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Many of you have seen the disturbing news regarding the shooting at Freeman High School, which is near Spokane, Washington, this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, their families and the surrounding community.

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Superintendent's Message - March 2017

Formal portrait of LWSD Superintendent, Dr. Traci Pierce

Growing Together, Serving our Community

Success for Every Student

The 2013-2018 Lake Washington Strategic Plan, in defining our strategic goal: Ensure Academic Success for Every Student, states the following:

We are responsible for the futures of all students. No matter their background, home situation, or family resources. We believe that every student can learn and achieve at high levels, and it our responsibility to help each and every student to learn, grow, and be challenged to do their very best each and every day in our schools. This is what ensuring academic success for every student is all about.

Our commitment to success for every student is rooted in the ideals of both equity and excellence. Our district and our schools continue to focus efforts toward high achievement for all.

One of our core district values is: Results Oriented. We know that results matter for our students. We are constantly analyzing student results to determine how we can better serve our students.

One kind of result we analyze is student assessment data. We also analyze other kinds of data, like program participation, Healthy Youth Survey data, and a myriad of other kinds of results.

Like many districts across the region, state, and nation, we see evidence of achievement and opportunity gaps in our data. Achievement gaps refer to any significant, persistent disparities in academic performance between groups of students, based on income level, race, or program participation. Opportunity gaps refer to gaps in access to resources, programs, and other opportunities.

Take our district graduation rate, for example. Our overall graduation rate for the class of 2016 is 91.3%. This is one of the highest rates in Washington State. We are proud of our overall rate. However, when we dig deeper into our results, we find that the rate for our Latino students is 85%. The rate for our Black/African American students is 81.5%. The rate for our low-income students is 79.2%. The rate for our students with IEPs is 76.3%. The rate for our English Language Learners is 70.8%. These rates represent actual students with hope and dreams for the future. We need to improve these rates. Lake Washington is committed to closing achievement and opportunity gaps for students where they exist.

This year Lake Washington invited the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Equity in Education department to partner with us. PSESD supports all school districts in the Puget Sound region, providing a variety of services. Our work for 2016-17 focuses on the following:

  • Provide professional learning for school and district leaders
  • Conduct data analysis
  • Convene a district Equity Team

Lake Washington’s entire District Leadership Team, which includes all building and central office administrators, is participating in professional learning to expand and support capacity to develop equitable systems. Later this month, researchers from PSESD will conduct a series of student focus groups in some middle and high schools so we can learn more from our students about their experiences and perspectives. Later this spring, we will convene a district Equity Team, which will include parents and staff. The Equity Team will help us look at results and information from the focus groups to identify priorities as we move forward. Please look for more information about how to potentially participate in the Equity Team this spring.

More than ever, we remain committed to success for every student and steadfast in our vision of Every Student Future Ready.