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.”
Laurel School, as part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage K – 12 students in issues of global poverty, is proud to announce its official designation as a Fair Trade School. Fair Trade is an economic system that ensures consumers the products they buy were grown, harvested, crafted and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. Fair Trade Campaigns officially recognizes schools in the U.S. committed to educating students about the issues of Fair Trade and sourcing Fair Trade products like coffee, tea and bananas in the cafeteria, offices and at events.
Started by Margaret O’Neill '19, Laurel Fair Trade hopes to educate the Laurel Community about the various social injustices many under-developed countries face on a daily basis. Helping to learn and support Fair Trade will shine a light on the need for a safer, more just work environment leading to a more sustainable way of life. We hope to use funds that we earn towards investing in organizations and or individuals who aspire to better themselves and the world.
Laurel is the 31st Fair Trade School in the U.S., and the 7th in the state of Ohio to earn this designation.
Cleveland.com highlighted the recent work of more than 100 Laurel students and community members who participated in the school's 8th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service. In all, volunteers made 16 tie blankets and more than 145 toiletry-stuffed socks, which will be donated to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. In addition, volunteers assembled Hope Tote Bags for The City Mission. Click here to view the story.
Thanks to all who came out for this important day of service.
Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz was recently published in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) blog where she highlights 14 of her top interview etiquette tips. She starts the blog by stating that "January is the time when I, head of Laurel School (OH), feel like Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. With one face, I focus intently on the remaining six months of the current school year. With the other, my thoughts turn to the complex jigsaw that is staffing." As the school year marches on Ann and her team "Calculate enrollment and next year’s number of sections. We think about who might be ready for a change, and what new staff and faculty we might have the opportunity to bring into our school. Hiring is an exhilarating and exhausting undertaking."
Her interview etiquette tips range from the seemingly simple task of ensuring you submit a resume and cover letter without errors to arriving to an interview early because "If you’re not five minutes early, you’re late." Among other tips, Ann also highlights how being curious and asking lots of questions can set you apart.
To read all her interview etiquette tips click here.
Laurel swimmers continue on their winning streak this season after winning (125-50) the West Geauga Dual Meet on January 4. Laurel won 10 of 11 swimming events and went 1-2-3 in the 200 free as Rose Pophal '19, Rylee Betchkal '18 and Kali McLin '21 swept top spots. Laurel also went 1-2-3 in the 100 breast, with Bella Barragate '21, Rylee B. and Elizabeth Thompson '20 taking top honors. Laurel relays went 1-2 in all three relay events.
This stellar performance was followed by the Perry Invitational on January 21 where Laurel swimmers placed second out of 10 teams and won a total of five events. Morgan Miklus ‘19 was a double event winner in the 100 free and 100 back. Bella B. won the 100 breast and was runner-up in the 200 IM. Katherine Hagen ‘18 won the 200 free and earned third in the 500 free. Rose P. came in third in 200 free. Linzy Malcolm ‘20 earned third in 50 free. Our relay events also dominated when the 200 free relay of Morgan M., Bella B., Katherine H. and Linzy M. won in a speedy 1:47:75 and the 200 medley relay of Morgan M., Kali M., Bella B., and Linzy M. earned runner-up status in a very fast 1:55.93, the fastest time ever by Laurel swimmers in non-tech suits. In all Laurel swimmers had 11 best times and dropped a total of 17 seconds.
Congratulations to all the girls on these achievements!
Classic in the Country (CitC), one of the nation's most highly acclaimed girls basketball showcases, took place over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend January 13-15 and this year the Laurel Gators were invited to participate. Despite prepping for a January 13 game against Kenston, coach Tim McMahon received a last minute invitation to play in CitC when another team backed out. Despite the change in plans and a hasty bus ride to Berlin ahead of expected bad weather, the Gators dominated! Going into CitC the Gators were feeling strong with an 11-0 record and were slated to play Youngstown Ursuline. OhioSportsTicket.com covered the game and reported that "The Gators came in and put a hurt on Ursuline, grinding out an impressive 55-36 win that was led by freshmen twins Haley and Taylor Thierry and sophomore Giuliana Marinozzi. The Gators played extremely well."
Coach McMahon was quoted in the story saying, "It was everything we could have hoped for. It’s hard to appreciate the scale of this event until you actually get here. Our girls were a little unsure with the change of plans and the bus ride and with that weather coming in, but then we walked in, and there are all of these fans and the music, and they take care of you so unbelievably well. I just want our kids and our coaching staff to soak this experience in as much as possible. I am so thrilled that we had this opportunity to experience this.”
The Cleveland Institute of Art recently announced the 2017 winners of its Scholastic Art & Writing Competition and 24 Laurel students received accolades. Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards to local communities. Open to students in Grades 7-12, applicants can submit in 29 different categories of art and writing.
In 2017, students submitted more than 330,000 works of art and writing. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Visions & Voices Nominations are celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies.
As a follow up to her Cleveland Magazinefeature as one the magazine's most interesting people in 2015, Morgan Goldstein ’18 was highlighted in a “Where-Are-They-Now” story (hint: for much of the last two years she was interning and working as a prep cook at Jonathan Sawyer's restaurant Trentina)! Currently, Morgan is setting her sights on college where she hopes to major in food science. In the article she states that her dream job is to lead a recipe test kitchen. She says her "ultimate goal is to develop a crop that would help end world hunger,” she says. “Something along the lines of a sustainable food that would help developing countries." She also discusses her partnership with a local food writer to develop a cookbook of her own recipes. Click here for the full story.
The 2018 LaureLive lineup was announced in December and the Chagrin Valley Times took this opportunity to highlight how Laurel students will once again be working to help produce this year's event, which will take place June 9 and 10 at Laurel's Butler Campus. Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz was quoted in the story saying "The commitment our students have shown to making this annual festival a success has been contagious. Our students look forward to spending the next six months working with Elevation Group to help execute what we know will be another successful, family friendly event for our school and our community."
Trey Wilson, director of strategic partnerships at Laurel, was also included in the piece highlighting the opportunity as a great learning experience for the students. In addition to working and specific planning for the event, there is also a class where various professionals are brought in to engage with the students. In the past, for example, a lawyer visited with students to discuss the operations of contracts. The students also met with a local radio station and Skyped with a few bands performing at the festival. "The girls have been given different lenses to see what it's like to plan and be a part of a music event like this, and Elevation Group also regularly incorporates many of the girls' ideas and feedback," said Mr. Wilson.
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