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3 Reasons to Choose Laurel Springs School for Online Summer Learning

two funny schoolgirls sit on the grass and read books. Girls, girlfriends, sisters are taught lessons in nature.Mention the words “summer school” to anyone over the age of 30 and chances are their thoughts will turn to a scene straight out of an 80s movie: the cast is a handful of struggling students who need remediation or are riding out an extension of detention from the freshly-ended school year. They swelter in the heat of an air condition-free classroom, sitting in horribly uncomfortable seats learning from a teacher who makes it clear they do not want to be there as much (or more than) the students.

That scene may have actually been accurate in describing what summer school used to be. But the script is being flipped on the outdated notion that summer school serves solely as remediation or punishment. It’s time to recast summer school, starring students looking for a flexible way to build confidence, catch up, or get ahead.

Summer is the perfect time for students of all ages and all circumstances to learn more about themselves, their passions, and their talents—a time to foster a lifelong love of learning that goes beyond the classroom.

The casting call for summer school stars is now open to all students in grades K-12 who value time and the ability to learn when they learn best, regardless of the season of year. They are student athletes, performing artists, and high academic achievers building their transcripts and resumes to stand out in an increasingly competitive college admissions landscape. The environment is flexible. The time belongs to the students and their goals.

Why Laurel Springs?

At Laurel Springs School, we’ve spent the past 30 years innovating the online K-12 education experience, and summer programs are a part of that. COVID-19 has helped make it clear to students, teachers, administrators, districts, and our nation’s leaders that a truly engaging, mastery-based online education requires far more than simply sitting in front of a laptop.

We look at each student’s individual circumstances and goals to determine how Laurel Springs can best meet their needs. This approach is the same for students who come to us for a single course in the summer as it is for our full-time students. At Laurel Springs, each student’s learning path and pace are theirs and theirs alone. It will not look like everyone else’s, nor should it! It is an individualized combination of interests, talents, and passions.

Here are three ways an individualized Laurel Springs School summer experience may be a good fit for your student.

Build confidence

We are now far enough removed from the forced closure of schools in 2020 to recognize the amazing resilience of educators and parents, as well as the inevitable downsides to the unexpected pivot of brick-and-mortar schools to an online environment. While some transitions went as well as they could, many K-12 students found themselves burdened in ways they were not before.

The educational disruption caused by COVID-19 was not only on learning, but on social emotional development as well. Expectations of patterns, modes of learning, and environment were all upended. Children went from interacting with peers throughout the day to seeing them only on a camera, then progressing to the next grade level without advantage of social growth the year before.

Children are now working to build skill sets that they should have mastered last year, setting them behind in curriculum, and jeopardizing their ability to progress. Likewise, parents may recognize behavioral regression or self-esteem changes resulting from months of isolation and social distancing. Students’ confidence in themselves may likely be shaken. Summer is the perfect time to help rebuild that confidence.

Laurel Springs Schools’ summer learning courses can help students in all grade levels prepare academically for the upcoming school year and socially – and safely – interact with teachers, fellow students, and guest speakers as built-in components of their courses. The nature of a Laurel Springs class is that students build their learning into the times of day when they work best. This requires awareness of self, commitment to goals, and time management skills. As they work to prove mastery in their subject area, they’ll not only be learning and thinking, but also honing communication techniques in speaking, writing, and listening. They’ll work to succeed in a collaborative environment that is primarily within their control, which for many students helps them build skills that lead to success.

Catch up

Building a strong foundation of basic skills that will transform into more complex ones is vital. Take, for example, math and reading. If a student is struggling with a concept, it can derail both progression and confidence. Taking a course to establish proficiency during what is traditionally an “off time” allows students to focus on those concepts without having to split their energy among multiple classes.

Without this reinforcement, a student who is already struggling at the end of an academic year in a core course may find themselves distraught when they return in the fall. A shaky ground of understanding compounded with learning loss educators know occurs over the summer months can be a bad combination. Summer months are perfect for filling this gap.

For those looking to catch up on core academic courses, our lower and middle students in grades 3 through 8 have access to math, English, social studies, science, and health/physical education courses over the summer. Upper school students, grades 9 through 12, also have access to core subjects of English, math, social studies, history, and science.

Get ahead

Students can embark on an academic summer adventure through elective courses. It’s the perfect time to explore areas of interest for career paths, build up a transcript, or lighten an upcoming semester’s course load so students can focus on personal talents and goals. Student athletes and those training in the performing arts, for example, may take courses in the summer to alleviate stress or ramp up their training schedules at other times of year.

Students at the lower and middle school grade levels have access to electives to explore new academic subject areas, such as :

  • world languages
  • computer science topics
  • art and design
  • career exploration
  • music
  • video game design
  • journalism
  • graphic novels
  • cooking
  • science topics
  • literature

Those in the upper school grades will find their electives expand even further to include honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and college prep courses. Students may opt for courses in areas (depending on each summer’s offerings) including:

  • specific literature genres
  • history
  • composition
  • geography
  • government
  • economics
  • psychology
  • math
  • science
  • business
  • entrepreneurship and leadership skills
  • manufacturing
  • fashion design
  • languages
  • advertising and sales
  • marketing
  • psychology
  • philosophy
  • sociology and social problems
  • agriculture
  • legal studies, criminal justice and criminology
  • cybersecurity
  • video game design
  • finance
  • nutrition
  • counseling
  • hospitality and tourism
  • interior design
  • nursing
  • veterinary science
  • journalism
  • women’s studies
  • religions
  • architecture
  • social media
  • public speaking and fine art topics of art, film, and television
  • media arts
  • digital media
  • photography
  • music
  • dance
  • theatre

Students also can take an ACT and/or SAT preparation course during the summer, which includes taking three full-length practice exams in these courses. Our elective offerings are quite expansive to meet the needs and desires of your student this summer.

To learn more about the summer courses at Laurel Springs School, please request more information or contact Admissions at 877-609-1395.