This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted September 14, 2014
- a parent
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!
LAUREL SCHOOL IS AMAZING. i spent 6 years there and could not be happier. of course some teachers were great and others weren't..just like at any school. there have been a lot of renovations to the building including a totally new lunch room and kitchen. the community and sisterhood built at this school is everlasting. i recommend it to any girl.
The building is old and outdated, the lunches suck, and this is a less prestigious version of Hathaway Brown. The school is definitely second and tier and absolutely DO NOT send your daughter here if she is an athlete. She will waste her good talent at this sub-par school.
My daughter left Laurel in 2003. The FIRST consideration in my view is how does the student feel about the school(my daughter loved Laurel) after a visit. Private schools in this area are very competitive and the academics are strong. Laurel is blessed with possibly the best English Lit teacher in the area(and had some other strong teachers in this area). Although in math it was not uniformly strong it had multivariable calculus taught by a strong teacher. I am not aware of this level of math offering at any other school there but it has been some years. One of the best science teachers you could hope for has since left so I'm not up on that now though others were very good. Laurel is gifted with language teachers-phenomenal. But respect your daughter's instincts. She's the one who has to spend the years there. Does it feel good to her?
For high school, I looked at both Hathaway Brown and Laurel. I couldn't be happier that I chose to come to Laurel! Laurel has made me a confident, worldly, and overall well-rounded young woman. Had I chosen to go to HB, I know I would not be half the person I am today!