SpaceX STEM Professionals at Tesla STEM

150 Tesla STEM scholars attended a panel discussion and presentation with five female SpaceX STEM professionals. Each professional told the story of her pathway to STEM fields and ultimately to SpaceX.



Connections - December 15, 2017


A message from Dr. Traci Pierce, Superintendent

Better Together
It is hard to believe how fast 2017 has flown by! As the year comes to a close, and we look toward the new year, it is great time to reflect and be grateful.

As author William Arthur Ward wrote, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

As December is the season of giving, it is the perfect time to express our gratitude to our community. As a district, we are grateful to serve wonderfully diverse and creative students. We are grateful to partner with supportive families, PTSA members, community organizations, and city leaders. We are grateful to our community members and voters for supporting our schools and our students.

Read more about how we are Better Together – a message from Dr. Traci Pierce, Superintendent.

Community Engagement

We Value Your Feedback
Each year, the district invites parents and community members to provide feedback on general school and district questions. The survey is anonymous. Schools and the district use this information in planning for the future and in continuous improvement processes.

This year’s survey is now open: tell us what you think! Please click here to take the survey. The survey will be open through January 19.

The district also surveys parents on specific programs and planned strategic work: that survey will open in February.

Reminder: LWSD Summer Programs Survey

The Lake Washington School District offers a variety of Summer Programs for students in elementary, middle and high school. We are interested in providing expanded summer enrichment experiences for families this upcoming summer. We need your input! Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey to help us learn more about the types of summer enrichment programs your family might be interested in. This valuable information will be used to expand summer enrichment program options beginning summer 2018. Summer Program Catalogs will be available in April 2018.

Building on Success

February 13 Levy and Bond Measures

Lake Washington School District is planning for three ballot measures to go before voters in the district on February 13, 2018.

The Education Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) funds program and operations needs not funded by the state. It helps pay for staffing for special education, highly capable, ELL, safety and security. It funds staff professional learning, teacher planning, the new teacher support program and training and workshops. It also pays for extracurricular activities and athletics; course offerings such as a 7-period high school day and early learning programs such as special preschool, Ready Start and Head Start. The levy currently funds 19.2% of the operating budget and must be renewed every four years.

The Capital Projects Levy funds critical facility and technology needs not funded by the state. The facility portion of this levy pays for building and system improvements, site improvements, field upgrades, portables, school improvements and health and safety compliance. The technology portion of this levy pays for infrastructure, such as networking and cloud storage, student and staff computers, classroom technology, security cameras, instructional software, business and support systems, and technology training and professional development. This levy must be renewed every four years.

The bond measure is the second of four planned bond measures to fulfill the Long-Term Facility Task Force recommendations. The measure will build one new elementary school and a new choice high school, remodel/rebuild and enlarge Alcott Elementary and Kamiakin Middle School, build an addition at Lake Washington High School and provide land for future projects and other capital projects.

These three measures will decrease the tax rate in our district from $3.16 to $2.93 per $1,000 of Assessed Valuation. For further information and details, please go to the Bond and Levies page on the district website. These measures are important to help the district continue Building On Success and ensuring our students graduate future ready.

Save the date: Bond and Levies Community Open Houses
Lake Washington School District will host four community open house events on the bond and levy measures. Dates, times and locations are listed below. This is your chance to hear more about each of these measures and have your questions answered.

  • January 16 – Redmond High School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • January 17 – Lake Washington High School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • January 23 – Eastlake High School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • January 24 – Kamiakin Middle School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Important Reminders and Updates

Voter Registration Deadline: January 15

The deadline to register to vote for the February 13 election is Monday, January 15. The deadline for in-person registration is February 5. Visit the Secretary of State website for more information on how to register.

Reminder: Are you ready for inclement weather?

When emergency conditions such as snow and ice or windstorms result in school schedule changes, the district will notify families directly through our SchoolMessenger automated phone system. For more information on how to find out if school is delayed or closed, check out the School Closures and Late Starts page of the district website. Families with students who ride the bus should watch their mail in mid-November for a postcard with information about their bad weather bus route. Want to make sure you receive alerts about school closures right away? Sign up on to be notified about the latest school delay and school closure news from LWSD.

Calling all teen entrepreneurs

Lake Washington School District high school students who own and operate a business could win a cash prize in this year’s Teen CEO Competition. LWSD will hold its fifth annual Teen CEO Business Competition on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake Washington School District Resource Center (16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond WA 98052). To qualify, LWSD students must currently own and operate a small business. Learn more about the Teen CEO competition here.

Choice School applications open; middle school and high school options booklets available

Choice school applications are now available online for the 2018-19 school year. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. January 19, 2018, for any school that relies on a lottery to determine enrollment.

Parents of students in grades five or eight should have received the Middle School Options booklet or High School Options booklet. They outline the opportunities in these respective levels, including information about neighborhood schools and choice schools. The booklets are also available on the district website. Videos about each choice school are posted on the district website and YouTube channel.

NEW! Innovation Program

The district is pleased to announce a new Innovation Program. The goal is to recognize and incentivize innovative strategies and programs within our schools. The Innovation Program includes an Innovation Fund and an Innovative Program Designation. The Innovation Fund, with support from Lake Washington Schools Foundation, provides $50,000 in grant funding for new innovation programs or to expand existing programs. Funds can be used for supplies, materials or training. The Innovative Program Designation provides recognition for existing and new innovation occurring in our schools. Innovation Fund grants are developed by principals working with their staff. Visit the Innovation webpage for more information.

World Language Competency Credit Opportunity

Students may develop world language skills in many ways. They may use another language at home, attend language programs in the community, learn language skills online or spend time living abroad. Students who have achieved some proficiency in a world language may seek to earn credit by taking an assessment that measures their proficiency.

Students who wish to pursue this option must sign up to participate in "Washington World Language Assessment Days." Through this program, students complete an assessment. If they demonstrate at least a novice mid-proficiency level, they receive a certificate of recognition and a letter indicating proficiency levels and number of high school credits earned.

The Lake Washington School District offers five testing opportunities for 9th-12th grade students in 2017-18. The cost of a first attempt during a student’s high school career is free. Read more information about the LWSD World Language Credit Option and sign up by January 4. Priority will be given to 11th and 12th graders if space becomes limited. Testing will be held on January 10, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at Lake Washington High School. The deadline to register is January 4, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Students must register on the website.

Work with us

Want a new job for the new year? We’re hiring!

LWSD needs bus drivers, para educators and instructional assistants. Job descriptions are available on the district website, under “Employment” then “Classified Employees.” Bus drivers earn $24.80 per hour. Learn more about why driving a bus for LWSD is a great job. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

Sodexo/Nutrition Services is Hiring

Are you looking for a way to get involved in Lake Washington School District? Would you like a part-time job that gives you the flexibility to be with your kids before and after school? Shifts that range from two hours to eight hours are available, helping serve students breakfast and lunch. Starting pay depends on experience. If interested, contact Nutrition Services at 425-936-1385.

Student & Staff Success

Season of Giving

Every year, in November and December, students, staff and parents in our district give back to our families and our community in many ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Franklin Elementary School donated 658 pounds of food to Hopelink at their Apple Cup-themed food drive. Husky fans brought in 407 pounds of food and Cougar fans brought in 251 pounds of food.
  • Rockwell Elementary School’s Student Leadership Group and fourth grade classes held a drive that brought in 285 toys for families in need.
  • Finn Hill Middle School collected over 1,000 food items for Hopelink Pantry Packs.
  • International Community School ASB organized a food and clothing drive for Youthcare in Seattle. They gathered more than 100 items of food, clothing, backpacks and sleeping bags.

More stories of generosity will be posted on the district website and on our Facebook page.

RHS student wins Congressional App Challenge with app to make chemistry easy

Portrait of Pranav VaidIn high school chemistry, you probably learned how to identify an unknown compound through a process called Qualitative Analysis: (1) Burning the compound to observe the color of the flame and (2) Dissolving the compound in water to observe its precipitation.

Junior Pranav Vaid’s award-winning app makes this process easier and faster by simulating the process. It reduces the Qualitative Analysis that would typically take two weeks when analyzed manually, down to a few hours.

The Redmond High School student is the winner of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for Washington’s 1st Congressional District. The office of Rep. Suzan DelBene announced the winner on Dec. 8.

Read more about the app.

Read more student and staff success stories here.