News

Teacher Appreciation

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We want to recognize and honor all our outstanding teachers who are the heart and soul of education. Thank you, teachers, for working hard each and every day to elevate our students to become successful in school and beyond. We celebrate you today and every day!

One of just 50 schools across the country with this distinction

Redmond, Wash. – Ella Baker Elementary in Redmond has been recognized as a National School of Character. This is the first time a school from Washington state has been recognized with this award. The recognition comes from Character.org, an organization dedicated to empowering people of all ages to practice and model core values.

Events

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    Connections - February 10, 2022

    Stay connected!

    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.

     

    Have a great Mid-Winter Break!

    Just a reminder that Mid-Winter Break is February 17-18 and all schools will be closed. District offices will remain open during the break. Schools and district offices will be closed on Monday, February 21 for Presidents Day.

     

    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, we are looking for applicants for the following positions:

    • Nurses
    • Instructional Assistants (IAs)
    • Paraeducators
    • 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

    Election night results 

    Thank you LWSD voters! Based on the results shared by King County Elections Tuesday night, it appears that our three levies are heading for voter approval. A huge thank you to our community for helping us continue local levy funding to support excellence for every student. You can learn more about what our levies will fund at lwsd.org/education-levies. Watch the video below of Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen speaking about the results of the election.

     

    Lake Washington Tuition Preschool Program now accepting Interest Statements for 2022-23 school year

    The tuition-based Lake Washington Preschool Program is now accepting enrollment Interest Statements for the 2022-23 school year. New families interested in securing a seat for their child to enroll at one of the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Preschool Sites in the 2022-2023 school year, need to complete the Preschool Interest Statement.

    Currently enrolled/returning preschool students, preschool students on an IEP or students enrolled in our Head Start program do not need to fill out the interest statement. 

    Interest Statements received before March 2, 2022 will be entered into a lottery for a seat in the LWSD Preschool program. Lottery will be held the week of March 7, 2022 and families will be notified by March 18, 2022. Any students who do not receive a seat via the lottery will be placed on a waitlist for that preschool location/session. 

    Families on the waitlist at specific preschool locations will be called and offered seats as they become available. 

    After April 11, 2022 registration/enrollments will be handled at the LWSD Early Learning Center at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse to fill any seats remaining after the lottery. 

    Please direct any questions to Nichole Townsend, preschool registrar at ntownsend@lwsd.org.

    Visit the Lake Washington Preschool Program page for more information and to submit a Preschool Interest Statement.

     

    February is Black History Month

    February is Black History Month. This celebration of Black culture in the United States and the contribution of Black Americans to our great country has its origins to coincide with the birth of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (February 14th, 1818 & February 12th, 1808, respectively).

    Frederick Douglass escaped enslavement and later went on to be one of the founders of The Abolitionist Movement in the United States. His harrowing tale of escape and the intellectual foundation he created are still relevant in our times. You can find more information here on the Britannica website.

    Every year Black History Month has a theme. This year’s theme is Black Health and Wellness. The theme is intended to celebrate Black scholars and healthcare professionals, but also the variety of ways the African Diaspora heals. More information on the theme can be found here at the Association for Study of African American Life and History.

     

    Prepared for the global workplace

    February is Career & Technical Education Month 
    Did you know that LWSD has approximately 17,963 students participating in 116 different Career & Technical Education (CTE) course options taught by 145 CTE teachers? The School Board proclaimed the month of February as Career & Technical Education month in LWSD. 
     
    Read the full proclamation here

     

    National School Counseling Week

    February 7-11, 2022
    This week is National School Counseling Week. Lake Washington School District’s 89 school counselors help students reach their full potential and LWSD would like to recognize these efforts. Earlier this week, the LWSD Board signed a proclamation declaring February 7-11, 2022 as National School Counseling Week. School counselors are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development. Thank you to all of our counselors for this incredibly important work. 

    Read the full proclamation here

     

    Twenty-five Lake Washington teachers achieve, renew National Board Certification

    Twenty-five Lake Washington School District teachers achieved or renewed their National Board Certification®, as announced by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Four teachers were certified for the first time and 21 teachers renewed their certification this year; certifications must be renewed every ten years. Teachers from around the district completed the process and will be recognized at an upcoming School Board Meeting. 

    According to NBPTS, 293 teachers working in Lake Washington Schools have earned their certification. National Board certification is considered the highest professional credential a teacher can obtain.

    Read more about this on the LWSD website.

     

    Heritage language opportunity

    Virtual Heritage Language Program for Russian, Romanian, and Ukrainian Speakers
    This free, virtual program through OSPI and International Education Washington meets once a week through June to assist heritage speakers of Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian with earning the Global Seal of Biliteracy. Space is available now for heritage language speakers from any public high school in Washington state. Interested students should apply ASAP using the application form.

     

    6-12th grade 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 per course to pilot this spring and/or next fall, depending on the course. 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 spring 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 April.   
      
    Additionally, information about the adoption process and the social studies programs being considered will be shared at an information night scheduled on Teams for Thursday, March 10 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  The link to join the meeting will be shared on our website closer to the date and will be in the next Connections as well. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Dr. Jen Rose at jerose@lwsd.org or Krystal Stephens at kstephens@lwsd.org. 

     

    Reminder: Washington State Department of Health Guidance Change 

    The Washington State Department of Health has adopted two changes that impact the conditions and the duration of isolation and quarantine protocols for adults working for school districts.   

    Isolation  
    As a reminder, isolation refers to when people are sick with COVID- 19 and need to stay home to prevent infecting others.   

    Previously, people who had tested positive for COVID- 19 had been required to isolate for 10 days. This new guidance asks people to isolate for 5 days after symptom onset or since positive test results if no symptoms are present. If after 5 days a person has no symptoms present or symptoms are resolving AND that person has not had a fever within the past 24 hours (without having to use fever-reducing medication), then that person may return to work. Staff who return to work after 5 days should continue monitoring for symptoms and wearing a well-fitting mask around others through day 10 (days 6-10).  

    For staff that are currently isolating, if you believe that you may be eligible to return under this protocol, please contact your supervisor.  

    Quarantine  
    We are adopting the Department of Health’s new guidelines for quarantine. Quarantine refers to when people are asked to stay home because they have been in close contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19, these people may or may not contract COVID-19 or develop symptoms but are asked to stay home to limit the potential for spread of the disease.  

    Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after their last close contact (for household exposures this would be the last day the person with COVID-19 is considered infectious) with a person who has COVID-19 if they are in one of the following groups:  

    Ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.  

    Those under 18 who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.  

    Students and staff must wait to receive a negative test result from a test taken no sooner than day 5 post-exposure and provide the negative test documentation to the school before returning. For families of students that are currently quarantining, if you believe that you may be eligible to return under this protocol, please contact your child’s school.  

    Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they:  

    • Are ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.  
    • Are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.  
    • Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days. 

     

    Reminder: Lake Washington Schools open enrollment February 4-28 

    Lake Washington School District holds an open enrollment period once each year for parents who want their children to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. Parents may apply between February 4-28 for a change to their school assignment for the 2022-23 school year for their student in grades K-12. This option is also known as an In-District Variance. Read more about open enrollment on the district website. Students from outside the district, who wish to attend Lake Washington’s schools, can apply for enrollment by initiating a Choice Transfer (out-of-district) request with their resident school district.  Please use our district website to find the application: https://www.lwsd.org/students-families/transfer-options/choice-transfers

     

    Reminder: Kindergarten registration begins February 24, 2022 

    Kindergarten registrationIf you live in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) and your child will be five years old on or before August 31, 2022, it is time to register your child for Kindergarten! Registration for all K-12 LWSD students is online. All necessary documents can be accessed on the LWSD website and completed documents can be uploaded securely. Parents who are unable to upload documents may send them by U.S. mail or drop them off at their neighborhood school. Read more about Kindergarten registration on the district website: Kindergarten Information - Lake Washington School District (lwsd.org) 

     

    Reminder: Advanced Placement exam registration information for 2021-22 school year 

    LWSD is offering a LATE AP Exam Registration window from February 1 through end of last lunch on February 18, 2022. Students who register during the late AP Registration window will incur a $50 per exam late fee in addition to the $98 per exam fee. 

    Read more information about the Advanced Placement exam registration.

     

    District Announcements

    Lake Washington Schools Foundation sponsors Battle of the Books 

    LWSF logo

    For the third year in a row, LWSF is supporting academic enrichment and equitable access across the district through the purchase of books and eBooks for the Battle of the Books competition at all LWSD middle schools. This investment enables 7,000 students in grades 6-8 to participate in the program each year. During remote learning in the 2020-21 school year, Battle of the Books was an especially important way for students to connect and build relationships with classmates. This year, students are excited to be able to meet and compete in person once again.


    Battle of the Books is a district-wide reading competition that promotes reading comprehension, academic excellence, and cooperative learning and teamwork among students. Every year, district middle school librarians choose 12 books for students to read. The selection of books provides a balance of genres, diversity of characters, and appeals to a variety of students. Battle of the Books allow 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in each school to work together as a team and challenge other schools to correctly answer questions about the selected books. 

    The program is currently underway at every middle school in the district. Good luck to all of the students competing this year; we hope that you find this experience to be enjoyable and enriching to your middle school journey!

     

    Navigating the Emotional Side of the College Process: A Webinar for Parents of Middle and High School Students

    There is a lot of potential stress involved in the college application process which can come from both internal and external forces. For some families, the pressure begins building early. Learn about specific things parents and teachers can do to help teens navigate the college journey and learn more about themselves. Register for our February 15 webinar at www.lwsf.org/our-work/find-your-fit.

     

    Parent Chat Webinar: Mental wellness across cultures 

    Every culture has a different way of looking at mental health. At the next Parent Chat on February 23, learn how to navigate cultural differences in support of your children's mental health. Register at www.tinyurl.com/BIMWinter2022

    Future Parent Chat topics:

    • Mar 9: Well Body, Well Mind
    • Mar 23: Youth Susceptibility to Extremism: What Parents Can Do

    Parent Chats are held virtually, twice-monthly on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Register at www.lwsf.org/parentchat

     

    Reminder: Last chance to send a teacher a Valentine 

    LWSF teacher valentine

    This Valentine's Day, let teachers and staff know you care. When you order a special gift of appreciation for an LWSD teacher or staff member, we'll put their name on our virtual Wall of Love, send them an inspirational postcard, or even include a special edition enamel pin.

    Visit www.lwsf.org/valentine to make your selections. Your order supports the Foundation's work and brightens a staff member's day! Order deadline is February 10. 

     

    Reminder: Volunteer to be a Lunch Buddy mentor! 

    LINKS Lunch Buddy Program logo

    Students in 15 LWSD elementary schools are in need of a mentor RIGHT NOW! You can make a difference in a student's life by giving 45 minutes of your time each week for lunch, games, crafts and conversation.

    "When you go in, they just light up, and you know that in that moment, you are making a difference." - LINKS Lunch Buddy mentor

    Contact Victoria Goetze-Nelson at vgoetzenelson@lwsd.org or 425-936-1410 to learn more.
     

    Student & Staff Success

    Ella Baker Elementary and Clara Barton Elementary Named State Schools of Character

    Ella Baker Elementary and Clara Barton Elementary have been named State Schools of Character by Character.org. They are the only two schools in Washington state to receive this award, and are among 67 schools nationwide to be recognized. They are also the first to receive this recognition in Washington state.

    “This is a huge honor for our school teams,” noted Kim Bilanko, Principal, Ella Baker Elementary and Karen Barker, Principal, Clara Barton Elementary. “Along with the recognition, our school teams receive evaluative feedback, strengths and areas for growth. and are able to collaborate with Character.org consultants for support. We are thrilled to be able to continue on our journey developing our character initiatives.”

    Read more about this on the district website.

     

    If you can dream it, you can build it - LEGO STEM series “Build to Launch” comes to Thoreau Elementary

    Thoreau rocket and launchpad building

    Throughout November and December, about 50 fourth-grade students at Thoreau Elementary explored the world of engineering and the Engineering Design Process (EDP) using the LEGO STEM series “Build to Launch.” This series allowed students to work on many different skills, all while playing with LEGO sets. They worked on communication skills by creating directions for a robot. They also learned about moon landing mission Artemis and the Space Launch System (SLS) from NASA. Through this series, students made career connections to the human forces behind space programs and built skills to work independently and in teams. Read more about this on the district website