All Lake Washington School District students have the right to public education. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plyler vs. Doe (457 U.S. 202 (1982)) that undocumented children and young adults have the same right to attend public primary and secondary schools as do U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Lake Washington does not ask for or collect immigration status information.
One of Lake Washington School District's major goals is to "Provide safe & innovative learning environments." Research shows a direct link between student achievement and schools that have daylight in classrooms, good indoor air quality and good acoustics. As teaching methods change over decades, school building spaces can play a role in the learning process.
Lake Washington School District began a program in 1998 to review its school buildings every 30-40 years. Since then, over 20 school buildings have been rebuilt and updated.
Since 2008, Lake Washington has also seen a steady increase in enrollment. Several attempts to pass bond measures to pay for new schools did not succeed. As a result, a community-based 63-person task force worked from December 2014 through November 2015 to make recommendations concerning the district's facilities needs through 2029-30. Those recommendations were accepted by the district's Board of Directors in December 2015.
A successful April 2016 bond measure is paying for the most pressing projects among those recommended by the Long Term Facilities Planning Task Force. The Building on Success section follows the progress of those projects. The projects include two new elementary schools and one new middle school. Juanita High School will be rebuilt and enlarged, as well Kirk and Mead Elementary Schools, among other projects.
Additional construction projects will be proposed in future years to meet the facilities needs outlined in the Task Force's recommendations.