Midwest Chinese Speech Competition

Three of our LaSalle II students participated in the 8th Annual Midwest Chinese Speech competition. All three students earned a Gold Medal! Congratulations to Vaeda V., Diana C., and Eleanor F.


Spanish Exchange Students Visit

LaSalle II partnered for the first time with Skinner North to welcome our sister school from Madrid – Institute de Enseñanza Secundaria Ramiro de Maeztu. For the second time, twenty students and two teachers, Silvia Fernández and Gónzalo Ferrando, stayed with host families. During the day, the students and teachers observed classes and went on excursions around the city. They visited the Willis Tower, the Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, DuSable Museum, the Chicago History Museum and Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. They also went on an architecture walking tour of the Loop. In the evenings, they spent time with their families to immerse themselves in the many different American cultures of our families. Two highlights of the trip involved basketball – one Bulls game and our first ever USA vs. Spain International Basketball Classic.

Thank you to all of our host families, volunteers, the LaSalle II PTO, Friends of Skinner North, administration, and faculty who make these experiences possible for our school community. A special thank you to Mr. Santiago and Mr. B for turning what Ms. Aquino thought was just going to be a fun scrimmage into an unforgettable international event.

Beijing Exchange Trip

From Ms Wang

Summer Palace

Through an exchange program, five LaSalle II eighth graders had an exciting two-week visit to Beijing in November 2015.

We travelled to Beijing along with ten students from LaSalle. We not only experienced life in BFLS (Beijing Foreign Language School), but also were able to visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Olympic Park (the Birds’ Nest and the Water Cube) and other cultural and historical sites.

We also had an exciting excursion to the Great Wall. There is a Chinese saying: “You are not a hero until you climb to the top of the Great Wall.” It was chilly, snowy and slippery when we climbed the Great Wall, but students climbed to the top and had a blast!

Students also had an opportunity to visit a number of Beijing markets including Walmart and were able to use their mastery of Chinese to bargain for items of interest. On the last day in Beijing, we went to a local family who prepared a home-made lunch for all of us. The house owner showed students how to wrap dumplings and students were able to try their hand at this activity.

At BFLS, students had the opportunity to create a seal using carving tools under the guidance of a well-known expert in this art form. They also had classes in Chinese traditional painting and mask painting. BFLS also arranged for our students to learn martial arts. The students loved all the classes very much. At the end of the classes, every student had created their own seal, Chinese painting and a painted mask.

Art Class

The BFLS also arranged for a teacher to teach two oral Chinese classes that included how to interact with host families and how to bargain in a market place. After the class, the BFLS arranged for all of us to take taxis to a local shopping center to practice shopping in China.

On the two Friday afternoons, each student was picked up by their host family with whom they spent the weekends. This was truly an immersion experience. The Chinese families treated our students like their own children.

Each day throughout the two-week visit, the Chinese partner students came to meet our students for dinner. A lot of good friendships were established. We can hardly wait until the Chinese students come to visit us in Chicago.


At the Farewell party, all fifteen students stood on the stage and expressed (in Chinese) their thanks to the school, to the teachers, to the families and to their Chinese partners. Our students also gave a group performance that included singing and dancing. In addition, LaSalle II students, Mia gave a solo and Andrea did an individual dance. At the end of the party, all fifteen students and three teachers received gifts from BFLS.

This exchange experience has dramatically broadened the world view of our students as well as that of our and will surely have an impact on them in the months and years ahead.


Paper Cutting Artist

From Ms Aquino:

On November 4th, Ms. Guo Meihua came to LaSalle II to demonstrate the art of papercutting to our students. She presented examples of her work and while sharing her history with us, created detailed paper cut babies.


First through third and sixth through eighth grade students had the opportunity to make their own designs out of special red paper used for this traditional Chinese folk art from Shanxi province. First and second graders created paper cut apples, while the older students created symmetrical designs.


Ms. Guo is well known throughout China for her artistry. Thanks to the Confucius Institute of Chicago, Ms. Guo was able to leave a lasting impression on the students and staff of LaSalle II. We were very fortunate to welcome her.



From Mr Espejo:

LaSalle 2 is getting ready for a new Spain trip! Last year we started our first exchange program with IES Ramiro de Maeztu, a public school in Madrid, Spain. It was a success! After hosting 20 students and 2 teachers from Spain, 12 students in the Spanish program and their two teachers traveled to Madrid for 10 days.


Students attended classes and after school activities at Ramiro, spend time with their host families, and visited Madrid and the surrounding towns of Toledo and Córdoba.
Students had a blast and used their Spanish in a meaningful and authentic setting!


September 22, we had our first informational meeting for the 2016 when students and families expressed a lot of interest! Our 2016 trip will take place in April, after hosting the Spanish group in March. We can’t wait for this next adventure!

Chinese Cultural Festival

This year the Confucius Institute in Chicago (CIC) will hold its annual Chinese Cultural Festival at Whitney Young Magnet High School on Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 10am-2pm.

At the festival there will be Chinese performances, Chinese language and culture exhibitions, a variety of interactive and hands-on cultural activities, and lots of awards and gifts for participants. The event is free to all CPS students and parents.

Please let us know if you will go by clicking on this link by Wednesday, September 16th:

[button link=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BNqOfI1MmQUUh2yFphtECULcIkY0A_xoVL5nV6tZ4EQ/viewform?usp=send_form” linking=”default” size=”big” type=”wide” title=”Chinese Cultural Festival RSVP”]Chinese Festival RSVP[/button]

Xie xie!

National French Exam Results

We had several students place nationally on the National French Exam. This is the first year that we have had students participate. Congratulations to all those who participated and all those students who received recognition.

National Placement

  • Eric R.- 4th Grade

Honorable Mention

  • Lucas R.- 4th Grade
  • Miles D.- 5th Grade
  • Louis G- 5th Grade
  • Fernanda P.- 6th Grade

2015 World Language Fest

On Thursday, January 29, we celebrated our Second Annual World Language Fest and this one was even more popular and fun than last year’s event.


Coordinated by LaSalle II’s World Language Department and the PTO, the Fest provides a sampling of the cultures where the school’s four languages are spoken, through music, dance and food. We enjoyed our students’ performances of Arabic and Mexican folk dancing, Chinese songs, and recitations of Dr. Martin Luther King’s inspirational quotes in French. We also enjoyed the international music of professional group LamaJamal, and got to hear the 8th grade Arabic students’ drumming group who have been performing together since 4th grade.


The students who are going to Madrid, and their families, continued their fundraising by working together to get the fabulous food they were selling donated from local restaurants or made at home.To add to the fun, great ethnic crafts were available for the children to make. Panos Fiorentinos took some great photos. You can see the full set here:

[button link=”https://plus.google.com/photos/103891832111384488301/albums/6112561851011257617″ linking=”default” size=”medium” type=”wide” title=”Event Pictures”]Event Pictures[/button]

Youth Chinese Test Results

In November, 2014, students in our Chinese language program voluntarily took the Youth Chinese Test (YCT), a series of tests administered by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. This test is considered the most influential and reliable test for evaluating the proficiency of Mandarin learners. The YCT series has four levels of written testing and two levels of oral testing.

LaSalle II is proud to announce that:

  • Nine of eleven 2nd graders took and passed the YCT level I test.
  • Eleven students, from 3rd thru 6th grade, took and passed Level II.
  • Twenty-two of twenty-three students took and passed the level III test.
  • Level IV, the highest level of the tests for students, is equivalent to the adult Chinese Proficiency Test level III (HSK) and is the minimum requirement level to enroll in a Chinese university. Two of our sixth graders passed this test and two others missed by 4 and 6 points, respectively.

Congratulations to all the students on this noteworthy accomplishment and to their teacher, Ms. Rangxian Wang.


World Language Fest

All LaSalle II families are invited to join us for the Second Annual World Language Fest – a fun, free event for the entire family!


Experience dance, music, art, and food representing countries where our school’s four languages – Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish – are spoken.

  • Sample and buy traditional food sold by the students raising money for their spring trip to Madrid
  • Make authentic crafts at the Language Activity Tables
  • Chat with the LaSalle II World Language Teachers


At 5:00 and 6:30 professional group “Lamajamal” will perform songs from the Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish cultures featuring traditional instruments.

And in between, see what we are learning:

  • 5:20 – Traditional Mexican folk dances by Pre-K through 3rd gr. students taught by BAC
  • 5:30 — Chinese Songs and Rhymes by Ms. Wang’s K and 1st gr. Chinese students
  • 5:40 – Egyptian sa’eedi dance by Mr. Fawzy’s 4th & 5th gr. Arabic students
  • 5:50 – Planning for 7th & 8th Graders’ trips abroad & highlights of upcoming trips to Spain, China and Canada
  • 6:10– Short orations by Mr. Saintus’ French students
  • 6:20- — Arabic Percussion Music by Mr. Fawzy’s 8th gr. Arabic students