An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Julie Lutton, 5-12 personal development and wellness department head

If there is one unshakable truth about the 21st century, and 2020 in particular, it’s that technology is inseparable from relationships with friends, families, and loved ones. As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, helping students approach how screens are involved in their friendships and relationships has never been more important.

Even with all their technological savvy, our students still need guidance from adults when it comes to making decisions about how to navigate relationships using technology. But how can we, as adults whose childhood technology may have been limited to landlines and videogames, counsel today’s adolescents?

Starting in February, Lakeside will offer a three-part webinar series for parents and guardians that is focused on the intersection of relationships and technology. We’ll focus on understanding the basics of some of these programs and systems; coach parents and guardians on how to start and move forward in conversations with their students; and provide tips on how to help students integrate technology into how they create, maintain, and end relationships.

Each webinar will include a presentation and a Q&A. Webinars will be conducted on Zoom, and invitations will be emailed to Lakeside parents and guardians and alumni. Webinars will be recorded and made available for Lakeside parents and guardians. Please RSVP for the sessions for which you would like to attend and submit advance questions at that time. There is no cost to participate. 

Tools of the Trade: Learning about apps and sites students use to connect

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Panelists: Jamie Asaka, director of student and family support; Rob Blackwell, Middle School assistant director; Meg Wolfe, Middle School learning resources coordinator/head of Middle School student support.

We will discuss some of the most common apps and websites that students use to communicate with their friends, and how to engage in conversations with your student about how they are communicating online.

Likes, stories, and follows: Helping students navigate social media safely and according to their values

Monday, March 15, 7 p.m.
Panelists: Eleanor Long, Upper School PE/wellness teacher; Mike Matsumoto, Middle School counselor; Meera Patankar, Middle School personal development teacher; Serena Swanson, Upper School counselor.

We will explore social media through the lens of the recent documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” and will offer ideas about how to help your student approach social media in ways that are in line with how they want to show up in the world.

This is our routine: Setting up sustainable guidelines for technology at home

Thursday, April 29, 7 p.m.
Panelists: Felicia Wilks, Upper School director; Reem Abu Rahmeh, Middle School director; Latasia Lanier, family support liaison/Upper School student equity programs coordinator.

We will coach parents and guardians about navigating conversations with students about technology and screen time at home.