“This is why I decided to come to LCS.”

Talking with Betsy Macdonnell '18 about outdoor education (OE) at Lakefield College School. First impressions have a big impact. For Betsy Macdonnell '18, her first experience at LCS changed her life. In 2014, she had a day-long tour, shadowing another student to get an immersive feel for life at The Grove. She was in the process of deciding what course to take with her future. Being raised in New York City, many prestigious American schools were on the radar. Her Father (Hugh Macdonnell ’85), however, was an LCS graduate, so she ventured north. Part of the day involved a session on the high ropes course. Not only was this a significant departure from other tours, but it also revealed something very unique. “There was a sense of community that was prevalent. Here I was, miles away from home, in a challenging, frightening situation—being encouraged and supported by complete strangers. This is why…

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A Blueprint for Innovation

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program at LCS. Great leaders tend to talk about three things: objectives, strategies and tactics. While often dry, and seemingly obvious, nothing could be further from the truth. Intelligent decisions in this regard form the arc of the world’s most successful enterprises—from businesses and governments to artistic and social movements. At a small school like LCS, educators find themselves at a unique vantage point. Not only can they see the whole picture in vivid detail, but they also have the independence to innovate as they see fit. This is very, very different. Understanding this is critical to understanding the impact of the Advanced Placement (AP) Program at The Grove. The basics of AP courses. Any discussion about AP courses begins with some basics. AP courses are developed by the AP College Board in the United States. Their purpose is to enable students to take college-level courses…

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Harnessing Harkness: the Art of Cultivating Communication

"I discovered I'm not the only one who's right. By really listening to the others in the discussion, I learned to be open to different ideas—and to build on them. The goal isn't to win, like in a debate. It's to come up with better, stronger ideas by listening and responding to each other." Grade 11 student Kylie Lee is speaking about participating in Harkness discussions in her English classes at Lakefield College School. More and more Lakefield is incorporating the Harkness Method into its English courses with an eye to enhancing communication skills. And it's working. "It makes you pay more attention than you do when the teacher leads discussions. You have to respond to what others say, so you can't hide—you don't have the option of not not putting up your hand," says another Gr. 11 student, Keely Matsusaki. Developed by the Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) in New…

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