by Bernie Noe, head of school
I hope your summer ended well and that you, and especially your students, are looking forward to the new school year! It will be an unusual year for sure — as we toggle between remote and blended formats — and at the same time, a really good year for our students. They will learn a lot in their classes and they will learn a lot about themselves as individuals and as members of a school community.
Last year in this month’s issue of Inside Lakeside, I wrote to you about what we believed would be true of students who will be successful in the world of 2050:
- They will be open-minded, resilient, and flexible. They will understand that they need to be lifelong learners who are always honing their skills, enhancing their content knowledge, and looking ahead toward the coming changes.
- They will understand that failure is a part of the learning process and be undaunted about setbacks, even major ones. They will have the confidence to persist until they overcome obstacles and the wisdom to know when they are not going to overcome them.
- They will know what really matters to them, as compared to what sort of matters or does not matter at all. They will develop the practice of being reflective about their lives, understanding that without reflection they have no hope of knowing what is truly important to them.
- They will know what to do when they don’t know what to do.
- They will embrace change with joy and a sense of adventure.
As you all know, over the past three years we have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about the competencies and mindsets that we believe our students will need to thrive in their personal and professional lives in the world of the future. By the end of this past school year, we had determined which we believe should be taught in each grade and which would be taught over multiple years. We also understand that as we implement our competencies and mindsets curriculum, we will iterate as we learn which competencies and mindsets are most effectively taught in particular environments.
The Middle and Upper school faculty spent the summer thinking about and planning how to best offer their classes in online and blended formats. At the same time, they began transitioning their courses from being substantially content oriented to being a blend of essential content, competencies, and mindsets. Although we have been teaching some of these competencies and mindsets for a while, this year marks the start of our plan to incorporate them in coursework intentionally and fully. In September 2021 we will begin final implementation.
If, by the way, you need a refresher on the competencies and mindsets that we determined to be the most relevant to our students , please follow this link for the full list. This is the list from which we are building our new curriculum.
We have put on hold some of the changes we intended to begin making during the 2021-2022 school year (a new Upper School schedule; Lion Term). Once we fully understand the impact of the COVID-19 period on the school, we will revisit when we might implement those changes. But with competencies and mindsets, we are going full steam ahead. Already the COVID-19 period has demonstrated that change in the world can occur even more rapidly than we predicted, and it has underscored some of what we believed would be true about the future for our students. Certainly, being open-minded, flexible, and resilient will allow them to thrive regardless of what comes their way, as will knowing what to do when they don’t know what to do!
While, of course, we did not want the COVID-19 period and all the terrible suffering it has meant for so many around the globe, we are doing our best to learn what there is to be learned from this period and to become a better school for all of our students as a result.
I hope to see all of you soon, in person! In the meantime, stay safe!
Bernie Noe is Lakeside’s head of school. You can reach him at Head'sOffice@lakesideschool.org and 206-440-2714.