An Independent School • Grades 5-12

In a letter emailed to parents and guardians and Upper School students on Jan. 6, Head of School Bernie Noe shared an update on Lakeside's reopening. His email is included below. 

Today is yet another deeply troubling moment in our unprecedented times, as a mob has stormed the United States Capitol building and the National Guard has been called into action. I know that many of our students — and likely many of you — feel overwhelmed by what is going on. Please know that we are here for your student, and for all of you. Advisors, teachers, and all of our counselors and student and family support team are available if you want to check in or need support.

Before winter break, we promised everyone that we would update you this week with our plans for reopening campus. We are eager to share that news with you, but also recognize that it is hard to think about anything beyond the next few hours. I hope what we have to share with you will give you some hope.

Last night, Lakeside’s Medical Advisory Board (MAB) met to evaluate whether it is safe for Lakeside students and faculty to be back on campus. They had a thorough and thoughtful conversation covering all points of the school’s reopening criteria (listed on our reopening webpage). Based on the school’s safety protocols and testing (testing that some hospitals don’t have), the MAB recommended that we open campus next Monday, Jan. 11. They believe we can reopen safely, if everyone does their part. 

I cannot tell you how pleased I am that we will have our students back on campus. The teachers have done a fabulous job with remote learning, and it is time to begin our return to in-person learning with our students. The Lakeside campus is ready, our faculty and staff are prepared, and we know that many of our students and families are excited to return. 

In addition to feeling excited, we also hope that you recognize the responsibility we all have now: Keeping everyone safe and healthy will be a group effort. Everyone, please carefully review this entire email, as well as the materials and documents we reference. 

The MAB drew attention to the fact that some members of our community may have travelled outside the state and participated in non-socially distant gatherings over winter break — including after Jan. 1. 

As we shared in December, a student who has travelled out of state needs to be back in the Seattle area for seven days prior to getting tested on Friday, before they can return to campus the following Monday. To disregard this important safety protocol is to endanger the health and well-being of the entire school community. Students in grades 5, 7, 9, and 10 need to have been in the area by Jan. 1 to participate in testing this Friday, Jan. 8. A student who is not back a week in advance of their test date can learn remotely until after they have quarantined and tested negative. Students who returned from travel after Jan.1 may get a COVID test at an official public health testing center seven days after their return; send the negative test result to Bryan Smith, COVID-19 health and safety officer, at Once he records the result, he will contact the student about coming to campus.

Additionally, even though we are no longer asking you to abide by the Lakeside bubble, we have been asking and will continue to insist that students limit social interactions out of school; in particular to refrain from participation in in-person gatherings or parties, large or small, where students will be at a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. Starting Jan. 11, Gov. Inslee’s Healthy Washington: Road Map to Recovery dictates that indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household are prohibited. Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people from outside your household (limit two households). Please keep these restrictions in mind as your family makes plans for the upcoming four-day weekend.

We, of course, expect that everyone will be honest about their adherence to the school’s safety protocols. To do otherwise would compromise the safety of the school community, and violate our school’s Statement of Community Expectations. The school will handle dishonesty about safety protocols like all other instances of dishonesty. 

Finally, thank you for your patience. Reopening campus is a huge undertaking. We have done our very best to prepare but know that next week will be a time of learning and adjustment for all of us. Literally every student and every adult will be learning new routines and it will take time for all of us to adapt. There will inevitably be things we will want to improve. I hope we can all look at this as an opportunity to further develop our growth and learning mindset.

Next week will be an exciting week for our students and all of us who work at the school. Personally, I will be thrilled to see our students back on campus even though we all will wear masks and stay six feet apart. It will be so nice to see everyone in person and catch up on life.

Good parents and guardians, unfortunately, as you have not been tested by us, you cannot be on campus; but I can and will wave to you from a distance!

Take good care, everyone, and stay safe!

Blended learning model and calendar

Students will be returning to campus in rotating cohorts, with half of the students being on campus each week and working remotely in the following week. This rotating schedule, with half the students on campus at a time, will meet physical distancing requirements and limit exposure of students and employees.

Jan. 8 COVID-19 testing for students in grades 5, 7, 9, 10.
Jan. 11-15 Grades 5, 7, 9, 10 on campus.
Jan. 18-19 No school; Lakeside is closed.
Jan. 20-22 Short week; remote learning for all students.
Jan. 22 COVID-19 testing for students in grades 6, 8, 11, 12.
Jan. 25, 27, 28, 29 Grades 6, 8, 11, 12 on campus.
Tuesday, Jan. 26 Grades 6, 8 on campus. Grades 9 and 12 are remote, normal class day. Grades 10 and 11 have no classes. Juniors are on campus for the PSAT; 10th graders who have registered for the mock PSAT are taking it remotely. 
Jan. 29 COVID-19 testing for students in grades 5, 7, 9, 10.
Feb. 1-5 Grades 5, 7, 9, 10 on campus.
Feb. 5 COVID-19 testing for students in grades 6, 8, 11, 12.
Feb. 8-12 Grades 6, 8, 11, 12 on campus.
Feb. 15-19 Midwinter break. Lakeside is closed.

This rotation is also listed on the online calendar.

On days Middle School students are scheduled to be on campus, they should arrive by 8:10 a.m. 

Upper School students do not need to arrive on campus before their first class or advisory unless they have a scheduled meeting or event. If they arrive earlier than 9:10 a.m., they must work independently in a pre-assigned classroom with other early-arriving students. During “free” periods or other unscheduled time, students who are on campus will need to be in their assigned study classroom unless they are meeting with a teacher or engaging in a scheduled activity in an approved space. 

We recognize that some students and their families may not wish to return to campus for various reasons. Students can attend classes remotely full time with the support of our faculty and staff.

Fridays: Asynchronous at the Upper School; regular schedule at the Middle School

Fridays will remain asynchronous learning days for all Upper School students. In addition to asynchronous learning, there will be advisory; office hours; virtual assembly; and optional social opportunities that students can participate in, whether they are on campus or remote. Some weeks, departments or individual teachers may design on-campus experiences for students. Students will be given advance notice of these opportunities. See the Upper School schedule on the reopening webpage for more information about when activities occur.

In weeks when Upper School students are scheduled to be on campus, they can choose whether they want to learn remotely or on campus on Fridays. Students will receive a Friday schedule in advance and use the weekly survey to communicate their attendance plans, along with their lunch order and sign-ups for free period and lunch spaces. Similar to other on-campus days, students can come to campus for part of the day, but they cannot leave and then return to campus later that same day. Students must sign in and out when they arrive after 9:10 a.m. or leave before 3:15 p.m. 

The Middle School will run a regular schedule on Fridays.

Teachers and teaching assistants

Some teachers at the Middle and Upper schools will remain remote, and administrators are in close contact with those teachers. In those situations, teaching assistants will support the students in the classroom and the teachers at home. If students experience any challenges in learning, they should reach out to their advisors.


Parents and guardians of students registered for bus transportation have received details about bus routes and schedules for the week their student will be on campus. 

For assistance with transportation for COVID-testing days, please reach out to Nadia Selim at For assistance with transportation to testing on Jan. 8, please contact Nadia by 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Family responsibilities

All members of the Lakeside community have a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Parents and guardians: If your student would like to return to campus for in-person learning, here is what your family needs to do:

  • Review the online calendar to see what weeks your student’s grade is scheduled to be on campus.
  • Fill out the weekly survey with your lunch order, space-sign-ups, etc.  
  • Sign the new COVID-19 waiver located on the Magnus Health portal. See Bryan Smith’s email dated Jan. 1. 
  • Sign up for COVID-19 testing. Bryan Smith will email students and families a link to sign up in advance. Be on time for testing; we will need to test many more people than we have in previous weeks. 
  • A student who has travelled out of state needs to be back in the Seattle area for seven days prior to getting tested the Friday before returning to campus. Students in grades 5, 7, 9, and 10 need to have been in the area by Jan. 1 for testing this Friday, Jan. 8. A student who is not back a week in advance of their test date can learn remotely until after they have quarantined and tested negative. Please comply with this requirement; noncompliance will be considered a violation of the Statement of Community Expectations and there will be consequences. See more information in the opening section of this email.
  • Review the family checklist on the reopening webpage.
  • Read all emails from teachers, advisors, and administrators related to coming back to campus. 
  • Commit to following all the health and safety procedures stated on the Lakeside School reopening webpage. Make sure that every member of your family understands everything that is expected of them. Full information about each area is included in the reopening webpage. The procedures include: 
    • Comply with federal, state, and local orders. 
    • Get tested for COVID-19. 
    • Participate in contact tracing (turn on the Trace app). 
    • Contact Lakeside if a family member tests positive for COVID-19. 
    • Stay home if sick. 
    • Stay home if exposed. 
    • Keep medical information up to date. 
    • Participate in health screenings by completing the Magnus Health daily health screening.
    • Check temperature daily. 
    • Wear a face covering. 
    • Practice physical distancing. 
    • Practice excellent hygiene. 
    • Pre-order lunch. 
    • Keep personal items at hand or at home. 
    • Limit social interactions outside of school. 
    • Avoid unnecessary travel. 
  • Additionally, Lakeside students also need to follow the division-specific protocols included in the Middle School return-to-school checklists and protocols and Upper School return-to-school checklists and protocols
Lakeside Athletics update

Over the next week, the WIAA executive board, Metro League athletic directors, and CYO league will meet and discuss state guidelines, formalize decisions, and make recommendations to schools. Next week, Lakeside Athletics will send an email to all parents and guardians regarding how Lakeside will proceed.

Schedule for decision-making

Lakeside’s Medical Advisory Board and risk management task force will continue to review and monitor our community health and safety. You can find our criteria to keep campus open listed on the reopening webpage.

If we reach a point at which we must close campus based on community spread, we will move to making a decision about reopening every two weeks, based on student, parent/guardian, and faculty/staff feedback in the December survey. Of the students and parents/guardians who filled out the December survey, 40% wanted the reopening decision to be made every two weeks; 35% (students) and 37% (parents/guardians) wanted it monthly; and 25% (students) and 23% (parents/guardians) wanted the decision made weekly.