Unspoken Upper School Norms WE Should Talk About

Unspoken rules of the Upper School lead to sense of belonging, guide tradition


Rowan Wallin

Entrance to Blake, August 2022

The Blake School has been in operation since 1900 and has thrived as a community ever since. This is possible due to the unspoken rules and guidelines of any functioning society. These norms and expectations have been waning throughout the last few years due to COVID-19, graduations, and retirements. In interviews, students and adults show a desire to reinstate these necessary guidelines to uphold the fundamentals of order, respect, cohesion, belonging, and, most of all, tradition.


In the lunchroom, clean up after yourself and others. Encourage others to clean up after themselves. Be a respectful lunch line occupant. Don’t budge. Respect the trek it took for your peers to earn their spot in line. 9th and 10th graders sit on the courtyard side while 11th and 12th graders sit on the street side.


The hallways during passing time can be busy. Remember to look up from phones while walking, don’t crowd with friends, and live in the moment. An irregular speed that is too slow or too fast is dangerous and impedes on the schedules of others. Maintain traffic flow.


Respect the shared spaces of others. Use rooms according to their function. Study in the study rooms and department focused labs. Meditate in the meditation room. Socialize in your designated grade-level lounge. Seniors in the Northrop Lounge, juniors in the Dunn Barry Lounge, sophomores outside the NAR and Bennett Gallery, and freshmen in the Carlson Commons.


Be an enthusiastic Bear. Clap for senior speakers, join different clubs and meet new friends, participate in Spirit Week themes, and attend sporting events. No one is too cool to go to sports games, concerts, or other events. Show up to celebrate your peers!


If you see anyone deviating from these norms, save them from embarrassment and refer them to this story. Don’t silently judge. Instead, be kind and remind!

Interviews conducted with David Zalk, Joe Ruggiero, Jen Vance, Chris Loew, Sarah Warren, Darian Mehra ‘23, and Charlie Weyerhaeuser ‘23. The Blake Family Handbook was also consulted.