A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Lower School

The lower school is a place where children are treasured, where eager learners are encouraged to take the next step, to ask the next question and to discover the next truth.

Our students publish their own books, put on plays, host art shows, participate in interscholastic athletics, and work on community service projects, all while building the educational foundation that will prepare them for the rest of their lives.

Our lower school faculty are extensively trained in early childhood and elementary education. Our teachers use a team approach, gathering input from parents and on-staff learning resource specialists—as well as their own close observations—to customize their teaching methods and content to address each child’s strengths and interests.

Everybody learns things in a different way.

- Meg, Fourth Grader

For young children, especially, the visceral component of arts education is so important. In our art room students touch art. They put their hands in clay. They put mosaics together. They get to feel materials and fabricate things.”

- Brenda Friedman, Lower School Art Teacher

Manners, Kindness, and Civility

- the Lower School motto


How much homework will my child have?

We believe that homework can provide extensions to lessons and opportunities for creative exploration. Beginning in SK students might have a project to complete with their family in preparation for ongoing or future lessons. In first grade teachers suggest that children have around 15 minutes of homework three or four days a week. As children move up the grades, homework time increases by five to ten minutes per grade level. Teachers usually give little or no homework during weekends, holidays, and vacations.

How are the students graded?

In the lower school we don’t assess students with actual grades. Parents of junior and senior kindergarten students receive detailed reports of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development at the end of the school year. For students in grades one through four, reports are sent home twice a year. These reports contain formal, written assessments of students’ progress. In addition to these written reports, teachers and parents meet together for two scheduled conferences (three in JK and SK), and teachers often meet with parents at other times throughout the year as well.

How regularly do lower school students get physical activity?

Physical activity and the development of physical skills play an integral part in the lower school curriculum. Students in JK and SK participate in structured physical education classes

several times a week. Starting in first grade they have P.E. every day which provides a wide variety of learning experiences designed to meet the needs of each individual student. Our children also participate in recess every day.In addition to these built-in scheduled times during the school day, students can join the Rising Romans athletics program starting in third grade. Rising Romans includes the lower school cross-country team, intramural basketball and volleyball. In addition there are After School Resource opportunities that involve sports and games.

A lot of children today have food allergies. Do you have an allergy policy?

Latin School of Chicago is a peanut/tree nut allergy aware school, which means we do not purchase or produce nut products in any of our cafeterias. Additionally, every effort is made to keep peanuts, tree nuts or derivatives (nut butters, nut oils) out of our school buildings. We ask that faculty, staff, students, parents, vendors and other visitors do not bring these items into the lower, middle and upper school buildings.

What role can I play in my child’s school day?

Parents are welcomed members of our community. Parent volunteers often accompany students on field trips. During junior kindergarten, senior kindergarten, first grade, and second grade lunch periods, parents sit with students and help with our family-style serving. In addition, parents are sometimes asked to help out with clubs and teach After School Resources classes.

What support systems are available for students needing additional academic help?

We recognize the importance of differentiated instruction and one-on-one assistance for our students. Our teachers often spend extra time with students before and after school, or try to find additional opportunities for working with individual children throughout the school day. Our Reading Resources program is designed to help provide early support with reading. Our Learning Resources program directly serves the student population with diagnosed learning differences.

What are school hours? Are there options available to my child before and after school?

All grades begin their day at the same time, but dismissal times are staggered.

JK and SK
8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

1st and 2nd grades
8:15 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

3rd and 4th grades: 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

To accommodate the varying needs of lower school families, we offer both before and after school care through our Extended Day program. Extended Day is available between 7:15 and 8 a.m., and from dismissal until 6 p.m. to families who sign up for the program.

What is the After School Resources (ASR) Program?

Students in grades 1 through 4 have the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of ASR classes. There are four different sessions throughout the school year. Classes range from knitting, to fine arts, to vigorous sports and games.

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

Pauline Brakebill

Titles: Lower School Assistant
Julie Brooks

Julie Brooks

Titles: Lower School Director
Degrees: B.A. Texas A&M University
M.Ed. University of North Texas

Lorraine Loomis

Titles: Assistant Lower School Director

lower school

Nurturing Inquisitive Minds

View Our Curriculum
lower schoolers in music class