Superintendent Message - June 2020

Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

The first day of school and the last day of school – two of the most memorable days in the life of the school year. Typically, those two days resemble each other very closely. There are cars lined up, excited kids and parents, lots of people outside, and there is electricity in the air.  

Those two days serve as the “bookends” to everything that happened in between. Our hope for each year is that everyone experiences new growth during that time – children and adults alike.

We want students to grow academically as they improve their skills and learn new things. We want them to grow socially as they meet new friends and work and play together. And we want them to grow emotionally in their ability to deal with the daily challenges and successes of life. 

As adults, we want to grow in the same ways. We want to grow in our knowledge and skills for how we do our work and continually improve our craft. We want to grow in our ability to work with others and function well as part of a team. And we want to grow in our ability to deal with the daily challenges and successes of life. As this school year progressed, we found ourselves facing some significant, unplanned interruptions to our regular lives due to the extended school closure and the impact of COVID-19.

The first major change was isolation – simply being kept away from people we love, people we work with, and our students and staff were kept away from school.

The second major change was switching to a remote life – children and adults trying to work and learn through a screen –  sometimes successfully, and sometimes not. 

The third major change was doing this for a long time – far longer than any snow day, spring break, or power outage has ever thrown at us. 

Our students are resilient human beings and despite the closure, they have continued to persevere to complete their school work and do some amazing things. 

They have played their instruments in virtual concerts, created gastronomical wonders, made videos of their projects, launched businesses and non-profits, and helped their communities in so many ways! 

They have run half-marathons, invented new games, and shown us that our temporary circumstances will not stop them from pursuing their hopes and dreams. 

They have used their voices to express their commitment to a future that ensures all people will be treated with dignity and respect and modeled what it looks like to do it with purpose and peace.

So, as we compare the first day to the last day we see a different picture of our school district and our world, one that continues to change, and one that undoubtedly includes challenges ahead.

Lake Washington School District will continue to thrive to meet and overcome those challenges due to the work of amazing staff who care deeply about students, and the support of our communities and parents who step up as partners at every turn. 

I am deeply grateful for your partnership over the past two years of my tenure in LWSD and as I leave the district, I wish you a summer and next school year full of optimism for the future, hope for new growth, and lasting change in our world for all of our children. 


Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent