For more than 130 years we've put students at the heart of everything we do. We're committed to seeing everyone within these walls succeed and reach their full potential through an educational experience that will empower them to tinker, to make mistakes, to ask questions, to change how they see the world around them.
Lower school students start each day together as a class with Morning Meeting. An important part of the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching, it is an engaging way to begin the day, build community and establish developmentally appropriate social skills. Learn more by watching the video above.
Something I learned at Latin that I still use today is the value of perspective.
In partnership with Stanford University, upper school students in Science Teacher Geraldine Schmadeke’s independent study program (ISP) are helping progress scientific research one teeny tiny fruit fly at a time. Learn how in this video!
Latin first grade students started the year building their community. It was important to establish to ensure all feel safe and comfortable taking risks, making mistakes, asking for help and supporting one another.
As students listened to some of their favorite songs, they got inspired. The song, “Wave your Flag” by K’Nann, in particular, sparked a lot of inspiration. Some may be familiar with this song as it is the anthem of the World Cup. As the first graders listened to the song, they thought it might be fun to create their own flags.
As students began to explore their identities and community, they discovered that flags often represent groups of people who are related in some way. For example, city flags can represent folks who live in the same city. Team flags can represent fans of a particular team. State/country flags represent people who come from those places.
Each student then created their own flag to represent pieces of their identity. The process started with the exploration of identity, authenticity, symbols, and flags. A lot of time was spent considering the difference between things we like/love, and pieces of our identity. As an abstract concept, teachers worked with students in small groups to help them understand the differences. Students then filled out an identity bubble map and began the process of designing their flags. Each student received a planning sheet to select important colors, symbols and shapes they wanted to include in their flags.
After each individual flag was created, the grade level came together as a community, to explore how they could create one class/community flag to represent all individuals in the group. This process worked on skills such as compromise, collaboration and communication. The students problem-solved and suggested ways to include everyone in the community. The outcome being one community flag to represent the Latin first grade communities.
Take a look at the flags students made to reflect their voices and choices.
- Around School
- lower school
New to the upper school Science course offerings this year, is a Marine Science course taught by Mr. Wisnieski.
Students in this course are exploring the aquatic environments near Latin and around the city. In September they took a kayaking trip to the Wild Mile, a portion of the Chicago River that is being rehabilitated by the Urban Rivers organization.
Students toured the river on kayaks and studied the organisms living in the new habitats that have been constructed. More recently, students monitored the water quality in Lake Michigan.
Take a look at the #opportunities found inside and outside the classroom at Latin.
- Around School
- upper school
Get to know René Moreno, Lower School Visual Art Teacher.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso
I earned a BFA from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and majored in Illustration.
Position and title at LatinI am the Visual Arts teacher in the Lower School. This is my 5th year at Latin. I was here as an assistant art teacher for 3 years while I worked on my teaching certification, and I am so happy to be back!
I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, who are excellent at what they do and are so passionate about their work. I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.
Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? As an illustrator, I visited schools and libraries to promote my books and I usually taught a little art project at those visits. I loved working with kids, so I decided to get my teaching certification.
Who is your favorite artist?
It’s a tie between Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh.
What was the last good book you read?I am currently reading a wonderful book called Everything Sad is Untrue, an autobiographical novel about an Iranian refugee growing up in Oklahoma. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.
What are your hobbies and interests?I enjoy collecting children’s books, walking outside, listening to music, and practicing yoga.
What was your first job?After college, I worked several jobs all at once: I worked as a freelance illustrator for children’s books, worked as a waitress and barista, and also painted silk for a fashion designer.
What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your lower school self? You can do hard things!
- Do You Know
- Faculty & Staff
- Our Voices
New Middle School Director Tray White joined the Latin leadership team in July. While Tray is new to Latin this year, he is well-versed in the implementation and support of social emotional learning for middle school students.
In a recent email Tray noted middle school faculty and staff are engaged in the daily process of nurturing and guiding the development of essential academic and social-emotional skills, building classroom culture and community, and reinforcing key classroom routines and procedures. All of these culminate to center around the joy and fun that comes with learning with a community of peers in an environment that promotes each student’s academic, social-emotional, and physical growth and well-being.
At the October Board of Trustee meeting, Tray expanded on some of Middle School’s practices regarding student wellness.
He spoke about the Affective Education program’s purpose of nurturing students’ social-emotional growth and curating learning opportunities for students to explore a variety of topics that enrich the student experience. Several of the topics are facilitated by the MS Counseling Team, Dean of Students, Director of Student Life, and Computer Science faculty.
Another example of social emotional learning in practice is through Middle School Affinity Groups. The purpose of these groups is to provide opportunities for students to share and explore life and experiences within safe and supportive spaces defined by membership and/or connection(s) to specific identity group(s). The Middle School has expanded from one Affinity group to many, including the Gender & Sexuality Alliance, South Asian Women Alliance, Girls in Math, and Students of Color affinity groups.
Take a look at Tray’s presentation to the Board.
- middle school
"Try to maintain the attitude of a beginner that's enthusiastic... curious... eager to learn... questioning the certainties around you... willing to try... be unafraid of making mistakes..."
The Latin Learner Podcast sits down with William Horberg '76, executive producer of "The Queen's Gambit," a television limited series on Netflix. He has an extensive resume as a producer for several exceptional films, including "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Cold Mountain" and "The Kite Runner." Listen to his life lessons learned from decades of being in the film industry. Listen.
Class of '76
Bassist-Vocalist in Horsegirl
"It’s cool to play music because then you get to know a bunch of these other people, and I’ve met so many people from it, and I just keep meeting more."
Nora Cheng '21, one-third of Chicago's alternative/ indie rock band Horsegirl, is featured in a Rolling Stone article. Check out their song "Billy" and its accompanying music video, which the band described as "a love letter to past music scenes we wish we could have witnessed." Read The Forum's article on Horsegirl's emergence here.
Class of '21
Professional Bird-watching Tour Guide
"When I was about 13 years old, I saw a wood duck at North Pond. It blew my mind and I realized that there were more birds than I had ever recognized. I was fascinated and decided to dive in, buy a field guide and explore the birding world."
The Latin Learner Podcast sits down with Nathan Goldberg '14, professional bird-watching tour guide for Red Hill Birding, a local bird-watching tour company based in Chicago. His "life list," which is the total number of birds seen in a lifetime, spans about 1,230 species and counting. Listen to his adventures of traveling the country to spot some of the rarest species of birds. Listen.
Class of '14
Professor, Mayor of Montgomery Township, NJ
"Not only can you be informed about politics, you can actually shape politics, especially at the local level, in a very real way."
Sadaf Jaffer '01 has a prestigious day job, two day jobs in fact: teaching courses on Islam and South Asia through literature and film while also working on a book about secularism among Indian intellectuals as a post-doctoral research associate at Princteon University's Institute for International and Regional Studies. So what prompted her to add to her workload and run for public office? Read more.
Class of '01
Artist, Art Director, Web Developer
“I don’t usually start out with a specific image in mind. The final work is a result of the process.”
Ezra Miller '15 recalls a point in the summer of this year where he was stressing over a project. He was commissioned by fashion house Balenciaga to create a video for Paris Fashion Week that would be displayed on the floor and walls of a giant tunnel made up of hundreds of LED panels. The idea, a brainchild of Canadian conceptual artist Jon Rafman, was that models would walk through the tunnel for a 15-minute performance. Read more.
Photo credit: @ezzzrrra via Instagram
Class of '15
Investor, Founder of One Stock One Future
"If I can get an 8-year-old to think about ownership from the simple act of giving her shares, then why can’t I do that with 10 more kids, a 100 more, 1,000 more?"
Latin alum Rendel Solomon '96 is on a mission to instill a sense of hope in underserved youth by turning them into empowered shareholders. Inspired by his great-grandparents' experience as sharecroppers in the early 1900s and his 8-year-old niece's interest in learning what it means to be a shareholder, Solomon founded the nonprofit organization One Stock One Future. Read more.