by Felicia Wilks, assistant head of school/Upper School director
Even in remote learning, the end of the school year is a busy and fun time. While we could not hold May Day festivities on the field and Quad, our amazing Student Government put together a creative and imaginative May Day that was fun for all! On May 20, we gathered virtually for an impressive talent show of dancing, spoken work, and other displays of our students’ unique abilities. The day also included the premiere of the Great Bernie Baking Show, where students and a few faculty created their best cakes at home, with the assistance of younger siblings and children. The student body voted faculty member Michael Place’s son Olivier the competition winner.
This week and next, students are completing projects and assessments for their classes, demonstrating what they have learned and giving teachers a final opportunity to provide feedback on students’ progress. Grades and comments will be released on June 17. If you need a recap of how we are approaching grades during remote learning, you can find it in the April 16 “Email to Upper School students regarding quarter four grades” on the COVID-19 and remote learning webpage.
One of the last big events of this year is a virtual Arts Fest on June 2. Students and families will receive a special digital publication featuring the work of all of our students in the arts. Please set aside a time to take a digital stroll through what our students have created. I had a sneak peek and it is really marvelous! Then join us at 6 p.m. for a live performance from Drama IV students; the Zoom link will be included in the Arts Fest email. This work is a culmination of a year’s worth of effort, and public presentation – sharing their work with an audience – is an essential part of learning for arts students. I always look forward to seeing what our students have produced, and I hope you do, too. You can read more about Arts Fest in this article by Director of Performing and Visual Arts Andrew Krus.
Our last day of school this year is Friday, June 5. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators will gather on Zoom for our annual Farewell Assembly, where students read tributes to departing faculty and staff. There will also be fun ways for students to check in with their peers and teachers before we close out the year. Students in grades 9-11 will receive their tentative schedule for the 2020-2021 academic year on the last day of school, just as they would on campus. Instead of finding their schedules in their mailboxes in Bliss Hall, they’ll get their schedule in their email inbox. As a reminder, course changes happen in August, and students will receive an email in mid-August from Academic Dean/Upper School Assistant Director Hans de Grys with instructions for how to request a change.
We will be posting Lakeside Upper School summer reading recommendations in early June on the website; recommendations have been curated by our librarians and include suggestions from students, faculty, and staff. This year’s summer reading recommendations will also include some discipline-specific readings and resources for those students who are interested in tackling some more academic content.
I hope you all have a wonderful last week of the school year and an amazing and safe summer!
Felicia Wilks is Lakeside’s assistant head of school and Upper School director. You can reach her at USDirector@lakesideschool.org and 206-440-2721.