We had a fantastic time at Laurence! My eldest is in college, and my younger child is in high school. Both kids had a GREAT experience at Laurence, though they are different kids, with different interests & learning styles. The administration is constantly keeping a pulse on what is going on in education, in the LA area, and all over the country. They continuously strive to do their best in academics, sports, the arts and character development. We always felt that our children were given endless opportunities to reach outside of their comfort zone with support and encouragement. They are both great public speakers because of Laurence. They are kind and compassionate because of the nurturing environment at Laurence. And they have done well academically in the challenging schools they attended since then. The teachers were dedicated to doing their best for the kids and their families. We still keep in touch with many of them. The parent body was dynamic and energetic. There are so many great ways to get involved and be a part of your child's world without being a helicopter parent. We have wonderful and great friendships from our time at Laurence.
If the school had a parking lot it would be close to perfect. Right now you have to fight for a spot at their neighbors lot, Tequilas. There's also Radford hall which houses many unsavory characters at their morning AA meetings. They smoke outside and ignore our requests to stop. The school is beautiful but there are problems like any school The head of school is Ingenuine and I don't trust her. If you donate a lot of money she'll love you. Welcome to private school. As for the teachers, most are great others not so much. That happens everywhere. I heard rumors that if your kid is not keeping up they suggest medication. Which makes me sick. Good luck.
My son will be a freshman at USC. I was told they had a record number of applications, and that college admissions have become more competitive. Reflecting on my son's accomplishments, I look back at what made a difference in his success. I attribute this to Laurence School. His achievement throughout his years at Harvard-Westlake emanated from the education he received at Laurence. Recalling his K-6 years, I remember a dedicated administration who cared about every child. Mrs. Wolke, Head of School, continued to raise the bar in all aspects ensuring that each child is given the tools to succeed in their secondary education and beyond. The teachers were exceptional, and the curriculum was top notch. My son learned outstanding reading and writing skills and enjoyed a progressive math program where he was better prepared than most in middle school. Laurence stressed character development, and as a multi-sport athlete at H-W, he enjoyed a well-rounded athletic program at Laurence as well as many enrichment programs. Laurence fostered a strong sense of community, and the parent involvement was amazing. I am grateful to Laurence for embracing my family and giving my son the best.
Laurence is a truly great school. I went here from Kindergarten to sixth grade. I always had friends, I learned every day, and now my sister goes here too. While I was at Laurence, I had amazing teachers. Every one of them was truly great. The facilities are the best in any Los Angeles private school. The entire time I was there, the administration were kind and understanding, and literally every child had at least one really good friend. No one was left out ever. This feeling of being included makes a kid feel really good and know that they have friends. The sports program is great. Laurence wins many league championships with all of their sport teams. Sixth grade was the best year of my life. To everyone saying that sixth grade is all about the ISEE, it isn't. A lot of time is spent on it, but that is because it is important to get into a good middle school. Also, Laurence spends a lot of time making sure that you get into the school you want, which is important! The head of school genuinely cares about where everyone gets in, and nearly the whole grade got into every school they applied to!!! I did!!! I now go to Harvard Westlake, and it is so great! Laurence is a great school
I have a 3rd and 6th grader at Laurence. When I read some of these comments I thought these folks must be at another school. Perhaps as on many Internet sites mainly complainers gravitate towards them with their litany of grievances. Our experience has been uniformly excellent. Our teachers have been superb. The academic program is top notch and tailored to each child. It is balanced by a nurturing, holistic approach. This is done incredibly successfully. The sports program is competitve but inclusive. The physical campus is the nicest of any K-6 school I have yet seen. Parents are happily involved. When founded 60 years ago the school was ahead of the curve in its emphasis on the total child and it is today a wonderful combination of tradtion and innovation in a rich, caring environment. The Head of School is as dynamic, caring and capable an administrator as anyone could want. The principal is passionate and extraordinary. They are a great team. LA West Siders are making the trek here because the school is amazing. Don't believe the complainers who would be venting about whatever school or hotel or car at any outlet they could find. Come see for yourself and be the judge.
Like anyplace, Laurence has strengths and weaknesses. The good: the teachers are mostly solid and the kids switch activities all day, which keeps them engaged. There are certainly a few poor teachers, but also many standouts. Parental involvement is high. The PE/sports team program is the best I've ever seen - good for both athletic and non-athletic kids. The kids are grouped by ability for both math and reading, which keeps them learning and engaged, but not overwhelmed. The bad: the Head of School is competent administrator but not an educator (she's a lawyer). If you are considering the school, come to an assembly to hear her speak and judge for yourself. I could say a lot more, but I don't want to see this post deleted. The ugly: Kids from high-donor families can get away with destruction of property and bullying. If you have bright kids, there is a relentless push to matriculate to Harvard-Westlake. This is not the right next school for every child and we got no guidance for other choices. I ended up paying an outside consultant! Finally: the school is attracting more wealth and celebrities. I expect big changes in the next 2-3 years, so do your homework.
I posted a 5 star review when my kid was in Kindergarten, but having been at the school several years, I wish I could change my assessment. The teachers are generally good, but the administration is incredibly condescending to kids. False praise and platitudes. They get workbooks, like super old school phonics worksheets no matter how fluent their reading. The teachers don't like it but they are required to use those materials. Any suggestion is met with a no. It's fine, but I wish we had looked harder at other schools.
This is an awesome school. Disregard the negative comments the teachers and staff are incredible, hardworking nurturing people. The admin really care about you. We could not be happier and feel lucky to be part of this community.
I went to Laurence with my sister K-6. I give it 5 stars. Most of the people on here giving it one or two stars got kicked out (which does happen but very subtly), their kids weren't very bright, they didn't get into good schools, or they or their kids didn't really fit in. My sister and I both got accepted into all the schools we applied to and now attend the 12th best school in America and the best school in Los Angeles. 6th grade is not all spent on the ISEE! How could it be if the test is taken in December by most of the class! There is also a beautiful project called CAP's, where you can share your knowledge about something you are passionate about. The teachers are generally nice, except some of the newer kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers. Our principal is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Our Head of School is very caring and guides you nicely through the application process. The students are generally nice, but in middle school may be more obnoxious and snitch more than the other kids, making them not the most popular. Overall, I think Laurence is great.
I am a grateful and elated parent of a Laurence student who has had diagnostic, educational testing. The School's Administration and my child's teacher have been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and nurturing every step of the way. My child is celebrated for the person he is, and his educational challenges have been addressed in the most professional, discreet, and positive way. He is soaring academically under the guidance of the School's amazing staff and I cannot imagine a more appropriate or wonderful educational environment for elementary age children.
Our experience at this school was terrible. They talk about the "whole child" and how they help each child be their best they can be. Well this wasn't our experience. We were treated so poorly, constantly nitpicked and attacked and pushed to have very expensive testing done. We received ridiculous e-mails every day from our teacher. We believe that this really came from the heads of school as they are very controlling of their staff. You can see the stress on the staff's faces every day during carpool. Our Doctors said there was nothing outside of the norm with our child and were shocked at how the school was handling everything. I found during our experience that many kids are on medication here and that is just normal. We decided to look for another school and did. Things always work out. We are in a school now that really cares about each child just like they promise. It's been an amazing year and I am glad I made the change! There was more that I would have liked to add but I don't want this post to be deleted.
I am a current parent of a sixth grade child at Laurence. If I had to do it all again, I would still choose this school. My childs' experience has been incredible on all levels. There are so many posts that are blatant lies, it's rather shocking. While not every school is for everyone, I truly believe Laurence has been an incredible balance of every element an elementary school should encompass. For the disgruntled posts on here, I would advise to check your spelling before blasting how "poor academically" a school is!! PS teacher to student ratio is actually quite small, entire 6th grade year is NOT spent on ISEE's, how can that be when the test is in Decemebr?
We have a child in sixth grade and another at Kindergarten and are very happy with the school. The students are generally nice and the parents are involved. There is a nice family atmosphere in the school.
Laurence is a hidden gem. We couldn't be happier. Our children love going to school. The teachers are wonderful. Although the curriculum is challenging the children work at their own pace. The sports and arts program is really great also. The administration work extremely hard and really care not only about the kids but the parents also. This is truly a wonderful and special school.
Please disregard the negative comments. Laurence is a traditional school but using the latest methods and technology to give our kids the best start. The campus is amazing and the kids love all of the programs. The teachers are wonderful as is the parent body. While this school is not for everyone I can say that everyone attending is delighted with their child's progress. My only comment is the admin can appear a bit fake but they do truly care and work very hard for the school. There was a significant increase in tuition last year which I hope does not happen again this year. Otherwise the school is amazing.
I taught at this school for a few year and it's not great. Not in the least. The admin. are stuck in the 60ties, they treat their staff as though they were Public School teachers with 60-40 classes per week. I had barely time to teach, let alone prep for my classes. Terrible place. For some reason, my review keeps getting "removed". Hmmmm I wonder why?
To the teacher who posted 5/22/11 and parent who posted 5/20/11, where do you send a child who is highly gifted, very creative, and has insatiable curiosity for learning and life?? She also loves science.
Laurence School is the greatest thing to have happened to our family. My child is flourishing and so are all of his friends. The school has an amazing way of building children's self confidence. They make learning lots of fun as well as challenge the children to their unique individual styles. Laurence is a caring, warm place and I am lucky to be a part of this amazing community.
Our son just completed second grade and marks our second year (we missed kindergarten). We must say that the school is absolutely wonderful. Our son is thriving in this environment. We applied to five schools and were accepted by all of them. However, the only school that our son and as well as us wanted was Laurence. The campus is beautiful, the teachers truly caring and the administration the most hard working bunch that we've come across. We cannot understand why anyone would have had a negative experience here. All of our experiences have been more than positive. We recommend this school for any parents who truly want their children to have the highest quality education and to thrive to their full potential.
The PE, drama and music programs are great. The campus is pretty, especially the lovely library. Except for those things, we can not recommend this school. After our disheartening academic experience at Laurence we happily discovered much better public and private schools for our very bright kids and haven't looked back.
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