Our school marked its 20th anniversary with a celebration in Ojai, California on Wednesday, January 11. Founded in 1991 to offer personalized distance learning programs, Laurel Springs was one of the very first schools to harness the power of the internet for interactive education when it began offering web-based programs in 1994. Laurel Springs has now grown to include students from throughout the U.S. and more than 70 countries.
Laurel Springs has been a pioneer in developing quality distance learning options for students seeking alternatives to the traditional classroom setting. Today, our school is one of the most respected providers of online education for students in grades K-12, with outstanding academics.
“I founded Laurel Springs with the intent of providing a challenging, respected and nurturing online community where students can grow academically while becoming responsible global citizens,” said Marilyn Mosley Gordanier, Founder and Executive Director. “We’ve come a long way since the early days of the internet, and while advances in technology have supported our journey, it’s truly the teachers, students and members of the Laurel Springs family that make this an outstanding institution. We thank them for their support and look forward to the future.”
The school’s focus on academic excellence has resulted in major milestones. In 1998, Laurel Springs courses earned a-g approval from the University of California governing body and in 2000, the school became the first distance learning institution to receive accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). That same year, many Laurel Springs high school courses received Division I and II approval from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In 2005, our school gained membership in the prestigious National Honor Society.
“Laurel Springs is to be congratulated for staying the course for what has now become not only an acceptable alternative to traditional education, but has grown in terms of acceptance and results as a more effective way to learn,” said David E. Brown, Executive Director of WASC. “The personalized approach developed by the school successfully serves and supports each student individually and clearly enhances opportunities for students to achieve and to ultimately meet expectations for learning.”
One of our school’s major strengths is its ability to deliver a challenging college preparatory education that is tailored to the learning styles and needs of individual students. Many students benefit from having flexible schedules and a broad array of course options, including athletes and those in the performing arts. Laurel Springs has an excellent track record of helping graduates to enter the college of their choice, including the most selective institutions. Notable Laurel Springs alumni include actresses Kristen Stewart and Miranda Cosgrove, and Olympic ice dancer Tanith Belbin.
“We congratulate Laurel Springs on providing 20 years of world-class, innovative and personalized online instruction, said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). “As the first K-12 online learning program in the United States, Laurel Springs is a true pioneer in a field that is growing faster than any other innovation in K-12 education, with more than 2 million K-12 enrollments currently in online education programs across the nation.”
The school has earned numerous awards, including the United States Distance Learning Association Leadership Award, and the United Nations Global 500 Award. Gordanier serves on the Education Committee for the Board of Directors for the Captain Planet Foundation, as well as the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Working Group for the Clinton Global Initiative.