by Reem Abu Rahmeh, Middle School director
Spring in Seattle is truly beautiful! The silence of the winter gives way to a bustle of activity that reminds us that hope can arrive through change and that new beginnings can reignite our passions. I find myself pondering how strange it feels that a season of new beginnings comes at the end of the school year. Yet somehow, it seems fitting!
As we approach the spring term of this school year, we have been fortunate to see an increase in the number of people vaccinated and a slow return to many of the normal ways of living. We know that this return is not an easy path for everyone; yet we see the effort that our students, faculty and staff, and parents and guardians are putting into finding their own paths to this new normal. This year has taught our students to cultivate resilience, to understand the meaning of flexibility, and to practice adaptability in everything they do — whether they were learning remotely or in person.
In a couple of weeks, all Middle School students will receive their spring midterm report cards and will get a chance to reflect on their learning experiences with their advisors and their parents and guardians. I recommend centering the conversation with your student around growth, taking inspiration from the “rebirth of nature” to think about their next steps. Are there seeds of new experiences that were nurtured this year and that are waiting to germinate and grow? Are there goals that were hibernating and are worth awakening this spring? Are there new experiences that previously seemed too far-fetched to try but don’t seem as impossible now? Our default is to think of the end of the school year as a wrap-up but how many times do we lose opportunities to build on the competencies and mindsets we have developed over the course of the year? Take time with your student to identify those areas, celebrate them, and build on them.
The end of every school year brings many celebrations to the school community. We remain committed to each of our students, whether they are remote or in-person, and want to make sure that everyone feels included in everything we do. Every event will either be virtual or hybrid. We have modified our spring carnival May Day celebrations to spread across two days to accommodate all the grades. The arts program is gearing up for all the student performances that will take place in the spring (learn more in Andrew Krus’s article). The PGA have re-envisioned the Middle School signature Community Night, which will take on a virtual format this year. We have reimagined the end-of-year parties for each of our grades and, of course, the 8th grade graduation will be an authentic hybrid experience to celebrate each of the members of the Class of 2025. We look forward to our full community celebrating the rich diversity, the growth experiences, and every individual’s journey with us this year.
Amid this festive and busy time, it is also a delicate time of change. As we think of our students’ experiences, we want to be sensitive to the emotional state they may be in. Young adolescents are flexible and adaptable, but they also love and need structure and stability. As we journey through this last quarter, we are aware of the effects of this last year on our students. We understand that for some students this new phase and these new changes may feel overwhelming and unwelcome; for others, including our 8th graders, it is a period of bittersweet transition that could be filled with excitement and fear. Advisors, faculty, counselors, the student support team, Robert, and I continue to offer ourselves as partners, as supports, and as resources to each student and family. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us or your child’s advisor. We are here for your family.
April events and happenings
Review the Inside Lakeside email for Middle School highlights and the full calendar for information about PGA and other school events. Watch for email updates including important information about testing, contact tracing, and the daily health checks.
- Friday, April 2: COVID testing for students in grades 6 and 8.
- Week of April 5: Grades 6 and 8 on campus.
- Monday, April 12–Friday, April 16: Spring break. No school. Please view the school protocols around travel and gatherings (updated on March 26 to incorporate new guidelines).
- Monday, April 19: No school. Professional development day for faculty and staff.
- Week of April 20: All students remote.
- Tuesday, April 20, 8-9 a.m.: Middle School parent and guardian Zoom webinar with administrators. Invitations will be sent a week in advance. A recording of the webinar will be posted the following day on the parents and guardians webpage.
- Friday, April 23: COVID testing for students in grades 5 and 7.
- Week of April 26: Grades 5 and 7 on campus.
- Monday, April 26: Welcome to 5th Grade Night (note: This event is for all new families).
- Thursday, April 29, 7 p.m.: Parents and guardians webinar with Julie Lutton, Reem Abu Rahmeh, Felicia Wilks, and Latasia Lanier. This is our routine: Setting up sustainable guidelines for technology at home. Invitations will be sent a week in advance. A recording of the webinar will be posted the following day on the parents and guardians webpage.
- Friday, April 30: COVID testing for students in grades 6 and 8.
- Friday, April 30, 7 p.m.: Middle School Community Night.
- Friday, April 30, 1-3 p.m.: May Day for grades 5 and 7.
- Friday, May 7, 1-3 p.m.: May Day for grades 6 and 8.
Reem Abu Rahmeh is Lakeside’s Middle School director. You can reach her at MSdirector@lakesideschool.org or 206-440-2772