An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Felicia Wilks, assistant head of school/Upper School director

The pandemic is throwing us another tough winter, but I am grateful for the ways the Lakeside community is pulling together to keep our students learning and together through it all. We have been mining last year’s lessons to improve students’ experiences this time around — reaping the benefits of a growth and learning mindset. When we needed to return to school in January with some students remote because of COVID, I was amazed and grateful for how quickly students, faculty, staff, and families shifted to do what was needed. 

All around the Upper School, my colleagues and I were heartened to see students finding ways of connecting and learning with their peers who needed to isolate. I saw students carrying their friends around on their robots; others reaching out to remote students for group projects; we even saw students connecting and building community over lunch dates. I know it is difficult to sustain calm and positivity amid so many changes, but when our community is strong — when we practice our competencies of resilience, unstructured problem solving, and collaboration and leadership — great things happen. 

I continue to be grateful to our faculty and staff for all the ways they have adjusted to meet students’ many and varied needs. I am also very proud of the ways students have found to support one another, to continue to push their own learning, and to abide by our health and safety protocols. It gives all of us energy and joy to hear students’ laughter in the hallways and witness their discovery and hard work in the classrooms. The Class of 2022 is starting their last semester on campus, finding joyful opportunities to celebrate that bring them — and all of us — closer together as a community. Senior parents and guardians should have received the senior newsletter with links to the senior events webpage from class coordinator Serena Swanson.

No matter what comes this spring, I know we will get through it all if we continue to move through things together. 

Important dates and events for February

Make sure to review the full calendar for information about PGA, college counseling, and other school events, as well as parent/guardian affinity groups and meet-ups. Please note that the Feb. 9 Bernie Noe Endowed Lecture on Ethics and Politics with Isabel Wilkerson has been cancelled due to concerns about COVID and community health.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 7-8:15 p.m.: PGA general membership virtual meeting and suicide prevention training. Most of the meeting will be a suicide prevention training based on the "Forefront in the Schools" initiative. This adults-only presentation will provide parents and guardians with practical tips on how to talk about suicide with teens, how to identify warning signs, and what to do if you are concerned that someone you know may be suicidal. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 3, 7-8:30 p.m.: “Intersections of Identity and Wellbeing Parent/Guardian Webinar: Identity and Body Image” hosted by Lakeside’s personal development and wellness department. Parents and guardians will receive an email with a link to register. A recording of the webinar will be posted the following day on the parents and guardians webpage. Read more and find a link to the first webinar in the series, “Identity and Mental Health.
  • Monday, Feb. 7, 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Upper School parent and guardian Zoom webinar with administrators. Invitations will be sent a week in advance, along with a prompt for questions. A recording of the webinar will be posted the following day on the parents and guardians webpage
  • Tuesday, Feb. 15, Wednesday, Feb. 16, and Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.: Students in the Upper School drama program present "Circus!" a selection of one-act plays. Performances are free and start at 6 p.m. each evening. A livestream of each performance will also be available.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 16, 7-8:30 p.m.: Educational webinar on bias. Parents and guardians are invited to attend an educational webinar to build understanding of implicit and explicit bias; share the effects of bias on learning; and learn how to interrupt harmful bias with respect and grace, and with the purpose of growth and learning. Learn more.
  • Monday, Feb. 21 – Friday, Feb. 25: Midwinter break; no classes. Classes resume on Monday, Feb. 28.

Felicia Wilks is Lakeside’s assistant head of school and Upper School director. Reach her at or 206-440-2721.