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An Independent School • Grades 5-12
April at the Middle School: Inspired every day
April at the Middle School: Inspired every day

by Elaine Christensen, Middle School director

Lakeside is special. Each of us is here because we believe in the school's mission and values of academic excellence, diversity and inclusion, and global citizenship. I am constantly inspired as I see how those values are reflected in students' work.

The school's values come to life when you look at the charcoal drawings by 8th graders that illustrate a topic or issue about which they have a passionate interest, ranging from climate change to gun violence and the impact of media on adolescent self-esteem to animal welfare. They're present in the photos of 6th graders that combat stereotypes that they, themselves, are subjected to. And in the 7th graders' odes to common objects like pencils or their pillow, or the wildly colorful and creative ceramic fish by 5th graders. And there is more coming! In April, mini-museums designed to educate people about water quality will be on display in the Crossroads, a curricular collaboration between the earth science teachers and the Makerspace staff.

I want to extend an open invitation to parents and guardians to spend time wandering the halls of the Middle School, looking at the work on display. We always love to have you visit – just remember to check in at the main office so we know you are here.

"Welcome" nights
Please be sure you have the following events on your calendar:

  • Welcome to 6th-Grade Night on Monday, April 29 (for parents and guardians of current 5th graders, as well as new students and their parents/guardians).
  • Welcome to 7th-Grade Night on Monday, May 6 (for parents and guardians of current 6th graders, as well as new students and their parents/guardians).

These grade-level sessions provide a preview of what happens in the next year, introduce you to grade-level advisors, and give ample time for you to continue to get to know each other as parents and guardians. We also invite new families – both students and parents and guardians – to our community during these nights. Please join us in making them feel welcome! The formal program starts at 7 p.m., and we will serve a light dinner starting at 6 p.m.

Learn more about welcome nights in this FAQ

Current 7th-grade families: if you weren't able to attend the Welcome to 8th-Grade/Global Service Learning Night on March 25, please contact Meera Patankar.  

Other notable events and happenings

  • I hope to see all of you at the second annual Middle School Community Night: A celebration of Lakeside families! on March 29. This event is sponsored by the T.J. Vassar Diversity Committee of the PGA.  It's special; you'll be glad you came. It takes place at the Middle School starting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Spring break runs Monday, April 8 through Monday, April 15. We look forward to seeing students again on Tuesday, April 16.
  • The spring tailgate will be on Friday, April 19. Tailgates are a wonderful way for our whole student community – grades 5-12 – to be together. 
  • The final "Let's Talk About..." event will take place on Friday, May 3. "Let's Talk About...Grades" will be for parents and guardians of current 6th and 7th graders at Lakeside, starting at 7:30 p.m. - during the 6th and 7th-grade dance. You can find a recap of "Let's Talk About...Stress" in my recent news article.

Finally, there are a lot of spring arts events coming up. Make sure to read Andrew Krus's article for a full rundown and find the full calendar online, as well as the athletics calendar.

If you have any questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to reach out. And don't neglect to read the announcement about our new schedule for next year! 

Elaine Christensen '82 is Middle School director and Lakeside's director of professional development. Reach her at or 206-440-2772.