All-School Calendar
  • May 2017
    • MonMay22 Dare Week
    • MonMay22 Gator Golf - Laurel Athletic Booster Golf Outing Mayfield Country Club
    • MonMay22 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • MonMay22 US May Term

The Cleveland Jewish News recently spoke with Leighann DeLorenzo Laurel's Upper School theater director, who began teaching a Testimony Theater course this semester after visiting Israel in January 2016. In Testimony Theater, survivors of the Holocaust are paired with young people, and the survivors tell their stories. The students then write the stories in a theatrical framework and perform an original theater piece based off the story. On May 4 the 12 students enrolled in Testimony Theater performed the stories of three survivors for a full house. Leighann was quoted in the story saying, “As we move forward as a community, it’s also about extending that lens forward into the now, into the present, whether that has to do with the current refugee crisis, civil rights, equal rights, any other movement where we’re really talking about people that are marginalized." She said having her students learn the stories of these survivors was an important part of their education. “We can really use these painful stories of yesterday that are also incredibly inspiring and really they can be transformative for our students today and turn them into the upstanders they should be and inspire them in their education at Laurel." Click here to read the full article. 

Playhouse Square announced its Dazzle Awards nominees on April 28 and we are excited to share that Nora Hyman '17 received a John and Patricia Chapman Best Actress nomination for her role as 'Audrey' in Laurel's production of Little Shop of Horrors! The Playhouse Square website states that "The Dazzle Awards aim to inspire and honor excellence in high school musical theater, and to recognize the importance of musical theater and arts education within the Northeast Ohio community. A panel of adjudicators attend one production at each participating school, provide educational feedback on the official evaluation form and determine nominees and awards for participating schools. This regional program culminates at the Connor Palace with the Dazzle Awards, modeled after the Tony Awards®, to recognize outstanding musical theater productions and students. The winners in the Best Actor and Best Actress category will have the opportunity to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City." The Dazzle Award winners will be announced on May 20, 2017. The grand prize winners in The John and Patricia Chapman Best Actor and Best Actress categories will go on to represent Northeast Ohio at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as “The Jimmys,” in New York City, presented by The Broadway League.   

Laurel School's Annella Fernandez '17 is being recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Cleveland (NAMI GC) for her efforts to raise awareness of mental illness among her peer group. Annella will receive the Mental Health Teen Award on May 5 during the NAMI GC Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony will honor outstanding achievement in promoting and providing mental health services for individuals, families and organizations in the year 2016. Naturally drawn to the study of psychology, Annella has spent time shadowing a pediatric psychologist. In 2016 she wrote What I Learned and What You Need to Know: A Brief Introduction to Behavioral Disorders in Adolescents, a collection of vignettes about the patient cases she shadowed along with factual information about the mental health diagnoses. Congratulations to Annella!

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz recently lent her voice for NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Member Voices, a new podcast series about the individuals who make up the independent school community. Each Podcast features a discussion with a different staff member at an NAIS-member school about his or her role, challenges, successes, inspiration sources and more. Ms. Klotz was one of the first to launch in the series, which has been very well received within the independent school community. Click here to listen to Ann’s podcast on leadership, empowering girls and the ways in which the Center for Research on Girls fuels our practice at Laurel. 

Laurel School alum Marne Levine '88 was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article highlighting her role as chief operating officer for Instagram. Ms. Levine, a former White House official, arrived in the Silicon Valley in 2015 and "has been helping Instagram mature into a full-fledged business." The article quotes Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder and chief executive, who calls Ms. Levine "'an efficiency guru' who has helped the app avoid some of the pitfalls of rapid growth."

Prior to joining Instagram, Ms. Levine served as vice president of global public policy for Facebook, where she "grew the policy team, which manages Facebook’s relationship with governments and responds to privacy laws and regulation, from fewer than a dozen people to more than a hundred." The article goes on to state that "once Ms. Levine moved over to Instagram at the beginning of 2015, she dove in with the creation of a formal budget, giving the company a comprehensive view of its spending for the first time. She also pushed to expand the Instagram partnerships team, which manages the app’s relationship with public figures, publishers and others to ensure that they continued to flock to Instagram. She helped hire influential figures such as Eva Chen, former editor of Lucky magazine, to oversee its fashion ties, and Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, who led Beyonce’s digital strategy, to run music partnerships."

The article details Ms. Levine's path to success at Instagram. Click here to read the full story. 

Northeast Ohio Parent published an article in April highlighting "Ways Kids in Northeast Ohio are Learning to Help the Environment." The story highlights various local organizations that are working to preserve our environment with the support of kids. Laurel's Outdoor Pre-Primary School, which educates students age 3-5 outside year-round regardless of the weather, is detailed in the article. The piece focuses on how students develop an immense respect for living things, learn about habitats and ecosystems, and develop a stewardship and understanding of environmental responsibility through composting and recycling.

Audrey Elszasz, Outdoor Pre-Primary teacher and Outdoor Education Specialist at Laurel, is quoted in the story saying “above all, they learn to understand the human impact on the Earth and discover how we can interact with nature and do no harm. These students develop such a love for the planet and learn to think about how to always do right by it.”

Laurel parent Rebecca Coley says her daughter’s experiences with the program include “hiking to base camp and traversing down challenging terrain, being independent and excited to put on her gear and get muddy, catching salamanders with her bare hands, and investigating animal tracks.”

 

Laurel School was pleased to host Frank Bruni, New York Times Op-Ed columnist and author, on April 6. Mr. Bruni spoke to Laurel parents, faculty, staff, trustees and local alumnae on the college admissions mania and how where you go to college does not define you. The talk, based on his best-selling book, Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, was a lively one attended by more than 250 people. 

Your Teen Magazine had a chance to speak with Mr. Bruni prior to his talk at Laurel and the resulting Q&A, titled How to Pick a College And Other Great Advice from Author Frank Bruni, which highlights the bias of early decision, recent changes in financial aid, open-mindedness and more. In this Q&A, Mr. Bruni states that "Education is about so very much more than the onramp to college or than college itself. It’s an ongoing, all-encompassing, lifelong thing."  

Laurel Eighth Grader Isabella (Izzy) A. '21 competed in the 2017 Ohio K-12 Chinese Speech and Essay Contest on April 8, 2017 at Cleveland State University. This annual competition is held for elementary, middle and high school students from Ohio. During the competition, students compete by either composing an essay or giving a speech in Chinese on a selected topic. The contestants are judged by experienced Chinese language teachers, and prizes are awarded during a ceremony at the end of the contests. Izzy competed among 22 students in the intermediate level for Grades 6-8 and placed second in her category! Congratulations to Izzy on this well-earned honor.  

 

A recent EdSurge article titled "What Would Happen if Learning in School Became More Like Working at a Startup?" highlights the abundance of startup and entrepreneurial programs springing up in and around K-12 schools across the country. The article states that "Successful students, like startups, are those who are resilient, constantly absorbing new information and challenging their assumptions. What’s more, an entrepreneurial culture, carefully scaffolded, can help schools transform and unlock learning in ways that more traditional coursework cannot."

Laurel physics teacher Taylor Kaar, who also serves as Director of Entrepreneurship, is included in the story, which highlights both the Capstone Experience and the Veale Venture Challenge, two entrepreneurship programs offered to Laurel Upper School students. Taylor is quoted saying, “At Laurel School, we know that being an entrepreneur is a mindset, one that requires resiliency, problem solving, and passion. These are skills and traits that we feel are universally desirable today, and we know that the skills a girl learns at Laurel School’s entrepreneurship offerings will be transferable to any field.”

Covering four years, the entrepreneurship category of the Capstone Program asks high school students to lead and drive their own learning. The Veale Venture Challenge, through a series of steps—including the development of a business plan and a presentation to investors—aims to help students start a business while they are still in the school.

Laurel students Grace Murphy '17 and Henley Schulz '18 recently earned National Silver Medals in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Grace and Henley have been identified by panels of creative professionals as the most talented young artists and writers in the nation. This year's contest attracted more than 330,000 works of art and writing. Of these, only the top one percent were recognized at the national level.

Grace received a National Silver Medal for her earrings, titled Squiral. Henley was awarded a National Silver Medal in the Photography category for her color photograph titled Surrounded. Congratulations to Grace and Henley for their incredible achievements! 

  • May 2017
    • MonMay22 Dare Week
    • MonMay22 Gator Golf - Laurel Athletic Booster Golf Outing Mayfield Country Club
    • MonMay22 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • MonMay22 US May Term
    • TueMay23 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • TueMay23 US May Term
    • WedMay24 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • WedMay24 US May Term
    • WedMay24 Grade 9 Picnic for Class of 2021 and Families 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    • ThuMay25 Grade 7 Archaeology Dig Butler
    • ThuMay25 US May Term
    • ThuMay25 Renaissance Faire Reception 5:30 PMLyman
    • ThuMay25 Grade 6 Shakespeare Play: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriMay26 After School at Laurel Classes End

Why Laurel?

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.

Laurel's Mission and Values

Mission:
To inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world.

Values Statement:
Committed to building a just and inclusive world, Laurel girls are courageous, creative, ethical and compassionate.

Laurel's Center for Research on Girls

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.

Two-Campus Advantage

Laurel’s two-campus advantage gives girls an edge by offering unparalleled academic and athletic learning experiences.

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.

Capstone Experience

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.

STEM and STEAM

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.

Engineering

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.

World Languages Program

Our World Languages Program reinforces our mission to empower girls to be global citizens. Laurel is the only school in Northeast Ohio to have the FLEX (Foreign Language Exploration) proficiency-based program offering Chinese, French and Spanish in the Pre-Primary and Primary schools. In Pre-Kindergarten, students have one trimester of each Chinese, French and Spanish. From Kindergarten through Second Grade, every girl is exposed to each language. Beginning in Third Grade, each girl chooses one modern language to study. If a girl starts a world language in Third Grade, she will be prepared for the equivalent third-year Upper School level class by the time she enters Ninth Grade, thereby allowing her the opportunity for more advanced language study in the Upper School.

One Schoolhouse

One Schoolhouse is a direct result of our expertise in how girls learn. In 2009, Laurel joined with three other girls’ schools to found One Schoolhouse (at the time, it was known as The Online School for Girls); today, over 100 schools have joined our consortium. Our position with One Schoolhouse offers our girls a wide array of course offerings and prepares them for online academia that they will likely encounter in their college careers and beyond. In the last six years, Laurel girls have studied AP Psychology, AP Computer Science, AP Macroeconomics and AP Statistics among others.

Design Thinking

For almost a decade, Stanford University has been teaching graduate school courses in Design Thinking; Laurel faculty began an exploration of the methodology in 2010, and as an institution, we’re committed to Design Thinking pedagogy. Students unleash their creativity as they solve problems using empathy, critical thinking and collaboration. Design challenges are geared to the specific abilities, areas of study and student interests found at each grade level. Our Collaboratory provides an exciting space for students to become engaged in Design Thinking, as well as to tinker and innovate.

Technology and One-to-One Program

Seventh through Eleventh Graders use school provided laptops with dual platforms in all classes. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, Laurel's One-to-One Technology Program will also include Twelfth Grade. Primary Students use iPads® and computers, while Fifth and Sixth Graders use Google Chrome Books®.

College Guidance

Our curriculum and commitment to academic excellence prepares Laurel girls for the top colleges and universities in the nation. The Ninth through Twelfth Grade college guidance curriculum guides students through applications, interviews and essays; we also address social and emotional readiness for college, money management and adjusting to life changes. The program emphasizes personal discovery and finding the best fit. Students learn that the college process should not be a means to an end, but rather part of a larger personal growth process.

Protege Internships

Protégé is our signature Upper School internship program. Students build an internship or a research assistantship in an area of strong, personal interest. These out-of-school learning experiences occur in semester or year-long formats, as well as during the summer or over MayTerm. They are recognized on the Laurel transcript. Examples include internships in architecture, research at the Cleveland Clinic or Case Western Reserve University and analysis at financial firms.

Passport Global Initiatives

Laurel’s Global Education Program supports cultural competence through trips, exchanges and curriculum. Educated global citizens bring a broader perspective to their studies and learn to interact with their peers in a global arena. Recent Passport trips have included destinations like France, Spain, Italy, New Orleans, China and Australia.

Service Learning

Intrinsic to Laurel’s fiber, service learning happens naturally and often. Primary School projects have included cleanup of a Lake Erie beach. The Middle School Service Learning Initiative allows girls to find like-minded peers and mentors: affinity groups have worked on projects in support of cancer research, facilities for disabled Americans, children’s issues, animal welfare and more. Upper School girls complete their community service requirement at a variety of local, national and international organizations.

Collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves is an international organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of identity and history in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. In 2014, Laurel became one of over 40 institutions, and the only Cleveland Counsel of Independent Schools (CCIS) school, that make up the Facing History Innovative Schools Network.

 

To speak with a member of our admissions team, contact us today.

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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