Lab News

Designed to introduce middle school students from across the city to the full Lab experience—from arts and STEM to athletics, clubs, English and history

Lab hosted hundreds of prospective students and their families at the annual High School Open House. The event is designed to introduce middle school students from across the city to the full Lab experience—from arts and STEM to athletics, clubs, English and history. Students, current and past parents, alumni, faculty, and staff were all on hand to share their enthusiasm for Lab and share their stories.

Lab Facts at a Glance covered the walls and a parent workshop helped families better understand the application process and financial aid at Lab.

Read more

We have learned that as we understand how we feel we can be more understanding of others in our community

Children in Meredith Dodd's nursery classroom are making "empathy gifts" for people who may need help understanding their feelings.

"We have learned that as we understand how we feel we can be more understanding of others in our community," says Ms. Dodd.

Last year, as three-year-olds, the children spent time giving language to feelings, using colors as a symbol for a feeling:

  • pink: love
  • orange: silly
  • black: scared
  • red: angry
  • gray: frustrated
  • blue: sad
  • purple: beautiful
  • yellow: happy
  • green: calm

Explains Ms. Dodd, "At three-years, people are learning to understand and express themselves in new ways in relationship with others, with new vocabulary and new physical expressions. At four-years they have grown leaps and bounds in how they understand self.

"The color cubes have supported our empathy curriculum of how to know our self and knowing how our self is in relationship to others—through an understanding of emotion, our community understands the multiple ways we are part of whole.

"We play community games at meeting time with the color cubes to express social problems going on in the classroom. By identifying the feelings of the cubes, students can give thoughtful solutions, support each other and, change how they feel."

Read more

Thank you to the nearly 700 parents who took time to complete the survey regarding communication with Lab. While we are reviewing the responses, which will inform Lab's ongoing efforts to improve communications with families, a few things are worth noting:

  • Informed by web analytics and work with PA leaders, Lab made revisions to the Parent Page of the website:
    • New navigation across the top of the Parent Page links to important services including the nurse, directories, and the new parent tech-help page
    • Added clear buttons to Schoology, PowerSchool, and the help desk at the top of the page
    • Moved the important "division" tabs to the top of the page, and populated those tabs with heavily used documents
  • Schoology, PS, and web help is available to all parents. Ask a question or schedule a one-on-one session
    • Lab's Director, Web Services, Information Systems Joe Kallo (who held office hours every morning for all of September) is available to any parent for a one-on-one help session—in person or via phone. Email your request today.

Lab introduced a formal parent help desk system where you can submit questions or report concerns.

Read more

Shirts for moms and dads, and any other fan of the Laboratory Schools.

  • Shirts are $38 each
  • Available in adult sizes from S to XXXL.
  • Families will be billed via the FACTS billing system.
  • The deadline to complete the order form is 9 a.m. on November 29, 2017.
  • Please complete this Google form if you would like to purchase a shirt.

Thank you for your support! Please contact HS Dean of Students Ana Campos with any questions.

Read more

The Box Tops fall campaign deadline is just around the corner. Please check your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for Box Tops coupons. Collection boxes are at all school entry points including ESH Lobby, Blaine Lobby and U-High Lobby.

Did you know that Lab collected over $1,300 from the Box Tops for Education campaign last year? All proceeds supported teachers community service grants. Turn your Box Tops in today!

For more information please contact Cathy Lee.

Read more

Students, parents, alumni, retirees, faculty, and staff are invited to the the Holiday Book Fair and Bazaar.

The Book Fair runs both days, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Our neighborhood partner, 57th Street Books, will bring books for all ages and to fulfill a teacher wish lists. The fair offers one-stop shopping for classroom gift-giving, spirit wear, and holiday gifts.

The Bazaar — Tuesday, December 5, 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, December 6, 2:30 p.m.—features student clubs and homerooms raising money for their clubs and community causes. Special activities:

  • The event kicks off on Tuesday, 8–9:30 a.m., at a Coffee and Cider Social
  • Ask-the-Librarians panel, Tuesday, 3:45 p.m. Librarians from all four Lab libraries will be on hand to answer questions about book recommendations, students' reading progression, and more
  • Author Chat, Wednesday, 3 p.m. will feature Lab alum and National Endowment of the Arts fellow Natasha Tarpley, '89, and Lab parent and Chicago Magazine chief dining critic Jeff Ruby (who is married to teacher Sarah Abella, '93.)

Volunteers are needed to assist in various roles. Please sign up here.

Please mark your calendars to come and support Lab, our neighborhood bookstore, our teachers, and student entrepreneurship and community service! For more information please contact Audris Wong.

Read more

"How can I foster my child's enjoyment of reading?"

"My child loves to read, but I have trouble finding books appropriate to her maturity."

"Should I be concerned about some of the themes in young adult books?"

"What are some good books with multicultural representation?"

Lab's librarians are an incredible resource for students—and parents! Have you ever had questions about your child's reading journey—what they are reading, what they are not reading? Do you need recommendations or warnings about the latest children's books? Come ask your questions at the Ask-the-librarians panel at the Holiday Book Fair and Bazaar,

The panel will feature:

  • Lee McLain, Lim Family Library (ESH)
  • Jamelle St. Clair, Knes Family Library (LS)
  • Tad Andracki, Rowley Library (MS)
  • Susan Augustine, Pritzker Traubert Family Library (HS)

Want to submit a question in advance? Contact Tina Louie.

Read more

The Bazaar portion of the Holiday Book Fair & Bazaar is a student-led marketplace where Lower School homerooms and Middle and High School clubs can raise money for causes to benefit communities at Lab—and around the world.

In addition, the Bazaar will showcase artwork for purchase, created last year by Lower School homerooms in support of the Hyde Park Refugee project. Many of the student participants are now sixth graders.

Donation Drive: Office supplies are being collected to donate to an Indian voluntary organization called Vatsalya Sindu Orphanage for boys under the age of 14. Supplies can be dropped off at any time the Book Fair is open (8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday.)

At the Coffee Social, the Ecuador Middle School Service Learning Trip will be selling bagged coffee as a fundraiser.

MS and HS students are welcome to browse the Book Fair during their lunch periods.

Here is a list of groups scheduled for the Bazaar:

  • Conservative Club
  • Girl Up
  • U-High Students for Disaster Relief
  • Jammed Locker (Tuesday only)
  • Children's Rights and Education (Tuesday only)
  • Refugee Club (Tuesday only)
  • Ecuador Middle School Service Learning Trip Coffee Fundraiser (Tuesday morning and afternoon)
  • Animal Conservation Team (Wednesday only)
  • DC/Marvel Club (Wednesday only)
  • Lower School Homerooms for Hurricane Relief (Wednesday only)

Lab Spirit Wear will also be sold at the Holiday Bazaar on both days.

Read more

The Holiday Book Fair is excited to welcome two authors from the Lab Community as they discuss the writing life.

  • Natasha Tarpley, '89, is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient and the author of several acclaimed books, including the popular children's book, I Love My Hair! Her recent middle grade book, The Harlem Charade, writes former Lab teacher and bestselling author of Chasing Vermeer Blue Balliet, "shines a light on the magical and complex history of Harlem and its many brilliant art forms." Ms. Tarpley is also the co-founder of Voonderbar! Media, a multicultural children's book media company whose goal is to increase and diversify mainstream representation of kids of color, as well as others who don't quite fit the "mold."
  • Jeff Ruby (Lab parent and married to ESH administrator Sarah Abella,'93) is the chief dining critic for Chicago Magazine, as well as its humor columnist for 11 years. His writing has appeared in countless places including Esquire, GQ, Time, and Newsweek. He recently debuted his first children's novel, Penelope March is Melting, which bestselling author Pseudonymous Bosch called "a marvelous and magical debut!" His 2005 book, Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America's Favorite Food, was featured on NPR and Oprah, among others.

For more information, please contact Audris Wong.

Read more

Join the Laboratory Schools community, in partnership with the University Community Service Center and University of Chicago Charter Schools, in a day of service to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Volunteers will serve at community-based organizations around Chicago in age-appropriate service activities. Family members and students from grades N–12 are invited to participate, though students in grades N-8 must volunteer with a parent or guardian.

Breakfast, lunch, and transportation will be provided. Space is limited. Registration will open in mid-December. Contact Lab Service Learning Coordinator Hannah Roche with any questions.

Read more

As the days get shorter and it gets darker earlier each evening, Lab's Safety & Security team would like to share the following safety tips for our Lab community. Parents, we encourage you to review these tips with your children as age appropriate.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of the University's emergency phones.
  • Stay in well lit, populated pathways. Avoid shortcuts such as alleys.
  • Travel in pairs or groups. There's always safety in numbers.
  • Program the UChicago Police Department (UCPD) number (773-702-8181) into your mobile phone.
  • Walk with your head upright and make eye contact. Thieves often target victims who are not paying attention to their surroundings or who are looking down.
  • When using electronics on the streets, trains, and buses, don't tune out your surroundings and don't text and walk.
  • Don't display electronics when not in use.
  • Change the color of your earbuds from white to any other color. White earbuds usually indicate that you have a Apple device, which is an attractive target for thieves.
  • Avoid traveling through parks and unlit or poorly lit areas after dark.
  • Before entering your apartment building or house, have your keys ready.
  • At school or home, don't hold doors for anyone you don't know.
  • If you observe anyone acting in a suspicious manner or if you feel threatened in any way, report it immediately to police by activating an emergency phone or by calling the UCPD when you get to a safe location. Trust your instincts, even if you feel embarrassed.
  • Use the UCPD's Safety Escort Program and, when possible, use University transportation rather than walking alone especially at night.
  • Do not resist an armed robbery, unless absolutely necessary.

Visit the Department of Safety & Security's website for more information about safety and security at the University of Chicago.

Our community's safety is our highest priority. Please contact Deputy Chief Craig Nance with any questions or to report any safety concerns.

Read more

Connections is Lab's gala fundraiser—An evening with friends and community in cause and celebration.

This biennial event draws more than 800 parents, alumni, and faculty, coming together in support of transformational initiatives for our students and school.

Save the date
Connections 2018
Saturday, March 3, 2018
The Geraghty, 2520 South Hoyne Avenue, Chicago

This year, we're Changing the Game for the Lab community for years to come. Proceeds from Connections 2018 will support the revitalization of Jackman Field with a new turf field to expand Lab's PE and interscholastic athletic programs and provide a sustaining commitment to financial aid.

Get in the Game Now!

  • All are invited to the next volunteer meeting is Thursday, November 30, 5:30 p.m., Judd C116. RSVP here.

We look forward to seeing you at Connections 2018!

Meggan Friedman, P'31
Sabrina Gracias, P'21, P'25
Nickol Hackett, P'23, P'25

Connections 2018 co-chairs

Read more

Bundled up and sipping on hot chocolate, N3 through 5th grade students and teachers gathered in the Outdoor Classroom

Bundled up and sipping on hot chocolate, N3 through 5th grade students and teachers gathered in the Outdoor Classroom for stories around the fire. From director Charlie Abelmann to the Schools' librarians, readers brought in their favorite children's books to share.

Read more

Rob is the second Labbie to be named president of the American Historical Association

The entire Lab community is invited to this lecture given by Lab alumnus John R. McNeill, '71.

John "Rob" McNeill, a University Professor of Foreign Service and History at Georgetown University, will deliver the lecture to honor the memory of his father, William H. McNeill, '34, AB'38, AM'39.

Rob McNeill is known for his book, Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the 20th-Century World. He has held two Fulbright awards, a Guggenheim fellowship, a MacArthur grant, a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a visiting appointment at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.


Rob is the second Labbie to be named president of the American Historical Association, the world's largest organization of professional historians. His father was appointed to the same role in 1985. Rob will begin his one year term in January 2019. Read more about both academicians in this piece written by University of Chicago Dean of the College John W. Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of History. William McNeill, who died in 2016, was the University of Chicago Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and taught at the University for 40 years.

Students, parents, and members of the University community including emeritus faculty and former students of William H. McNeill are invited to attend.

This event is organized by the U-High History Department. Questions: please contact U-High History Department Chair, Charles Disantis. No RSVP needed.

Read more

The UChicago Smart Museum of Art and Lab invite you to join artists Judy Chicago and Jayna Zweiman as they discuss issues of feminism that permeate their practices. The two artists will explore how political activism is manifested in various forms, particularly in community-based projects that confront contemporary social and political issues. The talk is moderated by Alison Gass, Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum.

This event is free, but space is limited. Advance registration required.

Read more