DEDICATED TEACHERS. ENGAGED PARENTS. MOTIVATED STUDENTS. a dynamic learning community

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1 DEDICATED TEACHERS. ENGAGED PARENTS. MOTIVATED STUDENTS. a dynamic learning community

2 welcome TO LAUREL SPRINGS SCHOOL I m so pleased to share the unique Laurel Springs experience with you. Our school is different from many other schools, in that we believe that a classroom is not a prerequisite for college. I value the strong connection that our school makes with its families, and am pleased to have the opportunity to share the history and vision of Laurel Springs with you. With more than 20 years in the field of distance learning, our accredited private school ensures that children in kindergarten through grade 12 receive an excellent education. Laurel Springs offers all the benefits of a private college preparatory school with the flexibility to meet each student s needs. As the Head of School, I believe that to continue providing the quality education that sets us apart, we must continue to understand, value, and foster the individual strengths of our students; adapt our instruction to their unique learning styles; and always strive to deliver our curriculum in the most meaningful context for every student. Laurel Springs has a long tradition of preparing students for college and for full participation in the world. We also hold true to our mission of supporting and encouraging each student s development as an individual. Committed to becoming the best school possible, we are driven by the question: What is right thing for the students? An important aspect of the Laurel Springs experience is service learning. Encouraging our students in compassionate participation in the world is as fundamental to our mission as the pursuit of excellence. We want our students to be global citizens as well as good students, athletes, artists, actors wherever their talents and interests lie. We are looking for students who have great ideas, and are not intimidated by meaningful exploration. Laurel Springs is a place for the motivated student who wants to try new things, learn in new ways, and experience a dynamic academic program. Our students are fully supported by caring teachers and staff while staying connected to a global community of learners. This is an authentic learning community. We use tools of all kinds to extend our reach into the world. 21st century communication skills are integral to our mission of educating our students to become responsible, self-sufficient adults who can advocate for themselves and pursue their dreams. We have an outstanding faculty who are with us because of the depth of their knowledge and their passion to teach, but most importantly because of their love for working with young people. While I am proud to be the head of Laurel Springs School, I am even prouder that all members of the Laurel Springs community students, colleagues, parents, and alumni work hard and well together to make this School better every day. I m especially proud of our students, in all their variety, with all their incredible talents, their capacity for hard work, and their concern for others. I am delighted that you are taking the time to learn about Laurel Springs School, but there is no substitute for attending one of our Virtual Open House sessions and giving our faculty the opportunity to tell you about our school. Please visit the Admission tab on our website to find out about our next Open House event. I encourage you to get in touch with us to find out how Laurel Springs can meet your child s needs. Warmly, Darby Carr Head of School 2

3 contents TABLE OF The Laurel Springs Experience... 4 Social Life and Community Elementary and Middle School Grades K High School aratory Program K 12 Course Catalog & Descriptions Elementary and Middle School High School Our school meets the highest standards of excellence. Laurel Springs is a private school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), AdvancED, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). Our accreditation ensures that Laurel Springs students receive reciprocity of credits, courses, and grade-level placements with schools and universities around the world. Our accredited status validates the equivalency of diplomas and certificates to other accredited schools and universities and indicates that our curriculum and teachers are meeting state and U.S. standards. Laurel Springs School is committed to providing a fine education to all of its students. As part of that commitment, Laurel Springs makes its programs, facilities, and services available on a non-discriminatory basis, including to students with disabilities. Please view our policy on the About Us page of our website laurelsprings.com 3/2014

4 experience THE LAUREL SPRINGS Our premier online school honors each child s individual learning style. Laurel Springs School is an accredited private online school, offering programs for students in grades K 12. With a catalog of over 240 courses, including Advanced Placement (AP), Honors and elective courses designed to develop 21st century skills, Laurel Springs has an outstanding record of placing its graduates into the selective colleges and universities of their choice. The Laurel Springs difference is in the relationships students have with their admissions coordinators, teachers, counselors, and peers. Our students receive individually graded assignments, attention to their unique learning styles, expert college counseling services, and access to real-time school events and clubs. Laurel Springs combines all the benefits of a traditional private school with the flexibility of distance learning. Our personalized approach is mastery-based and asynchronous, meaning that students have the opportunity to move faster or slower through the material, depending on their individual skills and knowledge. This approach allows students the ability to adapt their schedules to accommodate their other interests. We provide many opportunities for students to connect with teachers, peers, and support staff. For example, students can access immediate academic assistance in LSS Live, an online classroom staffed by teachers. Our Academic Department Chairs hold virtual office hours every day, making themselves available for questions. Additionally, students can reach out to our Student Services staff in their virtual office for help with time management, organization, and other issues central to student success. Founded in 1991 by Marilyn Mosley Gordanier and a dedicated group of educators, Laurel Springs continues its mission to honor each child s unique style of learning, support students to achieve their academic goals and foster their personal interests and talents. At Laurel Springs, students are treated as individuals, not a collective. Marina Goggin CLASS OF

5 our leadership The Laurel Springs philosophy and curriculum was created by our highly skilled experts in distance learning, curriculum design, instruction and assessment have created a wealth of tools that help ensure teachers are building the right skills at each stage, in a manner appropriate for each student s individual learning style. Darby Carr Head of School Darby Carr joined Laurel Springs in 2011 with over 15 years of experience in education. Ms. Carr s experience includes serving as Head of School for an international distance learning program, as well as Chief Administrative Officer and Principal for a charter school. She is a member of the International Association for K-12 Learning (inacol), Academy of International Schools Heads (AISH), Association of International Educators (NAFSA), and Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE). She holds a B.A. from Bates College in Psychology/Economics. Dr. Linda Grobman Chief Academic Offi cer Dr. Grobman is an experienced educator with a strong background in school administration and operations, instructional design, principal certification and team development. Dr. Grobman earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and her Superintendent s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education. During her career, Linda has been a teacher, a special education supervisor, a preschool and elementary school principal, a middle school principal, an academic officer and a regional superintendent in a large school district. Marilyn Mosley Gordanier, M.Ed. Founder Marilyn Mosley Gordanier has more than 35 years of experience in education. Since founding Laurel Springs in 1991, she has led the school to become a premier provider of customized distance learning for grades K 12. Ms. Mosley Gordanier was nominated for a Nobel Earth Prize and is the president of the United National Global 500 Environmental Forum. She participates in the Captain Planet Foundation as a member of the Board of Directors, and serves on the STEM Education Working Group for the Clinton Global Initiative. Stephanie Fyfe, M.Ed. Director of Partnerships Stephanie Fyfe began her career as a teacher in brick and mortar and online environments before transitioning into management roles overseeing Education, Student Services, and Partnership Divisions. Her eight years of experience in secondary education includes strategic implementation of blended learning initiatives across the U.S. and Internationally. Stephanie has a B.A. in English from Colby College, and a M.Ed. with a focus on Educational Leadership from North Central University laurelsprings.com

6 our history Laurel Springs School has over two decades of history as a leader in the field of distance learning. In 1991, our school developed quality distance education options for students seeking alternatives to the traditional classroom setting. Today, the online education model has grown exponentially. Our years of dedication and our track record speak to our expertise in this field. Founded by Marilyn Mosley Gordanier and Lee Gordanier for students in grades K-8. Expands to include students in grades Official honor from President Bill Clinton for leading the way to empower tomorrow s leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to make their full impact on the world Receives the Global 500 Award from the United Nations Environmental Programme. Designs one of the first online curricula in the United States. Bryant Gumbel dubs Laurel Springs the wave of the future on NBC television s Today Show. Receives leadership award from the United States Distance Learning Association. MyLaurelSprings private school network, is established to foster additional connections within our community. Partners with Aston Education to provide opportunities for Chinese students to take American college preparatory courses. Enhances its personalized learning paths with a new Learning Management System The Academy for the Gifted & Talented is created. Alumni Association is founded. Acquired by Nobel Learning Communities, providing resources for global expansion and ongoing high quality education. Celebrates its twentieth anniversary. 6

7 environmental curriculum is endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). First distance learning school to receive WASC accreditation. Introduction of a customized online Gradebook, and Family Center website to strengthen connections in its virtual community Courses receive University of California a-g approval. Courses receive NCAA approval. Expands to include students in Japan, Korea, and China. First distance learning school to be granted an official chapter of the National Honor Society. iclasses introduced as a way to increase direct student/ teacher communication with synchronous classrooms. Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and AdvancED. First distance learning school to send its team to the National Model United Nations conference in New York City The National Junior Honor Society grants official chapter. 94% of Laurel Springs graduates are accepted to the college or university of their choice. Students participate in the Global Student Leadership Summit in Costa Rica. 7

8 admissions Our admissions coordinators are here to help. Laurel Springs is different from traditional schools and other online schools. We are committed to understanding your family s unique educational needs and providing you with personal service as you progress through our admissions process. Laurel Springs School offers rolling admissions options, which means that students are not tied to a traditional academic calendar for enrollment purposes. The admissions process is an opportunity for our staff to learn about the student s needs, interests, educational goals and learning style. The process includes the following steps: 1. Families are assigned an admissions coordinator to guide them through the enrollment process. 2. A Laurel Springs admissions coordinator speaks with the family to understand the student s needs, gathers pertinent data from the parent and student and presents an overview of our course offerings. 3. Our admissions coordinator identifies courses and/or grade-level programs that would potentially meet the student s needs. 4. Upon agreement to move forward with transcript assessment and academic planning (if Laurel Springs will be the school of record), parents pay a registration fee as the next step in the admissions process. 5. Students are encouraged to take a Learning Styles Profile assessment and are asked to complete any additional assessments that are necessary for proper course and grade-level placement. 6. After reviewing the Learning Styles Profile, assessment results, and records from previous school(s), a Laurel Springs academic team member creates an individualized academic plan for the prospective full-time student. 7. Once the tuition payment and signed Enrollment Agreement form have been received, a welcome letter is sent to the family, teachers are assigned to the student and the student is granted access to the learning management system (LMS). The newlyenrolled student may begin coursework immediately. Request for Student Records In order to process an enrollment, our admissions office requires report cards or transcripts for students entering 7th and 8th grades. For students entering high school, official transcripts are required before enrollment can be completed. These documents can be faxed to Please complete the Request for Student Records form from our website and mail to the student s previous school(s). If you have questions, please contact us at to speak with the Registrar s Office laurelsprings.com

9 assessment COMPREHENSIVE Assessment is a vital part of the Laurel Springs educational process. Diagnostic Assessment Diagnostic assessments are designed to provide parents, students and teachers with specific information about what skills the student has and has not mastered. The results empower students, parents and teachers to pinpoint, assign and review those areas the student must master before moving on to more complex concepts. Learning Styles Profile Laurel Springs assesses five aspects of learning styles to develop a Learning Styles Profile specific to each child. The profile helps parents better understand their child s blueprint for learning and offers helpful study tips and techniques. By understanding their child s learning style, parents can help their children excel not only in school but in life. Families may request an in-depth phone consultation for an additional fee, during which a learning style coach with advanced training reviews the Learning Styles Profile and discusses how the results could be applied to a student s individual learning goals. During this consultation, families learn how to implement data from the Learning Styles Profile to support student success in specific courses. Ongoing Assessment Our approach is mastery-based, and students need to demonstrate that they understand assignments and courses. In this light, we have developed a student-centered approach to assessment that helps us better understand each child and measure the effectiveness of our courses. All students participate in Performance Series assessments in the first and last lessons of their English and Math courses. These assessments play a crucial role in monitoring student growth and measuring school improvement. Performance Series assessments provide adaptive content so that each learner is assessed according to their own skill levels. Students access the assessments within their course material in the Learning Management System (LMS). In addition to being convenient and suited to personalized learning, the assessments give immediate feedback on students individual progress toward core objectives. The detailed reports also feature norm referencing to compare LSS to the rest of the nation. A parent summary is included. Orientation to Laurel Springs Approximately two weeks prior to the enrollment start date, each student receives access to our online orientation course. Our Student Services department provides live sessions to help students and their families with the transition to distance learning with Laurel Springs. Laurel Springs helped me to develop my own learning style and to learn for the sake of learning. Ian Stratton ALUMNUS 9

10 Kai s story A PASSION FOR THE GAME Kai is a middle school student living near Osaka, Japan. He enrolled in Laurel Springs seeking opportunities to improve his understanding in English and Math. Jerome, Kai s father, says, We picked Laurel Springs for the flexibility, because Kai is not held to a strict schedule. Laurel Springs is able to differentiate curriculum for him and has been very supportive. Kai s teacher says, Kai is very creative and dedicated to making progress in his studies. He has found an academic rhythm that works well for him. One of Kai s passions is the game of Go. The rules of Go are far simpler than chess, but it is said that Go is more challenging than chess to master. The game has been played for more than two thousand years. In addition to his studies at Laurel Springs, Kai attends a special Go training school. Kai plays games against other children as well as professional players; each game can last for more than four hours. When he plays against professional players, Kai says, I feel kind of nervous, but I like playing against them because they do interesting things on the board. A typical day for Kai consists of walking his dog in the morning before focusing on his academic coursework. Then, he travels by train to his Go school in the afternoons. Kai s favorite subject is math, because it is like Go; it is all about patterns. Kai feels connected to his teachers because of Laurel Springs asynchronous approach and is able to attend live classes and have virtual meetings with teachers when necessary laurelsprings.com

11 Clare s story A BALANCE OF ACADEMICS AND MEANINGFUL VOLUNTEER WORK As a goal-oriented, self-motivated student, recent alumna Clare said, Attending Laurel Springs made it possible for me to become deeply involved in volunteer work. Clare had been involved in community service activities in the past, and when she was a senior, the flexibility of Laurel Springs allowed her to work closely with a local children s charity. The experience made a profound impact on her life. When Clare began working with a nonprofit organization at Buffalo s Hospital for Women and Children, she quickly embraced the group s mission to provide comfort for families who have children living with chronic illness. As a volunteer, Clare helped with everything from daily administrative tasks to planning and running the charity s many events. Laurel Springs played a pivotal role in Clare s desire to invest herself in volunteer work. The charity s program coordinator said, Clare s flexibility was wonderful. The combination of distance learning and Clare s intrinsic motivation allowed her to contribute in a meaningful way to the program. Clare said, The time I spent planning events didn t impede my schoolwork in any way. I would not have been able to do this without the flexibility that Laurel Springs gave me. Because Clare had more control over how she spent her time, she was able to manage both academic and extracurricular responsibilities. I always thought I knew what I would do with my life. Now, I am considering hospital administration as a possible career. This experience has opened my eyes to new opportunities laurelsprings.com

12 learning team THE The Student Services department provides personalized assistance to each family. When students enroll, our team of professionals guides them through the onboarding process. Students are enrolled in an orientation course that is appropriate to their grade level and enrollment status (full-time or part-time), which acclimates them to Laurel Springs and distance learning. Student Services welcomes families, answers questions during the onboarding process and provides training and support for the Laurel Springs learning management system. To ensure student success, families are encouraged to communicate with Student Services via a variety of methods: Phone: Virtual Office Hours: Mon. Fri., 5 a.m. 5 p.m. (PT) Throughout the year, Student Services proactively identifies and tracks students who may have issues with time management and adequate academic progress and provides assistance with optimal scheduling. The department facilitates the process of leaves of absence and authorizes course extensions. Parents play an essential role in preparing students for academic success. Laurel Springs families are highly diverse and live throughout the United States and around the world. Regardless of where our students are located, the school community shares the same passion for excellence in education. Families, teachers and staff believe that educational achievement should not be limited by the four walls of a school and that by allowing the student and family to guide their own educational goals, the results are more meaningful to the student. For decades, families have turned to Laurel Springs when traditional educational settings have not met their needs. Parents who enroll their children in Laurel Springs School seek a personalized approach that fits their child s learning style, flexible scheduling, and a social and physical environment that is conducive to true learning. In a distance learning environment, students work more independently and have a more active role than they would in a traditional classroom setting. Being academically successful requires self-motivation and a commitment to time management. Effective communication between parents, students, and teachers is the key to creating a learning team that ensures student success. Our educational model encourages students to learn strong time management skills and develop a heightened sense of intrinsic motivation. As a result, students pursue their own goals and interests while experiencing a premier college preparatory education laurelsprings.com

13 coaches ACADEMIC Academic coaches partner with students to help them achieve their goals. At Laurel Springs, we believe that a positive learning experience is a result of open and ongoing communication, regular submission of work, and a partnership between students, parents or other academic coaches, teachers, and staff. Home support for students is necessary for success in distance learning, whether it is ensuring work is completed, engaging with students teachers to discuss progress, or assisting with time management and scheduling. Laurel Springs teachers and staff work with families throughout to share knowledge of best practices and provide guidance for an optimal learning experience. A child s academic coach can be a parent, tutor, or other caring adult, and is an integral part of student success. Academic coaches are expected to take active roles in students education at Laurel Springs. Academic coaches are expected to provide support and guidance for the student, access their student s online gradebook to assess progress, coordinate with the student regarding time management, and communicate regularly with the student s teachers. As part of the student onboarding process, academic coaches are strongly encouraged to review the orientation course, which has valuable information for student success at Laurel Springs. The confines of a classroom are eliminated. This allows us to encourage an attitude of exploration as a form of education. Laurel Springs Parent laurelsprings.com

14 support TEACHER Caring, credentialed teachers provide subject matter expertise and authentic feedback for each student. Students have access to teachers who guide them through the learning process by offering ongoing support and feedback and personalizing courses to meet student needs. Laurel Springs teachers are fully qualified, experienced professionals, all of whom have learning styles training, many of whom possess an advanced degree. Laurel Springs teachers are credentialed, possess strong subject area expertise and demonstrate a passion for teaching. At the core, our teachers embody the understanding of the online learning environment as a collaborative process, applying 21st century communication skills with the ability to implement the most current online resources into the curriculum. Laurel Springs understands the goal of education is to encourage students to discover and develop their interests, talents, and natural gifts. This approach inspires students to become active learners who think independently, communicate effectively, and see themselves as members of a global community. Laurel Springs teachers provide students with the necessary skills to become independent learners and self-directed adults who are confident in their life direction, and take initiative in their career paths. Grades and Feedback Our teachers grade each lesson with attention to detail. They provide authentic feedback, guiding students by addressing each student s areas of strength and challenge with expertise and rigor while expressing compassion and empathy. Grades and progress can be viewed online by students and parents in our user-friendly, interactive grade book 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mastery-Based Program Our program is mastery-based, meaning that our teachers can allow students to have additional opportunities opportunity to learn a concept if they do not grasp it the first time. Mastery-based education is centered on the principle that once students demonstrate that they have a proficient understanding of the lesson s concepts, they may progress to subsequent lessons. This approach to learning allows students to work through lessons at their own pace, with opportunities to revise assignments until understanding is effectively demonstrated. It also encourages teachers to reinforce key curricular topics according to the needs of individual students. I can t imagine not being a student here. My teachers are unbelievable. I look forward to their comments, feedback, and suggestions. My teachers are my mentors. Laurel Springs Student laurelsprings.com

15 services TEACHER Keeping in Touch and Providing Support Teachers keep in frequent contact with students and parents, responding to questions through our interactive grade book, phone, , video conferencing, and virtual classrooms. Teachers set the learning tone through a welcome letter and video when a student enrolls in a course. This personal introduction allows the teacher to connect with the student, setting up guidelines for communication, and offering support for student success. In order to support the learning and strategies for student success, the student s teachers also keep in contact with each other. Live Support and Interaction A live support virtual class room is available so that students can receive help in their coursework from a Laurel Springs teacher. Our school hosts the LSS Live virtual classroom which provides synchronous, academic guidance for all students and families. Synchronous, online, content-specific iclasses are provided on a weekly basis per content area to enrich student learning in a group setting, giving students the opportunity to interact with each other virtually. With students in more than 60 countries, this approach inspires our students to become active learners who think independently, communicate effectively, and see themselves as members of a global community. Personalization All Laurel Springs teachers offer personalization of our curriculum to meet the individual needs of each student by enhancing assignments to better suit a student s unique learning style. An example of personalization would be when a student has read an assigned book the previous year. In this case, the teacher may let the student substitute another book of equal or greater academic content value, and an appropriate assessment will be created by the teacher for the student to demonstrate mastery and insight of the key ideas. A teacher can change a certain amount of the course in this personalization process. This is not an elimination of parts of the course, but rather an alternative delivery or assignment which maintains the integrity and standards of the course. Customization When a family desires a more substantial change to the curriculum, customization is available. This process is initiated by families contacting their Admissions Coordinator who arranges for a consultation with our Customization Manager. The student s learning style profile results and supporting assessment data are reviewed, taking students interests and learning necessities into consideration, culminating in the creation of a specialized learning plan by the Customization Manager. The learning plan clearly states the academic plan for enrollment in each course. Due to the additional resources that are applied, an additional fee is involved for customized courses laurelsprings.com

16 social life AND COMMUNITY A wide variety of activities encourages students to create lasting friendships within a global community. Social life at Laurel Springs can be very rewarding for students who want to expand their horizons. Laurel Springs students are passionate about their education, talents, interests, and goals. National Honor Society Laurel Springs School is proud to have been the first private online high school to establish a chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). Since its inception in 1929, the National Honor Society has recognized outstanding high school students whose accomplishments go beyond excellent academic performance and include exceptional leadership, service, and character qualities. We take great pride in the accomplishments of our students who have achieved this premier distinction. The Laurel Springs Chapter of the National Honor Society provides a unique forum in which the student leaders of our school can participate in service learning projects. Laurel Springs honors its new National Honor Society members with the traditional induction ceremony. This event is a milestone for students who have worked hard to meet NHS requirements and have completed challenging coursework and projects. The induction ceremony is a wonderful way for these students to celebrate their accomplishments as a group. Laurel Springs joins family members to honor students academic and personal achievements. The event concludes with a congratulatory party for new NHS members, their family members, and school faculty and staff. National Junior Honor Society The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is the national organization that acknowledges outstanding middle school students beginning in the 7th grade. These students have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, character, and citizenship. The Laurel Springs School chapter of NJHS is open to all eligible students who meet scholastic and character requirements. An official induction ceremony is held annually for NJHS students and their families. Graduation Each year, Laurel Springs hosts a graduation ceremony, where students have the opportunity to celebrate this milestone with their classmates and the school staff. Students from around the world often attend the commencement ceremony, which is complete with caps, gowns and diplomas. The graduation ceremony feels personal for graduates and families because it features inspiring statements from teachers about their experiences with graduating students. Also, as a distance learning school, teachers, students, and family members who cannot attend in person have the option of attending virtually from any location with Internet access. Prom All full-time high school students are invited to attend the Laurel Springs Prom, which is organized by students with the help of faculty and staff. The event includes thematic decorations, delicious food, and a DJ who keeps the dance floor packed. Many students make connections during the prom that last for many years. Laurel Springs encourages high school students to attend the prom, which is a fun opportunity to enrich peer relationships and take advantage of this iconic, traditional high school experience. It was amazing to be there. I was welcomed into the group and felt like I truly belonged. Laurel Springs Student 16

17 Regional Socials Private Social Network Laurel Springs hosts a number of regional events throughout the year so that students and families can have face-to-face opportunities to connect with each other and school staff members. Students and parents visit with Laurel Springs staff members at conferences, specialty athletic, and performance events and education-related conventions. In many cases, our school hosts social activities in conjunction with these events so that local families can interact in a relaxed setting and get to know each other. Beginning in 7th grade, Laurel Springs offers its students and families the opportunity to collaborate and make friends within a secure social network environment. Within this private social network, students may: Participate in online clubs and find new friends Pair up with study buddies Post blog updates regarding their portfolio coursework and share their creative expressions This private social network is a wonderful way for students to form lasting friendships based on mutual inspiration and respect that span state and national boundaries. Students share their thoughts, feelings, and creativity through blogs, forums, and discussion threads. The social network is a valuable tool that creates empathy, compassion and understanding, as well as promoting academic collaboration. Virtual Guest Speakers Laurel Springs students are invited to attend our series of online symposia, which are called Meetings with Remarkable Men and Women. These exclusive live events feature inspiring stories from celebrated leaders in their fields. Past symposia guests have included an astronaut, an award-winning documentary film director, a South Pole explorer, and an environmental activist. During the symposia, students are encouraged to ask questions, offer comments, and engage in discussions with peers and experts. Clubs clubs are a key part of the Laurel Springs virtual school community, deepening relationships and providing students with the chance to work collaboratively. Clubs offer full-time students the opportunity to connect and socialize with other students who share their same interests, talents, and goals. Students gather in a stimulating, inviting and secure online environment, where they can talk to each other in real time and dive more deeply into subjects that interest them. Students work together on club projects and activities with the guidance of experienced, dynamic teachers. Examples of clubs include: Kindergarten through Grade 6 Cooking Club Gardening Club Kitchen Science Club Music Club Pen Pal Club Pet Club Photography Club Songbirds Clubs (grades 5-8) Sports Club Storytelling Club Superstar Club World Current Events Club (grades 4-8) World Languages Club (grades K-2 & 3-6) Grades 7 through 12 Art Club Book Club Computer App Club Craft Club Creative Thinking Club Creative Writing & Photography Club Debate Club (grades 9-12) Environmental Club Equestrian Club Fashion Club Film & Theatre Club French Club Gardening Club Model UN Club Music Club Songbirds Club Travel Club laurelsprings.com

18 Flynn s story TIME MANAGEMENT BUILDS INDEPENDENCE. Flynn s parents selected Laurel Springs when his local school was not meeting his needs. As a creative learner, Flynn s approach to school is supported by Laurel Springs personalized academic model. Because Laurel Springs allows him to manage his own school schedule, Flynn says, I have had many more opportunities to do things that interest me. Flynn has a passion for culinary arts. With food, I can be creative with how I use ingredients. A certain level of detail appeals to me; in cooking, I feel that the dish needs to be as close to perfection as possible. Flynn has found that maintaining a balance between school and culinary work not only helps build his time management skills but also allows him to experience practical applications of what he learns at Laurel Springs. Creating a new dish requires a lot of math and science knowledge, Flynn says. Frequent measurement conversions and predictions about chemical interactions are just two ways that Flynn is able to combine formal academic lessons with his love for cooking. Flynn keeps a planner to manage his academic tasks. At Laurel Springs, there is no time wasted. He has frequent conversations with his teacher, who, is also a creative person, so he understands me. Flynn s teacher says that their student-teacher relationship is, inspirational and endearing and that he enjoys their discussions about crossovers between coursework and cooking laurelsprings.com

19 Constance s story LAUREL SPRINGS TEACHERS ARE HER MENTORS. Constance s family sought a school that would allow flexibility without sacrificing quality academics. After examining many options, they felt that Laurel Springs was, the best of the best. Constance is focused on honing her many talents and sharing her Native American heritage. In addition to excelling in her classes at Laurel Springs, Constance also immerses herself in activities where she has a hands-on, creative role. Currently a high school student, she has been pursuing her academic studies with Laurel Springs since 5th grade. Writing makes me more appreciative of the creativity and thought behind amazing literature, such as Beowulf and The Iliad. Constance and her older sister wrote a play about growing up between two cultures. The play was selected to be performed at a national Native American festival. Her literature teacher said that Constance is, thoroughly engaged with the material and enthusiastic about learning and writing. Constance said, I can t imagine not being a student here. My teachers are unbelievable. I look forward to their feedback, suggestions and comments more than the grade on any given lesson. I have more of a personal relationship with them through that direct communication than I would if I were in a traditional classroom with many other students. I stay in touch with previous teachers and look to them as mentors laurelsprings.com

20 school ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE Laurel Springs provides excellence in curriculum and instruction for elementary and middle school students. In partnership with parents and academic coaches, Laurel Springs nurtures each child s natural creativity and love of learning, setting the stage for future academic success. At Laurel Springs, we take your children s interests, abilities, talents, and style of learning into consideration when supporting their learning process. Whether your family is moving or traveling, your local school is not meeting your child s needs, or you wish to play a more active role in your child s education, Laurel Springs gives you the peace of mind and support of an accredited private school. We offer extensive options to our full-time students for a complete private school experience: Admissions coordinator services Learning styles profile & ongoing assessment All textbook and online course materials Student support services through our LSS Live site Virtual classrooms with live class sessions Symposia with guest speakers Interactive learning management system Mentoring program for 7th and 8th grade students Course-specific diagnostic assessments Parent support services Monthly department newsletter communications Virtual clubs and regional social events Regional face-to-face events Flexible, asynchronous, mastery-based learning Personalized approach based on learning style Teacher support services Options for meeting your teacher on a one-to-one virtual basis National Junior Honor Society for students in 7th & 8th grades Mentoring Program Laurel Springs Link Crew Connections is a mentoring program that connects 7th and 8th grade mentees with high school mentors to provide a network of support. Students who choose to participate in Link Crew are assigned a high school student mentor based upon their specific goals and needs. Mentors provide support, guidance, assistance, and friendship to help middle school students as they prepare for their transition to high school Students who participate in Link Crew feel a sense of involvement and community. 20

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