A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Upper

Arts programs at Latin inspire creativity, encourage students to pursue their passions and provide avenues to develop new skills.

Visual Arts

Latin’s arts program promotes success in a nurturing environment that helps students develop self-esteem, gives them freedom to learn from taking artistic risks and encourages them to take pride in their accomplishments. Students have many opportunities to share their art with others through public concerts, plays, exhibits, publications and presentations.

Courses include:
  • AP Studio Art
  • CAD: Architectural Drafting & Design 
  • Computer Graphic Design
  • Digital Visual Arts
  • Digital Imaging
  • Drawing 1 & 2
  • Fashion Design
  • Filmmaking
  • Global Studies Visual Art
  • Independent Study 
  • Modern Art History
  • Photography 1 & 2
  • Observational Painting
  • Sculpture 1 & 2 
  • Studio Painting

ELEVATING CREATIVITY IN AP STUDIO ART

The upper school AP Studio Art class provides students with the opportunity to synthesize the knowledge that they’ve gained from other art courses and focus on the skill of idea development. The class is centered around a review-critique-revise process in order to produce a more compelling piece of work. Learn more about this community of artists in Art Teacher Christine Holloway’s class.

 

 

I decided that doing this ISP would be beneficial in making me a more well-rounded videographer.

- upper school student

Latin's Independent Study Program (ISP) offers students the opportunity to discover their passions and learn about a topic tailored to their interests. The ISP Filmmaking class final project was to create a film featuring in-depth interviews with multiple sources, including a Latin alum who works in the cybersecurity field. News coverage surrounding popular social media platform TikTok and its concern with cybersecurity inspired the concept of this upper school student's film.


Performing Arts

Through performing arts classes, public concerts, plays and presentations, students cultivate skills that include learning technique, nomenclature, the ability to listen to each other, share ideas, work together, and be able to take creative risks in a safe and nurturing environment. Students have many opportunities to share their art with others through public concerts, plays and presentations.

Acting classes use improvisation, scene study, and games to work toward the goal of creating a real, honest world on stage. In doing so, students learn about themselves and the world around them. They are encouraged to look at life in a new way, and explore the world from the viewpoint of someone else. The acting curriculum has three levels: Acting Company, Intermediate Acting, and Advanced Acting.

Courses include:
  • Acting Company
  • Improv Company
  • Speech
  • Stagecraft
  • Band
  • Chicago Dance
  • Chorus/Choir
  • Dance Technique
  • Dance Company
  • Dance Mentorship
  • Playwriting/Directing
  • Intro to Music Technology
  • Music Theory
upper school performing arts

Participating in middle school and high school productions taught me so much about empathy and creative expression, and as I got older, I realized how much those skills in particular prepared me for leadership in the Latin community and beyond.

-alum

 

When students are conscious and proactive about learning, it provokes a more personal response to engaging with the material.

SEEING STARS

The upper school Advanced Acting Company class performed the play “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson during the 2018-19 school year. This true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, whose quest to measure the distance of stars begins at Harvard Observatory and ends up changing our understanding of the universe.

Advanced Acting Company is made up of juniors and seniors who have taken classes in the upper school acting curriculum. The course culminates in a production fully produced and managed by students. With the rehearsal process embedded into class time throughout the semester, it allows the cast and crew to delve deeper into the play, spending more time on script and character analysis, ensemble building and dramaturgy, while also providing students opportunities to oversee behind-the-scenes work like costume and makeup design.




 

14

Exhibits hosted annually in Latin's Gallery 2

We showcase the art of students, faculty & staff, alumni, and professional artists.

One of the reasons why theater is so important is that it teaches empathy and presentation skills, and I found myself applying both to my schoolwork outside of the shows.

-upper school student

Because of the amazing art teachers I had at Latin, I was able to become confident in the fact that art is what I enjoy doing more than anything else.

- alum

Outside the classroom
  • musical and non-musical theater productions
  • student art exhibits
  • VIDI photography magazine
  • ECCO art and literary magazine
  • yearbook club
  • Latones & Romanettes (male and female a capella groups), Gospel Choir, Student/Faculty Chorale
  • opportunities to participate in talent shows and improv performances
  • private voice/instrumental instruction

Arts at Latin

decorative podcast cover art


Join upper school students Molly and Ella and Ms. Merrell, science teacher and Global Online Academy site director at Latin, to learn more about the GOA offerings and the benefits of taking a GOA class.

TRANSCRIPT

Amy Merrell  0:15  
Besides being exposed to a topic that isn't offered at Latin, so just exposure to different things, taking courses from teachers from different schools and with students from different schools, I think opens your eyes to different viewpoints, increases your collaboration, because you have to collaborate with people in different time zones and different schedules. And I think that's a skill that will help students even after Latin.

Molly 0:41  
The favorite part of my class was, you know, of course, the different community of GOA. I got to meet so many different people. But I also really enjoyed getting to take more control over my learning. And I think it helped me build more skills.

Ella  0:57  
So my class, because it was about specifically medical problem solving, we did a lot of kind of patient presentations where you would do some research into the symptoms and then present a possible diagnosis. And then also some group projects that we do a similar concept, but with people from around the country.

Amy Merrell  1:16  
Hi, my name is Amy Merrell. I am a science teacher and the site director for Global Online Academy here at Latin.

Ella 1:20  
I'm Ella Reese-Clauson. I'm a senior.

Molly 1:22  
And I'm Molly McKee, and I'm a junior.

Amy Merrell  1:23  
So Global Online Academy or GOA is a consortium of about 120 schools from around the world that offer a variety of online classes to students. And so the classes are taught by teachers from those 120 schools. So Latin students have the opportunity to take these courses, and learn from teachers from all over the world. And with students from schools all over the world. These courses are counted just like Latin courses are so they go for a grade and are on transcripts. GOA is started in 2012. And when it started, we had less than 15 students enroll. And we have just it has gotten progressively bigger interest has grown as GOA has gotten bigger. And so we are now at total for this year we have 62 students enrolled for both semesters. And so I think it's grown quite a lot. They've also opened summer opportunities as well. So that is another place that GOA has grown. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can take classes. And there is a wide variety of classes. So I'm not going to go over all of them. But they're some of the most popular ones are the psych classes. So Neuro Psych, Abnormal Psych and Positive Psychology. Prisons and criminal law is another really popular one, as well as there's a variety of computer science classes that students decide to take. And some new ones that students are in there's been growing interest in are Intro to Investments, and also Entrepreneurship, which are two kind of newer additions that students have taken.

Molly  3:14  
So I considered taking a GOA class just because well, first of all, I liked all the options, and after sophomore year, I wanted to pursue a similar topic, because I took Nazi Mind the first semester. And I was really interested in like everything that we learned about in that class. But I think the main thing that pushed me to taking a GOA was a COVID and the pandemic because it opened up so much free time in my schedule, and I thought GOA would be a great way to fill it.

Ella  3:44  
Adding on to that, I think that also like Ms. Merrell mentioned, the specificity of the courses was really appealing to me because I think that at Latin we have some really great general courses whereas GOA helps you to go kind of into more niche subject areas. I took Medical Problem Solving one which ended up coincidentally having Ms. Merrell as a teacher.

Molly 4:06  
I took Introduction to Legal Thinking, and I'm signed up for a criminal law one next semester because I liked the first one so much. GOA classes can fit into my schedule a lot and really nicely just because it's not as rigid of a structure like normal classes. It has a lot more independent learning and a self-regulated working pace, I guess. So it was like really easy to fit it into whenever I had free time.

Ella 4:33  
So my class, because it was about specifically medical problem solving, we did a lot of kind of patient presentations where you would do some research into the symptoms and then present a possible diagnosis. And then also some group projects that we do a similar concept, but with people from around the country.

Molly 4:53  
I think with GOA you get a much wider variety of project types than you would in normal classes. I had debates with other students or wrote example legal documents. And I feel like I never actually wrote an actual essay, which is something you would expect to do in a typical class. So it's nice to get a different variety. The favorite part of my class was, of course, the different community of GOA. I got to meet so many different people. And, I think it was also, at least in my class, it was everyone's first time taking a GOA. So, everyone was kind of like in the same boat and we were all experiencing the thing, this class for the first time. But I also really enjoyed getting to take more control over my learning. And I think it helped me build more skills.

Ella 5:44  
I really enjoyed the class I took. And I, like, Molly, really enjoyed the aspect of collaboration, especially with people from other time zones, which was very difficult to navigate, because we all had very different schedules. But it was really cool to meet people who had different kinds of work styles and schedules and being able to learn to collaborate. And then also, I was really interested in the course material. So I loved all these kinds of diagnostic presentations. I think that if you have a specific interest in one kind of genre, or subject, then I would absolutely recommend taking a GOA because it helps you to go much more in-depth into that one topic. And, it's just an all-around really great way to have a much more flexible class. And to learn that kind of whole new skill set.

Unknown Speaker  6:38  
The only challenging part of GOA I found was the time differences. I think everything else was really great. Especially with the material that I was learning about, I got to hear a lot of different perspectives and I feel learning with other people from different countries, you get a lot more out of it than you would with just taking the class with people from the US. Definitely agree with what Ella said, I think it's a great way to explore your interests further.

 

Podcast
 

  • Around School
  • Our Voices
  • Podcast
  • upper school
Upper school student athletes

Latin’s Athletics Department celebrated the following seniors who have committed to the next chapter of their athletic career: 

  • Alice M. ˈ23 will be running track & field at Harvard University
  • Carly W. ˈ23 will be playing field hockey at the University of New Hampshire 
  • Akili P. ˈ23 will be running cross country and track & field at University of Michigan
  • Megen S. ’23 will be playing basketball at University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • Ago G. ˈ23 will be rowing at Yale University

Congrats and Go Romans!

Athletics

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  • Athletics
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teaching assistant in action in front of class

I like being able to get a student’s mind to click and figure something out when they are stuck.
- Quinn Lovette

Teaching assistants are not just for colleges and universities. Formally established four years ago, Latin has a robust upper school student TA program with 20 to 30 seniors participating each year.

The program spans all departments, according to Zach McArthur, Teaching Assistant Program Coordinator and Upper School Mathematics teacher. Students are chosen after applying, based on their interest and past performance in the course. Students receive a pass/fail in the Independent Study course.

TAs are not involved in grading but their roles vary depending on the class. Sarah Landis, an Upper School language teacher who teaches Latin, has found her TAs invaluable. Last year, with a larger class, she broke students into groups and the TA rotated among them, facilitating group work. “This year, with a smaller class, I’m having my TA lead more of the activities and he will be able to teach some of the lessons,” she said.

Leadership opportunities abound for TAs. Students are chosen after applying, based on their interest and past performance in the course. Students receive a pass/fail in the Independent Study course.

McArthur and Landis both agree the TA program is a win-win both for the students in the class as well as the TA. Landis recalled an instance where a student fondly remembered his TA. “The TA is more relatable to them and closer to their age, and someone closer to the experience of being a novice [with the material,]” she said. Landis notes that students sometimes feel less intimidation approaching a TA when they need assistance. “It’s someone who feels more accessible and relatable.”

Quinn Lovette is a TA for the Finance and Math class. Lovette was attracted to the program after taking the class last year. He likes working with students he might not normally meet. “Being a TA gives me the ability to work with younger students and get to know them,” said Lovette. Lovette also relishes those a-ha moments. “I like being able to get a student’s mind to click and figure something out when they are stuck.”

I wanted to share my excitement for the material with the next generation of Nazi Mind students.
- McLaine Leik

Leadership opportunities abound for TAs. Leo Romano is a TA for a sophomore English class, Latin American Literature, taught by Ann McGlinn. Romano is often called upon to lead class discussion, assist with group discussions and even helps edit papers. He acknowledged that serving as a TA is a lot of responsibility but it was something for which he was ready. “Ms. McGlinn trusts me and she guides me, obviously,” he said. Romano also is happy to help one of his favorite teachers and appreciates the bond they are establishing.

McLaine Leik is a TA for Nazi Mind, a one semester class that culminates with a simulation of a Nuremberg trial that takes place in a courtroom at the Daley Center. “That class fostered a passion for history for me,” said Leik, so much so that she plans to study history in college. Leik likes seeing the students become enthusiastic about the same subject matter that left such an impression on her. “I wanted to share my excitement for the material with the next generation of Nazi Mind students.”

  • Features
  • upper school
Alexander S. and Stella Tate R.

Eighth grade choir students, Stella Tate R. ’27 and Alexander S. ’27, were recently selected for the 2022 Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) District 1 Junior Chorus, an auditioned and highly selective honor choir. 

Students went through a rigorous and competitive audition process where they sang different prepared selections as well as demonstrated their tonal skills and overall vocal tone with other middle school students in Chicago and most of the south and west suburbs. 

This experience will culminate in a music festival that will take place on Saturday, November 5, at 3 p.m. at Lincoln Way Central High School in New Lenox, IL, where these two students will get to work with a fantastic collegiate choral clinician and sing with more than 250 talented students from over 60 surrounding schools. 

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  • middle school
self portraits by upper school students