Socialization for Online School Student Success
At Laurel Springs School, our College Prep courses, dynamic learning opportunities, and one-to-one connections with teachers cater to the interests of the students within our academic community. Found at the heart of our virtual campus is a vibrant, 21st century social community composed of social and academic clubs, virtual field trips, and a private social network.
Laurel Springs offers more than 25 online clubs for students to explore and discover their passions. Our clubs offer a relaxed, enjoyable experience led by a faculty or staff member who shares the students’ passion for the topic. Shared interests coupled with respectful, engaging social opportunities deepen relationships and provide of our online private school students with the opportunity to collaborate and socialize. At monthly meetings and smaller group gatherings, students use virtual classrooms that promote media and technology literacy allowing for collaboration via presentation, vocal, and visual communication using microphones and webcams, as well as video and other media.
Animal lovers and pet owners come together each month to share their passion for all things animals. From caring for pets to supporting animal welfare, students share information and pictures and talk about daily habits or funny antics. In addition, members recognize, discuss, and relate to the needs of animals around the world. Guest speakers are occasionally invited to enhance our understanding on topics related to creating the best life possible for our creature friends. This club is open to students in grades K-8.
Monet, Matisse, Picasso, and contemporary artists are introduced and discussed by members in the Art Club. We welcome aspiring artists and students interested in a variety of art forms, including photography, architecture, wood, claymation, paint, charcoal, sculpture, line drawing, sand, and costume. This club encourages creative expression, student interaction, and discussion through student-led meetings, art tutorials, and project sharing. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Club members discuss space-related news, photography, and exploration of astronomy topics including solar systems, planets, stars, galaxies, space travel, astrophysics, and more. Guest speakers with expertise in various areas of astronomy offer insights and career options. Members are encouraged to share individual interests and knowledge of the vast topics in this club, taking members to the moon and back. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Book club advisors strive to create a warm and student-centered experience where participants can both enjoy and be challenged by their peers as they consider literature through discussion, critical thinking, and reflection. Each fall, students help craft a yearly book list, then a rotation of student-led meetings fosters leadership and speaking skills. Objective and expressive thoughts and discussions are encouraged and acknowledged as important contributions building analytical skills. Book Club truly honors the Laurel Springs School mission by supporting students’ innate enthusiasm for learning. Middle School Book Club is open to students in grades 5-8, and Upper School Book Club is open to students in grades 9-12.
Do you love to perform, act out scenes, dance, or sing? Maybe you’re a playwright or screenwriter who would like to hear your words spoken by fellow actors. Then the Coffeehouse Student Performance Club is for you. The Coffeehouse is an annual LSS student performance event held the fourth Thursday in May each year. Join the Coffeehouse club to collaborate, rehearse, perform on camera, and get feedback about your performances. Construct, shape, and grow your craft. This club is also a great way to meet fellow actors and performers attending LSS. Club members not performing during the annual Coffeehouse event will serve as ambassadors, introducing student performances and hosting the round-table discussion after the event. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
The Creative Computing Club blends creativity with technology. Members engage in meaningful and critical discussions about the world of computing. From coding to the Maker Movement or from Google’s CS-First to the digital worlds of Minecraft, this club explores how computers play a vital and vibrant part of everyday life in preparation for college, career, and beyond in the 21st century. Creative Computing Club ambassadors host the annual Hour of Code event at the beginning of December each year. This club is open to students in grades 5-12.
Students engage in real world publishing experiences as members of the Creative Writing, Poetry, and Photography Club. Students serve as staff writers, photographers, and editors with the culmination of the annual publication of the club’s Vision and Voices Magazine. This club is for students who enjoy writing and reading poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and submitting their works to be published. Members improve, enhance, and build on their talent for creativity through peer editing and teacher guidance. Student editors lead the lively monthly meetings to share their creative passions and design the annual magazine pages. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Ready for a lively debate? Join the club. Members learn what it means to cultivate and maintain their own individual voice, as the opinions of members can be heard echoing down the virtual halls of Laurel Springs School. Using contemporary topics introduced by the advisor, club members then vote, choose, briefly research, take a pro or con position, gather their arguments, and debate the topic until consensus and resolution is reached. Proper debate techniques are used as students explore civic literacy, global awareness, and individual liberties through the utilization of critical, creative, and innovative thinking. This club meets in a supervised setting with feedback and guidance from an advisor who is a seasoned member of the debate community. Members also have the opportunity of attending the Model United Nations Conference in New York City hosted each year in May. This club open to students in grades 9-12.
As members of a global community, the preservation of the environment and endangered species is of utmost importance to many Laurel Springs students. Laurel Springs is proud to have been the recipient of the United Nations Global Environmental 500 Award. This club is for those who love nature, the Earth, and seek to find a closer connection to the planet. Club members explore environmental literacy and ways of reducing our carbon footprint, both individually and as a community. Members plan and host an annual Reduce Your Use, week-long, school-wide activity, as well as the Eco-Footprint Friday event in celebration of Earth Day. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
This club is for students that have a love of horses and/or riding, from beginners to experienced levels. There are no requirements except for the shared love of horses. Students participate in discussions, exhibit their performances, and participate in group projects. Members enjoy a place to share their passion for horses, meet, collaborate, and celebrate a love for all things equine. Student leaders host each meeting, while learning about different training techniques, horse care, and disciplines from other club members. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Members of the Screenwriting and Film Production Club explore elements of the filmmaking process including writing, directing, producing, cinematography, and editing. In the film industry, the screenplay is referred to as the “master document.” Without a script, no other position in the industry would exist. It’s in story development and the creation of the three-act screenplay that this club will focus its time throughout the school year. The development of writing skills will serve students, regardless of their future interests or career paths. Members serve as ambassadors for the annual, virtual Media/Film Festival held in May. This club is for students in grades 7-12.
The Foodie Club is for students in all grade levels and is designed for those who love food! We will discuss how to cook a wide array of foods and then critique the recipes. Members explore food through different cultures; mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); meal categories (appetizers, main dishes, sides, soups, salads, and desserts); and will explore healthy cooking options. Our goal is to develop an end-of-year LSS Foodie club’s cookbook and include a section on restaurant reviews. This club is open to students in grades K-12.
Bonjour! French Club members revel in the immersion into French culture, cuisine, and even the French countryside as members have the opportunity to speak French during all meetings. Members hone skills already acquired in French World Language courses and embark on a journey of France and the French-speaking world including its landscapes and all aspects of its culture. Vive la France! This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Do you love math? Do you love to solve problems? Would you like to meet others that like to do the same? Join the LSS Math Team to participate in competitive fun by working individually and in teams to solve challenging, enriching math problems. Discover real world math applications that you may not know about and participate in online competitions during the year. High school students are also eligible for the LSS chapter of Mu Alpha Theta. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Please join us to gain an understanding of the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and time management, as well as engaging in 10-20 minutes of meditation. Come release and return to the peace. Meditation can offer stress relief, focus, and an overall sense of well-being. In this peaceful space, students learn the varying types of meditation including guided, mantra, focused breathing, and more. A drop-in Monday Meditation each week allows for all students to begin their week with intention and a clear anchor to success and clarity. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Imagine preparing for the global experience as a member of the United Nations who strives for peace and balance among cultures around the world. This club engages in an authentic simulation of the United Nations (UN) by learning about the UN system, skills of debate, compromise, conflict resolution, and negotiation. Model UN members meet twice a month to explore and reveal the workings of world diplomacy through the lens of current events. Real world experience culminates in two ways for members: 1) All members participate in a virtual Model UN Conference in April and/or, 2) Interested upper school members attend the Model UN Conference in New York City in May with closing ceremonies at the UN NYC Headquarters building. Delegates attending the conference act as UN committee members presenting research and solutions based on an assigned country and an authentic global issue. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Members of the Music Club are lovers of music and are also grateful for this art that moves the world to places of heightened emotions from sadness to joy. Led by fellow Music Club members, as well as a teacher adviser who shares a passion and talent for music, members share, create, or discover music on an interactive journey. Members celebrate, educate, support, inspire, create, listen, and express their love for the spirit of music. This club is open to all students in grades K-12.
Since its inception in 1921, the National Honor Society has recognized outstanding high school students whose accomplishments go beyond excellent academic performance and include exceptional leadership, service, and character qualities.
Laurel Springs was the first private online high school to establish a chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). Our Honor Society Chapters provide a unique forum in which our school’s student leaders participate in service-learning projects. Members complete service hours and those in NHS receive high school credit upon completion of specified course work. Students also attend monthly Chapter meetings with fellow members.
Laurel Springs School places a high value on NHS membership, and our school calendar includes a special Honor Society Induction Ceremony that takes place once a year as a part of our Year-End Celebrations. We take great pride in the accomplishments of our students who have achieved these premier distinctions.
Founded in 1929, the National Junior Honor Society has recognized those middle level students who exemplify the same characteristics as those of the National Honor Society and also highlights the importance of citizenship.
Laurel Springs was the first private online high school to establish a chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). Our Honor Society Chapters provide a unique forum in which our school’s student leaders participate in service-learning projects. Members complete service hours and attend monthly Chapter meetings with fellow members.
Laurel Springs School places a high value on NJHS membership, and our school calendar includes a special Honor Society Induction Ceremony that takes place once a year as a part of our Year-End Celebrations. We take great pride in the accomplishments of our students who have achieved these premier distinctions.
Members in the Photography Club learn to use a unique and creative eye to capture images around them. Members submit their varied images of landscapes, people, abstracts, and then share with other members. Some topics are driven by a specific theme or period of time. The shared interest is a love for documenting our amazing world through photography. Members also hone their craft by exploring topics like framing photos; cropping, filters, creativity, well-known photographers, and so much more. One submission from each active member also appears in the annual Vision and Voices magazine. This club is open to students in grades K-8.
Members in the Read, Write, and Share Club experience the best of the three worlds. Members have the opportunity to read unique and enjoyable books of their choice; sharing these books with peers; discussing individual passions; and, for those who desire, writing to another student via the Pen Pal program. Members can be Pen Pals only or join the monthly meetings for connection, collaboration, and fun getting to know their Laurel Springs School peers. This club is open to students in grades K-8.
Scrubs Club members research, explore, and discuss the health industry, health professions, diseases, healing, and all topics related to medical professions at home and around the world. Open-ended opportunities and conversations allow members to discover all things curative—especially that which members are interested in discovering. The club begins each year with introductions, including medical profession intentions and culminates in a club Health Fair. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Sign language is simply fascinating, beautiful, unique, and expressive. Not only is sign language helpful for communication, it is also fun and interesting to learn! Knowing sign language has many benefits. Did you know that in the U.S. it’s the fourth most studied language at colleges and universities and over 2 million people know American Sign Language? Bilingualism enriches and enhances the cognitive process, and signing enhances creative thinking and more as members explore, discover, share, and unlock the wonderment of this beautifully visual language. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Hola, como estas. Spanish Club members celebrate the immersion into Spanish, Latin, and other Spanish-speaking cultures, cuisine, and countries. Members have the opportunity to speak Spanish during all meetings, honing skills already acquired in Spanish language courses. Members must speak Spanish fluently or be currently enrolled in an LSS Spanish course. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Real world leadership experience is the focus of the Laurel Springs Student Government—from the leadership team, to representatives, to non-voting yet active members. Voting members of the club are three elected officers, cabinet appointees, and confirmed representatives in grades 7-12. An Election Convention is held the third week in October as candidates campaign and gain an understanding of a respectful, collaborative voting process. Officers, appointees, representatives, and members actively participate and learn about civic literacy, service of mindful leadership, reviewing and amending by-laws in an ever-expanding virtual campus, and executing projects that are both community and global-oriented. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
There are superheroes in comics and superheroes in your everyday life–even you are a superhero! Join this LSS club exploring the varying roles that superheroes play in all our lives. We begin the year exploring the favorite attributes of the timeless character heroes introduced through comics, television, film and the like. We then expand into our appreciation for the superheroes we experience in our everyday lives. Finally, we complete the year with expressions, activity, and/or projects by collectively and individually volunteering globally or locally to make a difference in the lives of others. Up, up and away. This club is open to students in grades K-12.
TED-Ed Speech Club is a combination of sharing and discussing favorite TED Talks, and—for members who want to—creating a TED Talk-style speech presenting big ideas in a short form. Members identify their passions, interests, talents, and the means to create a viable speech, recording their big idea and uploading their talk to the official TED-Ed website. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Travel & Tourism Club is not only fun, it’s educational and life-enhancing. In addition to developing global awareness and compassion, this club expands knowledge of the hospitality and tourism industry. Members share and expand their experience and use photos, presentations, and unique perspectives. Engaging activities also explore cultural norms, and possibly absurdities, while identifying food, clothing, architecture, and rituals unique to the culture, country, or continent. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.
Ready to challenge yourself, your LSS peers, and support each other in health and fitness goals? Members will come together at the first of each month to set goals and later in the month working with the club adviser to attain, maintain, and sustain fitness goals. This club is open to students in grades K-12.
Collecting student memories from around the world, the Yearbook Club members create the Laurel Springs Yearbook, a yearly publication of students, activities, clubs, and events from the current school year. Members collaborate with teachers, club advisors, and fellow students to design pages, make graphic art decisions, and learn what it takes to publish a school yearbook—bringing our virtual campus alive for all to share and see. This club is open to students in grades 9-12.
Virtual Field Trips
K-8th Grade Virtual Field Trips
Students join LSS faculty and Learn Around the World GeoShow host Brandon Hall treks around the world using live video footage; Google Earth; and multi-media components on the Zoom platform. In addition, students can ask questions via chat and engage in a lively question session using the Kahoot app. These developmentally appropriate virtual field trips for K-8th graders are offered every other month from September-April. Students have trekked through the Sacred Monkey Forest in Indonesia, followed the many miles of the Monarch butterfly migration to a habitat in Mexico, scaled a volcano in Guatemala, and even strolled the Brooklyn Bridge in all its historical glory. Future trips around the globe are planned at the beginning of each school year so students can save the dates!
K-12 Grade Virtual Field Trips
Virtual Field Trips for K-12 graders are offered at least once a month from September-May, with additional spontaneous, valuable, pop up trips. Students join LSS faculty and hosts from Exploring By the Seat of Your Pants using a YouTube live link. National Geographic explorers, adventurers, photographers and scientists share passions and information in real time from locations around the world. Student participants can ask direct questions via chat box, and/or have an LSS representative ask student questions on camera with other classrooms around the world. Shark Day from Cook Islands Sanctuary has been the most popular virtual field trip to date. Students have also been spelunking in the Rising Star Caves of South Africa, hunted hurricanes with NOAA scientists; and chased after penguins in Antarctica. Quality, global opportunities are planned at the beginning of each month.
Private Social Network
Beginning in 7th grade, Laurel Springs offers its students and families the opportunity to collaborate and make friends within a secure social network environment. Within this private social network, students may:
- Participate in online clubs and find new friends
- Pair up with study buddies
- Post blog updates regarding their portfolio coursework and share their creative expressions
This private social network is a wonderful way for students to form lasting friendships based on mutual interests and respect that spans state and national boundaries. Students share their thoughts, feelings, and creativity through blogs, forums, and discussion threads. The social network is a valuable tool that creates empathy, compassion, and understanding, as well as promotes academic collaboration.
Contact us if you have inquiries about our online socialization offerings.