I am a student at the Lab School and I have been going there since the first year of preschool. I am going into eighth grade this year, and I am very excited! I went through a really tough time, and the only place that I felt welcomed was Lab School. Everyone at Lab helped me through it and didn't judge me for a second. I have had so many amazing teachers who I will never forget. Lab has made me into an amazing person and I am so lucky to attend that school. A lot of people say that Lab is full of snotty rich kids, but that is just an awful stereotype. I love Lab and I have had so many amazing experiences there. LABBIE FOR LIFE!!!!! :)
Hello everyone! I was a student at lab from Kindergarten all of the way through the end of high school (class of '03). My brother and one of my cousins also went to Lab all around the same time. Lab, in my opinion, is one of the best schools in the city for academics because it teaches students how to think critically, find critical information from various viewpoints, analyze information and build unique arguments. I will say, however, that During my Freshman year of college (at Pepperdine University), I noticed that I was much more prepared than many of my peers. I am so grateful for the education that I received and for all of the money that my parents had to pay for 13 years! The education is excellent, but the social dynamics of the school are a little "different." Lab doesn't have a traditional football game, pep rally and homecoming party kind of an atmosphere. If that's not your thing, then Lab is the school for you, but otherwise you might want to check out St. Ignatius (where another cousin of mine went). Another large plus for Lab is its diversity. I don't think the other private schools in the city (Parker and Latin) have anywhere near as diverse a community as Lab.
I love Lab. Labbies are taught to think critically rather than memorize the material...I had trouble with that first since I'd been going to public schools for most of my life, where I'd just have to study my notes and get straight A's. Here, tests are all about critical thinking and brainwork and it is extremely difficult to get A's...but I'm so glad I came here because this school made me look at everything with a whole new perspective...what Lab can do for your child is beyond amazing. I'm not gonna lie, the stress is just awful sometimes, but it's all worth it in the end. Send your child here, and you will see the magic happen...
All four of my children have attended lab from nursery school. Two are still at Lab and the other two have graduated and are now attending very prestigious universities on academic scholarships. My kids are not exceptional...they are normal kids. Lab has not only educated them, but taught them to have the confidence to excel. They are challenged at every turn. You CAN do better...and they do. You CAN handle the homework...and they do. It's a very nurturing place in the lower school, and challenging in middle and high school. I would highly recommend any parent looking to give their child a good start in life's challenges to consider Lab. You're kids will be ready to not only handle life's challenges, but also change the world.
Lab has an excellent reputation, strong academic programs, learning through play in nursery school-KG, lots of music, gym and recess and it's certainly quite racially diverse compared to most schools of similar rank in Chicago. Yet, as one of the other reviewers noted, the school is very elitist and the kids who go there would succeed in any other school. The other kids, who have any type of difficulties, disabilities, etc. are either not accepted there from the very beginning, or are asked to leave as soon as they start exhibiting those difficulties. In that respect, there is little diversity at Lab. The school has little desire to work with parents and find ways to include kids with special needs in its community. Given the current autism epidemic and the growing number of kids with learning disabilities (including those in the UofC community that is primarily served by Lab), this becomes less and less acceptable. The school has to change its ways and become more supportive and inclusive of those types of kids.
i started lab this year in fourth grade and i feel like i've been there my whole life. i was very welcomed by the counselors and teachers and the kids in my class are friendly and fun to be around with. i love going to school and i always know i am going to have a good day. lab has so much to offer from sports to theater to after school programs. i wish i could rate this school much more than just five stars.
I would like to comment on the note below. I think Lab is a wonderful school. But is it accessible to the community? No. It is not. We were not even considered for admission, even though my daughter is academically really advanced. The reason? Because we are not affiliated with the University. Luckily they are expanding, so more children can be admitted. On the contrary to the reviewer below, we send our daughter to the British School of Chicago ( A fabulous alternative). She is very happy there, and is excelling.
I am a new middle schooler at Lab and I absolutely love this school. I was worried about adjusting to a new school, but everyone is really nice and supportive of each other here which made my transition a lot easier. It is a very diverse school and the community is very open-minded. The academic program is stellar and I am learning so much every day. The music program is also amazing. The only thing I am not happy about is the athletic program, which could use a lot of work. Also, there is an enormous amount of academic pressure but it is bearable. I have attended six different schools already and none of them are even half as good as Lab. I love going to school every day and I will never regret coming here.
Excellent school. But for those of you looking for a long school day, I am warning you, children go to school for more than 7 hours a day in grades 5+. It is almost eight hours. The school starts at 8:00 and ends and 3:30. That's 7 1/2 hours. You should definetly send your child here if you're looking for a private school. My kid went to Chicago British School for three years and she hated it. Now we transferred to Lab and she wants to go to school every day. This school is amazing.
Our child has been at Lab K-5th grade and we've been extremely happy with the education and the administration. Just wish a great education like this in the city didn't cost so much...
In my opinion, UCLS is an odd place. It has many superb teachers, and certainly a very intelligent student body. However, the music programs are weak, driven mainly by choir and student efforts, the student body quite varied in actual academic success, and the quality of instruction hugely variable from teacher to teacher. Additionally, the social structure of the school is rather strange, and there is an impressive combination of intelligence, egocentrism without any self-reflection, and subtle competition. Cliques, while superficially resembling many other schools, are quite strange. Additionally, the student body in general is not known for social aptitude. This said, the majority of the instructors are superb, the academics are excellent, and the students are bright. An additional note it that the strengths of the individual student are heavily geared towards mathematics and sciences rather than to humanities.
I have attended UCLS since I was in PreK, and I have had wonderful experiences with not only the other students, but the teachers, parents, and other faculty. It is a fantastic place to learn and thrive, and it offers incredible opportunities. Though the tuition might be a little on the... ridiculous side, I'd say that the results are well worth it.
There is no school in the area that rivals the experiential learning that Lab offers. There is no school in the area that offers PE and 'recess' on a regular basis. There is no school in the area that has such robust art and music education provided to its students. Yes, Lab enrollment is stacked by University and Med Ctr staff, but this is the school that is demanded by those who are drawn to such world class facilities. There are some surrounding schools that are of quality, and that are just as challenging to gain admittance (Lenart, McDade, Ray, Murray). It is a magical place for children to learn how and why rather than what to answer on the state test...there is nary a child left behind with all of the education and support. Thank you to all of the Lab educators, staff, parents and kids for creating such a community.
UCLS is the only school I could ever send my child to. Their music and art programs rival conservatory and art museums because the teachers are accomplished in their field. The school is VERY diverse in all areas. Children are taught at a young age to respect diferences and learn from them. There are many children of U of C staff from all levels, which I think only furthers enriches the experience at the school.
I have been at Lab over 20 years and think that the place is magical. I have seen the best of the best pass through our doors and am proud to be a part of it. I can't see any other place being a better school.
A school with a strong legacy and with an exciting future. Very diverse and wonderfully challenging. Strong leadership and new faculty providing needed energy.
i formally go here and it is the best i ve been a labbie my whole life and i cant imagine going anywhere else
Lab's reputation seems unjustifiable. The students, the majority of whom are children of university employees, are successful here, but would be successful anywhere. There is nothing exceptional with regard to faculty, administration, or extracurriculars. The facilities are small and somewhat worn out. Also, the location and its surroundings are not going to be comfortable for everyone.
I'm actually not a parent but a student attending the University of Chicago Lab Highschool. I've been a part of UCLS since I was four years old, and I have enjoyed every minute of it- except for the intense pressure. However, don't second-guess your child's abilities! Anyone can accomplish the work U-High assigns, as there're classes that will push any level student. The stress can get unbearable at times, and sometimes a mental health day is necessary, but I'm right in the thick of it- Junior Year, in the midst of college searches and selections, and I am so glad I've spent most of my childhood here. What a wonderful school it is! (PS: Labbies are tough competition! I learn as much from classmates as from teachers!)
In the early grades Lab offers a wonderfully rich curriculum with lots of art, music, and more. But there's a real sense of elitism and entitlement among students and their families. And the academic pressure mounts as children get older, to an unnecessary extent.
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