Haven Middle School

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Haven Middle School
2417 Prairie Avenue
School type Public school
Motto "Where teachers teach and students learn"
Founded 1927
School district School District 65
Principal Kathleen Roberson
Vice principal Jennifer Laughlin
Vice principal Diona Wilson
Grades 6-8
Gender co-ed
Enrollment 800
Team name Northstars
Rival Nichols Middle School
USNWR ranking 46th in Illinois Public Schools
Feeder schools Orrington Elementary School, Kingsley Elem, Lincolnwood Elem, Willard Elementary School

Haven Middle School is located at 2417 Prairie Ave. in Evanston, Illinois. It is a publicly run middle school (junior high school or secondary school) that teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

About Haven Middle School[edit]

Haven Middle School offers a variety of subjects and was ranked the 54th best school in Illinois in 2009 according to the Chicago Sun-Times.[1] However, that is down from #37 in 2008. 33.5% of Haven's students are considered low income.

"Core" subjects at Haven are Math (6-8 grade Math, Pre-algebra 1 and 2, Honors Algebra, and Honors Geometry), Reading, and Language Arts. Other subjects include Social Studies, Science, Physical Education (Gym), and a second language (French or Spanish). Fine arts are taught in the Allied Arts wing of the building. These Fine Arts are Drama, Art, Industrial Arts, Media Arts and Music. There is also a library, which was remodeled in 2009.

During the school year, Haven students can come before school to participate in Art Club, which is run by the Arts teacher and is funded by the Booster club, a parent volunteer organization. The Art Club paints murals around the school, and the murals are popular with the students. Other people, such as a local artist, artists funded by the New Deal in the 1930s and a local Boy Scouts of America troop, have painted murals at Haven Middle School.

7th-8th grade students who volunteer participate in a fall play which is performed around November. Near the end of the year, the Drama teacher and Music teacher organize a musical called Haven Help Us, which consists of many skits performed with music. This event is very popular at Haven and is often considered the highlight of the year.

Haven is also known locally for the "Haven clap", which is a special type of applause that was invented by Don Michelin, the former principal of the school.

Science initiatives[edit]

A program started in 1992 called "HANDS" (Haven and Northwestern University Discover Science) involves graduate students from science and engineering programs at Northwestern University working directly with Haven students. It was originally intended to encourage female and minority students to consider careers in science and engineering, but any student with an interest in science can attend.. The graduate students work with the middle school students to do experiments and create projects. These have often been in the area of material science.[2]

An emphasis on wellness and avoiding obesity have led to food classes at the school, which feature breakfast, fruits and vegetables, and microwaves. However, due to the retiring of the foods teacher, the foods class has been replaced with media arts, starting in the 08-09 school year.[3]

The different units include Earth Science, Cells and the human body, and Sexual Health.

Business program[edit]

An after-school business program was started in 2003 called "Buying into Business", in which Haven students meet with Northwestern University students to learn how to start and manage their own businesses. This program was discontinued in 2006.[4]


The striking architecture of Haven led to its being used for scenes in several major motion pictures, including Home Alone, Home Alone 3, Rookie of the Year, Curly Sue, and a few commercials.[5] Four statues of children at the school's entrance (visible in the illustration at [6] ) were created by noted sculptor Mary Helene Andersen Clark (1910–1994).[7]

Haven had a place in the integration of Evanston's schools. Lorraine H. Morton, hired as the first African-American teacher in the Evanston public schools, rose to become Principal of Haven before entering politics and becoming Mayor of Evanston in 1993.[8]

Dress code controversy[edit]

In early 2014, Haven made national news when school administrators upset students and local parents by banning leggings and yoga pants.[9] After, according to students, teachers began informing students that their tight pants were "too distracting for boys", Haven parent Juliet Bond penned an open letter to Principal Kathleen Roberson,[10] stating, "we are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids... Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by men." An Evanston Patch column on the issue was picked up by journalists, and during March 2014 the school was referenced by several prominent American news organizations, including Slate,[11] the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast[12] and FOX News. News stories featured interviews with Haven students, as well as debates regarding rape culture and the 1st amendment.


  1. ^ [1] Chicago Sun-Times, Top 100 middle schools in Illinois
  2. ^ [2] Katharine Duke, "Scientists Cultivate Interest Among Local Middle Scholars" News Center, Northwestern University, March 14, 2007
  3. ^ [3] Chef Ann Cooper, "Lunch lessons." Feb. 13, 2007
  4. ^ [4] Marilyn Idelman Soglin, "Program has middle school students buying into business." Observer Online, Northwestern University, Spring 2004.
  5. ^ [5] The John Hughes Files
  6. ^ [6] John Hughes Shooting Locations
  7. ^ [7] www.wpamurals.com
  8. ^ [8] Caryn Green, "Welcome to Evanston." North Shore Magazine, March 2007
  9. ^ [9] Lisa Black, "Leggings stir controversy at Evanston school." Chicago Tribune, March 2014
  10. ^ [10] Christine Wolf, "Haven Middle School Bans Leggings & Yoga Pants -- Too Distracting For Boys" Evanston Patch, March 2014
  11. ^ [11] Amanda Hess, "Middle School Girls Picket for the Right to Wear Leggings," Slate, April 2014,"
  12. ^ [12] Emily Shire, "The Politics of Leggings in Middle School," The Daily Beast, March 2014

External links[edit]