A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Middle School

The years from fifth grade through eighth grade are an important time for self-discovery. They are a time when students develop their interests, learn new talents, and face challenges that are unique to their age group. At Latin, middle school students are introduced to a world of new concepts and ideas.

Our middle school curriculum covers all the traditional core subject areas—math, science, English and language arts, social studies and language—but we use a range of innovative, creative ways to present the material. Middle school students learn best when they are engaged with the subject matter through concrete experiences like role playing, simulations, lab work or exploration outside the classroom. Dynamic discussions and interactive lectures are designed to relate to issues and ideas we know middle school-aged kids are thinking about.

I think Latin has one of the most challenging curricula out there, and one that helps my child reach her full potential as an academic and a person.

-- middle school parent
middle school students with Syrian Refugee project

When learning resonates with the students' own values and beliefs, the content is seen as relevant and tied to real-world concerns and projects.

Scratching beneath the surface of the syrian refugee crisis

Seventh grade students in the Global Perspectives course researched the lives of individual Syrian refugees and told their stories using a programming language called Scratch. The project takes users on the journey of a real-life Syrian refugee, the choices they face, as well as the realities of the refugee experience.


Students are well versed in the "power of yet" and the value in continuing to grow, defying expectations or limitations.

- 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

I understood the value of this education first hand when I went off to college. My persistence and strong desire to learn and connect with my professors was a reflection of the close relationships I made with my teachers at Latin.

- Latin alum


How do Latin students respond to the arrival of new students?

Students are thrilled to have new kids join the class. When applicants visit the school one of the most frequent responses we hear from parents is, “my child felt the most comfortable on the Latin visit because the students were the friendliest.”

Given that the school is academically rigorous, do you encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities such as clubs or team sports when school starts in the fall?

Absolutely, get involved. We encourage all students to join a co-curricular activity. The middle school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities with time commitments varying from once a week to daily. Students have time to make friends, pursue an interest, and exercise their mind and body and still do the homework. The new students who tend to have the easiest time adjusting to Latin are those who participate in after-school activities.

My child was moved ahead of his peers at his old school. Will you do the same?

Our goal is to keep students challenged in courses with their peers. The curriculum, pedagogy, and assessments are designed to challenge different kids at different levels with the same topics. Math is the one exception, and math ability groups begin in sixth grade. We are committed to the development of the whole child, and this is best accomplished when students are with their peers.

What are the extracurricular activities available to middle schoolers?

The after-school activities program was designed to encourage all students, athletes or not, to explore a wide range of interests. Approximately 80 percent of middle school students participate in at least one sport, and most also join a club, academic team, or participate in a play.

My child does not live in the neighborhood; will this have any impact on his Latin experience?

Latin's middle school strives to adopt the school-as-community-center concept. The building buzzes with kids from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Students are encouraged to utilize the many resources Latin has to offer before and after school, whether it is the cafeteria, library, or the common areas. Teachers often can be found meeting with students, playing a pick-up game of chess, watching a movie, or talking about yesterday’s game. Students are able to meet in classrooms or the library to work on group projects. The goal is to have all students feel like Latin is where they enjoy being before, during, and after school!

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

Renie Dunn-Finch

Renie Dunn-Finch

Titles: Middle School Dean, Middle School Physical Education
Degrees: B.S. Illinois State University

Armenta Porter

Titles: Middle School Assistant
Debra Sampey

Debra Sampey

Titles: Middle School Director
Degrees: B.S. George Williams College
M.S. University of Wisconsin

middle school

Engaged and Empathetic Learners

View Our Curriculum

middle school students engaged in experiential learning