A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Upper School

During the upper school years, our students make deep connections with their teachers and their peers. They become part of a tight-knit community committed to learning and discovering their talents and passion.

Latin students actively shape their academic program. The upper school curriculum begins with everything you would expect in a college preparatory high school—literature and history surveys, biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, calculus, geometry, language. But Latin takes it a step beyond. We offer our students exceptional educational opportunities and ask them to dig deep, think critically and commit themselves to fully pursuing their intellectual passions both inside and outside the classroom.

Latin’s educational approach is student- centered and individualized. By understanding how each child learns best, our teachers help students identify their passions and take on new challenges.

Latin students love learning. They are encouraged to do, to create, to try and to fail. The focus is on the process, not the outcome, which helps students build resilience, remain intrinsically motivated and succeed.

Academic Excellence

A Wide Variety of Courses

We offer more than 150 courses each year.

Innovative Electives in Every Subject Area

Electives offered include:

  • Mexican American Literature
  • Great Novellas
  • Nazi Mind
  • Modern Asia
  • Latin Literature: The Roman Empire
  • Honors Chinese
  • Statistics: Hypothesis
  • Finance and Math
  • Play Writing/Directing
  • Music Theory
  • Introduction to Web Development
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Digital Video Production
  • Fashion Design
  • and many more!

Small Classes

Small class size encourages continual interaction and sharing of ideas.

  • average class size: 14
  • student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1

Strong Teacher/Student Relationships

Teachers are passionate about their subject areas and are available to students inside and outside the classroom.

The Opportunity to Create Your Own Class

Students can develop independent study courses where they work one-on-one with a faculty member on a self-designed curriculum.

Freedom to Pursue a Passion

If you have a passion for languages, for instance, you can double up. Take French and Chinese, Latin or Spanish for example.

Experiential Learning

Learning at Latin is experiential and project-based, including simulations, mock trials and hands-on lab work.

Examples of experiential learning:

  • Antigone performance for Global Cities
  • tenth grade Nuremberg Trials simulation
  • senior projects
  • Project Week

Being able to choose the courses I want to take and shape my own schedule has taught me a great sense of balance. There is so much available for students at Latin that you have to learn to manage your time to be able to become involved in the activities you love.

- – WENDY, JUNIOR

You have a support group at Latin that will pick you up, dust you off, so you can get back at it.

- – ANABEL, JUNIOR

When I got to Kenyon, I had a head start because of Latin. It wasn't just that I was confident in writing a paper. It was that while everyone else was learning to write a paper, I had time to think about the bigger picture.

- – Dan Streicher '06

Scenes from the Upper School

FAQ

How do you support students new to the school?

Our goal is to make new students feel at home before they have even started at Latin. In the spring before freshman year, we hold an orientation and get-to-know-you sessions for incoming ninth graders. At the beginning of the school year, all classes go on retreats to foster bonds between students. Meanwhile, Latin’s very active advisory system ensures that every student has an adult who they can go to.

How are parents kept apprised of their child’s progress?

We view parents as partners in their child’s education. So, our teachers are committed to being accessible to parents via e-mail and phone. Beyond individual conversations, there is frequent communication between school and home: New students receive narrative progress reports three weeks after the beginning of the school year; students receive two sets of narrative report cards at the end of first and third quarters. In addition, we hold parent-teacher conferences and parent-advisor conferences.

There are so many course possibilities! How do students choose what is best for them?

Students work closely with their advisors and teachers to determine the best course of study.

As a freshman, each student is assigned an advisor who has been coached to help with everything from adapting to classes to implementing time management strategies. After ninth grade, students choose the faculty advisor they’d like to work with over the next three years. Students almost always develop a long term, close relationship with their advisors, who become counselors, mentors, troubleshooters, advocates and parent liaisons.

What is Latin’s schedule?

Our schedule operates on an eight-day rotation, with each day having one 90-minute block and five 50-minute blocks. On each of the eight days, students will have a different rotation of classes so that all classes will be equally distributed among the time slots to suit every type of learner. Every student will have short morning and afternoon breaks as well as lunch everyday.

How big are classes?

Small! A freshman Global Cities class may have 16 students in it, and then an English elective such as African American Literature may have five. In our Independent Studies Program, students work one-on-one with a faculty member on a self-designed program for a semester.

How many AP courses does Latin offer?

Each year we offer a dozen or more AP courses. At the same time, honors classes and electives generally cover material that is on the Advanced Placement Exams. So, even though we do not offer Advanced Placement courses in our English program, our English classes do provide college-level content and many of our students sit for the English APs.

Do students have the opportunity to focus on one specific area of study?

Sure. Once students, generally juniors or seniors, have completed all of their graduation requirements, they (with the guidance of their advisor) can choose to concentrate on subjects that they are passionate about, whether those are the arts, sciences, languages, or English.

Can students receive college credit for work done at Latin?

Our students do sometimes receive college credit for courses they have taken. More importantly, many of our alumni come back to tell us that what they learned at Latin has made their college experience so much easier because they are accustomed to college-level content, discussion, and expectations.

What opportunities for leadership exist for my child?

There are many! Students can participate and lead student-run programs such as Latin’s Initiative for Ethics (LIFE). There are more than 40 clubs and student organizations including the student newspaper and yearbook. We also foster leadership through our athletic and academic teams as well as our community outreach efforts.

Do you have questions? We would love to hear from you.

Monica Rodriguez

Monica Rodriguez

Titles: Upper School Director
Degrees: B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
M.A. Middlebury College

Shamina Stanford

Titles: Upper School Assistant

Jay Tebbens

Titles: Sophomore Dean

Faye Wells

Titles: Upper School Science, Interim Assistant Director of the Upper School, Sophomore Dean
Degrees: B.S. Loyola University-Chicago
M.S.DePaul University
M.Ed. DePaul University
Brandon Woods

Brandon Woods

Titles: Upper School English; Eleventh Grade Dean
Degrees: B.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
M.A. University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

upper school

Excellence. Integrity. Community.

upper school students in the science lab
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