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.

Manners, Kindness, and Civility

- the Lower School motto

In a responsive classroom, the exercise of naming hopes and dreams is critical to feeling personally connected to and engaged in learning.

Lower school students took the school's 2018-19 theme of action to heart and defined things they hoped to accomplish over the course of the school year.

hopes and dreams


Singapore Math

The value lies in the well-formulated question rather than on the right answer.

Singing the praises of Singapore math

As part of the lower school Singapore Math curriculum, fourth grade teacher Amanda Schirmacher noted that her students love sharing their methods, which she can project on a screen after taking a picture of the method with her tablet. "They are getting more comfortable with their speaking and presentation skills," she said. "It enables them to be confident in sharing their thinking," a skill that will serve them well as they enter middle and high school. "The earlier you find your voice, the better," she said.


We value the potential that Latin will provide our children with the determination, resilience and curiosity to be successful in the world.

- Latin parent

Latin should never change how comfortable it makes us feel. Which means that we aren't afraid to make mistakes.

- Middle school student

The teachers have been my advocates so much throughout the years and it is easily the thing I value the most at Latin.

- Upper school student


How much homework will my child have?

Research shows that reading is the most important thing for elementary age children – whether it is being read to or independently reading books. Students are expected to engage with books on a daily basis outside of school. Occasionally, teachers in junior kindergarten through third grade will assign a project for students to work on with family members. Formal homework begins in the fourth grade. Incorporated within formal homework are executive functioning skills that require students to plan, organize and schedule their time.  

How are the students graded?

In the lower school we do not assess students with numerical or letter 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, 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 junior kindergarten through second grade participate in structured physical education classes every day for 30 minutes. Third and fourth grade students attend physical education class every other day for one hour. Our students also participate in recess daily.  

In addition to scheduled physical activity built into the school day, students can join the Rising Romans athletics program starting in third grade. Rising Romans includes the lower school cross country, intramural basketball,  volleyball and soccer teams. There are also 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?

Families are welcomed members of our community. One of the best ways for families to connect is to share with their child’s class family traditions, celebrations or careers to name a few. On occasion family members may be asked to volunteer for a special project or field trip.

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

We recognize the importance of differentiated instruction and assistance for our students. Our classrooms are structured so that students receive whole-group, small-group and one-on-one time with teachers. Our Reading Resource and Math Intervention programs are designed to help provide early support. 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.

First and second grades
8:15 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Third and fourth 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 one through four 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 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