An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Lakeside School re-envisioning: academic year calendar

Lakeside’s re-envisioning encompasses a set of projects exploring new ways to answer the question: Within the framework of Lakeside’s mission and values, how do we teach students to make good decisions and act on them? With many decisions already made about what students will learn through the overall educational program (the competencies and mindsets), the school is now working on revisions to the structure of the academic year and school day.

Lakeside is asking students, parents and guardians, and faculty and staff for their thoughts on a new academic year calendar.

Reasons for change

There are two major reasons to change the school calendar.

  • We want to create a healthier, less stressful environment for students. In collecting student feedback about the competencies and mindsets, they said the area they most needed the school's help on was developing a healthy mindset.
  • We want to create space not currently available in our academic calendar so we can offer Lakeside students different kinds of learning opportunities – opportunities that will facilitate teaching them the competencies and mindsets we believe will prepare them for success, both in their future educational goals and in their personal and professional lives.

Overview of changes

There are four major changes in the proposed calendar, which would take effect in the 2021-2022 school year.

  1. We are adding a new weeklong break in October. “By taking a week off in October, we hope to set a more reasonable pace for the students,” says Head of School Bernie Noe, in a video about the changes. “Seniors can work on college applications or rest, and everyone else can rest, spend time with family and friends, read, sleep, or do whatever they do to unwind. We hope that adding a fall break will relieve stress, and also model and inspire a healthy mindset for our students.”
  2. Lakeside will be closed on Veterans Day, so that members of the community can honor and reflect on the sacrifice of those who have served our nation.
  3. The school year will be extended, starting one week earlier than it currently does and ending one week later.
  4. We are adding a new academic program called Lion Term. This will be three weeks of for-credit work, where students can have a variety of educational experiences. In the Upper School, Lion Term will be three contiguous weeks in early March, and in the Middle School it will be distributed as single weeks in the fall, winter, and spring.

Looking at the calendar, you’ll also see that some decisions have yet to be made. For example, there are five “TBD in May” days noted in the calendar; the use of those days will depend on the outcome of the Upper School schedule pilot, which will occur in April. 

Share your thoughts

Thank you to all who gave feedback on the proposed calendar.

For more background on the calendar process, as well as the proposed Upper School schedule, read the article “With competencies and mindsets determined, decisions about calendar and schedule are on the horizon.