Thank you for visiting the Our School page. Please feel free to browse the topics below to learn more about The Laurel School and its commitment to providing the right learning environment for your child.
The Laurel School serves students with learning differences and students who benefit from a small class size. In a community that nurtures mutual respect and compassion, we cultivate the academic potential of each child through multimodal, differentiated instruction. By teaching strategies, self-advocacy skills, and social competence, The Laurel School prepares students for the next level of education.
For over 50 years, The Laurel School has served as a vital stepping-stone in our community, helping children with learning differences develop the skills and self-confidence required to successfully transition to community schools. Each child has a unique set of personal learning styles that enables them to process incoming information and synthesize it for storage and output. We provide a comprehensive, individualized approach to learning through constant assessment and a vitally strong partnership with parents. At The Laurel School, we recognize the complex learning needs of students with learning differences and provide the integrated specialized services that contribute greatly to their success.
The Laurel School community of teachers, learning specialist, and parents, work hand-in-hand to ensure the best possible educational plans for our students. When students arrive at The Laurel School, they immediately feel the difference that comes from a nurturing, supportive environment. They feel safe, yet challenged, to reach their fullest potential and they often make new friends, establishing the social relationships that are so important in social development. Students learn to attain academic skills, build confidence, take risks, self-advocate, and speak effectively.
If you know a child who could benefit from an enhanced learning environment, we invite you to explore our website and visit our school for an in-depth tour. We look forward to sharing our vision for a world where every child finds the tools they need to adapt, to learn, grow, and thrive!
We accept applications for admission throughout the year.
The Laurel School serves children with mild to moderate learning differences and those who benefit from small class size from 1st through 8th grade. We are located in San Francisco, California and serve approximately 80 students throughout the greater Bay area.
Students with learning differences often have additional diagnoses that contribute to the complexity of their needs. This can include difficulties with attention, sensory processing and social skill development. Due to the complex nature of their processing challenges, it is often difficult for our students to participate in general education settings. They often require one-on-one or small group learning. Many of our students require a greater degree of explicit teaching and/or multi-sensory learning experiences. The students’ processing difficulties can also make it difficult for them to distinguish non-verbal social cues. This can interfere with their ability to make and maintain friendships.
Our supportive environment is one of understanding and flexibility that allows every student to work within her or his own needs while focusing on academic competency, social skills competency, and above all, our foundational traits of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-advocacy.
After sometimes struggling for years, students at Laurel finally have a place that understands them, respects them, and gives them the educational and emotional tools they need to be successful.
In order to serve students and meet their complex needs on a daily basis, classroom sizes typically consist of no more than 12 students. The students may require intensive remediation that is best provided through an integrated service delivery model. The academic program provided consistently includes a specialized LD teacher and teaching assistant, along with the support of a Learning Specialist and Social-Emotional instructor. Often, the teacher and assistants will co-teach. Other times, the assistants or learning specialist themselves will teach the class or work individually with students in small groups outside of the classroom setting.
The Laurel School is unique in our approach to the whole child. All aspects of learning from academic to social and emotional development are addressed when a child enters Laurel. We provide a safe haven for children who have not been able to find a good fit in other academic settings.
To encourage social development, Laurel students participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. The students begin each day with a morning meeting and mindfulness exercise. The morning meeting promotes empathy and provides an avenue for children to practice the craft of conversation. The school has an active student council that meets weekly to provide planning for many various school projects, including the Laurel buddy program. Representatives also lead the student body in developing our school constitution and agreements to live by, the pledge of allegiance each morning and the school monthly community meeting. Other school-wide clubs include the Laurel newspaper and yearbook. In addition, after school enrichment opportunities include Lego Robotics, Bricks for Kids (young Lego building), cooking, hands-on music, chess, and sports club.
As defined by The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1994 (PL 103-218) “An assistive technology device is …any item, piece of equipment, or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the abilities of people with disabilities.” “An assistive technology service is … any service that directly assists a person with a disability in selecting, obtaining, or using an assistive technology device.” By law, AT must be considered for every student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Computers at The Laurel School support our students’ success by providing both access to the curriculum and software that enables expression and presentation of information learned. All students at Laurel have their own Chromebook computer while at school and have access to any software, either academic or assistive technology, that they need to learn and succeed. Each of our elementary and middle school classrooms has a 1:1 laptop program that supports not only their learning but also their executive functioning (organizing their homework and future assignments through use of our Google platform.) In addition, we provide access to 20 iPads, 10 MacBook Pros and 16 MacBooks for classroom projects. The software listed below is accessible through each of these computers.
Executive functioning support and organization:
Study skills support:
Speech language needs and social skills:
Subscriptions available to Laurel students: