Lab News

Practicing global citizenship in the aftermath of disaster


A few months ago we donated a number of our old sports team uniforms to GloBall Giving.

We received this picture from their executive director featuring a group of U-High volleyball players from SriLanka. GloBall Giving supports an agency that helped a community rebuild after a recent tsunami.

Go Maroons!

Read more about U-High Athletics uniforms go GloBall

Exploring Chicago through research


The U-Highers in Naadia Owens' US History juniors and seniors spent the spring quarter researching a Chicago neighborhood of their choosing. Amongst other topics, they focused on history, people, and important community events. On Thursday, May 30, these students shared what they had learned by holding a "Neighborhood Fair" in Blaine Theater. The students covered Old Town, Printer's Row, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Kenwood, and more. Junior Jocelyn Tiapa, who chose to research Pilsen, created a display of Casa Aztlan, an iconic area building. The front and sides recreated the beautiful artwork on the building as well as around the neighborhood. But with a quick turn, she revealed the current facade of the building—painted over with a bland gray—now a symbol of the gentrification that has come to the neighborhood.

The Neighborhood Fair will happen once more, Tuesday, June 4, 9–10 a.m. in Blaine Theater.

Read more about Knowing a Neighborhood

Each year, three distinguished Lab alumni are honored for their professional achievements and selfless service to their communities

On Saturday, June 8, the Lab community will celebrate three extraordinary alumnae at the 2019 alumni awards ceremony during Lab Alumni Weekend.

This year, we will proudly honor three members of the Lab community, all of whom have made an impact on their professional fields, their communities, and their alma mater.

Valerie Jarrett, '73
Distinguished Alumni Award

Lab's highest alumni honor, this award celebrates the accomplishments of alumni across spheres of professional and personal achievement, public and civic service, and philanthropic and volunteer engagement.

Valerie is a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. As the longest-serving senior advisor to President Barack Obama, she oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She currently serves on the boards of Ariel Capital Management Holdings, the Kennedy Center, the Economic Club of Chicago, When We All Vote, 2U, and Lyft. Her memoir, Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, appeared in 2019. Valerie is the proud parent of Lab alumna Laura Jarrett, '03.

Amanda Williams, '92
Rising Star Professional Achievement Award

This award recognizes a Lab alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the last 30 years and has made an impact in his or her field.

A Chicago-based visual artist who trained as an architect, Amanda has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a member of the Obama Presidential Center Museum Design Team and a frequent lecturer. Amanda's creative practice employs color as a way to draw attention to the complexities of race, space, and value in cities. Her many accolades include a 2018 USA Ford Fellowship, and she is also a Joan Mitchell Foundation awardee. Amanda was Lab's Mark Plotkin | Muriel Rosenthal Alumni Speaker in 2016. She and her husband are the proud parents of two current Lab students.

Susie Stein, '45
Alumni Service Award

This brand-new award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the Laboratory Schools and the alumni community.

Susie is a passionate volunteer leader and tireless supporter of Lab. She has been a committed member of the Lab Alumni Association Executive Board, serving as reunion committee chair and regional outreach advocate. In addition, Susie has served on Lab's Connections Committee as well as on the University of Chicago Women's Board, UChicago Urban Education Institute's Partners Committee, and the UChicago Music Department Visiting Committee.

View past alumni award winners and learn more about Lab's alumni of note on our website.

Read more about And the alumni award goes to...

The college placement list "too often becomes a type of scorecard"

In the shadow of a nationwide scandal that exposed the lengths some parents will go to procure admission to elite colleges and universities for their children, the editors of U-High Midway made the determination to forgo publishing the annual college placement list writing that "the Midway's college list is an unnecessary contribution to an environment that already too often prioritizes college admission over all else."

The U-High story was cited recently by the the San Jose Mercury News when it reported that student editors at Palo Alto High School made the same determination, stating that the college list edition of their student newspaper "fed a toxic, comparison-driven culture."

Midway editors Jacob Posner, Priyanka Shrijay, and Emma Trone wrote "the list too often becomes a type of scorecard for each graduating class" and "also facilitates comparisons of students to one another on the basis of college name alone."

Once again, the Midway takes a leading position on a trending national issue and makes news.

The U-High Midway was named the top student news organization in its division. It was also named Best Overall Publication (print, digital or hybrid) as well as Best Hybrid Publication and Best Website for its division in the 2019 Illinois Journalism Education Association Newspaper and Digital News Media Contest. Additionally, newspaper staffers earned awards for 41 individual or team entries, including 16 first place entries out of 26 categories entered.
Read more about U-High Midway editorial choices make news

Planning/no school calendars can be found at the bottom of every page of the Lab website.

  • NOTE: these are subject to change and while we will use enews to let you know if and when these calendars are changed in anyway, we urge you to refer back to the online calendar periodically to get the most up to date information.
  • The 2020-2021 calendar does not yet include parent conference days.

See the 2019–20 Planning/No School Calendar
See the 2020–21 Planning/No School Calendar

Read more about Planning/No Schools calendars for 2019-20 AND 2020-21 are now online

Keeping Lab's mission in full swing during the summer builds community and your students' social and academic development. From June 24 to August 2, activities and engagement abound for students, campers, singers, actors, cooks, cyclists, scientists, robot-builders, programmers, and you-name-it:

Bring friends and neighbors from other schools and other countries, too, because Summer Lab, as always, is open to everybody. Registration closes on June 10.

Read more about Summer Lab registration closes June 10

Come bid farewell to those faculty, staff and administrators retiring or moving on to other endeavors. We invite the entire Lab Community to join us to celebrate the end of the school year and convey our gratitude and best wishes to our honorees. Gifts will be presented on behalf of the school community to all those leaving. For questions, please contact the Parents' Association.

Read more about Farewell Fête, Friday, June 7, 3–5 p.m., Blaine Courtyard, Historic Campus (rain location: Kovler Gym)

The Parents' Association Board invites all parents, faculty, and staff to their end-of-the-year meeting to hear a recap of 2018–19 and help the PA Board think about priorities for the 2019–20 school year. Childcare will be available if requested by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 7. For questions, or to request childcare, please email the Parents Association or visit the Parents' Association website.

Read more about Final PA general meeting, Monday, June 10, 7–8:30 p.m., Judd C116

Textbooks weighing you down? It is time for the MBS Book Buy Back. You or your MS/HS student can sell back textbooks and the PA will send it back for you. All you need is to login into your MBS account, enter the books you would like to sell and then bring in the final quote along with the books. The PA will ship the books for you! You can sit back and wait for the check. (Text) Book Buy Back will be:

  • June 11, 8 a.m.–3 p.m., John Rogers Boardroom, Judd 103
  • June 12, 8 a.m. –3 p.m., Judd 116
  • June 13, 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Judd 116.

There will be computers on site to help get and finalize quotes if you don't have time to do it at home. Just a reminder that MBS will take books not purchased from them if there is a demand. If you have any questions, please contact Tina Louie.

Read more about It's time for (Text) Book Buy Back, June 11–13

On Thursday, August 1, you will receive an email prompting you to start the "Back to Lab" process through PowerSchool. Before you access your documents, you will be asked to update/verify your family and emergency contact information.

Once you do that, you'll have access to information you need to start the school year with ease: class schedules, arrival/dismissal times, drop-off/pick-up procedures, ordering textbooks and PE uniforms, and more.

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 3, 2019. The 2019–20 Planning Calendar is online here and at the bottom of every Lab webpage.
Read more about Back to Lab 2019 documents available starting August 1

The Parents' Association is recruiting mentor families to help welcome and orient new families to Lab.

What it takes to be a mentor:

  • Availability to meet with a new family over the summer or in the first month of the 2019–20 school year.
  • Willingness to share your experiences at Lab and answer questions about life at Lab.
Whether you are a veteran parent of seven months or ten years, you have what it takes to me be a mentor! If you are interested in being a mentor, sign up here. For questions, please contact Samantha Morales.
Read more about Share your insights with new 2019–20 Lab families! Become a mentor