Lakeside Charter Academy is committed to ensuring our students are nurtured, supported, and safe from the moment they step foot on campus. We also strive to ensure that every student feels respected and secure throughout their school year. When it comes to supporting our student's emotional health, we have the commitment of all teachers and faculty, whose mission is to build a positive school environment where all students feel valued and accepted as they are.
Zero Tolerance for Bullying
We teach students that bullying is unacceptable and is not tolerated at Lakeside. Our teachers and administrators are trained to recognize and address students in distress. When we receive a tip that a student has been bullied, we first meet with the student to ensure they are okay and feel safe in the present moment. We collect all sides of the story. Depending on the severity of the report, our Character Education Teacher, Ms. Conaway, collaborates with Principal Montague to meet with the student's families. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss the incident deeply and determine the consequences and next steps. For minor conflicts, our staff receives ongoing professional development on Restorative Practices, allowing all involved to solve interpersonal problems in a safe and supportive place. Lakeside provides a nurturing environment that values all students' social and emotional needs.
Sown to Grow
We also have a unique program called Sown to Grow, a social-emotional learning resource and wellness check-in program designed to help us keep a pulse on students' needs and provide/connect students to mental health support when needed. The platform is set up for students to complete a weekly emotional check-in by choosing an emoji that expresses how they are feeling. Older grades are then invited to respond to a prompt about what is going well and what they want help with. This can range from emotional support, interpersonal conflicts, or academic struggles.
Sometimes, mediation between pupils is necessary to de-escalate situations and improve relationships. When Ms. Conaway meets with students, her goal isn’t to solve problems for them, but to give them a safe space to learn how to do it themselves. We are there for our students as much as possible and encourage them to think independently and grow. This often means listening to both sides of the story and helping students helpfully phrase their feelings.
Often described as non-violent communication, we empower students to use “I-messages” to speak their truth positively and will ask clarifying questions to help the other party understand. It’s our experience that most disagreements are a result of misunderstandings. Removing students from tense situations, giving them a chance to clarify or reflect, and genuinely listening to them usually allows them to find peace with one another.
Our approach encourages students to listen intentionally, speak plainly and take responsibility for their actions without punishment or shame, if necessary.
Sown to Grow flags concerning posts for the teachers and staff to read and respond to. Helping students work through life transitions and challenges affecting their well-being in school or at home is part of our nurturing approach to education at Lakeside. The program can also track students who consistently have difficult weeks, allowing us to better address issues that might typically fly under the radar. This, combined with the connection made through intentional relationship building, has the power to cultivate a positive and supportive school culture.
At Lakeside, we pay special attention to character development. That’s why Ms. Conaway’s Character Education Class teaches students the following social-emotional learning competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible-decision making. Within these competencies, we explore various topics each week, including developing healthy friendships, demonstrating compassion and empathy, conflict resolution, respecting differences, taking accountability, practicing gratitude, and becoming a leader, just to name a few.
As a K-9th, tuition-free public charter school, Lakeside often feels more like a family. We are invested in the total health of all our students and create positive environments that promote lifelong learning in a safe space. We are enrolling for 2023-2024. If you are still looking for a school home, consider joining us!
About Lakeside Charter Academy
Lakeside Charter Academy is a K-9th community-driven school where caring educators, parents, and local business leaders work to provide unparalleled education. Our approach is nurturing yet challenging, innovative while embracing proven traditions. We offer a safe, fun environment where children reach their highest academic potential. Enroll your child today.