Just so most of you know, there is absolutely NO drama at Laurel School. If there is any drama, it will be very minimal. At HB I think there might be more drama because of cliques and things like that. Also, Laurel is a more homey environment and they definitely DO NOT "baby" you. They just want to make sure we all feel comfortable and not stressed out. Also, we have advisors starting in 5th grade! The lockers are SUPER nice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this school!
This school develops these kinds of things because of their honor code. They make sure you will always keep it here.
I go to Laurel and I feel like HB girls always underestimate what kind of school Laurel is like. I am in Middle School at Laurel and if someone is moody one day everyone gets over a problem the next. Laurel IS up to date. They always figure out ways to overcome a situation. Computer Problem? Go to the IR (computer experts) department and they will fix it right away. Feelings Hurt? Talk to any teacher and they will help you figure out whatever situation you are in. Even though Laurel's grade system is more laid-back, it can be a good thing. Grades don't start until 7th grade because, I mean, why preasure young kids? I switched to Laurel from another school and I am glad I switched. At my old school we were always pressured, had bad friend relationships, didn't interact as much with the teachers, and didn't include the new girls. At Laurel none of this happens in my grade and I am glad for it. Small classes mean teachers can help everybody. I love Laurel and I will always Be a Laurel Girl. In school, out of school, and on the internet. Dream. Dare. Do.
I looked at all the schools from around the area, and laurel is just ehhh not bad per say just not good either. There academics are good just not great compared to schools like Hawken or HB. they really seem to hover over the kids and baby them which is good for some people. The extracurriculars you would think would be better for the amount you pay for it. I was not pleased by the environment when I visited. I am not trying to compare to HB (one of the rivals), as the two schools are very similar. HB had just better everything than laurel academics, arts, athletics, and more. I also dislike all the drama with laurel, many parents judge HB and tell rumors about it which just makes me dislike the school even more. I have many friends that went to laurel and were successful so I am not saying its not a bad school and compared to others its good just in Cleveland we already have an amazing all girl prep school.
We have two girls at Laurel - one in primary and one in pre-primary. We couldn't be happier. The environment is very nurturing, the curriculum challenging and the overall culture is extremely positive. The facilities are top notch and the Butler campus is amazing and unique. All of the students love their LAB (Laurel at Butler) days - gets them out of the classroom to learn and work as class together. Highly recommend the school!
Laurel has a phenomenal Preprimary program. I have been blown away by the quality and commitment of staff and teachers. I highly recommend it. They go above and beyond. I only wish the school was coed after Preprimary.
Our daughter is now a sophomore high school student at Laurel. We watch with amazement how the school is able to mold her character, really stretch her academically, encourage her athletically, and provide social context to almost everything she does. The school's ability to create a stimulating and challenging environment for all the girls, while sustaining an open, progressive, and nurturing community, where every girl is celebrated for her accomplishments, uniqueness and contribution to society, is truly amazing. While we always expected our daughter to do well academically, we did not expect a school where academic excellence is considered "a given", but an equally important emphasis is placed on ethics, taking care of one's self--physically and emotionally, global citizenship, and contributing to society to better the world. As a result, we have a strong, confident and independent-minded, yet caring and compassionate daughter. Laurel School slowly transformed her from being a cautious academic "perfectionist" to becoming an unafraid "risk taker"; from having a "fixed mindset" to practicing a "growth mindset". And we are so proud of her, and so appreciative of Laurel.
I spent 15 years at Laurel School and everyday I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to attend Laurel. I am now a sophomore and college and the affects of Laurel are truly showing. I have a 4.0, in the honors college and on the deans list, keep in mind that I graduated with simply a 3.4 from Laurel but was admitted to 12 out of 16 schools and offered 4 full academic scholarships and was offered a scholarship at each school I was offered admission. I think what says the most about Laurel though is that everyday I wake up and wish I could spend one more day there. The teachers are amazing, I still keep in contact and frequently get advice from mine. I have study habits unparalleled to those of my fellow students and I have a much better understanding of the world around me. Although Laurel challenged me more each day, what I learned through my experience. I was given the opportunity to travel Europe 3 times through the school, play top varsity sports, develop close friends with whom I talk each day and most importantly find somewhere I will always feel at home. As I write this I only hope that many other girls for years to come can experience what I have had the opportunity.
Our daughter visited both Laurel and HB, and to our surprise she chose Laurel (despite the less impressive campus). She told us that Laurel was more welcoming, and even during her visit, they treated her like one of them. Coming from a traditional school where they were quizzed daily and were given lots of homework, at first we were uncomfortable with the infrequency of tests, emphasis on real world projects, and de-emphasis on grades (at least in Middle School). But you know what, despite all these, she continued to score well on standardized testing, and is now an even more well-rounded girl who knows how to write essays and position papers, do research, prepare powerpoint presentations, defend her positions, properly reference sources, etc. I am most impressed by the visionary Head of School (she is truly ahead of her time), the amazing Director of Center for Research on Girls (we attend all her seminars as we always learn something!), and the amount of attention we have received from my daughter's teachers whenever we had a question or expressed any concern. Our daughter has chosen well and we couldn't be happier with her decision. Good luck to all parents!