The Summit’s nationally award-winning Latin program emphasizes academic excellence in the Classics. In addition to The Summit’s advanced classroom curriculum, the Latin Program interacts with the community through service projects, provides diverse opportunities for students to develop their strengths, develops leadership skills and recognizes artistic talent and academic excellence through local, state and national organized competitions.
The Latin Program has brought national recognition to the school through outstanding student performances in academic competitions. The school been named the state champion six times in the last decade and many individuals have won national titles. Students routinely earn top awards on academic tests, such as the National Latin Exam and the Medusa Mythology Exam, and several students been awarded college scholarships because of their Latin proficiency. In addition, Summit students have have consistently been elected as state officers of the Ohio Junior Classical League, which has allowed them to showcase and improve their leadership skills.
While Latin is not spoken today for the purpose of communication, the study of Latin helps students in very tangible ways. Latin aids critical thinking skills and attention to detail. It provides a solid foundation for the future study of modern languages. Latin also promotes better understanding of English. Of all the words in the English language, six out of ten originated from Latin. Ninety percent of words with three or more syllables come from Latin. Research indicates that students who take Latin perform better on standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT.
All sixth graders are required to take Introduction to Latin. Students who choose to continue in Latin enjoy a classroom curriculum that goes from Latin 1 to AP Latin and even Honors Ancient Greek.
The Latin Club promotes academics, the arts, friendship and community service. It meets weekly for a “Latin Lunch” and frequently after school. With 130 members in grades 7-12, the club is one of the largest and most active in the Cincinnati area. Attendance at all Latin Club events is voluntary, so students can participate as their extracurricular and academic schedules allow. During after-school sessions, students discuss a variety of topics including mythology, classical culture, history, derivatives and advanced language study. Latin Club officers meet weekly to plan activities such as a movie/pizza night, toga bowling and community service projects.
Celebration of the Classics is an annual academic event which gives students an opportunity to connect with a major work of literature from classic civilization. The event includes art projects, presentations, academic tests and a Jeopardy-style competition called Certamen. Participation in these events help prepare students for similar competitions held at annual state and national conventions.
Certamen is a Latin word meaning “competition.” Students participate as teams to answer questions encompassing all aspects of the classical world. The Summit hosts one of five local Saturday morning Certamen competitions every year. Top students can earn spots on Certamen teams at the state competition in March and national competition in the summer. The Summit Latin program has a tradition of excellence in Certamen, with numerous state championships and with Summit students on five national Certamen championship teams from Ohio. Students who excel at Certamen usually participate in the Latin Club after school where they expand their knowledge of the classical world to prepare for competition.
National exams throughout the year offer ribbons, certificates, medals and sometimes cash awards for top scorers. Summit graduates who have demonstrated continued excellence on these exams and competitions have been awarded scholarships by the National Junior Classical League and the National Latin Exam. Among these national exams are: National Mythology Exam, Medusa Mythology Exam, National Latin Exam, National Greek Exam (seniors only), National Classical Etymology Exam, National Roman Civilization Exam, National Latin Vocabulary Exam, “Classical Association of Middle and Western States” Sight Translation Contest (AP students only) and Classical Literacy Exam.
The Latin Honor Society is an honorary organization for students who have exhibited excellence in the study of the Latin language. The annual induction ceremony is in May. Students in the Latin Honor Society must maintain an “A” average in Latin through the first three quarters, demonstrate dedication and enthusiasm for the language and participate in at least four events sponsored by the Latin Club.
The Ohio Junior Classical League Convention is held annually in March, attracting over 700 Latin students from across Ohio. Typically, about 40-50 Summit Latin students attend the weekend event in Columbus. The convention is devoted to fun activities and competitions involving the study of the Latin language. The event provides an opportunity for students to earn awards in academics, graphic arts, and performance arts. They also have an opportunity to meet other students their age from around the state.
Summer Studies in the Latin Language is a four-week “Latin Camp” held on The Summit campus. Open to students in grades 7-12, it is an intensive study of the various disciplines in Greek and Roman studies. It is intended for motivated students, but remedial instruction is also available. The session is especially useful for students who plan to attend the National Junior Classical League Convention.
The National Junior Classical League Convention is held annually every July on a college campuses around the country. The Summit organizes a group of students who travel together to this event. Summit Latin alumni often attend the Summer Studies program and help prepare students for this competition.