To our community:
Lakeside School is guided by its mission and values. Lakeside is also deeply shaped by our community. People working together make Lakeside what it is. Those of us who teach at, work at, and attend Lakeside embrace how our mission is carried out in classrooms, on stages and fields, and around the region and the world.
A core part of Lakeside’s mission is “sustaining a school in which individuals representing diverse cultures and experiences instruct one another in the meaning and value of community.”Our commitment is grounded in an understanding that diversity is a key component of academic excellence: Having people from many backgrounds and experiences enriches the classroom and helps all of us develop wisdom, compassion, and leadership.
Ongoing work in diversity, equity, and inclusion
What does it mean to live our mission? What does it mean to be a member of the Lakeside community? These questions led Lakeside to substantially increase scholarships in the 1960s to enable us to become more socioeconomically diverse. They led to early steps toward racial diversity with the creation of the Lakeside Educational Enrichment Program (LEEP) in 1965, while the merger with St. Nicholas School in 1971 led to coeducation. They led to initiatives such as the Mission Focus (2003), Mission Focus Forward (2008), and Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (2011), which further diversified the student body and faculty, enhanced such programs as student support and affinity groups, re-envisioned professional development for faculty and staff, and drove a campaign that raised $55 million for financial aid. In each decade, our efforts responded to what was happening in the world and in the field of education. The combined effect of this work helped Lakeside become a thriving, diverse, and academically excellent institution.
Listening and reflecting through the AIM survey
In winter 2017, 1,500 members of our community – students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, parents and guardians, and alumni from the Classes of 2012-2016 – participated in the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) survey, administered by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The survey data – both quantitative and qualitative – reinforced what we knew from candid conversations, previous surveys, and our own experiences:
We have come far, but we have work to do.An important point that came up repeatedly is that a person’s identity affects their experience at Lakeside.
An initiative that responds to the evolving needs of our community
As an educational institution, we have a responsibility to our students and to our community. We have a responsibility to provide all our students with an equitable experience in which they have equal access and opportunity to learn and achieve to their fullest potential. We also have a responsibility to be an inclusive and multicultural community, where there is an understanding of and respect for cultural differences, and they are celebrated as a source of community strength.
The work of inclusiveness – of creating an environment where everyone feels that they belong – is part of a larger conversation about inclusion and equity that’s happening around our country. It requires us to embrace our values, recognize areas where we can improve – as individuals and as an institution – and do our best to understand and work with those who are different from us.
Our Work Together: Inclusion, Multiculturalism, Respect
Our Work Together is a strategic initiative that builds on our long-standing commitment to our community. It moves us closer to being an inclusive learning community, one where everyone can bring their true selves rather than conforming to one way of thinking, acting, looking, and being. It’s about becoming a truly multicultural community that sees each person as unique and values the different knowledge and experience everyone brings to the table. It’s about continuing to foster a community where respect, integrity, and ethical behavior guide our actions.
This is about providing an excellent education for all of our students. About honoring all of our employees. About working with all of our families to raise creative, healthy, and ethical young people. This is work we do together.
Please join us in this next phase of our work. Together, we can continue to serve our mission, our community, and our world, now and in the future.
On behalf of all of us at Lakeside School,
Head of School
Director of Equity and Inclusion/Director of Student and Family Support
- Goal 1: Increase the racial/ethnic diversity of the faculty, administrators, and trustees through focused recruitment, hiring, and retention strategies.
- Goal 2: Ensure faculty actively seek to understand their own implicit biases, use diverse pedagogies, and incorporate diverse perspectives into their curricula.
- Goal 3: Empower students, employees, and families to bring their full selves to Lakeside School and actively build relationships with people who are different from themselves.
- Goal 4: Continue to nurture a school culture that acknowledges and honors difference, leading to an increasingly inclusive school where every individual is listened to, respected, and valued.