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University of Chicago Laboratory School

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Title: University of Chicago Laboratory School  
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University of Chicago Laboratory School

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
Established 1896
Type Private Secondary
Founder John Dewey
Director David W. Magill
Students 1773 (2008-2009)
Grades Nursery(age 3)–12
Location 1362 E. 59th St.,
Chicago, Illinois, USA

41°47′19″N 87°35′38″W / 41.7886°N 87.5940°W / 41.7886; -87.5940Coordinates: 41°47′19″N 87°35′38″W / 41.7886°N 87.5940°W / 41.7886; -87.5940

Nickname Maroons
Yearbook U-Highlights Yearbook
Newspaper U-High Midway

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (also known as Lab or Lab School and abbreviated UCLS; the upper classes are nicknamed U-High) is a private, co-educational day school in Chicago, Illinois. It is affiliated with the University of Chicago. About half of the students have a parent who is on the faculty of the University.


The Laboratory Schools were founded by American educator John Dewey in 1896 in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The school began as a progressive institution that goes from nursery school through 12th grade.


The Laboratory Schools consists of two interrelated campuses. The Historic Campus, located at 1362 East 59th Street, fills two full city blocks. It houses grades 3–12 (about 1,200 students) in five connected buildings: Blaine Hall (built in 1903), Belfield Towers (1904), Judd Hall (1931), the high school (built in 1960), and the middle school (1993). Two connected gymnasiums also sit on this campus, Sunny Gym (built in 1929) and Kovler Gymnasium (built in 2000) and students have access to both Scammon Garden and Jackman Field.

In September 2013, Lab opened Earl Shapiro Hall on its new Early Childhood Campus located at 5800 South Stony Island Avenue. This new building, designed by Valerio Dewalt Train and FGM Architects, is home to approximately 625 children in nursery through second grade. The building is named for Earl Shapiro, who graduated from Lab in 1956.

Student body

The school has over 1,700 students currently enrolled, though there are plans to increase the size.[1] It is considered one of the top preparatory schools in the United States, reflected in the Wall Street Journal's findings that the school is amongst the top five feeder institutions in the nation for elite colleges. It has been heralded as one of the more diverse independent schools with about 35% students of color and over 44 nationalities represented. The student body is about 60% white.

Today the school is divided into a Nursery School (Pre-K and Kindergarten), Lower School (1st through 5th grade), Middle School (6th through 8th grades) since 2012, and High School (9th through 12th grades). Many children begin the school in nursery and continue through their high school graduation, and 75% of applications are for nursery school or 9th grade.

In 2007, the school was ranked fourth in the nation for its record of sending graduates to elite universities and colleges.[1]

Extracurricular activities

U-High students are extremely invested in academic extra-curriculars. The high school math team and the science teams are regular contenders for and winners of state titles. The school's newspaper (The Midway) and the yearbook (U-Highlights) regularly win regional and national awards, as does its arts magazine, Renaissance. Other popular activities include theater, ethnic clubs, Student Council, policy debate, and Model UN. The Model UN team is consistently ranked among the top in the nation, and is world-renowned for its competitive excellence.[2] It was recently ranked the #2 High School Model UN team in the United States.[3] In addition, the Debate Team has won numerous national circuit tournaments, and is unofficially considered to be in the Top 20 nationwide. Furthermore, U-High's Math and Science teams consistently win and place at Regional and State competitions, respectively.

The school's athletic teams, the Maroons, compete in the Independent School League (ISL) and are members of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The high school has eight boys and eight girls teams, on both a Varsity and Junior Varsity level, while the middle school has five boys and five girls teams. Both operate with a "no cut policy," meaning any student who wishes to participate may.

Notable persons


  • University of Chicago's Facilities Service Website

External links

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