Lakeside Schoolreview by Boston College student. The average class size at Lakeside is 16 and 79% of Lakeside faculty have advanced degrees. I never had an unsatisfactory experience with teachers a Lakeside, with the exception of two of the advanced math teachers. Teacher are available to students not only to discuss work related to class, but also to help students in their personal lives and to prepare them for future opportunities after Lakeside. The average weekly workload for the typical Lakeside student is 4 hours per night, but a student should expect closer to 5-6 hours if they are taking advanced courses like Intensive Geometry, Intensive Physics, Intensive Chemistry, etc. Many Lakeside alumni find that their university math and science courses are easier than their most advanced math and science courses at Lakeside. That said, there are three levels of math and science offered at Lakeside, so some students find that their courses did not prepare them as well for the academic rigors of university because they didn't choose to challenge themselves at Lakeside. Students at Lakeside are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, and to seek out assistance from their teachers or the peer tutoring center if their are struggling in a particular subject matter. A variety of classes are offered in the humanities and social sciences that are simply not offered at any other high school in the country. For example, Lakeside has advanced courses in the English and History departments, such as a class focused exclusively on the Middle East and North Africa or a classes focused on Post-Colonial Literature in Africa and Asia. Lakeside has one of the premier language programs in the country, offering French, Latin, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and occasionally smaller Ancient Greek, Arabic and German classes. While Lakeside does not offer AP courses, the intensity of the Lakeside program meets or exceeds AP material.
The campus culture at Lakeside is extremely competitive and students are expected to sustain a high level of performance throughout their time at Lakeside. That said, there are a variety of support systems in place for students who feel as if they are falling through the cracks at Lakeside. For example, Lakeside counselors provide support and guidance as students navigate multiple aspects of their stressful lives. At the Lakeside Upper School, the Learning Resources Center provides study, test-taking, and organizational strategies, peer-tutoring program referrals for professional tutors, referrals for formal evaluations/assessments to determine if learning challenges are present, and student support plans with appropriate and reasonable accommodations based on documented learning challenges. Lakeside also provides support for families through the Family Support Program. The primary responsibility of the Family Support Program is to help ensure that all families are met with ample guidance throughout their Lakeside experience. The Family Support Program provides advocacy, resources, and community referrals for all Lakeside families, crisis support for immediate concerns/needs, consultation for family transitions that may impact your student, transportation needs, etc.
Lakeside’s service-learning program engages students in volunteer activities beginning in the 5th grade all the way through graduation in the 12th grade. Students actively learn about leadership and responsibility through individual and group projects, and are required to complete a significant amount of service hour before graduation. Lakeside seeks to develop in each student the ethos of service, ensuring that, as students serve others, they develop an appreciation for justice, diversity, compassion, the unique challenges others face, and the positive contributions others make to our world. Students come away from their service understanding that everyone can learn from each other, that it is never too early to have an impact, and that the common good is the responsibility of all. Lakeside also has a global service learning program which combines on-site service learning with cultural immersion in mostly rural areas in the developing and near-developing world. A global pre-trip curriculum, in addition to service learning projects at home and abroad, enable our students to better understand other cultures by experiencing them firsthand and appreciating them on their own terms. At Lakeside, I did my global service learning program in Senegal, West Africa, volunteering in Dakar and outer lying villages and staying in a homestay with a Senegalese family in the village of Keur Sa Daro.