Superintendent Message - October 2017

    Bond, Levies, and Building on Success


    Dr. Traci Pierce, Superintendent

    Our district mission and vision centers on graduating students Future Ready. As a district, our goal is to provide students with the best learning environments possible and provide classrooms for our ever-growing student population. We want to ensure our students have safe school facilities and access to technology for learning. We also want to ensure our students have access to the staff, programs, and course offerings they need to be successful and ultimately graduate Future Ready.

    “Building on Success” is the name for our long-term plan to continue to provide quality learning environments and experiences for our growing number of students and families. “Building on Success” is accomplished through passage of bonds and levies. Bonds and levies fund school construction; facility and technology needs; and staff, programs, and course offering not funded by the State. They help us reach our Future Ready vision for students.

    School districts in Washington State rely on funding from two primary sources:

    1. State Funding - pays for what the state deems “Basic Education”
    2. Local Funding - through bonds and levies, local funding pays for important programs, services, and operations that are not funded by the State.

    Lake Washington School District is planning for three ballot measures in February 2018: the second of four planned bonds and two replacement levies. A recommendation was presented to our Board of Directors on October 2, 2017. They will take formal action on October 16, 2017.

    Three measures are recommended to go before voters in the district on February 13, 2018:

    • A Bond
    • Capital Projects Levy
    • Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy.

    Why do we need a bond?
    Lake Washington School District is rapidly growing. Our current 2017-18 enrollment is 29,572 students. This year marks our 10th straight year of enrollment growth, and we are now 3rd largest district in Washington State. Between 2010-2017, we have grown an average of 700 students per year!

    We need additional schools and classrooms to meet our growing enrollment needs. In 2016, voters passed the first of four planned bond measures that will fund school construction projects needed through the 2029-2030 school year. These projects were recommended by a citizen-based community task force. The 2018 bond continues to implement the task force plan to build more schools, reduce overcrowding, reduce reliance on portables, and address aging school facilities.

    Why do we need levies?
    Every four years, Lake Washington runs two levies:

    1. Capital Projects Levy
    2. Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy.

    The Capital Projects Levy funds facility and technology needs not funded by the State. This levy funds facility needs such as: heating/ventilation systems; roofing replacement; athletic and playfield improvements; portables; and safety measures. It also funds technology needs such as infrastructure; network security; staff and student computers; instructional software; security cameras; communication and business systems; and, staff training.

    The Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy funds staff, programs, operations, and course offerings not funded by the State. This levy pays for certificated and classified staff needed for Special Education, Highly Capable, and English Learner programs. It funds substitutes, nurses, health room staff and campus security. The levy pays for athletics and extracurricular activities, our New Teacher Support Program and professional learning for teachers and staff. The levy will fund a 7-period day for our high school students, to help meet the state-required 24 credit graduation requirement. The levy also helps fund Head Start, Ready Start, and Special Education preschool for our youngest learners.

    Building on Success
    We call our long-term plan to continue to provide quality learning environments and experiences for our growing number of students and families, “Building on Success.” Please look for detailed information on our upcoming February 2018 bond and levies following the Board’s action on October 16!