Connections - December 2, 2022

Season of Giving

LWSD Season of Giving 2022

'Tis the Season of Giving in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) 

Each year schools and district buildings across LWSD think of ways to benefit those most in need during the holiday season. They do so by holding food or clothing drives or collecting items to donate to others in the community. The items collected are distributed to families and non-profit organizations throughout the area. Visit our district website to view a list of all the events going on throughout the district. The list will be updated regularly to share what some of the schools are doing this year to make the season a little brighter.


Work with us

We're hiring! Consider a career in LWSD

We're Hiring

LWSD is always seeking great talent for positions throughout our district. In addition to other positions available throughout the district, we are looking for applicants for the following positions:

  • Paraeducators
  • Nurses
  • Instructional Assistants (IA’s)
  • Custodians
  • Bus Drivers
  • Substitutes

These positions are also available in a substitute role. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings.


Learning Focused

LWSD schools continue inclusionary practices efforts

More schools work to increase general education access for students with complex learning needs.

This fall, a number of elementary schools welcomed neighborhood students that traditionally had been served in learning center programs at non-neighborhood schools. 

This work is part of a multi-year district effort to ensure that all students, regardless of need, can receive special education services at their neighborhood school. This inclusion model aligns with LWSD’s values of equity and inclusion and has shown both academic and social-emotional benefits for all students regardless of whether they have a disability. During this year, all elementary school staff members are engaged in professional learning and planning with the intent to shift away from learning center regional programs and return all students to their neighborhood schools.

Executive Director Dr. Shannon Hitch, along with Deputy Superintendents Scott Beebe, Matt Gillingham, and Associate Superintendent Dr. Jen Rose, shared a comprehensive overview of district efforts to develop systems and increase inclusionary practices to respond to the diverse learning needs of all students at the November 21 Board Study Session. They shared the efforts to date to increase student access to general core instruction as well as plans to further increase access for elementary students across the district in the 2023-24 school year. Several elementary school principals, staff and a parent shared feedback about the inclusion work this year. You can view the video of the study session here.


LAST DAY! - Choice Schools for 2023-24 - Applications open 11/1-12/2

Interested in a Choice School for 2023-24? 

Choice school applications open now through December 2 at 11:59 p.m. 

Lake Washington School District offers Choice Schools and programs for students. Choice Schools and programs are optional schooling alternatives, created to meet specific needs and interests. They are designed to be smaller and use innovative approaches to education that are different from traditional public schools. Choice Schools and programs are often housed within an existing school or on the same campus as another school.  

See these flyers for more details on the options by grade level: 

Learn more about the process and curriculum at each school on the Choice Schools webpage: Each school lists information about how to attend or watch their information session.  

Applications for choice schools will close on Friday, December 2 at 11:59 p.m.  

For more information, visit:


High school social studies curriculum adoption resources available to review

The 6-12 Social Studies Adoption Committee has used the Washington State Social Studies Standards, adopted by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in 2019, as well as their knowledge of effective practices in teaching to guide a deep evaluation of different available 6-12 social studies curricula. The committee reached consensus in choosing two curricula for U.S. Social Studies and Civics to pilot this fall. Teachers on the Adoption Committee, along with other interested teachers, are currently piloting both curricula, gathering student data and impact of curriculum, and collecting student, teacher, and parent/community feedback.    
The programs will be piloted until just before winter break. Throughout the pilot period, the committee will consider how the different programs operate in a daily classroom environment for both teachers and students, as well as how they effectively support instruction aligned with the Washington State Social Studies Standards and effective and inclusive instructional practices.   
Parent and community feedback is essential in this process, and we welcome your input. You can access digital versions of the programs, along with survey link that you can use to provide feedback here: Community Access for Pilot Resources.  

Survey responses are anonymous. These responses will help inform the recommendation our 6-12 Social Studies Adoption Committee makes about the adoption of materials. The committee is scheduled to make a recommendation to the Lake Washington School Board in winter.    
Additionally, information about the adoption process and the social studies programs being considered will be shared at an information night on December 12, 2022 from 7-8 p.m. on a Microsoft Teams meeting here: If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Dr. Jen Rose at or Krystal Stephens at


Hour of Code

This is an annual, worldwide opportunity that occurs every December to inspire K-12 educators and students to use computer science to solve problems, advocate for equity in computer science education, celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field, and underscore the critical role of computing in all careers. This year’s theme is "explore, play, create" with code.

This is a great opportunity for teachers, students and families to:

  • Learn about the impact that computer science is making in our world
  • Understand the relationship that computer science has to different subjects, industries, career paths and our everyday lives
  • Inspire teachers, students and families to actively engage in using computer science 
  • Celebrate CS learning and CS teachers and students 

More than ever, students and families are daily consumers of code and will continue to interact with code in many ways in their future. We want to empower students to be creators of technology, not just consumers. Hour of Code is a fun and engaging event that can help our students have a great experience in these important skills. Many students across the district at all levels have participated in these events in the past, and have had a great experience.


Reminder: World Language proficiency testing

LWSD offers in-person, world language testing for high school students. These tests help students meet the “world languages” graduation requirement. They can earn up to four high school credits. They can also earn the Washington state “Seal of Biliteracy” on their transcript and diploma. 

  • All high school students can take one language test for free. 
  • Students can take the test at any location (see list below).
  • Tests are available in any language that is both written and spoken.

See below for test dates and locations.

Date Time Location
Wednesday, January 18 1:30 p.m. LWHS, RHS

Register and find more information here.

Questions? Contact the Assessment Team at

District Announcements

Winter break coming up

Winter break begins Monday, December 19, and extends through January 2. District offices will be closed December 23 and 26 and December 30 and January 2. Learning will resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.


LWSF partners with Microsoft to thank our teachers and staff

LWSF logo

In October 2022, Lake Washington Schools Foundation partnered with Microsoft employees during the Microsoft October Giving Campaign to create cards, notes and letters of gratitude for the teachers and staff at LWSD. Many of these employees have a personal connection to the district as parents of current or former students, and/or even as LWSD alumni themselves.  

Watch this video to view some of these thoughtful creations! Please join us in saying thank you to all the teachers and staff at LWSD for their dedication and hard work in growing the minds and hearts of our community’s children.


Parent Chat Webinar on December 7: Why Kids Aren't Talking to Parents: Learn How to Change That

At the heart of every conversation is trust. When you can build this trust, this keeps the lines of communication open between you and your teen. At our Parent Chat on December 7 at 7 p.m., we'll discuss how to create this trust. Register at

The event is organized by Balance In Mind, a program of Lake Washington Schools Foundation.


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 ParentSquare. 

  • Here are some other ways to find out about school schedule changes: Pop-up alert on and school webpages. 
  • – this website allows you to sign up for text messages as well. 
  • Local TV/radio stations – they get a feed from of all school schedule change decisions. 

If you are curious how school schedule change decisions are made please visit the School Closures and Late Starts page of the district website.


Student & Staff Success

​Finn Hill Middle School's fresh take on curriculum night

Falcon Fest

Staff at Finn Hill Middle School put a new spin on their traditional curriculum night with their first ever Falcon Fest on October 18. The event welcomed the entire Finn Hill community and featured food trucks and parent education sessions on a wide range of topics. Topics included a Q&A for multi-language students, helping your middle schooler stay organized and preparing for high school.

Learn more about this on the LWSD website.


Timberline Middle School slimes staff to celebrate raising over 18k

TMS Slime

Students gathered in the Timberline Middle School gym for a unique event after raising more than $18,000 from the Timberline games a month earlier. Principal Heidi Paul, Associate Principal Jonathan Glass and Dean of Students Andrew Gustav held a dance off to the Ghostbusters theme song. Then, the three had slime poured all over them, just like in the movie. Watch the video on the LWSD website.



This newsletter is just one way to stay in touch with what is happening in the district. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for up-to-date news and information.