Connections - February 8, 2024

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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:

  • Nurses
  • Instructional Assistants (IAs)
  • Paraeducators
  • Custodians
  • Substitutes

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

 

 

February is Black History Month

Black History Month

Since 1976, each president of the United States has designated February as Black History Month. The origin can be traced even further back to 1915, when an organization called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), led by Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson, was formed. The ASALH dedicated its time to researching the achievements of Black Americans and other people of African descent. The goal was to inspire schools and communities across the United States to organize local celebrations, activities and lectures in an effort to teach Black history as it had never been taught before. Today, Black History Month is also celebrated in other countries around the world, including Canada (who also celebrate in February) and the UK (who celebrate in October). 

For a guide on how to celebrate Black History Month in the Seattle area, please visit: bit.ly/VSBHM24.

 

Celebrating Our Schools With Dr. Jon Holmen

MLK assembly at Rose Hill Elementary
 
For the month of January, Celebrating Our Schools With Dr. Jon Holmen focused on equality through the hosting of assemblies honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. In this video, Dr. Holmen spends time at Rose Hill Elementary where they hosted an MLK assembly at their school, like others throughout the district. The assembly was prepared by the school’s Black/African-American Student Lunch (BASL) group. These students spent countless hours planning an event that featured speeches, songs and much more. Let’s listen to the students and staff who made this assembly the perfect opportunity to educate the school on the importance of Dr. King’s legacy.

Visit the Celebrating Our Schools With Dr. Holmen video series page on the LWSD website to see this video and the others.

 

Learning Focused

Lake Washington tuition-based Preschool Program now accepting entry into enrollment lottery for 2024-25 school year      

The tuition-based Lake Washington Preschool Program is now accepting entries into our enrollment lottery for the 2024-25 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 2024-2025 school year, need to complete a preschool lottery entry form.

Currently enrolled/returning preschool students, preschool students on an IEP or students enrolled in our Head Start program do not need to fill out a lottery entry form. 

Forms received before March 1, 2024 will be entered into a lottery for a seat in the LWSD Preschool Program. Lottery will be held the week of March 11, 2024 and families will be notified the week of March 18, 2024. 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. 

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

Visit the Lake Washington Preschool Program website for more information and to submit a lottery entry form.

 

Lake Washington schools open enrollment is February 1-28, 2024

Some schools open to LWSD students residing outside their attendance area

Lake Washington School District (LWSD) holds an open enrollment period each year for parents who want their children to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. Parents may apply between February 1-28 for a change to their school assignment for the 2024-25 school year for their students in grades K-12. This option is also known as an In-District Variance

This open enrollment option only applies to neighborhood schools that have space available (and are designated as "open" or "limited"). The list of schools that are open or limited to students outside their neighborhood is available on the district website.

Read more about this on the district website.

 

Welcome to Kindergarten events scheduled at elementary schools on February 22, 2024

Elementary schools will hold a Kindergarten welcome event on Thursday, February 22 from 1-7 p.m.

Each school will be hosting their Kindergarten event differently. Stay tuned for more details about the Kindergarten event from your school, or feel free to contact the school directly.

 

National School Counseling Week, February 5-9, 2024

National School Counseling Week

This week is National School Counseling Week. Lake Washington School District’s 95 school counselors help students reach their full potential and LWSD would like to recognize these efforts. In January, the LWSD Board signed a proclamation declaring February 5-9, 2024 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.

 

Prepared for the global workplace

February is Career & Technical Education Month 

Did you know that LWSD has approximately 22,933 students participating in 109 different Career & Technical Education (CTE) course options taught by 153 CTE teachers? The School Board proclaimed the month of February as Career & Technical Education month in LWSD. 
 
Read the full proclamation here.

 

Fifty-four Lake Washington teachers achieve, renew National Board Certification

Highest certification a teacher can achieve
 
Fifty-four Lake Washington School District teachers achieved or renewed their National Board Certification®, as announced by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Fifteen teachers were certified for the first time and 39 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, 395 teachers working in Lake Washington Schools have earned their certification. National Board certification is considered the highest professional credential a teacher can obtain. 

"We are incredibly proud of our National Board Certified educators and the work they have put in," noted Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent. "National Board Certification shows a strong commitment to pursuing a high standard of excellence as an education professional. I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the educators who achieved this certification for their demonstration of commitment to complete this process."

Read more about this on the LWSD website

 

Reminder: New to LWSD? Plan ahead - Register your child now for the 2024-25 school year!   

New family registration for the 2024-25 school year opened earlier this month. Currently enrolled students do not need to re-register to continue attendance in LWSD. 

While you can enroll any time, we are asking families to please enroll early so we can make sure the right staff are in place for fall 2024.

Registration for all new K-12 LWSD students is done through our website. Enrolling online is fast and easy!  

All required documents can be accessed on the website and uploaded securely.  

Parents/guardians who are unable to upload documents may send them to the school by U.S. mail or can bring the documents to the school during regular school hours. 

Staff are available to help answer registration-related questions at registrar@lwsd.org, or by calling your school office.

 

Reminder: Early Entrance to Kindergarten applications: Feb 1 - Mar 15, 2024

If your student will turn five between September 1 and November 30, 2024 and you would like them to be considered for Early Entrance to Kindergarten (EEK) you may apply between February 1 and March 15, 2024. The Final Forms program will take applicants through the process and payment.

The EEK program screens students whose families believe are exceptionally qualified to enter kindergarten at an early age.

More information can be found on the LWSD EEK page.

 

Final reminder: Update on middle school athletics program review 2022-2024

In September of 2022, the middle school athletics program review committee was revived to explore solutions to the remaining challenges of our current athletics model, as those challenges had become even greater. The committee includes building administrators, building athletic directors and district office athletic personnel. We are seeking feedback from key stakeholders on possible options to help us solve these challenges. 

The goal of the committee is to address the challenges of our current unsustainable model:

  • Equity of experience – Due to large numbers, some schools had to have students come on alternating days.
  • Facility capacity – More students participating than facilities allowed (Ex. 100+ tennis players on three or four tennis courts).
  • Transportation – Securing buses during times needed, and continued rising costs (charters) adversely affecting ASB budgets.
  • Coaches – Coaches are hired on an allocation based on a student to coach ratio. This creates challenges in getting enough coaches to match participants.
  • Different size schools – Large schools transport students to small schools to compete against the same school (Example: A larger school’s tennis team may have significantly more participants than another, smaller school, resulting in the larger school’s students traveling to a smaller school to play against other students from their own school).

Committee work
The committee continues to meet to identify interests, evaluate data, explore multiple options and compare offerings to other school districts in the area. Many ideas are being researched, reviewed and debated. It is important to note that any proposed changes would still have LWSD offering the most comprehensive middle school programming as compared to our neighboring districts.

Seeking feedback from our families
The district will be sending out a middle school athletics survey to all grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 families on January 26, 2024. Feedback will be due by February 9, 2024. The feedback received from this survey will be reviewed by the committee to help us make decisions about our middle school athletics model for 2024-25 and beyond.

Learn more about the work of the middle school athletics program review committee here.

 

Reminder: Advanced Placement exam registration information for 2023-24 school year     

LWSD is offering a LATE AP exam registration window from February 26 - March 7, 2024. Students who register during the late AP registration window will incur a $50 per exam late fee in addition to the $100 per exam fee. 

Read more information about late registration and fees associated here.

 

District Announcements

Seven years straight! Lake Washington School District budget earns Meritorious Budget Award

Award reflects District’s goal of fiscal responsibility

Meritorious Budget Award

Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD’s) 2023-24 Budget has earned the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Meritorious Budget Award (MBA). This award promotes and recognizes excellence in budget presentation in school districts. LWSD has received this award seven years in a row. LWSD is the only district in the state of Washington to receive this award. ASBO International’s MBA and Pathway to the MBA promote and recognize best budget presentation practices in school districts. Participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents. Read more about this on the LWSD website.

 

Health clinic

Comprehensive healthcare offered at Washington state's largest free clinic 

Seattle/King County Clinic returns to Seattle Center February 15-18, 2024, offering free dental, vision and medical care to people in need. Services are extensive, and include dental fillings and extractions, eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses, physical exams, behavioral healthcare, social work, immunizations, laboratory tests, mammograms, ultrasounds, x-rays and much more.

For more information on this clinic, please visit the Seattle/King County Clinic – Patient Information webpage
 

Lake Washington School Foundation

Registration is open for our Be the Bridge Spring Benefit

Register now for LWSF's 2024 Be the Bridge Spring Benefit on Thursday, March 28 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Get ready for an inspiring luncheon that supports students in Lake Washington School District. Learn more about this inspiring event.

 

Pantry Packs' heartwarming nutritional journey: A leap towards healthier weekends for students

Discover how Pantry Packs is reshaping weekend nutrition for students, blending heartfelt dedication with a commitment to healthier, happier futures; one food pack at a time: https://www.lwsf.org/news/a-leap-towards-healthier-weekends-for-students.

 

Parenting the Teenage Brain | Parent Chat webinar

Uncover the mysteries of the teenage brain and learn effective communication strategies for parents dealing with brains still in the making! Register for this February 21 Parent Chat webinar.

 

Parenting for Emotional Wellbeing workshops

Do you want to be a calm, present and empathetic parent? Then we have the perfect course for you to dive deep into your own social-emotional learning. Register for our February/March workshops.

 

Community service for kids

Fill the local library with love by helping to create a Valentine's Day display! Check out this and other upcoming service opportunities for kids designed to help them make new friends and connect with their community: www.kidscomingtogether.org/events.

Kids Coming Together is a program of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation

 

Building Excellence

Facility Advisory Committee shares thoughts on communicating with our community

FAC

At the Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) meeting held on January 25 at Juanita High School, the group learned about how the district currently is communicating with the public about current and future construction. FAC members spent time considering how this communication currently works and what suggestions they have for the district on how to improve communications in a way that the community will better understand the current needs. The charge of the Facility Advisory Committee is to provide feedback and recommendations for current and future facility planning, informed by enrollment trends, community expectations and district programs. The facility strategy will align with the District’s strategic plan and make recommendations to update aging facilities, provide for enrollment changes and continue to provide quality learning environments. 

The superintendent and school board will consider the feedback and recommendations as it plans current construction projects and future ballot measures to fund construction.

The committee includes parents, building administrators, staff members, PTSA representatives and community members. They meet in different schools each month as a way to see facility educational specifications and those aging facilities that need to be brought up to current standards. The committee will meet again on February 22 at Alcott Elementary. 

Learn more about the FAC.

 

Student & Staff Success

Athletic Huddle up! – LWSD kicks off inaugural girls’ flag football season

Girls flag football


Girls flag footballMore than 130 athletes have turned out for the first ever season of girls’ flag football in Lake Washington School District (LWSD). On Saturday, January 20, Lake Washington High School hosted the first set of games between the four LWSD comprehensive high schools. There were four varsity games and four junior varsity games that were played between Eastlake, Juanita, Lake Washington and Redmond high schools. Unfortunately, the original jamborees were scheduled to take place a few days before the beginning of this inaugural season, but bad weather forced school closures and the games were canceled. That did not impact the fun the girls had on the first day ever of flag football in LWSD, which just so happened to have perfect weather. Several people were on hand to watch the games and cheer on the players. Read more about this on the LWSD website
 

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