An Independent School • Grades 5-12

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

Lakeside’s curriculum is one of its greatest strengths, and it provides students with a wide variety of choices — exploring new topics, as well as going deep in an area of interest. It’s also constantly evolving, with teachers offering new classes every year. Every winter, we look forward to seeing students explore the new curriculum guide and begin to make choices about what they would like to study next year.

Each fall, faculty propose new courses to the curriculum committee, which includes representatives from the faculty, administrators, and students. The committee discusses best practices in teaching and learning, and current priorities in the school. For example, we’ve made a commitment in our equity and inclusion initiative Our Work Together to include more diverse voices — what does that mean for the books our students will read in English and history classes? And our 2013-3014 curriculum review led to a commitment to include computational thinking in all math classes — how does that manifest in our math offerings?  

The 2020-2021 curriculum guide was published in mid-December and this month, Upper School advisors will guide students through signing up for next year's courses. Parents and guardians have an opportunity to learn about the nuances of the curriculum at each grade level during our Upper School curriculum nights.

We encourage current Upper School parents and guardians to come to one of the following curriculum nights.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7-8 p.m.: Classes of 2021 and 2022 curriculum night. This event is for parents and guardians of current sophomores and juniors and provides an overview of Lakeside’s curriculum and options for junior and senior years.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 15, 7-8 p.m.: Class of 2023 curriculum night. This event is for parents and guardians of current 9th graders and provides an overview of Lakeside’s curriculum and options for sophomore year.

Both events take place in Kent Evans Auditorium in Allen Gates Hall. Slides will be available after the event. If you have students in both 9th and 10th or 11th grades, there is no need to attend both nights; please come up after whichever event you attend, and we will fill you in on the notes from the other event. Likewise, students usually do not come to these evenings; they receive similar information from advisors and their teachers. Learn more about these events in the Curriculum nights FAQ.

Upper School Assistant Director Hans de Grys and I look forward to sharing the opportunities our curriculum provides, answering your questions, and partnering with you to guide students through the transition to second semester and determining their unique path through the Upper School.

We also hope you will join us for this years musical, "Mamma Mia," which runs from Wednesday, Jan. 29 through Saturday, Feb. 1. Our student performers never fail to impress with the commitment, creativity, and passion they bring to each of their pursuits. I can't wait to see what they do with this fantastic musical. And don't forget to check out the talents of our visual arts students at the Midwinter Arts Show, which has evening hours from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29 through Friday, Jan. 31.  Learn more in Andrew Krus’s article about midwinter arts events.

Additional dates and events for January

Make sure to review the Inside Lakeside email for Upper School highlights; see the full calendar for information about arts, college counseling, and PGA events. Don’t forget the athletics calendar for winter sports!

  • Classes resume on Monday, Jan. 6.
  • Friday, Jan. 10, from 8-11 p.m. is the annual GLOW dance, which takes place in the Wright Community Center. Learn more about Lakeside dances in this FAQ.
  • Lakeside is closed on Monday, Jan. 20 and Tuesday, Jan. 21.
  • Parents and guardians of seniors are invited to a special breakfast with Upper School administrators on Thursday, Jan. 23, 8-9 a.m. We’ll be talking about senior spring, and what to expect from your senior during the next few months. The event is drop-in and takes place in the Fireplace Room in the Wright Community Center. Watch for an email from Lynelle Ehart to RSVP. 
  • Friday, Jan. 31: Students’ course signups are due by 3 p.m. for the 2020-2021 school year.

Enjoy these last few days of winter break!

Felicia Wilks is Lakeside's Assistant Head of School and Upper School director. Reach her at or 206-440-2721.