In emails to Upper School students and parents and guardians, Head of School Bernie Noe announced that the Upper School would be returning to its previous class schedule for the 2017-2018 school year. Noe cited levels of stress among students, opportunities for students to meet with faculty, and students' opportunities for self-advocacy and time-management as being major reasons for the change.
Noe cited results from a recent survey in making the decision, which he acknowledged was a difficult call. He wrote: "We learned that 80 percent of students felt they have less free time; 55 percent felt that there is a reduced sense of community; 75 percent felt the consultation period has not been an effective time for them to meet with teachers; 87 percent said it is harder to meet with teachers than last year; 62 percent of students felt there is less time for extracurricular activities; and, finally, 58 percent felt that they are more stressed this year than last. Given this feedback, it is clear the new schedule is not meeting the ends for which it was designed."
"The very foundation of Lakeside School is based on strong, thriving, respectful relationships between teachers and students and also among students," continued Noe. "Our goal is that every student is known, respected, and trusted by others in the community. It also fundamental to Lakeside that they all have the opportunity to follow their unique interests and passions, in addition to coursework, which means, among other things, time to pursue extracurricular activities. We also want and expect them to advocate for themselves and others when necessary, and we want to make sure they have the time necessary to do that, especially time to meet with teachers."
Noe thanked the faculty and administrators who had worked hard to design a schedule with students' best interest in mind. "I applaud their efforts to put themselves out there and try something new," he wrote. "Just like we ask our students to try new things, take well-considered risks, and not to do the same thing year after year in an ever-changing world, we also ask that of teachers and administrators. That has always been, and will continue to be, a strength of this school."
The Upper School will return to the old schedule (see below) for the next two or three years. "There is nostalgia for the old schedule right now, but it was not perfect," admitted Noe. "In the spirit of always looking ahead, we will continue to refine our ideas for a schedule that will best serve the aims of a Lakeside education and the best interests of our students."
Parents and guardians with questions about the change can contact Head of School Bernie Noe at firstname.lastname@example.org; Upper School Director Alixe Callen at email@example.com; Upper School Assistant Director Rachel Maiorano at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Upper School Assistant Director Hans De Grys at email@example.com.