by Booth Kyle, associate head of school / admissions and financial aid director
Lakeside has an admissions committee for each of the major entry points (grades to which students apply): 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th grade. Applicants to the 8th grade are considered in the 7th-grade committee and 10th- through 12th-grade applicants are considered in the 9th-grade committee. Admissions committees range in size from seven to 11 members and are made up of admissions staff and teachers. These folks have expertise in their disciplines and interests ranging from the arts to athletics to service learning. We take pride in the fact that our committees have members who understand all parts of the school and who understand students well!
Each applicant to Lakeside has their materials reviewed by a committee. That means several people read each piece of the application, take notes, and present their thoughts to the committee at a weekly meeting. The committees talk about everything we have available to us: essays, activities, grade reports, endearing stories shared by teachers or parents/guardians... really everything! Committee members have a fun time getting to know applicants to the school.
There are so many talented applicants every year – and a limited number of spots available. In the end, the most difficult part is putting together a class that we think will be successful – much like building a successful team. And that is an important thing to note about the committee process. The committee's goal is to determine how individual students fit at the school and with the other students who apply for the same grade. It's not a popularity contest, or about who has the best grades. It's very much about what qualities we think a student can contribute to the classroom environment, to the class, and to the community.