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There are better options for homeschool that are free and won’t cost you five grand per year. Material is not put together well. Little continuity with lots of random facts to memorize for a test. No social interactions whatsoever other than online texting. They advertise lots of student connection but Don’t expect anything other than online chat rooms. Way too little for them when you pay. Teachers have crazy office hours. 5 AM to 7 AM in the morning or 7 to 9 in the evening. Teachers have other jobs and do this part.
I have three daughters and each is close in age. I never thought I would do online school. After finding that each child had needs that could not be met in their schools I started to look into online schools. I did all my homework and found that this is the best online school private school. It offers you a fully accredited and quality curriculum. My children needed the flexibility to do ballet.
With gifted children it can be a challenge as they dont fit in the normal box. This team is specialized in working with gifted children and is prepared to help you. The iclasses that are interactive & in-depth learning opportunities. They have writing and math labs for help and tutoring. The teachers respond quickly and really get to know each of my girls. They care and are encouraging and teach them to master each subject. The symposiums are amazing for kids. They to get to talk with peers about amazing speakers who talk to them. They are exposed to new ideas and critical thinking skills. Each of my children in the span of two months has improved in all areas. If you are looking for a school that understands gifted children you are in the best place for your child.You do need to make sure you listen to the onboarding tutorial as it is key to get emails and communication. To take advantage of the full programs offered.
Thank you to teachers, student counselor and everyone who is part of this amazing school. I never realized how much children can learn in a self-paced environment. They can slow down or speed up depending on their needs, not a classroom. From computer code, foodie, photography, chess, and many more club opportunities you will find something for your child. They have the children test after each lesson and this practice is key to future success. As in normal school, my kids did not get to master each lesson. I have found the importance of getting kids comfortable on a computer and also doing written work. This school offers both! I hope this helps future families looking into the school.
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We were very happy with Laurel Springs for Kindergarten. We enrolled our girls in the 1st grade and was told at first they didn’t have a payment plan for the project based curriculum. So I told them I wasn’t able to enroll the girls then. They called me the next day and said they would make an exception. I received the books and the same materials I received in kindergarten. I told them I didn’t need 4 of the same materials. They told me it comes in a package and I can just donate it. I was furious knowing how much I paid.
I asked to be refunded my deposit and I will send the books and materials back. They told me there’s no refunds even though school doesn’t start until Sept 3rd and it’s August 15th. They have called me constantly all day long trying to have me stay in the program after I told them no. They harassed me like car salesmen. I don’t work with dishonesty and they have just proven to me it’s all about money not our children’s education. I’m very upset with this entire situation. This was going to be the program I wanted to use until the girls graduated high school. Very disappointing.
We are very sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with the materials you received for your girls’ 1st grade enrollment. It is our always our intention to provide our families with the best possible experience with our curricular offerings. I am glad we had the opportunity to work through a solution with you this week and we wish nothing but the best for your girls continued education.
There was absolutely zero communication from the teachers during my child’s first year enrollment as a freshman. She did not do well because she’s not a motivated student and there was little or no communication from her teachers. To me as her parent to try to get Her some tutoring or some help or to see what the problem was. She was behind the entire year. They never sent an email or communication until a week before the end of the year to alert me that time was running out. I asked, emailed, called several times to find out how many credits as a freshman. How many credits do they need to be a sophomore etcetera and never ever received a response. I still don’t know.
Education is outstanding. Weekly they send the schedule of online classes that complement the daily assignments. I am happy with the system because I receive notifications by mail both when my daughter sends a job, and when she receives a response from a qualification. The system is simple to use and allows to read the comments of the teachers. I could not coordinate an appointment for the week of meeting with the teachers for being on a trip and each one sent me an email about the performance of my daughter. The clubs are fabulous, my daughter socializes a lot and shares hobbies. Very happy.
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This school is a disaster. From the beginning they didn't properly enroll my son in geometry, so he was behind two weeks and I had to argue to get an extension. Then they switched websites in the middle of it, confusing him so that his work didn't get uploaded. They switched teachers, and the new guy sends 1 warning email & flunked him within 10 days. My son also flunked online French. They are the most expensive online school there is, and they like your kid to fail so they can change another $2400 a class when they do.
Update: Less than 24 hrs and a great response from Laurel Springs.
People and organizations can be extremely complex. When given the opportunity to correct a situation and a person or organization goes above and beyond to make things right, that person/organization deserves full credit for doing what they can to solve the problem.
Laurel Springs responded to my previous post. I had the pleasure of working through our issues with the Director of Education, and she was not only understanding, but genuinely concerned and wanted to fix our experience. After a great phone conversation we resolved our issues and my daughter will be able to complete her course work. Further, the Director took the time with me to answer several other questions and gave me the confidence to hit the reset button and be excited for our daughter to begin her online academy work this fall. We have always been involved in our daughters education. We believe education is a team effort, not just the school and child. As a team all of our kids can excel at a pace beyond what we can imagine. Parents- get with it, stay with it, and be thankful we have so many options to educate this young generation. I am thankful for what Laurel Springs has done, and for the opportunities that are ahead.
Well, we tried. Gave LS a chance this summer to prepare my daughter for 8th grade this fall by doing a language course over the summer. I made it very clear with the lady in admissions that we are new, would be helping our daughter, yet would like an orientation to help us. We expected stumbles, yet not what we experienced. Clearly read the course instructions that had her doing 1 lesson per day for the Spanish course. After 4 weeks of working along, seeing nearly 29 lessons were complete we noticed her grade was a 3.33%. Concerned we looked deeper, emailed the teacher and then learned that there are two systems, the LMS and Powerspeak, well they each have separate lesson values, had no clue! Did get a response from teacher, who educated us about the two systems.
During the 4 weeks, not one person from LS called or emailed us, the parents, to say "hey something looks wrong", yet nothing from LS. One might think as a new student/family we might get a follow up call or email, NOPE! Our daughter had an average per lesson grade of over 90%, yet we had no idea that the course pace was totally different. So she had a 3.33% due to different course instructions in two platforms. Misleading to say the least. Teacher suggested an extension and to contact student services, after 3 emails and a voicemail was left with student services, I finally got a response to contact the lady back in admissions about a refund. This was July 27th, the course had ended July 18th. Admissions was kind enough to remind me of the no refund policy. Suggesting she should have done a lower level course.
The course was NOT the issue, it is the learning management system (LMS), no orientation, no follow up, no communication to get an extension. Now my kid has done all this work and has either a horrible grade or an incomplete. Suggestion- Laurel Springs, find a middle ground and win people over, seems many of us seem you just want our money. So sad!
My daughter wanted to take two Honors summer online classes at Laurel Springs (LS) for her own enjoyment. However, due to a serious family emergency, she was going to be unable to have ample time to complete the courses so we contacted LS to request a deferral start date which we thought was reasonable especially due to the reason and how much we paid ($1,500).
During the course of our correspondence with Mr. ** at LS, he was extremely delayed in responding to my numerous calls/emails. He also denied our request for deferral at which point I asked if her courses could be changed to Regular (vs. Honors) hoping that my daughter might be able to finish the regular course since Laurel Springs was not going to let us defer. He informed me that due to their 'computer system', they would be unable to switch to the Regular courses. (???) Ultimately, LS was EXTREMELY uncooperative and unforgiving. They have proven to us that their main focus is MAKING PROFITS and NOT students' education.
I thoroughly read every review that I could find on LSS before signing my daughter up for classes in her freshman year. They are rated as one of the top online HS programs in the country so I took a chance. Most problems experienced by parents seemed to be concentrated around poor communication. LSS is expensive so I expect a certain level of communication and engagement and I was sure to inform counselors and educators as such. I went in with an open mind and an understanding that there will be challenges as this is our first online homeschool program. We just finished our first semester as my daughter started the school year late. I have been pleased with the institution as a whole.
I am a bit taken by parents who had no idea that their child is failing or behind in their studies. It is an online school and bears the responsibility of keeping parents’ abreast of their child’s progress, however, parents still have a parental responsibility to ensure that their child is on target. I have personally reached out to all teachers (because this is what I did when she was in traditional school) and we text each other if there are any concerns. If it’s a more formal request, I email and I get a response within hours. Parents are also given their own log-in which gives them full access to their children's’ objectives, upcoming tasks, and grades. It takes an hour to fully comprehend how to navigate the site, but after that initial learning curve, you’re good.
I work full time and travel a lot, so between waiting in airports or drinking my morning coffee, I am able to take a quick look and address any concerns I may have with my daughter and/or her teachers. Students also have the ability to work on classes however they choose. If my daughter wants to work on Math and Science only for a month, she can do so. The LSS platform will assign you a schedule to finish your classes by the end of the semester, but you're not obligated to it. There is also an option to move up the end dates of classes on your academic calendar. My daughter did this so she stays ahead of schedule and have a longer break.
Tech support is always available through phone or web and will answer whatever question you may have. The academic rigor is very present and a definite plus but could be problematic for those students who have a heavy workload outside of school. Students are, however, considered full time with only 4 classes. My daughter is flourishing where she didn’t in traditional school so I am pleased. My only complaint and reason for 4 stars is a $700 seminar class that every student must take each year. It’s structured like an AVID class. I think it’s a good concept but if the class is mandatory, it should be free or much cheaper. Many of the topics discussed have already been address in my household (resume writing, volunteerism, mapping out your HS caseload for your desired school or professional path, etc.). I am an involved parent and I have an older daughter who did the traditional school route. I am keen to both and I am pleased with LSS.
I enrolled my son in their project-based kindergarten. So far his instructor has graded and responded to every email and concern. The platform is a bit confusing, most of the communication is done via their platform and not email so if parents aren't actively going to their portal to check the progress of their student I can see how they feel like there is a lack of communication. As homeschool parents, we have to take responsibility and make sure that our children are on top of their studies. For the high school students, Laurel Springs is the perfect way to prepare children for college. There will be no one there in college to tell parents if work hasn't been submitted. I think Laurel Springs is a good school and they have been especially accommodating to my little one. Here's to 12 more years at LS!
Laurel Springs School expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Founded in 1991, Laurel Springs is a private online school with a large course offering and full academic support. It is designed as a college preparatory school geared toward the personal interests and the aptitudes of each student. Laurel Springs also focuses on community and building a sense of school pride.
Format geared toward developmental stage: Children in K-3rd grade use a workbook, textbook and manipulatives instead of online courses since they lack the fine motor skills and attention span to sit through computer modules. Online-only courses are introduced beginning in 5th grade, but parents may opt to continue to use a workbook and textbook for all or some of their child’s courses.
Accreditation: Laurel Springs is accredited by AdvancED, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
Student support: Laurel Springs assigns every student a counselor to address their academic performance, personal goals and social needs. Additionally, the Student Services Department is available to help parents and students via online chat, email, telephone and video conferencing.
Community and social life: The school offers online clubs that allow students to interact in real-time and even share projects. In addition, there are regional social events held throughout the year including prom and graduation.
Gifted Academy: The Gifted Academy allows students to explore Honors and AP courses and provides opportunities to conduct in-depth research projects. The Gifted Academy nurtures and emphasizes critical and creative thinking as well as leadership skills.
Virtual open house: Held monthly, a virtual open house allows prospective students and their families to interact with teachers, students and other families to answer questions.
Best for: homeschooled students, student performers and military families.
Laurel Springs School Company Information
- Company Name:
- Laurel Springs School
- Year Founded:
- 302 El Paseo Road
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 377-5889
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