High School Day Evaluation Committee

​​​​​​​Committee Purpose/Charge

To better understand the full impact of the 7-period day, we will form a committee comprised of students, staff and community members. The committee's role will be to:

  • Collect and analyze stakeholder feedback and course registration data to understand the costs and benefits of the 7-period day.
  • Evaluate the impact of the additional period on student well-being.
  • Issue a report and recommendations considering both educational and financial implications moving forward.

The committee will begin the work during the 2023-24 school year and complete a final report during the 2024-25 school year for implementation in the 2025-26 school year.

   

Background/History

In the 2019-20 academic year, Lake Washington School District (LWSD) transitioned to a 7-period high school day. This move was in response to new graduation requirements from the State Board of Education, which increased the minimum credits for high school graduation from 22 to 24. The change was initially recommended by a district-facilitated stakeholder committee in 2017, who, after engaging in analysis and discussion, determined that a 7-period day could offer students opportunities for credit retrieval within the school day, expand access to elective courses, and support on-time graduation through increased credit opportunities. The committee also recommended ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the change.

However, a complete evaluation of the outcomes or additional impacts of the move has been delayed until this point, due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic.  Additionally, initiatives like in-school intervention blocks and equitable grading practices have been introduced in the system, which may offer alternative paths to achieve similar goals and were not in practice during the 2015-2017 committee’s work. 

Since 2017, our district’s financial landscape has also changed. Factors such as declining enrollment, inflationary pressures and continued underfunding from the state have strained our budget. Although we are grateful for local community support through voter approved levies, these funds are capped and fully committed. The district has relied on diminishing fund balance savings to maintain operations in the years during and after the pandemic. To continue the necessary work to balance our budget, which started this year with 4.8 million in budget adjustments, we need to make additional adjustments in the range of 11 to 15 million dollars over the next two years. As a result, we must evaluate the cost/benefit of all substantial expenditures, including the costs associated with a 7-period day, while continuing to provide a high-quality learning experience to all students.

The superintendent will consider the committee’s findings as part of the district’s ongoing operational planning process.

Membership

Meetings

The High School Day will be a multi-year committee and meetings will be held on Thursdays from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Meetings may be held more frequently when needed. Meeting dates for 2023-24:

  • October 19, 2023
  • November 16, 2023
  • December 14, 2023
  • January 25, 2024
  • February 15, 2024
  • March 7, 2024
  • April 25, 2024
  • May 16, 2024

Meeting minutes & docs