Special Subjects

Technology

Our technology program emphasizes the need for our students to be digitally prepared to excel in an evolving technological landscape.  This philosophy sets us apart from other learning disability schools. We strive to incorporate the 2016 Standards for Students, as designated by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), in our daily instruction.

With daily technology instruction integrated into their classes, we empower our students to take an active role in using technology to achieve their learning goals. Students learn to be responsible digital citizens.  They learn how to engage in positive, safe, and ethical behaviors when using technology and managing their personal data. We teach students best strategies for planning research, locating information and other resources for intellectual and creative pursuits. Also, students learn methods to evaluate the accuracy and credibility of the information they gather. Laurel School students learn to communicate clearly and express themselves on a variety of platforms using tools, styles, formats and digital media that are appropriate for their goals.  To meet curriculum standards, the students are provided with Google Chromebooks, iPads and other technologies and applications that are integrated into their daily learning activities to increase achievement in all areas.

NoticeAbility©

Laurel School students have the exciting opportunity to unlock their full potential through the NoticeAbility Entrepreneurs and Innovators Program.© The Laurel School of Princeton is the first New Jersey School to offer this unique program, specifically designed for students with dyslexia. Laurel is leading the way because of the value we see in the program’s focus on building the skills critical to student success. Students learn from dyslexic role models to appreciate the positive aspects of their cerebrodiversity.  They feel success as they identify,  then leverage, their unique set of MIND strengths. Each lesson encourages self- advocacy and self- directed learning while students navigate the intricacies of a group project. Each class experience has a social-emotional learning component that leverages typical areas of strength in students with dyslexia.  The curriculum equips students with the tools to succeed in school, entrepreneurship and navigating the social and emotional challenges of business and life.

In the first Noticeabilty module, students learn what entrepreneurs and innovators are, and have work in small functional groups to learn the habits of successful entrepreneurs and the keys to a successful venture by creating a venture of their own. Student progress is evaluated weekly based on individual participation, as well as the extent to which the group applies the techniques learned to help further the success of their venture. “Seed money “ is awarded to each group to reward effective group culture and adherence to the approaches taught. 

This year we began the Consenses Arts curriculum from NoticeAbility.  This curriculum is focused on Art in many forms as a mode of communication, with a goal of enhancing social-emotional Learning, developing communication skills and confidence, and fostering empathy in our students.  For the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, Consenses students will interpret art in various forms, and communicate their interpretation of this artwork in another medium. Their body of work will be assembled into an exhibit to be shared at the end of the year.

The NoticeAbility hybrid program – using online tools as well as working with a teacher – introduces participants to the concepts of effective conflict resolution and mindfulness as techniques that are of critical importance in both entrepreneurship and life in general.  

Physical Education

Physical Education at Laurel School teaches both physical and social life skills. Students build physical strength and stamina through games and activities to engage gross motor and fine motor skills.  Students have many opportunities to learn and master these skills, in order for them to develop an understanding of the importance of physical exercise throughout their lives.  Social life skills are developed during each class, as students participate in activities that utilize teamwork to complete common goals.  During these activities, students brainstorm and use “trial and error” to complete suggested activities. Students also learn how to engage in good sportsmanship in competitive activities, skills that will enable them to be successful in other life experiences.

Maker Space

At Laurel School, students are encouraged to approach problems with flexible thinking, perseverance, and creativity. Our maker space is specifically designed to provide an environment where students can develop and apply all these skills in open-ended,student-directed exploration. The maker space has work centers focused on architecture and planning, circuits, computer-aided design and 3-D printing, drawing, building, and creating with a variety of materials. The opportunities to use material and spatial reasoning, apply the engineering design process, or simply allow creative expression to open up their thought process, are plentiful. Students work collaboratively or independently, pursuing problems of individual interest or related to a curriculum topic.