Lab News

Language classrooms used their Spanish and Chinese skills to write original children's picture book stories

This spring, eighth grade students in Deb Foote, Treena Larson, and Jin Yin's classrooms used their Spanish and Chinese skills to write original children's picture book stories. Younger students from both Lab and Ray School then joined the eighth graders for a storytelling event in Rowley Library. The authors used their laptops to display the colorful images while telling the stories in either Spanish or Chinese, pausing to translate for their eager listeners. The language classes planned to professionally print collections of the stories to be distributed to community schools and libraries.

This spring, eighth grade students in Deb Foote, Treena Larson, and Jin Yin's classrooms utilized their Spanish and Chinese skills to write original children's picture book stories. Younger students from both Lab and Ray School were invited to join the eighth graders in Rowley library for a storytelling event. The authors used their laptops to display the colorful images while telling the stories in either Spanish or Chinese, pausing to translate for their eager listeners. The language classes then had their collections of the Spanish and Chinese stories professionally printed to be distributed to local communities, schools, and libraries.

Saul A. said the project improved his Spanish. "When I had been working on the language in class I could use workarounds or phrase things differently, but in the book I had an exact way I wanted to say things which challenged me a lot more."

Tenzin K. said "I think my favorite part was reading the story to the lower school kids and seeing their reactions and feelings on the story."

You can read both the Spanish Collection here and the Chinese Collection here.

The project was funded by the Parents Association and the World Language Department.

Read more about Eighth graders author books in Chinese and Spanish

Our first ever team championship in tennis and the first State team championship since boys track and field in 1919


The boys tennis team won the IHSA Class A State Championship on Saturday scoring 28 points in the three day event. Sophomore Arjun Asokumar won the State Singles championship in three sets to win the final two team points to secure the championship. The Maroons tied in points with Normal University High, both teams are considered State Champions. Congratulations to seniors Sam Fleming, Ayaan Asthana and James Dill, sophomores Arjun Asokumar and Danesh Patel and freshman Antonio Feliciano for this historic accomplishment. This is our first ever team championship in tennis and the first State team championship since boys track and field in 1919. Congrats to the entire team, head coach Dawuad Talib and JV coach Asa Townsend.

Read more about Boys tennis wins Class A state championship

The 4th place finish is our highest in the 34 year history of girls soccer at U-High


The girls soccer team finished 4th place in the State with a fine 12-8-3 season record. The 4th place finish is our highest in the 34 year history of girls soccer at U-High. The Maroons played two matches at the Final Four at North Central College in front large crowds cheering for the Maroons. In the first game the Maroons lost 1-0 in double overtime to NSCD and then on Saturday a 1-0 loss to Belleville Althoff Catholic. Seniors finishing their outstanding career are Ileana Minor, FaFa VanHa, Tia Polite, Miranda Mireles, Miranda Mejia, Anna Kenig-Ziesler, Isabella Light, Jessica Franks, Kendall Cunningham, Rachel Schonbaum and Katie Stolze. Kudos to the entire team, head coach Bannon Stroud and assistant coach Josh Potter.

Read more about Girls soccer finishes 4th in the state

Please join Lab for this final week of musical events, May 29–June 1, including a not-to-be-missed, unique-to-Lab-opportunity to see the recording machine that provided the blueprint for the entire future of the music recording industry.

Lab's 2017–18 Kistenbroker Family artists-in-residence, American Epic filmmakers Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, in collaboration with Lab's Music Department and other faculty, present a week of hands-on opportunities for Lab students, families, faculty, and staff:

Lab Faculty/Staff Guitar Social, Tuesday, May 29, 3:30–5 p.m., Gordon Parks Arts Hall N110
Faculty and staff are invited to join teachers from Old Town School of Folk to the very first guitar jam. Dust off your guitar and plan to attend this one-of-a-kind experience.

Western Electric Recording System exhibit, Tuesday, May 29–Friday, June 1, Corvus Gallery
Over these days, engineer Nicholas Bergh will piece together the original 1920's Western Electric Recording System—the only one still in existence—used in the American Epic Sessions films, and which allowed the music industry as we know it to come into existence.

Hubby Jenkins in concert, Friday, June 1, 7–8 p.m., Gordon Parks Assembly Hall
Hubby Jenkins is a talented multi-instrumentalist who shares his love and knowledge of old-time American music with audiences. An integral member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, he continues to weave his sound through country blues, ragtime, fiddle, banjo, and traditional jazz.

Read more about American Epic at Lab: an experiential journey, Tuesday, May 29–Friday, June 1, Gordon Parks Arts Hall

Keeping Lab's mission in full swing during the summer builds community and your students' social and academic development. From June 18 to July 27, activities and engagement abound for students, campers, singers, actors, cooks, cyclists, scientists, robot-builders, programmers, and you-name-it. Join the Summer Lab community. Bring friends and neighbors from other schools and other countries, too, because Summer Lab, as always, is open to everybody.

Read more about Summer Lab registration is open

Congratulations to our newly elected 2018–19 Parents' Association board.

  • President-elect: unfilled
  • Treasurer-elect: Rupert Vaughn
  • Secretary-elect: Mariana Ingersoll
  • Communications Coordinator-elect: Patty Jones
  • ESH Council: Megan Friedman, Michael Norwood, Samantha Morales
  • LS Council: Jill Cross, Catherine Rosenberg
  • MS Council: Susan Farmer, Monica Hughson
  • HS Council: Farah Noor Cheema, Kevin Tan

For more detail, see the PA website.

Read more about Parents' Association board election results for 2018–19

Join the Parents' Association to recap the past year, welcome the members of the 2018-19 board and discuss plans for next year.

Speakers include: Director Charlie Abelmann and new Lead Nurse Kristen Szewczyk

Enter Judd C116, Historic Campus from Kimbark street entrance.

Childcare is available—if interested please email Amanda Norton by June 1. If you have questions about the event, please contact Amanda Norton.

Read more about Parents' Association Annual Meeting, Monday, June 4, 7 p.m., Judd C116

It's time to think about selling back those used textbooks. The Parents' Association recommends trying to sell them to fellow Lab students first, but you can start generating quotes from MBS here. You'll then need to bring your used books and a copy of your quote to Judd C116 during any of the listed times:

  • Tuesday, June 5, 8–9:30 a.m. and 2–3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 6, 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 7, 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

MBS may buy back any textbook, not just those purchased through them. The MBS offer to buy back a book (or not) and the price MBS quotes is based on supply and demand of the book at the time the quote is generated. You can generate as many quotes as you like for the same book and MBS will honor the quote you submit when you return the book. The Parents' Association receives a percentage of all books MBS buys back. For questions, email the Parents' Association.

Read more about Used Book Buyback coming soon

Indian Boogie Night will be an evening of family fun featuring a Bollywood & Bhangra dance-off, and plenty of mouth-watering Indian appetizers and refreshments! In case you missed the sign up at Connections 2018, tickets are available here.

If you are interested in connecting with The Desi Culture Crowd and/or volunteering to help plan and organize our first event, Indian Boogie Night, please sign up here.

The Desi Culture Crowd is a new parent-led group at Lab celebrating our school's Indian culture. The group will host events, curate content and celebrate the rich and vibrant culture of India for the entire school community throughout the year.

Questions? Contact Masha Sajdehor or Monika Bahroos.

Read more about Join the new Desi Culture Club and help organize Indian Boogie Night, October 26 (repeat)

Imagine an auditorium filled with children who have all just been given a harmonica


Imagine an auditorium filled with children who have all just been given a harmonica, likely for the very first time. Welcome to Blues in Schools.

Supported by a PA Grant, teacher Lauren Marinho brought the organization to Lab so three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues could teach students about the history of blues, give a performance, and send each second grader home with a harmonica—and hopefully a passion for the blues and history.

Mr. Branch (uncle of Lab students Eve and Davis Dyson) has recorded with Willie Dixon, Lou Rawls, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, and many others. He began Blues in Schools more than thirty years ago to "engage students in multidisciplinary, whole-language learning using the study of music, math, language arts, history, anthropology, and sociology in a hands-on approach celebrating creative self-expression." They hope that by bringing the blues genre into the classroom, students are exposed to these traditional subjects, while breaking down racial barriers and opening dialogue about cultural diversity.

See more images here.

Read more about Second graders playin' the blues