Latin School OF Chicago

Ashna Satpathy As you are driving or walking around the city, you have more than likely seen a Latin advertisement on the back of a bus. Why put it there you may ask. For Latin students that are from Lincoln Park/Gold Coast area or have siblings in the school, we have grown up knowing Latin quite well. However, Chicago is a big city with many neighborhoods that are far from Latin. Advertisements on buses that travel all over the city are one way that Latin gets  the word out in hopes of creating  a more diverse community of students from all over the city. In the interview process, Latin admissions counselors go deep into a student’s background and try to factor in what they would bring to our community. Latin strives to bring in kids from all different types of elementary schools; public, private, charter and religious, and works to make our grades each  half boys and half girls. Finally, Latin offers financial aid  to achieve its goals. As a student that went through the admissions process last year, I have learned that the Latin School reaches its highest level of diversity in race, gender, prior school background, home neighborhood etc in high school. In order to get a first hand view on how Latin goes about trying to make a more diverse community, I decided to head to the second floor and into Ms. Greenwood’s office to ask her a few of questions. Ms. Greenwood, the head of admissions here at Latin, along with Ms. Flores, the associate director of enrollment management for diversity and inclusion, both provided a lot of insight. Ms. Flores shared some of her thoughts and stated, “What always sticks with me is Mr. Dunn saying it’s the Latin School of Chicago, it’s not the Latin school of Lincoln Park. He is dedicated to having a school that is representative of that, hence the bus tails.” Ms. Flores also mentioned that  she “steps outside of the school and connects with… all kinds of schools… [to] tell them who we are and a bit about the history of the school.” Ms. Greenwood described another way for families to consider Latin, “If we are a community that is diverse in terms of socioeconomics, diverse in terms of race or ethnicity, [and] diverse in terms of geography, I think showing families that we already have families and students from their neighborhood and from schools like theirs is reassuring to people—particularly [those] that don’t know us very well.” Ms. Greenwood and Ms. Flores made it clear that their main priorities are to be inclusive and supportive. Latin also tries to defy their reputation. Ms. Greenwood went on, stating, “If we’re known by reputation, people often think of us in a very narrow way, but when they get a chance to meet our students and meet our families, it really makes them see that we are “of Chicago.”’  The admissions office strives to allow families to see what Latin is really like by having their annual open house, hosting dinners, going to school fairs, etc. Latin is currently representative of 96 neighborhoods and 14 suburbs and, in the upper school, 32% of kids are students of color. Peter Jones, a fellow freshman at Latin, believes that the high school, “is more economically diverse [than the lower and middle schools] because more families can afford to pay four years of high tuition than pay for all the years of lower and middle school.” All of us here at Latin should be grateful to be attending a school that strives to maximize its diversity in order to create a student body that represents every neighborhood and the city as a whole. Though Latin is a small environment, the ideas and points of view that each student brings are what makes the school so unique and remarkable. ]]>