In the High School, students become accustomed to a demanding workload and high expectations in preparation for college and lifelong learning. Our students are taught to think for themselves and challenge assumptions.
Active participation in school and community enables our students to see how they fit into the world around them even as we provide them with the tools to do so. Rigorous coursework, lively class discussions, and independent reading and writing assignments all contribute to this goal.
The High School curriculum emphasizes analytical reading, writing, research, and strong math and science skills, with students taking five to seven courses per quarter, all of which would be considered honors-level in a public school system. Most of our students take at least one of our seventeen AP © or AT courses, and some qualify to attend courses at the University. Although Lab has rigorous course requirements, students also have flexibility in their selections. With the help of their advisors and counselors, students can put together an individualized course of study that will prepare them well for future success.
Students are required to take English each year they are enrolled at Lab. In junior and senior years they can take one of many quarter courses that deal with one or a few books or themes in depth. All English courses require extensive reading, writing, and discussion. In math, all students complete geometry and advanced algebra plus at least one more advanced course. Most of our students take four years of math including some level of calculus. Our newly renovated science labs enable students to develop a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, and physics. In fact, several recent High School graduates have won national science awards and scholarships. All students take three years of history, including Early World and American. In foreign languages, Lab offers French, German, Latin, and Spanish at various levels, focusing on reading, writing, speaking, and cross-cultural appreciation and understanding.
Music and art are integral parts of the High School curriculum, with students required to take a minimum of one year each, selected among music theory, performance, fine arts, drawing, painting, photography, and drama as well as other selections. Our students exhibit their work and perform frequently throughout the year. In their sophomore year, students are required to participate in a community service project of their choice. This activity gives them the opportunity to follow an interest, help others, and make a contribution to community life.
High school students have many opportunities to pursue their interests outside of class. They run an award-winning publications empire, fully staff a nationally-recognized Model United Nations team, and run many other clubs and organizations. Interscholastic sports are also popular: Lab fields 28 different teams in nine different sports (baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, and volleyball). Several of our students also participate in crew and ice hockey through inter-scholastic organizations based in Lincoln Park.