Children of the Laurel Heights Weekday School have been growing in mind, body, and spirit for over 60 years. When Laurel Heights Weekday School opened in 1952 as a community outreach program, the Laurel Heights Weekday Kindergarten had four teachers and forty-eight 4 and 5 year-old children. By the spring of 1953, 3 year-olds were welcome to enroll in the program, which cost parents $10 per month.
In the second year of operation, the school was in session from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. A notice in the Sept. 4, 1953 issue of “The Laurel Heights Messenger” noted that “This is a school in Christian living where everything – play, worship, singing, activities – is conducted as a unit in an atmosphere of Christian influence under the guidance of well-trained workers.”
Mrs. McDavid served as the first volunteer director of the school upon its founding. In 1957, Aleene Block became the church’s Director of Christian Education. One of her responsibilities was to supervise the Weekday School, which was still directed by Mary McDavid.
By 1960, five teachers worked with the children, who were divided by age into the “Butterflies,” “Squirrels,” “Teddy Bears,” and “Birds.” By this time, tuition had increased to $12 per month for children ages 3 to 6, and the school day lasted from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. In the Laurel Heights Messenger, Aleene Block wrote about the myriad benefits of a solid preschool program. She stated, “A good nursery school or kindergarten helps children grow. It helps them face life with keener minds and better understanding through learning to share, to observe, and to develop their initiative in a happy, natural atmosphere.”
The laughter and learning of children carried on from one decade to the next. Archived photos have been saved and show smiling children playing outside on playgrounds. Although the playgrounds have been renovated and remodeled, children are creating memories at Laurel Heights as they are loved, nurtured, learning, and discovering God’s love daily.
In 1970, the age range of the school expanded with the addition of a Mother’s Day Out program for children younger than 3. Kindergarten was offered through the 1994-95 school year. Since then, the school has provided care and education for children from 3 month olds through prekindergarteners.
In 1975, the school hired the first full-time director, Betty Thomas and 100 children attended LHWS. Dr. Anne Wier, joined the staff as a teacher in 1983 and she became director in January 1985 and retired in 2013. Laurie Miracle now serves as the Interim Director of LHWS.