Laurel Springs is dedicated to ensuring that our curriculum matches the child, rather than the child matching the curriculum. We believe in a student-centered approach to learning which acknowledges a child’s innate love of learning and the unique talents inherent in each child.
We believe that every child is a living treasure with the ability to demonstrate genius. The best learning environment is one that is nurturing and supportive. We honor the uniqueness of each of our students and appreciate the myriad of learning styles they present to us.” – Marilyn Mosley Gordanier Founder, Laurel Springs School
Laurel Springs uses a learning profile which measures a student’s approach to learning and identifies opportunities for growth. There are five different learning modalities that come together to create a dynamic portrait of each child. Knowing a student’s learning style is even more important in a distance learning environment. This helps to inform choice of curriculum, mode of curriculum delivery, and provides valuable information to our teachers and staff regarding instructional preferences. Understanding individual learning styles allows us to take a holistic approach, based on each child’s unique pace of development and strengths.
Based on the belief that each style of learning is valid, unique, and important, our learning styles model includes auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners but expands to consider how children think, what motivates them to learn, their interests, talents, and even the environment in which they learn best.
Academic planning is a vital part of the Laurel Springs educational process and allows us to understand your child’s unique educational needs. Our planning process includes a comprehensive orientation to help families become familiar with online learning, a diagnostic assessment of the child’s current skill mastery, and a learning styles profile.
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” Ignacio Estrada, director for grants administration at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Diagnostic assessments are designed to provide parents, students, and teachers with specific information about acquisition of knowledge and skills, so that the appropriate next steps for learning are able to be determined. The results empower students, parents, and teachers to pinpoint, assign, and review those areas the student must master before moving on to more complex materials. By having each student take a diagnostic assessment, our teachers can better understand the needs and abilities of each student in meeting the requirements outlined in the curriculum expectations.
Our approach is competency-based, and students need to demonstrate that they understand assignments and courses. Our student-centered approach to assessment helps us better understand each child and measure the effectiveness of our courses.
All students participate in Performance Series assessments in the first and last lessons of their English and Math courses. These assessments play a crucial role in monitoring student growth and measuring school improvement. Performance Series assessments provide adaptive content so that each learner is assessed according to their own skill levels. Students access the assessments within their course material in the Learning Management System (LMS).
In addition to being convenient and suited to personalized learning, the assessments give immediate feedback on students’ individual progress toward core objectives. The detailed reports also feature norm referencing to compare Laurel Springs School to the rest of the nation. A parent summary is included.
Every Laurel Springs student begins their learning experience by attending an orientation, having the opportunity to take a diagnostic assessment and complete a learning style profile so that we are able to learn about and take advantage of the unique talents and inclination toward learning inherent in each child. Ongoing assessments are utilized throughout the student’s educational journey as a way to ensure mastery of course content.