Primary School Calendar
  • May 2018
    • WedMay02 MS Parents "Looking Ahead" 6:30 PM
    • FriMay04 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman: Tippit Gymnasium
    • SatMay05 LSPA Used School and PE Uniform Sale 8:00 AM to 11:00 AMLyman: Alumnae Room
    • ThuMay10 Primary Spring Arts Celebration + Grandparents & Special Friends Day 1:30 PMLyman

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.

Congratulations to Celeste Bohan '19, Emi Cummings '20, Janaan Qutubuddin '20, and Daania Tahir '19, whose award-winning art and writing won accolades in this year's regional Scholastic Art & Writing Competition, and went on to receive Silver Medals in the National Competition. This year, students submitted more than 330,000 works of visual art and writing to the Scholastic Awards; more than 90,000 works were recognized at the regional level and celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies. The top art and writing at the regional level were moved onto the national stage, where more than 2,700 works earned National Medals. Congratulations to our students on their amazing achievements. The girls will be celebrated at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The names of the winning art and writing follow below.

  • Celeste Bohan "Reflections" photo
  • Emi Cummings "Growing up with Purseblog" personal essay/memoir
  • Janaan Qutubuddin "My Missing" poetry
  • Daania Tahir "Letter to America" personal essay/memoir

In her latest New York Times Well Adolescence columnLisa Damour, Ph.D., Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, hones in on why demonstrating is good for kids. A new research report published in January in the journal Child Development, found that late adolescents and young adults who voted, volunteered or engaged in activism ultimately went further in school and had higher incomes than those who did not mobilize for political or social change. The study found that civic activity linked to better academic and financial outcomes regardless of early school performance and parental education levels, two factors that usually drive later success. In the article Lisa states that "The research is especially timely as American students consider whether to participate in the National School Walkout planned for Wednesday, March 14."

She goes on to say that "Taking part in a single event may not, by itself, alter the trajectory of an adolescent's development. But the study's authors suggest that positive, lasting outcomes may result if organized civic engagement helps young people galvanize their belief in their personal efficacy, connect to empowering social networks or cultivate professional skills."

Lisa also appeared on CBS Morning News to discuss the same topic. Click here to view her interview.

Laurel Primary science teacher Abbie Bole and her science class was recently featured on Channel 5 for their STEAM work through an innovative program called Level Up Village. The program allows Laurel students to work with student partners in another country to together, design a solution to a global problem. This year Laurel girls are working with partners in Zimbabwe to develop a light box using Tinkercad software and a 3D printer that can provide electricity to those without access. Channel 5 saw the students in action recording videos to communicate with their partners and using tinkering software to design their light boxes. The class also practiced printing their designs on two 3D printers. Click here to watch the full story.
In her February New York Times Well Adolescence columnLisa Damour, Ph.D., Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, addresses how to approach the topic of vaping with teenagers. In her column, Lisa suggests “Instead of leading with facts, consider starting with genuine curiosity. Setting judgement to the side, ask, ‘What’s your take on e-cigarettes?’ or ‘Do you know kids who are vaping?’ or something along those lines.” Lisa states that “asking teenagers what they know about any topic increases the odds that they’ll want to hear what we now about that topic, too.” Lisa goes on to suggest that when talking to teens about vaping, you ask why before suggesting why not. Share your concerns and finally, concede the limits of your power. “Articulate high expectations in one breath and acknowledge the limits of power in the next.”

Lisa was also recently featured on CBS News to discuss the perceived link between gun violence and mental illness.

Laurel's Headmistress, Ann V. Klotz, had the opportunity to sit down with Sue Reid from Currents magazine in January to share the story of how she came to Laurel and her vision for the school and its students. "At Laurel, Ms. Klotz, the School's 10th head of school, is her 'authentic self,' she described, and proudly commits to cultivating leadership in women on a daily basis." The story goes on to highlight Ann's time spent as a student at the all-girls Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA and then onto Yale University and later, New York University. She also highlights her early career in different positions at Chapin School, an all-girls independent day school in Manhattan, where she worked as an English teacher, head of the drama department and director of guidance. It was there that her now late mentor Mildred Berendsen urged her to consider working as a head of school. It was that guidance that ultimately led her to Laurel.

"Her charge at the time of hire, she explained, was to get an academic vision for the school's Butler Campus as well as increase Laurel's attention to social and emotional development of girls in addition to academics. To that end, Ms. Klotz worked to found Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, which now serves as a national model."

The article goes on to highlight Ann's passion for theater, her love for teaching and her typical day. Under Ann's leadership, "Laurel is a place where girls practice developing confidence, their voice, smarts, respect and empathy and understand how to value multiple points of view."

Click here to read the full article.

The Cleveland Jewish News recently spoke to Daniel McGee, Director of Technology and Library Services at Laurel School, to discuss how technology is evolving and being used in the classroom. As the world becomes more digital-oriented, schools are finding ways to integrate technology into the classroom and Laurel is no exception. Daniel is quoted in the article saying "because technology is ever-changing, education is developing along with it. Tech is changing the world and that is something we have to be on top of here to serve our students,” he said. “Technology is embedded in the classroom and the students need the skills to function in a world that we can’t even imagine yet. We don’t know what life will be like. These are foundational skills that will help them be creative and communicate with whoever they encounter.”

Though some people view technology as an “extra” in the classroom, Daniel commented that it’s an old-school view of learning. “Kids don’t see it as something extra or separate, their lives are full of tech and bringing it into the classroom ties it to real life,” he said. “It’s impacting in ways you wouldn’t see. It’s everywhere. For example, we have a few programs where first graders do blogging that develops their writing skills, but also puts their words to a larger audience. They’re learning to share with the world in a safe way.”

Click here to read the full article.

  • April 2018
    • TueApr24 Senior Parent Breakfast 8:00 AM
    • ThuApr26 MS Homework-Free Weekend
    • ThuApr26 US Spring Concert 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriApr27 Speech and Debate Year-End Celebration 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    • SatApr28 ISEE Testing for Prospective Students
  • May 2018
    • WedMay02 MS Parents "Looking Ahead" 6:30 PM
    • ThuMay03 Capstone Year-End Banquet 6:30 PMLyman
    • FriMay04 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman: Tippit Gymnasium
    • SatMay05 LSPA Used School and PE Uniform Sale 8:00 AM to 11:00 AMLyman: Alumnae Room
    • MonMay07 AP Exams
    • MonMay07 Fifth Grade Green Gator City Butler
    • TueMay08 AP Exams
    • TueMay08 Fifth Grade Green Gator City Butler
    • WedMay09 AP Exams

Primary School (Kindergarten - Grade 4)

Laurel School PrimaryWhat 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.

As 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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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. 

 

Middle and Upper School
Open House

Saturday, April 21, 2018
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lyman Campus

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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