An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Rob Blackwell, Middle School assistant director

After two rounds of in-person learning for all Middle School grades, we learned plenty about the resilience of both students, faculty, and staff. Switching to in-person learning after establishing a comfort level and ease with remote learning has been an adjustment for everyone.

The adventure that was remote learning had its peaks and valleys; however, because of training and support for teachers and a committed growth mindset exhibited by the students, we experienced steady improvements along the way. Another important contributor to these improvements was the feedback students and families shared about areas of challenge and things that were going well. The voices of students and families will continue to be our guide as we become versed in blended learning.

Student voices is a theme in the Middle School this year. In January, Ms. Abu Rahmeh and I launched a monthly lunchtime Zoom meeting. This is a time dedicated to students to talk and share their ideas amongst peers and the leadership of the Middle School. We encourage students to use their voice as a way of being part of solutions to problems we discover, and to enhance their sense of belonging through positive relationships.

Students were also asked to complete a survey at the end of their first week of blended learning. A 6th grader shared, “I appreciated being able to return to campus and see my classmates. The experience was different than last year, however, I enjoyed in-person learning overall.”  A student in 7th grade remarked, “I got to see people and just talk about random things. I mean before it was silence sometimes, but in-person there is like life in the classroom.” 

It is our hope to learn and grow from this experience, side-by-side with our students and their families.

We look forward to hearing from many of our parents and guardians in the survey that launches today. Strengthening the alliance with our families is critical, more so during a pandemic, as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of it all. Let us take heed of the powerful words from Nelle Morton’s essay “Beloved Image” when she eloquently stated, “Our job is to hear other people into speech.” Please complete this round of survey questions. We love to hear from you!

Complete the parent and guardians survey here.

Dates and events for March

Review the Inside Lakeside email for Middle School highlights and the full calendar for information about PGA and other school events. Watch for email updates regarding reopening, including important information about testing, contact tracing, and the daily health checks.

  • Week of March 1: Grades 5 and 7 on campus.
  • Friday, March 5: Picture retake day for 5th and 7th graders. 
  • Friday, March 5: COVID testing for students in grades 6 and 8.
  • Week of March 8: Grades 6 and 8 on campus.
  • March 8, 9, 11, 12: 6th grade snowshoe outdoor trips. Learn more.
  • Friday, March 12: COVID testing for students in grades 5 and 7.
  • Friday, March 12: Picture retake day for 6th and 8th graders.
  • Week of March 15: Grades 5 and 7 on campus.
  • Monday, March 15, 7 p.m.: Parent and guardians webinar with Julie Lutton, Likes, stories, and follows: Helping students navigate social media safely and according to their values.  Invitations will be sent a week in advance. A recording of the webinar will be posted the following day on the parents and guardians webpage.
  • Tuesday, March 16: 9th grade curriculum night for current 8th grade families. Families will receive more information in an email from the Upper School.
  • March 16 and 18: 5th grade snowshoe outdoor trips. Learn more.
  • Friday, March 19: COVID testing for students in grades 6 and 8.
  • Week of March 22: Grades 6 and 8 on campus.
  • Tuesday, March 23, 8-9 a.m.: Middle School parent and guardian Zoom webinar with administrators. Invitations will be sent a week in advance. A recording of the webinar will be posted the following day on the parents and guardians webpage.
  • Friday, March 26: COVID testing for students in grades 5 and 7.
  • Week of March 29: Grades 5 and 7 on campus.

Rob Blackwell is Lakeside’s Middle School assistant director. You can reach him at 206-440-2721 and MSassistantdirector@lakesideschool.org.