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.
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 latestNew York Times Well Adolescence column, Lisa 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 column, Lisa 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."
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.”
You need only step into the north wing to sense the bustling energy of budding scientists, artists, writers and thinkers diving deep into their learning. The Middle School experience at Laurel is inspired by the work of our Center for Research on Girls on how girls learn best. Experiential learning balances time-honored traditions, and strategies are tailored to each girl as she finds and develops her voice.
Girls learn by doing. They create and conduct experiments in science, they build and draw models to visualize concepts in math, they memorize and act out scenes from Shakespearean plays, and they investigate and debate constitutional issues. Research about the power of authentic, project-based learning has led us to teach design thinking; in our new Collaboratory for hands-on prototyping girls combine habits of mind from each STEAM discipline: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math.
We know girls love choice, so programs in the Middle School are individualized. Each girl advances at her own pace in math, some accelerating to Geometry or Algebra II by Eighth Grade. Girls elect Spanish, Chinese or French, speaking in the target language during class and reaching Level III by Upper School. In Seventh Grade, girls ready for more intellectual rigor add Latin, too. Our One-to-One Technology Program supports each girl’s learning, and girls intrigued by programming tinker with computer game design during electives or in their free time.
Laurel girls rise to creative challenges. Many girls represent Laurel in off-campus competitions in science, global issues, math and writing. Girls choreograph and perform dances; they compose and sing songs; they strive on the fields and courts. Girls dream, dare and do every day in Laurel’s Middle School!
We would love to share more of our interdisciplinary program built on Laurel’s longstanding traditions of excellence and innovation. We hope you will visit soon to see for yourself all that Laurel has to offer each girl!
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. Through a context-rich approach in which they learn to identify patterns, they develop language skills for oral and written communication. 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.
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.
Mathematics is 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 and criticalthinking skills.
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. Studies in Fifth and Sixth Grade are thoughtfully integrated with units in other disciplines such as English, math, and social studies while Seventh and Eighth Grade courses serve as introductions to the fields of earth science, chemistry and physics.
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.
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. Working in the visual arts engenders the development of many positive habits of mind, not the least of which are perseverance, taking risks, and willingness to explore options and embrace revision as a part of the process.
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.
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.
"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