At Laurel, our expectations are high and our enthusiasm for highly motivated girls is boundless. As a nationally respected, academically renowned girls’ school (Kindergarten – Grade 12 with a coed Pre-Primary), we take a student from where she is to where she wants to go.
Our commitment to innovation and the best practices in girls’ education, informed by data-driven research, as well as to interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based learning, is what sets us apart. What do parents and students tell us over and over? That no one is invisible at Laurel School: we know our girls well – socially, emotionally and academically. Below is just a sample of the many reasons Laurel is the private school that knows girls best.
To inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world.
Committed to building a just and inclusive world, Laurel girls are courageous, creative, ethical and compassionate.
Established in 2007, Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls (LCRG) influences every aspect of the Laurel community: the faculty’s professional development centers on research about how girls learn; Laurel’s parents benefit from research-based advice about how they can help girls grow; and Laurel students reap the academic rewards of curricula based on cutting-edge research.
In addition to putting the best research to work for teachers, parents and girls, LCRG sponsors original research studies on topics relevant to girls’ development and education. LCRG’s collaborations with researchers from around the country have resulted in numerous presentations at academic conferences and publications in respected research journals. Our most recent study, 21st-Century Athenas: Aligning Achievement and Well-Being — conducted in partnership with Dana Hall School (Wellesley, MA), Dr. Belle Liang of Boston College and Dr. Renee Spencer of Boston University — addresses a significant gap in research literature on stress, well-being and achievement in adolescent girls.
LCRG knows that in order to succeed, girls must be resilient. Laurel School’s curriculum supports LCRG’s five-part formula for building resilience in girls by cultivating creativity, growth mindset, purpose, self-care and relationships.
Our Lyman Campus in suburban Shaker Heights was built in 1928 and covers 11 acres. Our entire Pre-Primary through Grade 12 community shares one complex and our faculty and students delight in cross-divisional activities. Our younger students find role models not only in the adults who guide and encourage them, but also in the older girls. There is joy, energy and a sense of being a part of something larger than oneself that comes from being in an environment where curious three-year-olds look up to their Primary reading buddies, where an Upper School “cyber-safety” team works with Middle School girls on appropriate Internet behavior and where Kindergarteners sit in the laps of Seniors at assemblies.
Just seven miles east from our Lyman Campus, Laurel students immerse themselves in the natural world at our beautiful 140-acre Butler Campus in Geauga County. The interdisciplinary possibilities at Butler are limitless. In this vast outdoor classroom, students discover scientific and mathematical concepts, create nature-inspired art, poems, dance and music and practice stewardship of the environment. They challenge themselves on our superb Project Adventure Course, compete on our world-class athletics fields and work with Laurel’s strength and conditioning coach in our state-of-the-art fitness center.
While we benefit from being a two-campus school that provides flexible indoor and outdoor learning spaces, we are one school when it comes to our philosophical approach to our students.
Laurel School’s Capstone Experience, by design, will cultivate purpose, relationships and leadership using one of four lenses— Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Studies, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics). Capstone Candidates will explore issues through guided research, intellectual discussion, relevant internships and purposeful travel. Using expert guidance from mentors and support from cohort peers, each Capstone Candidate will create a Research Focus based on her individual interests and agency. This innovative program provides committed, interested students with opportunities to approach real-world issues with interdisciplinary, experiential and community-based strategies while building mentor and peer relationships. In developing a sense of purpose, meaningful mentor and peer relationships, and skills of leadership, Capstone prepares a Laurel girl “to fulfill her promise and to better the world.”
More information is available on the Capstone Experience page.
One of the hallmarks of Laurel’s interdisciplinary learning program includes the highly interconnected STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum and research program. Our STEM Research class offers the opportunity for girls to learn and practice “the habits of the scientific mind” as they conduct their own scientific research project at Laurel or off-site. Students present their work at the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF), The Ohio Academy of Science District competition and other national competitions.
Our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Initiative helps to further break down the walls between disciplines by explicitly integrating the arts and design into STEM learning.
More information is available on the STEM & STEAM at Laurel page.
As a leader in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) education, Laurel is committed to exposing girls in all grade levels to engineering curriculum.
Primary School science includes the “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum designed by the Museum of Science, Boston and the National Center for Technological Literacy. Engineering challenges underpin many Middle School units of study, including designing better seed dispersal mechanisms in Fifth Grade science or assistive technologies in Seventh Grade science.
Laurel was one of the first girls’ schools in the country to offer an Upper School engineering program. The program offers four innovative courses, each of which allows girls to learn by doing. As a result of the program, more Laurel graduates have gone on to undergraduate and post-graduate engineering programs.
Students in grades Five through Twelve participate in Laurel's One-to-One Program. This program provides students with their own computer, a learning tool enabling them to acquire and employ 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, research and information literacy, design thinking, and self direction. These skills and more combine to prepare Laurel girls for the complex world of the future.
Fifth and Sixth Graders are issued Chromebooks®, while students in grades Seven through Twelve are issued MacBook Air® laptops. Primary Students use iPads®, and laptops, and Chromebooks®.
To speak with a member of our admissions team, contact us today.