An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Elaine Christensen, Middle School director and director of professional development

Life is good at the Middle School - we are off and running! Students have memorized their locker combinations; they are figuring out their schedules; the first soccer games are this weekend; and everyone is getting used to the more structured days of the school year. The Middle School is humming, and I'm happy the building is full of students and faculty, teaching and learning.

There are a lot of events coming up (many of them can be found on the parents and guardians section of the Lakeside website).

The Q&A with MS administrators for new families is on Monday, Sept.12 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the MS dining room. This is a great opportunity to connect with Ted Chen and me and ask us any questions you might have. If you can't come to this one, are Q&As throughout the year.

Middle School Back-to-School Night is Thursday, Sept. 15, from 6:30 - 9:15 p.m. This is an evening event that parents and guardians should all attend. You learn about the curriculum, meet your student's advisor and attend all their classes in a whirlwind schedule. Childcare is available for children who are in 5th grade or below. Learn more here.

The fall tailgate is Friday, Sept. 16 starting at 3:30 on the Upper School campus. Tailgates are a school-wide demonstration of Lion pride focused on athletics. The fall tailgate focuses on a Lakeside varsity girls' soccer game against archrival Holy Names. Tailgates are optional, and they are very fun. Learn more here.

And finally, Bernie Noe, our head of school, will hold a new family welcome BBQ on Tuesday, Sept. 20 starting at 5:30 p.m. This is a casual barbecue at Bernie's house (which is on the Upper School campus). Come with your family and enjoy a very casual evening getting to know each other and school administrators.

The only event on this list that is required is Back-to-School Night.

At school, we have spent significant time in the first weeks setting the tone, embedding the principles of consideration, integrity, and inclusion (as outlined in Lakeside's Statement of Community Expectations) into the minds and hearts of the students. Last week, students were asked to talk with their parents and guardians about what these words mean and then bring that information back to advisor groups for discussion.

Yesterday, in our first community meeting, Ted Chen and Brynn Jaouen-Starr sang the song "True Colors" by Cindy Lauper. The song was chosen deliberately to start the year. Ms. J-Starr said it represented people being their authentic selves with their "true colors/shining through." Mr. Chen called out the line "You call me up/because you know I'll be there." He hopes every Middle School student makes friends like the one referenced in the song, friends who will be there for them throughout their time at the Middle School.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year with our students.