Middle School

Sixth through eighth grade is a very special time in a child's life, full of developmental changes and new academic challenges. Lab's Middle School consists of nearly 400 students and 48 faculty members plus a set of fulltime counselors, a ratio that ensures our students get the attention they need. Teachers establish a secure and nurturing environment conducive to the challenge of independent thinking. They bring to their work a deep understanding of early adolescence as well as mastery of their subject areas.

Middle Schoolers engage in a full academic program including mathematics, science, humanities, and world language. Frequently, assignments are coordinated so that students can work across the curriculum. In addition to academic subjects, students take physical education, music, art, drama, cooking and sewing, and computers. In eighth grade, they have the option of taking a beginning photography course. Students also help plan field trips and special projects.

Because of the developmental complexities at this age, Middle School is organized so that each child has a homeroom/advisory that serves as a "home base" and a teacher/advisor to depend on for counsel. Small advisory groups give students a chance to talk about issues with each other and an advisor in a non-judgmental setting.

As students enter and proceed through Middle School, they become increasingly involved in the arts and community service. Boys and girls also have opportunities to compete in interscholastic sports such as soccer, basketball, track, and volleyball, where they play against other Chicago-area independent schools. Students can also participate in intramural activities such as basketball and gymnastics. By the end of their Middle School years, students are ready for the larger demands of high school.