Middle School Calendar
  • April 2017
    • MonApr24 Dare Week
    • TueApr25 Grades 5-7 Parent-Student Conferences 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM
    • FriApr28 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman, Tippit Gymnasium

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz, a graduate of Yale, was recently interviewed by her friend and former classmate Ellen Gibson McGinnis for a Q&A in the March issue of YaleWomenIn the piece she talks about the role Yale played in her career (and how she first aspired to be an actress), the profound influence her early years of teaching in the housing project had on her, and her passion for educating girls, including teaching beyond academics and Laurel's Center for Research on Girls. When asked what her next challenge is, Ms. Klotz replied that she "wants to work on how best to teach our girls empathy. It gets back to diversity, and having a mix of voices in the room or 'at the table.' And it is so important for our society now." Click here to read the full interview.  

Outdoor Pre-Primary Teacher and Outdoor Education Specialist Audrey Elszasz and Abbie Bole, who teaches Kindergarten through Grade 4 science, are both included in a Cleveland Magazine article titled "The Benefits of Nature-based Learning", which looks at area early-childhood programs that use nature to help teach. Ms. Bole was quoted in the piece stating "The best way for children to learn is when they can see it, touch it, taste it, hear it, smell it. That's what makes an impression on their young minds." In the piece Mrs. Elszasz states, "We're answering questions with questions: 'What do you think?' Children interact with each other as they try to figure out the answers on their own." 

In addition to this feature story, Kathryn Marshall, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher at Laurel, is featured as the expert in this month's "Ask the Experts" section, which also focuses on how students benefit from receiving an outdoor education. Click here for the story.

In a March Motherwell Magazine piece Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, participated in a Q&A on the topic of dress codes and girls, and the complexities of the cultural reaction to what girls wear. In the article Dr. Damour touches on the supposed benefits of a dress code versus the potential damage it might do to a girl's sense of control. She is quoted saying, "Many of the girls at Laurel School, where I work, use the word "love" to describe their attitude toward the school uniform. That said, many of the girls at Laurel had a hand in the choice to attend Laurel, so they knew what they were signing up for when they came. For students at schools that they did not choose, or schools that have no uniform but enforce a dress code, the situation is likely different, especially if the dress code is enforced in a mean-spirited way. But I would not assume that girls who follow a dress code necessarily feel that they are not in control of their bodies."

Click here to read the full interview. 

On the heels of their Scholastic Art Awards received earlier this year, Caroline Kahn '17 and Katie Dinner '17 each won the Herbert Ascherman Award for Photography, a regional award that is presented to two students each year. Caroline Kahn also received a Gold Key award for her photography and Katie Dinner received both a Silver Key and an honorable mention for her photography.

The Scholastic Arts & Writing Competition is an annual competition open to local students in Grades 7-12. The panel of judges is comprised of professional artists, art educators, writing and writing educators. More than 3,000 entries for both art and writing were submitted this year.

Congratulations to these students for this amazing honor.

On March 7, 2017 six Laurel students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 participated in the Northeastern Ohio Science & Engineering Fair (NEOSEF). Maryum Ali '18, Linnea Tyler '19, Katie Chen '20, and Katelyn Shakir '20 all earned 2nd place at the fair. Olivia Wenzel '20 received 3rd place. 

Grade 10 student Priya Khadilkhar earned an impressive 1st place in the regular judging and also walked away with four special awards: American Statistical Association, American Psychological Association, Cleveland Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and Cleveland State University Department of Psychology.

Many of the students are in Laurel's STEM Research class and while there was no specific topic focus at the event, each of the students chose their own category and had about two months to put their presentations together. Congratulations to all the girls on these incredible achievements!

  

 

Crain's Cleveland Business publisher and editor Elizabeth McIntyre recently attended a panel discussion hosted by Laurel's Entrepreneurship Capstone Students on the documentary film, "Dream, Girl" - a celebration of female entrepreneurs. She highlights that "the young women at Laurel know the power of female leadership because it's front and center in the school's mission to inspire girls to fulfill their promise and better the world. To be living, breathing 'Fearless Girls.'" She goes on to state that Laurel's mission is "what prompted the school to launch its Capstone Experience program last year, which gives students the chance to explore real-world issues while further developing their leadership skills in one of four areas: civic engagement, entrepreneurship, global studies and STEAM (a twist on STEM, "science, technology, engineering and mathematics", that adds "arts" to the mix.)"

Panelists at the event included Heather Ettinger '79, managing partner at Fairport Asset Management; Stephanie Silverman, publisher and owner of Your Teen Media; Nichelle McCall '01, CEO of Bold Startups; and Laura Bennett, COO and co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance, each of whom shared their experiences in creating and running their own businesses. 

The editor goes on to highlight many of the inspiring messages shared during the panel discussion. "Persistence is one of the most valuable things," and "shatter stereotypes whenever you can," were just a few.

Click here to read the full story in Crain's Cleveland Business

Kathryn Purcell, Associate Head of School and Director of Enrollment Management at Laurel was recently featured in a Cleveland Jewish News story highlighting the importance of school culture and how it plays a crucial role in school selection.

Many factors can determine which school a child attends. Class size, programs, location and extracurricular activities can impact a parent's willingness to send a child to a particular school. But, parents should also consider a more abstract notion that exists within a school. School culture focuses on how staff members interact and uphold a shared set of values and beliefs and the school’s effect on students – like teaching practices, diversity and relationships within the school. When it comes to school choice, local educators say school culture should impact their choices as well. 

Kathryn is quoted saying, “(A school’s culture) allows a child to feel visible. You don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks,” Purcell said. “The sense of community kind of dictates how valuable a child feels at a school.”

She goes on to say that even though culture is an intangible factor when choosing a school, it’s just as crucial as anything else. A school’s culture encompasses not only the how the school feels, but also how it interacts with itself. These interactions should be a big part of deciding which school is the right fit.

Click here to read the full story.

Congratulations to the Laurel girls from Grades 5 and 6 who competed in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) math competition on February 18, 2017! Laurel sent three teams of four this year--two from Grade 5 and one from Grade 6--and all received Blue Champion ribbons. The competition included 18 Fifth Grade teams and seven Sixth Grade teams. Similarly, teams from Laurel's Seventh and Eighth Grades competed on March 5 where they received the Champion Award and Medal Award respectively. 

The competition was comprised of four events, each roughly 15 minutes in length. Teams were tasked with working together to problem solve and work through mental math, construction and mixed application problems. Laurel students have been preparing since December to compete and their performance did not disappoint! 

Congratulations to all of the girls on their hard earned achievements!

 

Laurel School's eleventh annual Gator Bash took place on Saturday, February 11 at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The theme of the evening was "For the Love of Laurel" and it was clear the more than 500 attendees hold the school close to their hearts. The evening raised a total of $215,000 with $107,000 of that raised during the Call to the Heart paddle raise to support Laurel's new Innovation Fund. This fund will align with the School's new five-year Strategic Roadmap and provide some of the necessary resources to fund innovative education happening throughout Laurel. Highlights from this spectacular evening were included in the Cleveland Jewish NewsCurrents MagazineCleveland Magazine and Cleveland.com

Featured in the photo above is Dan Angelino and Beth Embrescia, Chair of the Laurel Board of Trustees.

Summer at Laurel was recently highlighted in a roundup piece in Cleveland Magazine titled "Summer Camp Guide: Get Out and About." The story included feedback from Summer at Laurel Director Dr. Karen Edwards, who discusses a partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), which opens doors for students to explore drawing, painting, sculpting and printing. CMA and Summer at Laurel will also offer a printmaking camp, where students in Grades 8-12 spend a half-day working with teachers at the museum and the other half at Laurel's Lyman Campus. Dr. Edwards is quoted in the story saying, "The key is to find something that meets your child's interests or passions, and also challenges them."

Click here for the full story. 

  • April 2017
    • MonApr24 Dare Week
    • TueApr25 Senior Parent Breakfast 8:00 AM
    • TueApr25 Grades 5-7 Parent-Student Conferences 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM
    • ThuApr27 US Spring Concert 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriApr28 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman, Tippit Gymnasium
    • FriApr28 Speech and Debate Year-End Celebration 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • May 2017
    • MonMay01 AP Exams
    • MonMay01 Dream Week
    • MonMay01 Senior Exam Week
    • TueMay02 AP Exams
    • TueMay02 Senior Exam Week
    • TueMay02 Primary Parents "Looking Ahead" 6:30 PM
    • WedMay03 AP Exams

Middle School

All Girls School In Shaker Heights, OH Image - Laurel SchoolYou 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!

Sincerely,

Hope Ford Murphy ‘73
Director of the Middle School

Leslie K. Segal ‘95
Co-Director of the Middle School

Philosophy

English 5-8

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.

Social Studies 5-8

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 5-8

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.

Science 5-8

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.

World Languages 5-8

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.

Visual Arts 5-8

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.

Performing Arts 5-8

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.

Physical Education 5-8

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.

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

October 2017
exact date and time coming soon
Lyman Campus


"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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