From our Head of School

Dear Laurence Family, 

One of my favorite days of the year will soon be upon us... the first day of school! The joy and excitement of that first day is something that I look forward to all summer long. You are all a part of my family, and it feels like one big reunion when everyone comes "home."

We will be kicking off the year with a continuation of our character education program, "Keep Kind in Mind."  This school year we will focus on the "7 Kinds of Kindness," looking at ways to be Kind to Ourselves, Kind to Others, and Kind to the Earth, at developmentally-appropriate levels for each grade level.  We will take a renewed look at sustainability and ways that we can preserve and protect our planet.  We will also focus on the many strands of identity as defined by Teaching Tolerance.  Through intentional conversations and exposure to literature and history, our students will be empowered and encouraged to see the world around them from multiple perspectives, to develop a strong sense of empathy and respect for differences, and to develop a greater understanding of who they are. We will continue to delve even deeper with personal presentation skills, focusing on both public speaking and listening skills.

Read the full article about From our Head of School
Environmental Stewardship

As environmental issues continue to be at the forefront of our daily news headlines and we field questions from curious children about various environmental crises, we should purposefully engage our students in environmental education, which directly supports our goal of raising global and environmentally responsible citizens. A group of classroom teachers has already volunteered to help steer this endeavor and now we will be asking families to help with ideas and resources. If we join together as a community, we can impart to our students the knowledge, skills, compassion, and motivation needed to help them understand and ultimately meet the challenges of our time.

Read the full article about Environmental Stewardship
Raising Strong Communicators

Do you remember listening to your parents talking on the phone as you were waiting to ask a question? Or taking the long cord from the phone on the wall into a closet, or around the corner, so that you could speak in private? What about "I Spy" in the car on long road trips? These activities allowed us to develop strong expressive language: the ability to use words, sentences, gestures, and writing to convey meaning and messages to others.  

Read the full article about Raising Strong Communicators
Student Engagement is a Necessity in Today's Evolving Classrooms

Think back to your days in school. Are your fondest or most vivid memories from back then of prescribed worksheets, or boring tests, or listening to long lectures? Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills, and promotes meaningful learning experiences. In today's ever-evolving technological world, it is becoming increasingly harder to connect and engage students in their learning. We know that students' curiosity can be stimulated in ways that strengthen their connectedness to lessons, interactions with each other, and willingness to commit to learning goals, but the old tried and true traditional teaching ways just aren't enough anymore. Here at Laurence, our teachers are very aware of this, and are finding new and improved ways to promote student engagement. Our goal is to motivate students and improve academic outcomes all at once.

Read the full article about Student Engagement is a Necessity in Today's Evolving Classrooms
From our Board Chair

Khalil Gibran once wrote that "progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be."  This is – and has always been – our mindset at Laurence.  We plan for the future, embrace creative and innovative changes, and never rest on our laurels. You can see it in the school's plans for character education, curriculum, and technology, which are described in this newsletter.

Read the full article about From our Board Chair
From our Parent Association President

I hope you're having a wonderful and relaxing summer filled with family, friends, and fun! I'm thrilled to continue as Parent Association President this year, and look forward to working with all of you to make the 2019-2020 school year spectacular for both our children and community! The success of our programs, events and fundraising is only as successful as the support that we receive from you, our generous parent body! You can read descriptions of this year's volunteer committees and sign up to volunteer on a committee (or more!) by clicking here. Please complete the form by August 16th. Many of our fall events are already on the calendar, with our Parent-Teacher Social coming up first on September 6th. Read on for more events and dates!

Read the full article about From our Parent Association President
2019-2020 Parent Education Series Speakers

Creating a strong school-home partnership is an important goal at Laurence, as we all work together to educate the "Total Child" and raise kind, resilient children. To strengthen that partnership, we strive to bring you interesting authors and experts to speak about the latest and most important topics in parenting and raising children. We have planned a great lineup of speakers for the 2019-2020 school year. Please mark your calendars for these events and read on for more information about our speakers.

Read the full article about 2019-2020 Parent Education Series Speakers
Important New Dismissal Process

Laurence School is pleased to announce our partnership with SchoolPass, to simplify the ease of communicating your child's arrival and dismissal plans and changes. We are very excited to offer you this streamlined online communications tool, where you will have access to a website and a smartphone app to make changes to your child's schedule. In August, each Laurence family will receive an email with log-in information and instructions for setting up your account. All families will need to be enrolled in this system before the start of school on Tuesday, August 27th.

Read the full article about Important New Dismissal Process
How We Choose Educational Apps

Laurence School is committed to using technology in responsible and innovative ways to enhance and support student learning. We carefully assess the resources to ensure that they are developmentally appropriate, follow best practices in safeguarding student privacy, and are a good match for our curriculum. Please read on for important information about our educational technology resources, including privacy policies.

Read the full article about How We Choose Educational Apps
Orchestra Program

We are excited to be partnering for a third year with the Kadima Conservatory for Music! We will once again be offering all string classes in the upcoming year, as well as woodwind instruments (flute and clarinet) to 3rd-6th grade students! Each ten week session will culminate in a special performance for family and friends. Performances not only include a selection of well-known pieces, but also a few original compositions from the kids as well!

Read the full article about Orchestra Program
Yearbook Dedication Pages & Shoutouts

It's time to reserve your dedication pages and shoutouts for the 2019-2020 yearbook! Dedication pages and shoutouts are a great way to make your child's yearbook extra special. All reservations, photos and text must be submitted by October 4th.

NEW! We will now be handling all of the design for your dedication pages. Just send in your photos and the text you would like to have included, and we'll handle the rest! Design costs are included in the new pricing.

Read on for the form to reserve your pages/shoutouts and important information, including cost savings for families with multiple Laurence students who are reserving half and quarter pages.

Read the full article about Yearbook Dedication Pages & Shoutouts
The Laurence Library Birthday Book Program

The Laurence Library Birthday Book Program is a fantastic way to celebrate your child's birthday in a meaningful way, and to help our library collection grow. By donating a chosen amount of money towards the purchase of a new book, your child is able to select a book on or near his/her birthday and present it to their class during library time. For more details and information, click "Read More". 

Read the full article about The Laurence Library Birthday Book Program

Important School Links