The arrival of the Class of 2021 on Tuesday marked the official return of students to campus since our closure in March. The Grove was filled once more with the sounds of laughter, shouts of happiness and the bustle of student life. Our grads (Grade 12 students) arrive earlier than their peers to take part in an important annual tradition: the LCS Grad Leadership Conference. Offered both in-person and to our remote students, this conference took place over the course of three days and provided time for grads to spend time together as a grade and with the staff.
Grade 12s are involved in a wide variety of experiences that continue to work both the general principles of effective leadership and the practical application of those to school life. The graduating class develops a set of values and from there, a series of goals for the year. They draw from these values when faced with disciplinary decisions that might arise during the school year. Ongoing discussions throughout the fall allow students to reflect on their experiences both personally, in their respective Senior-in-Charge (SIC) positions and as a grade.
Grads worked in activity rotations by House to discuss, connect and engage in a variety of topics. They received their grad t-shirts, learned about COVID-19 safety protocols and how we can still create a Lakefield experience for our students. They are also prepared for their leadership roles in the community through workshops such as “Leadership in Uncertain Times” and meeting with their SIC staff support to discuss their role and goals for the year. This time allowed them to think critically about what it will take to inspire student engagement, to feel comfortable with their leadership roles and better understand concepts such as shared leadership.
A second time-honoured tradition for our Grade 12 students was our Opening Grad Chapel which was held on the evening of September 9. This year’s Chapel took place outdoors on blankets and, while safely masked, our grads brought life and light to The Grove through music, reflection and our candle ceremony. Watch highlights from our Opening Grad Chapel. "Soon you will light candles, you will each light a candle which is a symbol of your light. May you shine brightly this year. May your light shine brightly on others, both staff and students. Make it a great year." -Anne-Marie Kee, Head of School and Foundation
The past few days have, most importantly, given our grads time to connect together and reconnect to campus, through braving the chillier weather with swim tests at the waterfront, eating together by House in the dining hall and outdoors, unpacking their belongings in their residences, enjoying a video chat with remote grads, and welcoming our new and returning students to The Grove. We are so excited for the leadership and direction that the Class of 2021 will share with us for the 2020/21 school year.