Notes From Dee – February 28th, 2020

Notes From Dee // February 28, 2020

Spirit Week! March 2 – 6

Monday – Crazy Hat/Hair Day

Tuesday – Read Across America Day – Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday in your crazy pajamas!

Work out Wednesday! Wear your comfy exercise clothes or favorite sports team jersey!

Throwback Thursday – what’s your favorite decade?

Future Friday – Dress as your future self!

See more Spirit Week details here!

March 11, 12 – Early Dismissal – Teacher Conferences – Snack Sales!

March 13- Early Dismissal – Snack Sale! (No pizza)  

March 16-School Closed

Calendar Change –  March 25 will be a FULL day of school for students. (No snack sale) 

April 2 – Tea with Dee – What Does Assessment Tell Us About Student Progress?

April 17 – All-School Field Trip to Edelman Fossil Park of Rowan University. See below for details. 

Dear Laurel Families, 

I am writing to you after attending the National Association of Independent Schools conference in Philadelphia. Dr. McKay and I have learned so many new things to share with our students and families that will ensure that we will continue to be cutting edge in our approach to educating our students. Much of the conference was dedicated to sharing what we as teachers need to do to help our students to become successful and how to help them be competitive in a world that is rapidly changing. 

Today began with a talk given by our own CEO Tim Viands, and his colleague Rich Odell, about what skills the very near future will require of our students as they develop into adults, and how we as a school can help them to achieve their goals. The speakers have been inspiring and we have already begun to generate new ideas about how to make Laurel even better as we move forward. 

The most fascinating speaker today was Jonathan Haidt, who wrote the book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. His talk was thought provoking, and I am eager to share some of his thoughts with you. One particular item he discussed was that schools should seriously consider banning all cell phone use in order to help to develop “antifragility” in our students. The statistics show that social media is one of the major causes of the increase in depression in middle and high school boys and girls. We bought several copies of the book and hope to have parent discussions about it during a future Tea With Dee.

Thanks to our wonderful faculty and staff who stepped in to provide excellent lessons for our students while we were at the conference. We are sure that this three day investment was well worth it. 

You may have heard from your children that there was a film crew at school this week. Wilson Language Corporation requested that we, as one of the few valued accredited Wilson Partners in the country, submit a film about what we are doing in our Wilson lessons and our training of teachers. Our videographer filmed portions of our lessons and also parts of our staff development classes, in order to show the instructional techniques we use when we work with individual students and groups. They also interviewed our trainers and teachers. We will share these clips with Wilson Language for instructional purposes and also on our website to showcase the expertise of our teachers and the fidelity of their instructional techniques that distinguishes Laurel from the other area schools.

We continue to discuss inspirational intentions in our Morning Meetings. This week’s intentions included: being good listeners. The task was to listen to everything your parents tell you. I hope that occurred in your homes this week!

We will be ordering t-shirts for all students for our production of Annie.  Please complete this brief form so that we can order the correct size for your child(ren) by Friday, March 6. 

We are excited to show our Laurel spirit next week!  Please see the calendar above for each day’s theme.  


  • Report Cards will be come home with your child on Friday, March 6.
  • Teacher Conferences are Wednesday and Thursday, March 11 and 12.  Please sign up for times online using this link.  These are early dismissal days for students.  If your child will need to be on campus during conferences, please let Alison know so we can have supervision available.  
  • April 2 – Tea with Dee -What Does Assessment Tell Us About Student Progress?  We will begin at 8:30am in the Laurel Lounge. We know that it is hard for some parents to join us during the workday.  We will be offering the option to join us via video chat. Calling in details to follow.  
  • Our field trip to the Edelman’s Fossil Park will take place on April 17, 2020. This is an all day trip. The cost of this trip is $20 per student.  You can pay for your child(ren) online here.  Please make every effort to have your child present for this as this park is not open to the public and this is a special opportunity!  


Have a good weekend!


T-shirt link:

Teacher Conference link:

Spirit week link:

Field trip payment link –


Tip from Miss Maureen

If your child struggles with math, making math exciting can be challenging. Have you ever let your child host a lemonade stand or garage sale? Creating a sale fosters creativity and excitement, and helps students to develop executive functioning and communication skills.  If they collaborate with a friend or sibling , they will also develop relational skills — necessary abilities that will serve them later in life. Finally, students will practice all basic math skills such as addition and subtraction. This year Miss Maureen’s 3rd grade math class hosted a school sale for the lower school. The students could not have been more excited by the project!  If you try one at home, let us know how it goes! 

For more information:




Campus Safety: Please be sure to obey the speed limit and mind all traffic signs on our campus. We are most concerned about the safety of all of the children, faculty and visitors from all of our schools. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences: March 11 and 12 –Sign Up Here!

Hi Tops: March 10- Separate presentations and discussions on gender and diversity for Grades 8/9 and Grades 6/7. 

Mid March Break: March 13-Early Dismissal – Snack Sale! (No pizza),  March 16-School Closed

Calendar Change –  March 25 will be a FULL day of school for students. (No snack sale) 

Tea with Dee: April 2-What Does Assessment Tell Us About Student Progress?

SAVE THE DATE: April 17-All-School Field Trip to Edelman Fossil Park of Rowan University. 

$20 per child admission and bus to the fossil dig.  Bus leaves at 8:30am, returns to Laurel School by 3pm. This is a very special opportunity that is not open to the public.


Upcoming Early Dismissal Snack Sales to benefit our Animal Advocacy Club:

March 11, 12 – Early Dismissal – Teacher Conferences – Snack Sales!

March 13- Early Dismissal (March Break Weekend) – Snack Sale!