Inclusive Schools

Inclusion in Lake Washington School District – A message from Dr. Holmen

Lake Washington School District (LWSD) continues to identify the ways that we can provide a world-class education for all students. One key element of a world-class education is the inclusion of students with varying, and at times, complex learning needs in their neighborhood schools.

We are proud of the work our schools, staff, students and families are doing to create inclusive schools and classrooms for our students. I am committed to this work as it will benefit every member of our community and continue to elevate our students’ experience from preschool through high school.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our work to provide excellence in education for each student.


"A Desire To Do Things Differently"

An article from the August 2023 issue of School Administrator magazine by Executive Director of Special Services, Dr. Shannon Hitch.

Self-contained programs weren’t benefiting students with disabilities, so this large district is changing mindsets to create inclusive schools

At a recent after-school event at one of our elementary schools, I watched with amazement as a group of students from the Eagle Club provided professional learning on inclusionary practices to their teachers and principals.

I was visiting Franklin Elementary, one of the first cohort schools in our district to implement inclusionary practices. Admittedly, I sat in tears watching children with complex disabilities and their peers engage as friends and work collaboratively to teach the adults in their school how to be inclusive. The students participated equally and with support and compassion among them.

During this unique training, teachers learned how to use augmentative communication devices, provide calming spaces and design instruction for complex learners — directly from the children themselves. I experienced genuine inclusion, evidenced through friendship, advocacy and an understanding of inclusionary practices. Three years ago, I could not have imagined this.

Read the entire article here.