Lakeside’s re-envisioning process encompasses many different projects – including the competencies and mindsets the school will focus on teaching; a new Upper School schedule; adjusting the school academic calendar; and other special programs. It also supports other work currently underway or recently completed, including Our Work Together, the 2018 global curriculum review, and the recent Middle School schedule change.
The job of planning for and implementing these changes is shared by a group of administrators. In January 2020, Upper School Assistant Director Hans de Grys took on the new all-school position of academic dean, in which he’ll work with faculty and administrators to fully integrate the competencies and mindsets into Lakeside’s 5-12 educational program.
“Lakeside is already a school where kids get a fantastic education,” says de Grys. “The things people love about Lakeside: that students have amazing teachers, that they get to do awesome projects and have great programs, that kids have a rich and robust and meaningful experience … none of that is going to change. The re-envisioning is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.”
“Lakeside is amazing AND that doesn’t mean that Lakeside can’t get better. We can take those things that we’re already doing well in some domains, and push them out to other domains, taking into account the opportunities, experiences, careers, and different types of issues that students will face in the 2030s, 2040s, and 2050s.”
The role of academic dean is not an unusual one at independent schools and it’s an extension of the curriculum-focused work de Grys has done in his role as Upper School assistant director. “It’ll be part of my job to help faculty dream, scheme, implement, and evaluate, supporting them through changes and helping them figure out what’s working well and what’s not,” he says. Another piece of the position will be handling many of the professional development duties that Elaine Christensen has overseen in her role as director of professional development. (Christensen will depart Lakeside at the end of June 2020 to become head of Open Window School).
“Our hope is that this role will leverage opportunities created by the new schedule and calendar to make innovative and meaningful changes in our 5-12 academic program in a way that supports our school’s mission and our re-envisioning,” remarks Head of School Bernie Noe. “Along with the division directors, the academic dean will foster an environment that is dynamic, creative, and ever evolving to meet the needs of Lakeside students in a changing world.”
Next steps in the re-envisioning
Later this month parents and guardians will receive an email and video from Noe with information about the proposed academic year calendar changes. Please send us your feedback! Details on submitting feedback will be included in Noe’s email.
You can find all of the articles and information about the re-envisioning on the re-envisioning webpage: lakesideschool.org/re-envisioning.