Our History

Lawrence School is an independent, state-chartered, coeducational day school for students with learning differences and attention deficits in grades K-12.

We provide a full academic program including language arts, math, social studies, science, technology, world languages (Spanish and American Sign Language), physical education, music and art. Structured instruction in organization, study skills and social ability helps students succeed both in and out of the classroom.

Here's how Lawrence School went from an after-school reading center to the two-campus day school it is today:

1969

Dr. Kenneth Oldman, a reading and learning disability professor at Case Western Reserve University, initiates a program for students with reading problems at University School. "The Reading Center" was the beginning of Lawrence School.

1974

Continued expansion leads to the establishment of The Oldman Transitional School (OTS), a full time school for students in grades 1-8 with learning disabilities.

1980

Dr. Oldman retired and school name changed to The Transitional School.

1981

The Transitional School becomes an affiliate of the dePaul Society in Louisville, Kentucky, adopting a calm, well-disciplined learning environment in which children with learning disabilities could excel.

1982

The school name changes to The dePaul School of Northeast Ohio. Enrollment continues to grow.

1986

The school's current site in Broadview Heights is purchased.

1991

The dissolution of the dePaul Society network and a larger, more diverse student population leads the school to develop an independent identity as a school for bright students with learning disabilities and attention deficits. Local funders support the development of an updated, comprehensive academic program based upon research and experience. A language arts curriculum called CodeBreakers© is developed, specifically designed to help students with learning and attention differences learn to decode language and become successful readers.

1993

The Board of Trustees, wishing to honor the school's chief benefactor, Mrs. Lawrence Jontzen, voted to rename the school for the final time. In August 1993, the school proudly opened its doors as Lawrence School.

1994

The debt for the Broadview Heights site is retired. Enrollment continues to increase.

2000

The Lawrence Board of Trustees approves the addition of a high school, with one grade added per year starting in 2001.

2001

The first freshman class is admitted, and the capital campaign to open a new Upper School Campus is initiated.

2002

Lawrence School purchases 47 acres in Sagamore Hills. The site includes an 8 acre lake, woodlands and meadows. Strollo Architects from Youngstown is hired to design the building and develop the site.

2005

Lawrence School becomes the only comprehensive school in Ohio for LD/ADD students in grades 1-12. All students in the first graduating class are accepted by their first choice college or post-secondary institution. Over half of the capital campaign goal is secured. Ruhlin Construction Company is selected to build the 62,000 square foot school, and construction on the Upper School Campus begins in August. School enrollment continues to increase with full time students hailing from 70 communities and 10 counties.

2006

Construction is completed on the new Upper School Campus while the capital campaign reaches the $6 million mark by the end of the year. In cooperation with the graduate program in Psychology at Case Western Reserve University, Lawrence launches its Assessment Center at the Lower School campus, offering affordable and professional learning disorder testing and comprehensive psychological assessment for all Northeast Ohio students.


2007

The Upper School Campus opens in January and features a new state-of-the-art building with wireless technology and notebook computers for each student, SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards in each classroom, and assistive technology provided to those students who require it due to specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia. In addition, the campus includes a theater, arts and science suite, regulation size soccer and baseball fields, full size gymnasium and weight room. The 47-acres of land surrounding the facility offer students the ability to participate in weather observations, year-round study of the lake, rock/mineral collection, topography, orienteering, tree and flower planting, tree and wildlife identification, and hands-on analysis.

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