Brotherhood doesn't just happen


When school is your second home, your peers become your brothers. When you're at a school where the community is as strong as its legacy of nearly 175 years, that brotherhood lasts a lifetime.

When you've been successful in building a community where a "brothers for life" esprit de corps is so consummate, it's easy to see the results.

Ask a BL student which classmate he respects, and he won't hesitate to tell you about his buddy who's a math genius, the guy in his AP English class who's going to win the National Book Award, another one who rocked the national anthem before the league basketball championship game, or the star lacrosse player, as much for his humility as for his confidence to rip that game-winner each and every time.

He will remember to mention the senior whom he looked up to as a young Laker Buddy, never forgetting how he seemed to do everything but still took time out of his day just to check in with him.

While the results of this "brothers for life" spirit are evident in the genuine hellos everyone gets from everyone else, far less obvious is what it takes to build this uniquely Boys' Latin sense of community and connection.

We don't take it for granted that students are remarkably happy at our school as we've worked hard to put into place programs to create a school environment where boys feel at home, safe to pursue their academic curiosities, develop their talents and challenge themselves over and over again to reach new revelations about themselves, their community and their place in the world.

In fact, we know from a respected third-party review of prestigious independent schools that Boys' Latin is at the forefront of creating both a scholastic climate and school community in which a wide variety of boys can succeed. That our school's "most distinctive dimension" is both the production and effect of a culture of true excellence and a community defined by brothers for life.

With a class-size average of 14 students, a student-faculty ratio of 7:1, and a faculty superbly adept at encouraging help-seeking as a part of an authentic learning experience that's viewed as a shared endeavor between teacher and student, no student feels like he's on his own. To further ensure this, we have structured additional support so that all 625 students feel a part of various smaller groups, whether that's based on personal needs or similar interests.

Community Pillars


Here are some of the pillars upon which we build an everlasting community that deepens our co-curricular and student life activities:

Opening Convocation: Each year on the first day of school, the entire Boys' Latin community comes together for convocation. And each convocation begins with every senior walking hand-in-hand with one of our youngest lower-school students. We welcome those new to Boys' Latin as the Headmaster kicks off the school year. It's a tradition that underscores the seamless connections between classes and among BL generations.

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Faculty/Class Advisories: Beyond course offerings, co-curricular activities, athletics program, and the availability of one-on-one education support services, each one of our 450 middle and upper schoolers is assigned a faculty advisor who oversees his student-peer advisory. This means every one of our 300 upper schoolers and 150 middle schoolers gets to know a different group of fellow students much better in their class each year through regularly-scheduled set-aside times for these advisories. In the spring of their junior year, students can apply to be one of about ten Senior Prefects to play critical leadership roles, including working with a faculty advisor to structure and lead freshman advisories.

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Laker Buddies and Laker Corps: Boys at Boys' Latin are not just accepted by other boys at the school; they're supported, even protected by them. Boys from all backgrounds, with wide-ranging abilities, talents and interests, describe their classmates as having their backs. Boys have no fear of being marginalized here at BL - realities that are unfortunately commonplace in other environments. That just doesn't happen here. It's not a part of our culture. We understand that, for each boy, there is an abiding desire to be known and loved for who he is. Laker Buddy and Laker Corps are core Boys' Latin programs that help ensure this, along with the development of personal integrity, and responsibility and compassion for others.

Through Laker Buddies program, older students are paired with younger students. Fifth graders are matched with kindergarten and pre-first students and upper schoolers with the lower school students to serve as a big-brother role model for the year through weekly one-on-one meetings.

Through Laker Corps, established in 2004 by our Math Department Chair, Molly Mullally, and designed based on her Peace Corps experiences, upper schoolers can work with groups of lower school students as classroom teaching assistants, reading to students, providing tutoring support, and leading group discussions.

The Peer Education program provides our upper schoolers with formal training to support their mentoring of younger students at the school. Workshop topics include time management, conflict resolution and smart decision-making.


Middle School Laker Talks Speaker Series: This series provides a forum for middle school students and faculty to discuss and share their thoughts about qualities that central to the Boys' Latin experience, such as creativity, passion, courage and friendship.

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Upper School Class Retreats: Culminating in a four-day, three-night senior retreat that many talk about for years to come for its transformative effects, all upper schoolers participate in a class retreat each year. Freshmen retreat occurs before school starts as a full-day orientation to the upper school and a chance for students to get to know one another. The freshman also engage in a full day retreat on campus at the end of October focused on team building and leadership. Sophomore retreat takes the form of a one-day trip off campus and uses class-building exercises, including a ropes course, as a way for students to deepen connections and strengthen relationships. Junior retreat is structured as an all-class dinner where each student invites an adult male role model to join him as they begin their transition to the leadership of the school.

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Maroon & White Days: In the spring of every year, each division comes together for its own Maroon & White Day - a spirited field day, full of friendly competition. From the egg toss to tug-of-war to the classic dodgeball game, it is a day for the boys to compete with one another in the tradition of winning the day for your team. As everyone participates, it's no surprise that Maroon & White Days are annual highlights and among the most cherished memories for all our boys.


Community Service Beyond Lake Avenue: The love our boys have for our school community translates into their actively looking for ways to contribute to their larger communities, however they defined them, as we teach our boys that they are part of something greater than themselves. We believe that real experiences that teach the value of service prepare our boys for an emerging global economy in which skills like cooperation, teamwork, mutual sharing and emotional intelligence are valued and sought after. Our boys in the upper school are expected, not only to continue learning about community issues, but actively engage in advancing or otherwise supporting social causes they believe in. Graduating seniors must complete 40 hours of service for graduation, yet they average more than 100 hours altogether. Additionally, a student in each high school class is honored with the Headmaster's Award for Community Service for his outstanding commitment to service. Last year's senior honoree had amassed more than 600 hours of service on his own.

Throughout the year, Boys' Latin offers multiple opportunities for community service, ranging from collecting blankets or raising funds for Thanksgiving turkeys for the homeless to planting trees, cleaning local watershed areas and helping out on neighborhood beautification projects. Every year, we also set aside time for all our students, K-12, teachers and administrators to come together for service learning.

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Senior and Eighth-Grade Speeches: Twice in their career at Boys' Latin, our students are required to give a speech on a topic that is personally meaningful to them, once in the eighth grade and once more as seniors. While both are big deals, alumni still tell us how their senior speech was a life-defining experienc - not only because these five-minute speeches are given in front of the entire upper-school community, often with parents in the audience, but also because it compels students to be truly reflective of who they are, what they believe in, the experiences that shaped who they are.

Given the potential significance of the senior speech, Boys' Latin helps each of our boys prepare. In September, we hold a Senior Speech Symposium for the graduating class. Then each senior selects his topic, drafts then edits his speech as an integral part of his English class working closely with his teacher. Once their speech is finalized, students are given dates for his week of speech coaching and his presentation date. Near the latter part of the year, the upper school gathers to listen to three to four senior speeches every week.

Working one-on-one with the school's speech coach, students learn about things like clear articulation, verbal tempo, voice projection, body language, and even anxiety management, as the senior speech is often the first time most of our students have spoken in front a large audience.

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Senior Internship: After second-semester finals and AP testing, our seniors in good academic standing have the opportunity to complete their final year with an off-site senior internship. Designed to provide each with an opportunity to work in a professional setting of their choosing, these internships have taken a wide variety of forms, from being a part of new tech start-up and a lab assistant on a new medical device to supporting the replication of a successful nonprofit program to Baltimore public schools.

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Senior Farewell: To some there is nothing more expressive of our school's "brothers for life" esprit de corps than our senior farewell. There is absolutely nothing like it. Seniors begin the day participating in Closing Convocation, each entering the Iglehart Center holding the hands of one of our youngest lower school students as they did during the Opening Convocation in September. They remain with the lower schoolers as students celebrate the accomplishments and recognition of one another and our faculty at this all-school awards assembly. Then, the seniors change into their new college gear as they come together to be recognized in an all-upper-school assembly for their achievements and matriculation.

In re-entering the Gelston Athletic Center, each senior - now wearing a custom senior class shirt with the names of every senior listed on the back - says their final emotional farewell one-by-one to every freshman, sophomore, junior, administrator, teacher and coach in the upper school, and parents who stand lined up taking up every available wall space and patiently waiting their turn to tell each boy what he means to them in saying farewell to him.

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The Boys' Latin School of Maryland is the state's oldest independent, non-sectarian all-boys school. For students in kindergarten through 12th grade, we provide a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum that focuses on building 21st century skills and empowers each boy to achieve his true excellence.