Middle School Calendar
  • August 2018
    • MonAug20 Middle School Grades 6-8 Optional Advisor Drop-In (returning MS students only) 1:00 PM to 2:45 PMLyman
    • MonAug20 Grade 5 Family Orientation 3:00 PM to 4:30 PMLyman
    • MonAug20 Grades 6, 7 and 8 New Family Orientation 3:30 PM to 4:30 PMLyman

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.

Middle School (Grades 5 - 8)

 

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.

All Girls School In Shaker Heights, OH Image - Laurel SchoolWe 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,

Leslie K Segal ‘95
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.

 

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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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