A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

“I was intrigued by the idea of Latin in Rwanda, so I immediately got involved when I came to the school,” said Alexis Lopez ’15 who started at Latin in ninth grade in 2011.

The first group of students to participate in the Latin in Rwanda program traveled to the country in 2010. Since then, students have continued to be inspired by the program and its leader, Ingrid Dorer-Fitzpatrick, a beloved teacher at Latin for over 40 years. Lopez I was intrigued by the idea of Latin in Rwanda, so I immediately got involved when I came to the school.
Alexis Lopez '15, creator of "Kwizera"
was one of those students. He traveled to Rwanda with the program in the summer of 2015, shortly after graduating from Latin. 

Latin partnered with WE-ACTx, an international community-based organization that supports individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, to connect with a group in Rwanda and participate in a summer camp for children and teens impacted by the disease. 

Lopez was so inspired by the trip he took in 2015, that he traveled back to Rwanda with Latin’s group in the summer of 2016 after he finished his first year at Denison University. And that wasn’t his last trip to Rwanda either. 

“The idea was born the first time I went to Rwanda,” Lopez said. With the help of his college advisors, Lopez spent a year and a half of his college career creating a documentary titled, “Kwizera.” The film shares the journey of Nshiyiminana Jean Claude growing up homeless and stigmatized by HIV, as well as his road to find strength through a supportive community with WE-ACTx and yoga.

The word “kwizera” in Kinyarwanda (Rwanda's local language) means hope. “It was a word that Nshiyiminana Jean Claude taught me one night when we were having dinner The word “kwizera” in Kinyarwanda (Rwanda's local language) means hope. after he used it to describe how he felt about WE-ACTx and I immediately knew that was what I wanted to call the film,” said Lopez.

Claude felt that it could be helpful for other people to hear his story and be inspired in their own lives. Lopez and Claude met during Lopez’s first trip to Rwanda and have remained friends throughout the years. During Lopez’s third time in the country, he returned as a journalist to spend two weeks filming the documentary, including hours and hours of footage of his conversation with Claude.

With the support of his college advisors, Lopez also worked to develop marketing and distribution plans for the completed film. The documentary was shown at seven film festivals all over the world, including China and Africa, and won two awards: Best Picture The film gives hope in showing the work that WE-ACTx is doing in Rwanda.
Alexis Lopez '15, creator of "Kwizera"
 at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Georgia Documentary Film Festival.

“The film gives hope in showing the work that WE-ACTx is doing in Rwanda,” said Lopez. The organization uses the film as part of its annual fundraising efforts. This year at their virtual benefit on February 21, 2021, WE-ACTx honored Dorer-Fitzpatrick for the incredible impact she has had on the people of Rwanda.

Latin School of Chicago is pleased to share “Kwizera” by Alexis Lopez ’15.

Documentary title cover

Alumni
 

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  • Our Voices
A Documentary of Hope and Inspiration Created by Latin Alum Alexis Lopez '15

“I was intrigued by the idea of Latin in Rwanda, so I immediately got involved when I came to the school,” said Alexis Lopez ’15 who started at Latin in ninth grade in 2011.

The first group of students to participate in the Latin in Rwanda program traveled to the country in 2010. Since then, students have continued to be inspired by the program and its leader, Ingrid Dorer-Fitzpatrick, a beloved teacher at Latin for over 40 years. Lopez I was intrigued by the idea of Latin in Rwanda, so I immediately got involved when I came to the school.
Alexis Lopez '15, creator of "Kwizera"
was one of those students. He traveled to Rwanda with the program in the summer of 2015, shortly after graduating from Latin. 

Latin partnered with WE-ACTx, an international community-based organization that supports individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, to connect with a group in Rwanda and participate in a summer camp for children and teens impacted by the disease. 

Lopez was so inspired by the trip he took in 2015, that he traveled back to Rwanda with Latin’s group in the summer of 2016 after he finished his first year at Denison University. And that wasn’t his last trip to Rwanda either. 

“The idea was born the first time I went to Rwanda,” Lopez said. With the help of his college advisors, Lopez spent a year and a half of his college career creating a documentary titled, “Kwizera.” The film shares the journey of Nshiyiminana Jean Claude growing up homeless and stigmatized by HIV, as well as his road to find strength through a supportive community with WE-ACTx and yoga.

The word “kwizera” in Kinyarwanda (Rwanda's local language) means hope. “It was a word that Nshiyiminana Jean Claude taught me one night when we were having dinner The word “kwizera” in Kinyarwanda (Rwanda's local language) means hope. after he used it to describe how he felt about WE-ACTx and I immediately knew that was what I wanted to call the film,” said Lopez.

Claude felt that it could be helpful for other people to hear his story and be inspired in their own lives. Lopez and Claude met during Lopez’s first trip to Rwanda and have remained friends throughout the years. During Lopez’s third time in the country, he returned as a journalist to spend two weeks filming the documentary, including hours and hours of footage of his conversation with Claude.

With the support of his college advisors, Lopez also worked to develop marketing and distribution plans for the completed film. The documentary was shown at seven film festivals all over the world, including China and Africa, and won two awards: Best Picture The film gives hope in showing the work that WE-ACTx is doing in Rwanda.
Alexis Lopez '15, creator of "Kwizera"
 at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Georgia Documentary Film Festival.

“The film gives hope in showing the work that WE-ACTx is doing in Rwanda,” said Lopez. The organization uses the film as part of its annual fundraising efforts. This year at their virtual benefit on February 21, 2021, WE-ACTx honored Dorer-Fitzpatrick for the incredible impact she has had on the people of Rwanda.

Latin School of Chicago is pleased to share “Kwizera” by Alexis Lopez ’15.

Documentary title cover

Alumni
 

Explore Our News & Stories

Fourth grader's poem on social issues

One of the fourth grade classrooms passionately discussed social issues and the impact they have on our world. These lessons stemmed from their yearlong unpacking of identities and coming together as a classroom community. 

In the spring, fourth graders participated in the opinion writing unit, which focuses on understanding how to take a stand, set a clear thesis statement, give supporting reasons, and back up their thinking with evidence.

The first project in this unit was for students to create social issues acrostic poems, where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase. This assignment helped students to think about issues going on in their world. They generated their own list and discussed what each issue means and means to them.

Fourth grade's list of important social issues

A list of important social issues generated by a fourth grade classroom with the help of fourth grade teacher Amanda Schirmacher, assistant teacher Ada Tan and support staff teacher Endia Moore.

These conversations were also supplemented with books as well. The issues they chose for their poems were ones that they felt strongly about in this moment–many about animals, as the 9- and 10-year-old brains adore their animals!

Students were pleased to show off their work to a very special visitor, Head of School Randall Dunn, during their classroom gallery walk.

Randall Dunn at fourth grade gallery walk

Head of School Randall Dunn visits the fourth grade's gallery walk.

Then the students dove deeper into the social issues and identified one that they care deeply about, researched the issues, and then wrote a five-paragraph essay on the issue. 

To view more of the students' acrostic poems, browse the photo gallery below.


Academics

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National Association of Independent Schools logo

Congratulations to Head of School Randall Dunn for being named Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)--a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,900 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.

This appointment follows Randall’s three years of service in the role of Vice Chair and will be a continuation of his nine years of service on the board so far. As Chair, Randall will assume We all take away more than we give. NAIS and the experience on the board allows us to lead and enhance our own schools with a greater perspective and to serve as ambassadors for the value and relevance of independent schools as whole.
Randall Dunn, Head of School at Latin School of Chicago and Board Chair of NAIS
oversight of the board as they collaborate closely with Donna Orem, president of NAIS to forward the vision and mission of the organization, which is to “...co-create the future of education by uniting and empowering our community through thought leadership, research, creation and curation of resources, and direct collaboration with education leaders.”

Randall views this volunteer role as an important learning opportunity for him--and the other trustees. “We all take away more than we give. NAIS and the experience on the board allows us to lead and enhance our own schools with a greater perspective and to serve as ambassadors for the value and relevance of independent schools as whole.” 

In addition, Randall’s leadership role keeps Latin at the forefront of the most important information and trends impacting our students.  

Read more about Randall's appointment in an article published by The Forum, Latin's student-run news publication.

Congratulations, Randall! 

See the full NAIS Board here.  

Our Voices

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Middle school student and a teacher at Origami Club

Middle school students participated in in-person clubs for the first time this year–and they had a blast! With the gorgeous spring weather, the students even got outside for knitting club. Check out the knitting club and origami club!

 
 
Student Life
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Upper school student athletes on Signing Day

We are so proud of our student-athletes who have committed to playing a sport in college next year!

Eli A. will be playing baseball at Denison University; Peter B. will be running cross country and track at Kenyon College; Molly C. will be on the equestrian team Baylor University; Colin C. will be playing soccer at Wesleyan University; and Blake D. playing golf and ice hockey at The University of Tampa.

Cole F. will be playing soccer and track at Oberlin College; Sujan G. will be playing tennis at Bowdoin University; Anees G. will be playing tennis at New York University; Natalie M. will be playing basketball at Johns Hopkins University; Marianne M. will be running track at Harvard University; Charlie M. will be rowing at Loyola Marymount University; and Bea P. will be running cross country and track at Middlebury College.

Noah R. will be running track at Lewis and Clark College; Ashley R. will be swimming at Carleton College; Matthew S. will be playing baseball at Bates College; Olivia S. will be running cross country and track at The George Washington University; and Ava T. will be playing volleyball at The University of Arizona. Congratulations to our student-athletes!

Go Romans!

Athletics

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