Laurel Springs SchoolConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
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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!
I could not be more disappointed with Laurel Springs and their lack of commitment to their students. I have had a similar experience to others that have posted on this site. I received a few emails in the beginning of the course then it died out... No more communication. Not even a phone call to discuss my daughter's progress. Oh wait they emailed me 8 months later to say the program was ending and I could sign her up for another session. I think it is a scam for them to re-enroll students again so they can make money! Such a disgrace to the education system. This is very disappointing considering what it cost!
Right now my daughter is in a free program and I am so pleased with the communication - weekly calls with my daughter and I. There is a genuine interest in my daughter's success. I asked for a refund. I was told I had access to the program therefore I was not going to get a penny back. Ha! Teachers are on a permanent vacation and we are expected to pay for this?
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Our daughter is a tennis athlete in 4th grade and she is coming towards the end of her first year with Laurel Springs. I have nothing but praise for her Laurel Springs tutor Beverly who normally responds to emails swiftly, she keeps us informed about events that we can sign up for which may be of interest to our daughter and she marks her work promptly giving informative feedback about our daughters performance. We always know if work is outstanding as all work has a due date, but she is also flexible and willing to grade work submitted early or indeed late (we have experienced both due to our daughters tennis tournament schedule).
Two specialist - an English and Science tutor come home to support our daughters learning and the English teacher who works in a top prep school has been quite impressed with the standard of work set and expected by Laurel Springs. This means a great deal to us as education is very important and our daughters brother who is not a student athlete attends a prep school, we want her to receive the same standard of education. I would highly recommend Laurel Springs to any parents that are looking for a quality education with a child willing to put in the work to keep up.
Laurel Springs online HS is unscrupulous, unethical and nothing good can come of signing up with them. My horrible experience is not an isolated incident, as I've come to learn from others. They enrolled my daughter in a summer class that she was not equipped nor available for, made a lot of promises, and then refused to give me a refund, saying they don't refund money for summer classes. To make matters worse, the teacher was on an extended vacation and when we inquired as to his presence they said that it's an online class so kids are expected to do the work unguided.
It turned out that Laurel Springs didn't know he was on vacation! The final straw was when I tried to get my money back, they refused to give me the name and email of the supervisor responsible for the "No Refunds" policy (remember - this is an online class!). It was only by threatening legal action and sending multiple emails to the Principal and Head of Education, did I receive my money back! Stay away...
I enrolled my daughter in Laurel Springs High School. This was our first time attending a online school. We chose them because of their commitment to their students. And that the teachers and counselors are fully engaged with their students. Well at the end of the school year I found out that my daughter did not complete any of her courses. We were also unaware of a specific "end of year" date. None of the teachers or counselors communicated any falling behind type statuses of any other communications. Just generic group messages from the school.
So, after $$ for the tuition we had to purchase extensions for all courses at $200 each. Which gave her 1 month to finish all courses. She was able to finish all but one. So we had to purchase another extension but this time it went up to $300. No notice, just increased it another $100. For this last course, the teacher was unresponsive and we had to wait for 10 business days for an assignment to be graded. But we are finally finished with LSHS... so we thought. Of course we are not re-enrolling her and currently working with another school but need her transcript. A request for her transcript was completed 3 weeks ago but had no response. It is supposed to be a 10 business day turnaround. We cannot enroll her in her senior year without it.
I would rate Laurel Springs School as having extreme value because it is very helpful and knowledgeable and is great online education that offers a really great experience. This Laurel Springs School has great opportunities that help me learn a vast knowledge of different studies that I am interested in and is very qualified in my opinion. I feel and believe that the overall course selection is really great and really offers some a great variety of different fields of study to help me succeed in life. I would definitely recommend this program for the ease of online learning. It is very simple and easy to use and has a wide range of choices for me to take.
I loved it. I learned a lot from this. Some of my family and friends are even doing this program. They also love it too. It's the best. I earn my credits fast. It was very hard for me sometimes but all the other one was easy for me. I want everyone to try it out. You will be very happy. It was very easy to pick my classes. The schedule was very convenient too. They worked around my schedule the best they could. Thanks for everything. It was easy to learn the stuff. If I had a problem they was always there for me no matter what. They have the best teachers there. Thanks for the help with everything.
The teachers are very nice, and they really help you when you do not know what to do. In general, I like going to school and learn with others. The instructor is smart, he/she will teach you a lot of concepts which exceeds my expectations. I feel like I learned so much from this class, and I would definitely recommend it to others. There are many course to select from, but I recommend Art because it is fun and the teachers are very nice. Sports are also great, the coaches are very nice and will be helpful. It was very easy and comfortable to learn everything. I have had absolutely no trouble learning anything. The instructor teaches very well.
It was the best school I ever went to. I really learned a lot from there. I am really glad I had the chance to experience going there, the teacher are great and I never had problem with them. The instructor was the best. He taught me so much. I am very glad I had the chance to meet him and be in his classes, I would be happy to do it all over again if I good. The course was not as long as I thought it would be. It went by really quick. The teacher that help you through is great. If I could I would redo the course. The ease of learning is all up to you if you are ready to learn and not that hard to do if you ever have problem. There are teachers there to help you thru your problems.
The classes were very valuable as I learned lots of new information and had helpful staff to work around. It is also safe so you don't have to worry and can focus more. They have a great course selection that is meaningful for not just school life but in other aspects as well that you will remember for a long time and a great staff to work with you. It is very easy to learn in that environment a combination of dedicated workers and dedicated teachers results in a peaceful working environment for all.
We enrolled our daughter in third grade with Laurel Springs. They sent out textbooks but then lost contact with us. I struggled to administer the curriculum myself. They said we could use a digital curriculum for math but then they said they did not know how to incorporate it. We got an email just before the semester ended. When we told them we didn't want a second semester they would not refund us. Very unprofessional. We left several messages with the director and she never returned any of our calls or emails. Probably should have sued them in hindsight.
What a disappointing experience!!! My son DID NOT HEAR from ANY teacher the WHOLE year!! That is almost impossible!! 2 weeks before the end of the year, then they decide to EMAIL him to recommend getting an extension $$$$ to allow him to finish his classes without penalty. I have 2 kids on the public (FLVS) system of education and for $8000. They did not even come close to the quality of teaching we get from the public system. Not worth it. We wasted our money. My son did well because he is a good student. Otherwise, don't expect any help from these teachers. The one and only time I emailed a teacher, I never heard from him! Not one phone conversation with any teacher. We are talking 5 classes and NO communication except their mass emails!! I don't know what else to say. Don't make my mistake.
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 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 a 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