This March, Lakeside will move closer toward making decisions about the length and organization of the academic year calendar (when school is in session) and the daily Upper School schedule. The Middle School daily schedule, which launched this fall, has proved to be enormously popular and will not change significantly (read more about the Middle School schedule).
Proposed calendar changes for 2021-2022
On Thursday, Feb. 13, Head of School Bernie Noe emailed parents and guardians of current Lakeside students, sharing details about a proposed academic year calendar. Changes to the calendar would take effect in the 2021-2022 school year.
In the email and an accompanying video and webpage, Noe laid out two major reasons for changing the calendar: to create a healthier, less stressful environment for students, and to create space not currently available in Lakeside’s calendar so we can offer students different kinds of learning experiences; “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,” said Noe in the video.
The four major changes of the proposed calendar are adding a weeklong break in October; closing school on Veteran’s Day; extending the school year by two weeks (starting one week earlier and ending one week later); and adding a new academic program called Lion Term, during which students can have a variety of educational experiences.
Putting the changes in the context of students’ overall educational experience is key, Noe said. “We know these changes could impact your family’s routine, but we believe they are in the best interests of our students and their education.”
Opportunities for feedback
Parents and guardians can offer feedback on the academic year calendar change through an online form and at an in-person event with administrators.
- The online form can be found at the bottom of the re-envisioning webpage (click here to visit the form directly). Given the expected number of comments, feedback is limited to 350 characters. The form will close at noon on Friday, March 6.
- Noe and other administrators will host a calendar Q&A on Thursday, March 5 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Evans Theater. This event is for parents and guardians of current Lakeside students.
Middle School and Upper School students are providing feedback to proposed calendar changes through their advisory groups.
After the feedback has been collected and reviewed, Noe will consult with the calendar committee, senior administrators, and Board of Trustees before making the final decision about the calendar. That decision will be made this spring, and the new calendar would take effect in the 2021-2022 school year (the year after next).
Upper School schedule pilot
Soon after the feedback is collected on the calendar, the Upper School will run a three-week pilot of a new daily schedule. The pilot will run from March 30 through April 24. The goal for the Upper School schedule, shared Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Felicia Wilks, is to create an optimal environment for deep learning, facilitate student well-being, and build a strong sense of community.
Faculty are currently preparing for the pilot, and student and faculty feedback will be collected as part of the process. Learn more about the proposed Upper School schedule in this Tatler article.
As Noe remarked at the end of the calendar video: “We are still working out details and weighing options,” and more information will be shared as decisions are made.
Watch for an April article with re-envisioning updates, and find all of the articles and information about the re-envisioning on the re-envisioning webpage: lakesideschool.org/re-envisioning.