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Middle School

Curriculum Overview

ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE ARTS

In the English Language Arts program, students are held to a high standard and are rigorously prepared for the high school English experience. Students read and discuss literature and are expected to respond to material through creative and analytical writing as well as in an oral format. Incorporated into the writing curriculum is a review of essay structure. Students then hone and perfect the four- and five-paragraph essay to respond to questions about their reading. In addition to literature, there is a comprehensive skills program that focuses on strengthening students’ vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.

MATHEMATICS

Mathematics at The Laurel Hill School emphasizes problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and real-world applications. All New York State standards are incorporated into our daily lessons and both tutorials and advanced study are available to our students. All of the methods used help to prepare our students for the New York State Mathematics Assessments given in March and also to prepare our advanced eighth grade students for the early administration of Integrated Algebra Regents Examination given in June.

  • Math Lab is incorporated into the Mathematics Lessons. These “hands-on” activities enhance the students’ learning experiences.
  • Students practice their communication skills by reading to interpret directions, discussing possible solutions with their group, and in writing results and reasons explaining how they arrived at their solutions.
  • Real life applications are incorporated into the projects.
  • Technology is also used to investigate and explore possibilities. Creativity is always encouraged in ways to solve problems and in presentation of the final project.
  • Benchmark practice is used to reinforce learned skills.
SCIENCE

The science program follows-up, reinforces and enhances skills, concepts, and information learned in previous grades. Students begin to study Chemistry and Earth Science. Eighth grade students prepare for early administration of the New York State Earth Science Regents.

  • The ultimate goal of the sixth grade science program is to develop the students to be critical observers, analytical thinkers, and active and concerned citizens who are aware of their surroundings and their global environment. Sixth grade will acquire knowledge and practical skills related to science through experimentation and discovery. Life Science and Earth Science will have special focus.
  • The seventh graders begin the year focusing on Regents level chemistry. The basic building blocks of chemistry are discussed in depth; studies include the atom, isotopes, the periodic table, and the physical and chemical properties of elements. Each concept is explored with experiments and hands-on activities.
  • The eighth grade course is an intensive study of Earth Science and incorporates 1200 minutes of laboratory experience including written research and laboratory reports. The program also incorporates computer technology along with discussions of current events relating to Earth Science and science in general. In addition to the core curriculum of Earth Science, the students prepare for the New York State Eighth Grade Science Assessment given at the end of 8th grade. Advanced students may also take the Earth Science Regents.
SOCIAL STUDIES

The Middle School Social Studies Program aims to familiarize students with the basic vocabulary, skills and concepts of the historian. Students are continuously introduced to the geography of the areas that are being studied. Methods of deductive reasoning are encouraged to determine the political, economic, and social impact of climate, landforms, and population on a community. The classroom atmosphere encourages discussion, critical thinking, opinion making, and interpretation of history and current events to promote inferences about the future.

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Join Us At Our Virtual School Open House

VIRTUAL SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE 

TUESDAY, JUNE 30TH, 2020

GRADES K-3: 9:30 AM 

 GRADES 4-6: 2:00 PM

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FIND OUT WHAT MAKES LAUREL HILL MORE THAN JUST A SCHOOL TO OUR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES.


Parent Bravos

Here is a small sample of some of the  beautiful comments from our Parents about our Distance Learning Program.

From a 6th Grade Parent:

Dear Mr and Mrs Stark,
And all our wonderful LHS teachers! We want to support all parents in sending our deepest gratitude for giving our kids some sense of normalcy during these very challenging times.
It’s very important for us to know that while my husband, as many other ICU doctors and nurses, are fighting every day with this vicious disease, our children can still follow their routine, learn, and communicate with their teachers and friends. It helps us, parents, and it definitely helps kids to continue their growth as individuals.
I see excitement in (our daughter’s) eyes when she is getting ready for school in the morning, when she is running to the printer to get an assignment, or just talking to her friends during breaks.
Thank you so much to every single one of you!
 
 

From a 3YR Old Parent:

“We wanted to say thank you for accommodating the preschool families with the tuition suspension during this time.
We are also amazed (and truly grateful) that the zoom on- line learning format is continuing despite the circumstances.
I know this is not an easy time for businesses, organizations etc. If there is anything at all we can do to help the school during this time or once we return, please let us know. Maybe a fundraiser or maybe there is something we can do for our individual teachers. Just brainstorming…
Finally, some thoughts as we’ve entered week 3 of zoom/on-line learning. It’s been such a wonderful experience participating in our kids’ learning! Yes managing working from home and helping with homeschool can be exciting… but I’ve enjoyed seeing firsthand how dedicated our teachers are to not only teaching and providing additional resources to enhance learning, but also doing it with such great enthusiasm.
 There’s a great sense of community and collaboration between administration, teachers and parents, and it is evident that our main goal is how to make this experience the best it can possibly be.
How lucky are we to have such amazingly dedicated teachers in our kids’ lives! How blessed are we to be part of the
Laurel Hill family!
In the midst of chaos you have given us a sense of normalcy and we are genuinely appreciative of all your efforts.
 
 

 

 
 
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HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW….
THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES
 HERE IS WHAT WE ARE SURE OF…
TOGETHER WE SHALL PERSEVERE
As Charles Dickens famously observed…
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .
it was the season of darkness,
it was the spring of hope . . .
We at Laurel Hill live “the best of times” every day because we are blessed by the beauty, by the serene innocence, and by the precocity of our boys and girls.
We at Laurel Hill live “the best of times” every day for the blessing of totally dedicated teachers and support staff who clearly know why they selected to do what they do in career and in life and give, and give, and give tirelessly to fulfill their greatest ambitions for their children’s growth and well being.
We at Laurel Hill live “the best of times” because we are blessed to have families joined with us to support and to build – partners in turning great ideas into great accomplishments, partners ready to share their skills and to help in the work that needs to be done.
 
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
 
FROM A TEACHER….
Ms. Bond’s Zoom Classroom
Never in my teaching career would I have thought that I would need to teach elementary class via online classes. Yet, here we are in uncertain times, teaching in a media platform that is geared towards the children of this generation.
As apprehensive as I was before the first day of Zoom (I woke up a number of times during the night like it was my first day of school!), I now feel energized and excited about what we are able to do with the Zoom program. I’ve found that I’ve been able to keep most of my teaching the same as when it is a live class! In Reading, we’ve done an author study and vocabulary work in just three days! I am so proud of how much hard work my students continue to do while they are at home!
FROM A PARENT…..
I hope this email finds you well and safe. I have been thinking about you & Mr. Stark often and must first apologize for the time lapse in reaching out to express my deepest gratitude. I can’t believe that we have just completed 3 weeks of successful and engaging remote learning. Your steadfast leadership at the onset of this crisis was inspiring. As this crisis turned into a nationwide tragic pandemic, your engaging and detailed remote learning program did not waiver. In fact, it strengthened! Our children were the lucky ones to maintain a sense of normalcy with their routine schedule and engaging “live” classes with all of their treasured teachers and classmate friends.

View additional parent testimonials and all other news updates by visiting Laurel Hill In the News.