Laurel Tree is a teacher-run school. The teachers work collectively to handle all administrative tasks. They make hiring, firing, curriculum, and budget decisions. These decisions are then approved by our School Board. We have a Lead Teacher who takes on some of the traditional roles of a principal and an Office Administrator who manages the day-to-day running of the school, but the decisions about how we meet the needs of the students in our care are made by the people working directly with those students. Click here to read more about the people who are creating the education they want for their own children.
The Primary Program is a place where we form strong family and community bonds, spark imaginations, inspire creativity and provide a strong academic foundation. Laurel Tree Charter School’s Primary program is focused on experiential, mastery, and cooperative learning in a mixed age setting. We provide students the opportunity to learn at their own speed and to learn about the world through the interests within themselves. We plan individual, large group, and whole school activities that challenge the students. We design activities so each student can attain success and develop teamwork skills. We use Common Core standards and student interest as a way to guide our teaching. The teachers at Laurel Tree believe in planning thematic units that not only cover the Common Core standards but also extend the topics and interweave the subjects to show their interdependence. Our goal is to instill a lifelong passion for learning and academic competence in all students.
Forest Kindergarten starts at 8:30. They have lunch with their tribe and are done at 1 pm. Monday through Thursday. They're out at noon on Friday.
First through fourth-grade students start their day with a ninety-minute Language Arts class. We use Wit and Wisdom from Great Minds as our base and supplement with Phonographix. Then, students rotate through their Math, Science and Social Studies in groups of 10-15 students. They have lunch with their mixed-age tribes and end the day with one of the units in Project Wild. On Friday, there are no Project Wild classes, the academic classes are slightly shorter and students go home before lunch (12:35).
Drop-in care is available in the mornings before school from 7 to 8 am., and aftercare is available for K-6 students until 5:30.
Middle School students start their year with a week-long camping trip and also travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see several plays later in the fall. Their academic day includes a ninety-minute Language Arts class using Wit and Wisdom as our core curriculum, and rotation through Science, History, and Math classes in groups of twelve to sixteen students. After lunch with their mixed-age groups, they spend two hours in one of the units in Project Wild. On Friday, there are no Project Wild classes, the academic classes are slightly shorter and students go home before lunch (12:35). Drop-in aftercare is available for K-6 students until 5:30.
High School students also start the year by camping and then travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and stay at Southern Oregon University dorms in the fall. In addition to that, they have the opportunity to travel in the Spring. Our Spring Travel is usually based on something we've been studying throughout the year. Laurel Tree high school coursework has been approved by the University of California as college preparatory, we are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, we have a College Readiness Plan in place, and we provide concurrent enrollment opportunities for juniors and seniors through College of the Redwoods.