. "What surprises most of the girls is the scope of what goes into creating an event this size and scale,” said  Wilson. The class asks students to consider everything from food vendors to marketing to the number of port-a-potties necessary.

Click here to read the full story.

The Cleveland Jewish News recently connected with Valerie Zborovsky '21, for a story titled, "LaureLive Class on Ground Floor of Two-Day Music Festival." Valerie has been working throughout the semester with Elevation Group to learn about all aspects of event production. In the article she states that "her biggest surprise was learning that little details can make a big difference." Trey Wilson, Laurel's Director of Strategic Partnerships, was also included in the story stating that his favorite thing about the LaureLive class is that "the educators use 'the collective adolescent insight,' or the students' own curiosity to drive the discussion and select topics of conversation." Click here to read the full story.
The Chagrin Valley Times visited Laurel's Butler Campus in May to observe The Dig, an annual Grade Seven immersion unit that aims to replicate the Whittlesey tribe site. Hope Murphy, Director of Curriculum for Grades K-8, was included in the piece and stated The Dig was "brought to Laurel about 15 years ago when the school in Shaker Heights purchased the Butler Campus in Russell Township to promote outdoor activities. They lay out the site in grid lines and use the tools that archaeologists use. They collect artifacts and chart the data to put together a map of the dig site, which then gives them the ability to analyze how the artifacts fell in a meaningful way." The Grade Seven teachers collaborated with specialists from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to prepare the mock site and the artifacts, which display cut marks to indicate that stone tools were used to process them. In preparation for The Dig, this year's students heard from Barbara Brown, a paleontologist and Laurel alum who helped discover Lucy, a female pre-hominin of the species Australopithecus afarensis that dates to 3.2 million years old. Click here to read the full story.
The Alumnae Association honored three graduates of distinction at the Distinguished Alumnae dinner on May 17. Cleveland.com recapped the honorees, highlighting the 2018 Distinguished Alumna Award, which was given to Marne Levine '88, COO of Instagram, a position she attained in 2014. Prior to joining Instagram, Levine, for four years, was vice president of global public policy at Facebook. Also being honored with the 2018 Young Alumna of Distinction Award was Tamara Broderick '03, an ITT career development assistant professor at MITThe third honoree was Kathy Chilcote Pender '55, a community volunteer and psychotherapist. Pender picked up the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. Click here for the full recap.

The Cleveland Jewish News was also in attendance for the dinner. Click here for the news coverage.

The News-Herald recently highlighted Jami Morris '21 and her impressive third place finish at this year's Drive, Chip & Putt (DCP) National Finals, which took place on April 1 at the Augusta National Golf Club. Jami competed in the girls 14-15 age division and finished with the best drive of the group, which earned her ten points. She scored an eight in the chip competition and a four in putting. Jami made it through three stages of qualifying to get to Nationals and won her division at the regional at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Vollage Golf Club in Dublin, OH. See additional coverage highlighting Jami in Northeast Ohio Golf Online and Cleveland.com.  

 

In March Morgan Goldstein '18 authored a piece in Crain's Cleveland Business where she highlighted how planning, passion and dedication are critical for anyone looking to start a business. Morgan has been a chef for years and started on a professional path from a young age, appearing on the Food Network's "Chopped" in both 2015 and 2016. She is now the chef and founder of MHG Catering and is currently writing and publishing her own cookbook. Morgan is also a member of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum. You can read the full story in Crain's here.

Laurel's Director of College Guidance Missy Rose was recently featured in a Cleveland Magazine story titled, "How to Find the Right College for Your High Schooler." In the piece Missy highlights the financial aspect of selecting a college, stating "Don't wait until your child is accepted to her dream college and it's April of her senior year and you say, 'We can't afford this.' The earlier families talk money, the better." She goes on to suggest parents "Have the conversation with your child upfront. There needs to be schools on the list that are highly likely for affordability — and that can be overlooked.” 

In the piece, Missy also discusses how your children are watching. Laurel's Center for Research on Girls conducted a study that showed when parents’ expectations are significantly higher than girls’ expectations for themselves, "self-esteem plummets," she points out. "They are watching for signs of approval or disapproval, and that could mean a raised eyebrow, crossed arms, a tone of voice," she is quoted saying. "Most kids want to please their parents, and if they get a sense that certain schools are not OK, it’s tough for them to deal with."

Missy also discusses the importance of stopping at ten applications. "It’s a lot of work to apply to colleges. It takes a lot of time. They need to balance the application process with their courses, their extracurricular activities and for some families, the cost."

Congratulations to the Grade Five, Six and Seven girls who competed in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) math competition at John Carroll University and at Hawken School this year. The tournament recognizes interest and perseverance in math outside the classroom, encouraging students to challenge their problem-solving skills in a competitive team format.

Of the three trophies available Laurel teams took all three! Congratulations to all the girls for their hard work and positive outcomes.  

5th Grade: (Trophy)
  • Clare H.
  • Sydney M.
  • Jazmin R.
  • Ella W.
5th Grade: (Trophy)
  • Gianna M.
  • Katie I.
  • Eve B.
  • Kelly K.
6th Grade: (Trophy)
  • Kaitlin E.
  • Amelia G.
  • Lexi C.
  • Karma A. 
6th Grade: (Blue Ribbon)
  • Riley O.
  • Grace G.
  • Kate T.
  • Shaliz B.
Grade Seven: (Red Ribbon)
  • Krista C.
  • Veda P.
  • Maria P.

Primary School (Kindergarten - Grade 4)

 

 

What a joy it is to see every jumper-clad girl bound through the door each morning to ask and answer her own questions! Innovative teachers design small classes that dare each girl to step up, to challenge herself, to reach beyond what she already knows. We partner with parents to celebrate each girl as we propel her through the remarkable transformation from curious Kindergartener to confident Fourth Grader.

In Primary, our interdisciplinary curriculum is inspired by findings from Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls. We know how girls think, learn and feel. Students are guided to make informed guesses about how the world works then test their hunches with experimentation. Grade-level themes shape deep investigations of big ideas and help girls add strength to their understanding by connecting learning in each subject.

Laurel School PrimaryAs girls grow, they tend their own class gardens in our courtyards and greenhouses; LAB Days spent out at our 140-acre Butler Campus further their inquisitiveness about the natural world. Teachers steer girls to follow their questions to classroom books, the Primary’s Lake Library, the science lab and online sources. Each girl’s distinctive imagination grows through reading and the arts as she works with hands-on, minds-on materials to express her understanding creatively.

Come see for yourself! You need only amble down the game hall to see the latest feats of our Primary School engineers: girls design and build toys, rides and machines. Our youngest students develop their ears for world languages in Chinese, French and Spanish, ready for immersion in one language by Third Grade. On an Assembly day, you may find girls performing what they have discovered, sparking the curiosity of other girls. We hope you will visit us soon to see Primary girls at Laurel joyously learning in action!

Sincerely,

Heather Diemer Havre ‘86
Director of the Primary School

Bella Patel
Associate Director of the Primary School

 

Philosophy and Essential Questions

English K-4

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. 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.

  • What makes writing worth reading?
  • How is this story my story?
  • What techniques make writing clear, creative and persuasive?
  • How can I make valid inferences based on contextual clues?
  • How can the process of reading texts help formulate my moral development?

Social Studies K-4

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.

  • How does where people live affect how they live?
  • What is the influence of past events and tradition on the present and the future?
  • What factors, including geography, contribute to the rise and decline of civilizations?
  • What forces support the development of regions?
  • What are the responsibilities of active and involved citizens?

Mathematics K-4

Mathematics are 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, critical-thinking and logical-thinking skills.

  • What is the pattern and how do I know?
  • What tools do I use to solve problems?
  • How can my knowledge of mathematics help me when I encounter unfamiliar problems?
  • How do I communicate mathematically to represent my ideas?
  • How do I construct mathematical knowledge and build connections to the world?

Science K-4

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.

  • How can I investigate the natural world as scientists do?
  • Why is it important for me to work collaboratively while conducting hands-on experiments and communicating the results of our scientific research?
  • What can I do to help solve real-world problems?
  • How do I positively and negatively affect the physical world around me?
  • What can we learn from mistakes?

World Languages K-4

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.

  • How does learning to speak other languages enable us to contribute to a global society?
  • What can different cultures teach us about our own way of living?
  • What kinds of connections does multiculturalism empower us to make?
  • What impact does learning one language have on the accessibility of other languages?
  • How does learning to communicate in another language enhance critical-thinking skills?

Visual Arts K-4

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.

  • What is art?
  • Why and how do people create art?
  • How does visual art communicate?
  • How and where do artists get their ideas?
  • How do I use materials to visually articulate an idea?

Performing Arts K-4

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.

  • How do the performing arts express and shape culture and identity?
  • What makes a good performance?
  • How do the performing arts enhance my view of the world and the way I identify beauty and movement?
  • How do the performing arts promote risk-taking and communication?
  • How does process affect final product/performance?

Physical Education K-4

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.

  • How do I use my body and the space around me to participate in activities safely?
  • How do I demonstrate a respect for difference during physical activity?
  • Why are sportsmanship and teamwork important?
  • What concepts and skills are essential to successful participation?
  • How does my behavior toward others impact my effectiveness as an athlete?

 

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216-464-0946  •  Admissions@LaurelSchool.org

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

Saturday, October 27, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Lyman Campus

More information

 


"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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