An Independent School • Grades 5-12

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

At times, this academic year has felt like a long journey with no clear end in sight. Now that we are closing in on its end, time seems to be moving more quickly!

I encourage you and your students to take a moment to reflect on all that has happened in your lives and in the world in the past 12 months. Some of us are grieving loved ones we lost during the pandemic. Others of us are mourning the loss of experiences that the pandemic made impossible. It is important to acknowledge these losses and the feelings that come with them.

It is also important to reflect on what we have: what we have learned from these trying times and what we still have to gain. As we enter the last weeks of the school year, help your students slow down and enjoy all that is happening this spring at school. It is likely not what they expected, and yet, it is still a year in their lives, and we don’t want to let any of our experiences slip by without notice.

My hope is that students will find moments of joy in their learning and with their peers — and that when they reflect, they can think of other moments of joy this past year. Help them identify things to celebrate: the times when they were able to move forward past difficulty; how they added a small new routine to take better care of themselves; when they reached out for extra help when they needed it; when they rebounded after falling short and pushed through to a new level of understanding.

As we close out the year, there will be many opportunities for students to connect with each other and with their teachers. Even as we look ahead to the fall, let’s all try to enjoy the end of the school year together, celebrating how far we have all come. 

May Day

This year’s May Day carnival, organized by Student Government, takes place over two days in this coming month: April 30 and May 7. This is a special day for students to come together, spend time with friends, and celebrate in a myriad of fun ways. Watch for photos in the “Stay connected!” section of the parents and guardians webpage.

Arts Fest

Arts Fest is a beloved event at Lakeside Upper School — it’s a celebration of our students’ creativity and growth, and a reminder of the regenerative power of the arts. In times like this, that celebration and joy is even more important. We encourage you to join us beginning May 24 for Arts Fest 2021 as we celebrate student artists through a series of synchronous performances and digital galleries. More than 800 pieces of student work in the visual and performing arts will be shared, including photography, plays, sculpture, symphonic music, and more. In the lead-up to Arts Fest, Lakeside's Instagram will preview senior showcases and reflections beginning Wednesday, May 12. Find out more in this article.

There are so many amazing arts events this month — if you haven’t already, read Andrew Krus’s arts roundup from earlier this spring and mark the dates on your calendar.

Celebrating seniors

Throughout this year, Lakeside’s Class of 2021 has shown leadership, compassion, service, flexibility and incredible good humor and understanding. While senior spring traditions will look different this year, Lakeside will honor the achievements and contributions of the senior class with a host of activities and events this May and June. Seniors have already had their portraits taken on campus and they recently picked up their senior brick to design and carve — the bricks come together to form a panel of the Lakeside alumni bricks in the athletics center. Senior Surprise Day will be in-person and our senior class advisors have a special day planned. The prom, farewell dinner, baccalaureate, and commencement will be a slate of meaningful events for this incredible group of young people, who have gone through so much together.

If you know a member of the senior class, we invite you to send them a GradGram. These short messages of congratulations are compiled, printed, and bound into a homemade booklet for each graduate. Anyone can participate, and it is free of charge. The program is coordinated by PGA, and the books are made by volunteers. If you know a member of the Class of 2021 and you want to wish them well, we encourage you to participate in this program.

Dates and events for May and June

May is our last full month of the school year. Make sure to check the full calendar for concerts and events hosted by the arts program, college counseling, PGA, and parent/guardian affinity groups. The athletics calendar will be updated regularly as well.

Please note: the first week in June has a new schedule for students on campus. Juniors and seniors will be on campus on June 1 and 2. On June 3 and 4, it will be seniors only. More information will be shared with the seniors and juniors.

  • Friday, April 30: COVID testing for students in grades 11 and 12.
  • Friday, April 30:  May Day for grades 9 and 10.
  • Friday, April 30 7 p.m.: Middle School Community Night. Upper School families are encouraged to tune in to this event as we celebrate all families and cultures in our diverse community. Families received an email on Wednesday with a Zoom link.
  • Week of May 1: Grades 11 and 12 on campus.
  • Wednesday, May 5, 5 p.m.: Parents and guardians virtual meeting: sexual assault prevention with Dr. Keith Edwards. All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend this talk about how to support students as they learn about sexual assault prevention. Find more information — and a link to the presentation to students — in an email from Julie Lutton sent Friday, April 23.
  • Friday, May 7: May Day for grades 11 and 12.
  • Friday, May 7: COVID testing for students in grades 9 and 10.
  • Friday, May 7 – Sunday, May 9: The Upper School drama program presents the musical, “Mary Poppins.” Learn more.
  • Week of May 10: Grades 9 and 10 on campus.
  • Friday, May 14: COVID testing for students in grades 6 and 8.
  • Week of May 17: Grades 11 and 12 on campus.
  • Tuesday, May 18: Virtual Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series presents “So You Want to Talk About Race” with Ijeoma Oluo.
  • Tuesday, May 18, Wednesday, May 19, and Friday, May 21: The Upper School drama program presents “Circus!”, one-act plays performed, directed, and written by Lakeside students. A selection of the plays will be performed each evening; each play will be performed twice.
  • Friday, May 21: COVID testing for students in grades 11 and 12.
  • Week of May 24: Grades 9 and 10 on campus.
  • Monday, May 24: Final exams begin.
  • Monday, May 24: Arts Fest! This annual celebration of visual and performing arts is the culminating event for many of Lakeside’s arts classes.
  • Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m.: Upper School music virtual showcase, featuring the choir, concert band, jazz band, and string orchestra. Each ensemble will share up to 30 minutes of content featuring a wide variety of repertoire, student compositions, solos, small ensembles, and more.
  • Friday, May 28: COVID testing for students in grades 11 and 12.
  • Friday, May 28: Asynchronous reading day.  
  • Sunday, May 30: Senior prom.
  • Monday, May 31: Memorial Day. Lakeside closed; no classes.
  • Tuesday, June 1 and Wednesday, June 2: Grades 11 and 12 on campus.
  • Wednesday, June 2: Upper School Drama IV students will perform scenes and short plays to showcase their Lakeside drama experience.
  • Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4: Seniors on campus.
  • Monday, June 7: Last day of finals.
  • Tuesday, June 8: Makeup exams.
  • Wednesday, June 9, 1:30 p.m.: Commencement rehearsal.
  • Wednesday, June 9, 7 p.m.: Baccalaureate.
  • Thursday, June 10, 2 p.m.: Class of 2021 Commencement.

Felicia Wilks is Lakesides assistant head of school and Upper School director. Reach her at USDirector@lakesideschool.org or 206-440-2721.