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Beyond the Textbook

Leadership Institute

Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Institute, a high-level specialty program encompassing the areas of mathematics, science, technology and engineering. In small groups facilitated by mentors who are professionals in their fields, students explore the frontiers of their imaginations through projects such as Coding, Puzzlers, Debate Team, Journalism, and Lego Robotics. These long-term research projects provide a hands-on cooperative learning experience that builds confidence and skills in an intellectually challenging environment.

Debate Team

There are two sides to every competitive debate. The proposition team makes a case in favor of the debate issue, while the opposition creates a case against it. Members of the LHS Debate Team train to take both sides of controversial, exciting, timely questions. Topics have included issues as diverse as cell phone policies in schools, the benefits vs. harms of credit cards, nuclear weapons development in Iran, and whether junk foods should be allowed in public schools. Students learn to construct intricate arguments both for and against these topics, while developing confidence, public speaking skills, research and persuasion techniques.

Literary Project

Participants explore a variety of literary forms including haiku, sonnet, fractured fairytales, cinquain, and short story. Young authors publish the LHS Lit Mag, an annual magazine showcasing their skill development and creative spirits. It’s an opportunity to become a published author and to express observations in a uniquely powerful modality.

Journalism

Identifying news. Getting the news. Writing the news. Publishing the news. Broadcasting the news. Student reporters learn their craft and apply best practices to keep LHS informed.

Robotics

Members of the Robotics team engineer specialized robots to resolve engineering challenges. These exciting problem-solving opportunities involve generating solutions to engineering problems such as repairing hydro-dams and power lines, moving a wave turbine, and repairing solar roof panels. Robots are designed to address the special issues posed by each setting. Students develop creative problem-solving skills while learning the principles of robotics, and utilizing spatial intelligence to create working machines.

Imagining In HTML

It’s creating dynamic web pages your own way using HyperText Markup Language, the classic cornerstone of professional webpage construction. Students receive their commission to build a website to represent an engaging theme and then do all the research and programming to accomplish the task. No cookie cutter or out-of-the-box solutions allowed, middle school students construct from top to bottom. And their solutions are elegant!

Coding

Explore foundational robotics and programming concepts by navigating through the engineering design process. Move blocks of graphical code to test and improve plans of action you create, collaborate with your friends to brainstorm your ideas, and then share the results with your coding community. Put your robot to work as you like it and get your game to play as you intended – it’s all in the code!

Puzzlers

Takes math beyond word problems to problem solve fascinating “How do they do that?” happenings. And then it’s also off to the shop to build games to inspire math throughout the LHS community. Puzzlers looks under the magician’s sleeve, it is part CSI, and it’s a gateway to great fun with math.

Student Advisory

The advisory program provide students the opportunity to develop a close relationship with a faculty member, who can offer advocacy and support in a variety of academic and social situations. The faculty member partners with the student to communicate effectively with other teachers, administrators, and family members to address challenges and facilitate growth. The program allows for the close supervision of each student, and increases confidence and feelings of groundedness by reassuring the student that there is one person on the faculty who is keenly aware of, and knowledgeable about, his or her progress in every phase of school life. Each Middle School student is assigned an advisor, and meets regularly with the advisor throughout the year.

Middle School Shakespeareans

Middle School students whose creative spirits lead them to the stage can take part in the Middle School Shakespeareans, who perform each year in the CUNY Shakespeare Festival. Students utilize Shakespeare’s original text to create an original ten-minute play, which they perform alongside peers from other schools at an off-Broadway theater in New York City. LHS partners with a teaching artist, who engages students in acting workshops to prepare for this performance. This is an unforgettable opportunity for students to engage with classic works of literature, and express themselves on the stage in a highly unique capacity.

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Welcome Back To School

Planning For A Healthy School Year

The gates to 2020-2021 are swinging open to welcome our Laurel Hill students and parents back!  It’s the event we have all been waiting for.  Although the good news is very recent, we have been preparing for a long time.  

For the past four decades we at Laurel Hill School have had the privilege of serving our local community by providing excellence in education. We have been overwhelmed by your positive comments regarding your children’s experience at LHS during quarantine.  Your glowing reviews of the program we developed  and  your appreciation of our dedicated faculty have been uplifting. We salute you for standing by LHS at this most difficult juncture.

Laurel Hill has always offered gifts far beyond the fun and excitement that fill each child’s day!  New experiences and strong relationships help our students become more confident, strengthen their capabilities and build their character.  These, however, are challenging times that require a comprehensive and thoughtful approach. 

We at LHS are committed to meeting these challenges and to fully embracing our responsibility to each of our students, staff members, and parents.  We understand that each parent is concerned, more than ever, about the health and welfare of their children and about our plans for the year.  We want you to know that we hear you and that we are fully committed to a thoughtful and comprehensive response to the current situation and to helping reduce uncertainty as much as possible.

Welcome Back To School!


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.