Middle School

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School Culture and Values

At Lake, we live by the following core values:



Hard Work


Lake Middle School Philosophy

Lake operates from a philosophy called Restorative Practice. The Restorative Practice process promotes building relationships and strengthening community bonds, while supporting student growth toward self-discipline, accepting responsibility, and appreciating the rights of others. It is our desire at Lake to maintain an environment where students grow and thrive intellectually, socially, and emotionally.  This restorative philosophy also guides our interventions.

Our restorative school culture means we focus on relationship building among our students and staff. Restorative is synonymous with accountability and opportunity. Through relationship building and through conflict we are given the chance to teach our students how to identify behaviors that cause harm, how to accept responsibility for that harm, and how to use creative solution-focused actions in order for the offender to make things right. The restorative process seeks to identify everyone involved and provide opportunities for those most affected by the behavior to be heard and play an active role in deciding how the situation will be made right.

Restorative work comes in all forms

A restorative process at Lake can come in many forms. From Learning Family to Socratic seminars, restorative is used as a preventative and inclusive tool in the classroom. Students may also be involved in circle work with an academic focus or in response to a class-wide issue. Mediations between students, between staff or between students and staff are used as well.

Social/Emotional Concerns

Some students have social or emotional concerns that affect their academic and social functioning at school. Preparing students for life success requires a broad, balanced education that both ensures their mastery of basic academic skills and also prepares them to become responsible adults. At Lake Middle School we value the importance of promoting students social, emotional, and academic growth as we recognize that adolescence is a critical time in a child’s development. Through providing support and interventions in the social/emotional domain, the goal is to decrease problem behaviors, enhance academic performance, and promote a student’s all around positive adjustment and growth.

Maintaining the Right Environment
Our staff believes in an academically-focused, safe and nurturing environment for every child.  Our staff is committed to providing a school culture in which every child thrives, both academically and socially.  To provide this culture and environment for our students, we have developed some school-wide actions to help students succeed:

  • We know our kids and always greet them by name.  You’ll see the administration in the mornings greeting scholars as they enter the building and our teachers throughout the day greeting each student as they enter the classroom.  To attend to the individual strengths and needs of our students, we must know who they are.
  • School-wide rituals, routines and protocols are in place to maintain a culture of learning and peer acceptance for all.  We believe consistency and structure help all students succeed.
  • We follow the Knights’ Code and use it in all of our interactions with students.  We explore the meaning of our value words with kids and illustrate each word for them every day.
  • We know that coming to middle school can be intimidating.  To help students feel safe, we have grade-level hallways and group most of our essentials classes by grade level, so that students are surrounded by similar aged peers.
  • We practice Restorative Approaches with our students.  We do not believe in immediate consequences, but in working with students to find a solution to any disruptions of learning in which they take the responsibility. (See Restorative Approaches)
  • We implement a dress code of blue jeans or khakis, grey or black shorts or pants, with black shirt, white shirts or a Lake Middle School shirt.  We implement the dress code for multiple reasons. First and foremost, we believe in safety for our students. The dress code allows us to make sure that everyone we see belongs in our building.  We always investigate anyone out of dress code. Dress code also allows for academic focus. We know middle school students are social creatures and are developing a sense of self. When students wear the Lake uniform, they are not preoccupied with the social aspect of dress and are able to focus on academics.  Our Lake Middle School  shirts also foster a sense of pride in our school.

All of these things together allow students to feel safe, accepted and respected in our building.  This allows Lake scholars to focus on academics, preparing them for high school, college and beyond.