Connections - January 11, 2024

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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.



Learning Focused

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.


Fall Panorama survey results now available       

We believe that for all students to succeed, they must be safe and feel a sense of belonging. Lake Washington School District is committed to this outcome for each of our students by continuing to build social, emotional and behavioral systems. Students’ perceptions and voice around how they experience their well-being, safety, relationships, school climate and culture, and educational experience are vital in supporting a thriving school environment and community.   

That’s why our district partners with a leader in social and emotional learning (SEL), Panorama Education, to survey students twice a year: fall and spring. Panorama develops survey tools that empower schools and districts to learn about students’ self-perceptions, better understand student experiences in their learning environment, and identify opportunities to enhance social and emotional learning support of students, school staff, and families. 

Fall 2023 survey results are now available on the Student Services webpage. You can also learn more about the survey on this page.


Elementary social studies curriculum adoption resources available to review         

The K-5 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 K-5 social studies curricula.  

The committee reached consensus in choosing two curricula for K-5 teachers to pilot from mid-January to late March 2024. The curricula selected through the consensus process, based on the data from the committee-generated rubrics, were Young Citizens from Nystrom, which is under the umbrella of Social Studies School Services, and Inquiry Journeys from InquirEd. Teachers on the K-5 Social Studies Adoption Committee will send communication home to guardians prior to piloting both curricula. 

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 inclusive instructional practices. The committee will also gather student data and measure the effectiveness of each curriculum, and collect student, teacher, caretaker and community feedback.  

Caretaker and community feedback is essential in this process, and we welcome your input. Digital access will be available after January 12, 2024. Digital access will be available for both curricula and we anticipate physical hard copies of curriculum for Young Citizens that will be available for viewing at the LWSD Resource Center. You can access digital versions of both 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 K-5 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 spring.     

Additionally, information about the adoption process and the social studies programs being considered will be shared at an information night on January 25, 2024 from 6-7 p.m. on a Microsoft Teams meeting here: If you have any further questions or comments, please contact, Kelly Pease or Krystal Stephens


Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence visits Tesla STEM High School   

Tesla STEM visit from Deputy Director of National Intelligence

On Wednesday, December 13, 2023 students at Tesla STEM High School had a special visitor. Dr. Stacey Dixon, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI), stopped by to learn more about the school and meet the students.  

Dr. Dixon was greeted by student tour guides Aparna Iyer, Saachi Sharma, Olivia Wang and Tesla STEM’s ASB President Divij Aswinkumar, along with Principal Amie Karkainen, Associate Superintendent of School Support Services Dale Cote and Director of Secondary Education Dr. Whitney Meissner

The visit started with a trip to "Arduino Fest" taking place in the Tesla STEM presentation hall. Here, freshmen students were using Arduino to develop different projects using C as part of Dr. Melissa Wrenchey’s Entrepreneurship class and Andrew Christensen’s AP Computer Science Principles class. Arduino is an open-source platform that allows users to create interactive electronic objects with hardware and software. C is a general-purpose programming language. 

Read more about this visit on the LWSD website.


Future Chefs

Reminder: Future Chefs Culinary Competition

Nutrition Services is thrilled to announce their Future Chefs Culinary Competition for the 2023-24 school year! The Future Chefs Culinary Competition provides elementary students an opportunity to learn about nutrition, make healthy choices, build basic math skills and develop basic cooking techniques by participating in a good-natured culinary competition! 

This year elementary students are invited to submit their "favorite family recipe." Five of the top recipes will be selected and invited to compete in a culinary competition showdown on February 29 at Timberline Middle School. Here are the details:

  • January 2-26Submit your recipe online.
  • February 2: Finalists notified.
  • February 29, 4:30 p.m.: Finalists prepare their recipe at Timberline Middle School from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in a fun culinary competition!

Fore more information and contest rules, please visit


Reminder: World language proficiency testing; registration for February test closing soon

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:

World Language test times

Register and find more information here.

Questions? Contact the Assessment Team at


District Announcements

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.

We will notify families and staff in the morning if bus schedule changes are needed. To find your snow route bus stop location, login to Skyward Family Access the morning of the schedule change, select “Busing” on the left-side menu. Snow routes will be labeled with “Snow” under the “Days” column. The other option is to check elink the morning of a schedule change for your students’ updated snow route bus stop 

Please note: It is possible that your “Snow Route” bus stops are the same as your regular stops. We always encourage riders to arrive at their stop at least five minutes early to ensure they do not miss the bus, as the bus will not return to the stop after it has left.  

Curious how school schedule change decisions are made? You can learn how to be updated when school is delayed or canceled on the School Closures and Late Starts page of the district website.


Reminder: Sign up for weekly menu features

Weekly Elementary Menu Features

Interested in learning about the featured menu item for school lunches each week? Families can sign up to be sent a weekly newsletter that shows the featured menu item for each day of the school week at our elementary schools. 

Click here to sign up for the newsletter, and on the next page fill out your contact information and then select the Weekly Elementary Menu Features group by checking the corresponding box.


Lake Washington School Foundation

Be the Bridge Spring Benefit

Mark your calendar for the LWSF Be the Bridge Spring Benefit!

Save Thursday, March 28 for LWSF's 2024 Be the Bridge Spring Benefit! Get ready for an inspiring luncheon that supports students in Lake Washington School District. Registration opens soon and sponsorship opportunities are available.    

Are you interested in becoming a Table Captain? Contact Irina Czyzewski at to learn more!


Community services for kids

Transform used materials into engaging and eco-friendly dog toys! Check out this and other upcoming service opportunities for kids designed to help them make new friends and connect with their community! 

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

Validating Emotions: Why it's so important and how to do it | Parent Chat webinar

Unlock the key to nurturing your child's emotional well-being in LWSF’s upcoming webinar, where they will delve into why validating your kids' emotions is essential and provide expert guidance on mastering this crucial parenting skill. Register for our February 7 webinar

Parent Chat is a program of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation

Reminder: How to Pick Your Classes in High School | Find Your Fit webinar

Join the LWSF Find Your Fit program for a vibrant discussion on high school class selection for the upcoming year, where they'll explore graduation requirements, college perspectives on transcripts and more! Register for this January 18th webinar.   
Find Your Fit is a program of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation


Building Excellence

Norman Rockwell Elementary School Rebuild & Enlarge Project Update: Design, Permitting and Community Engagement 

The Norman Rockwell Elementary School Rebuild & Enlarge project is a significant undertaking that will benefit the community by creating permanent space for 252 additional students while also addressing an aging facility. The project is part of the voter-approved 2022 Building Excellence Construction Levy, which is focused on improving school facilities and adding permanent classroom space across Lake Washington School District (LWSD). The LWSD Capital Projects Team is working hard to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

City Hall photo

Community involvement is a crucial aspect of the project, and the City of Redmond Planning Staff and LWSD Capital Projects Team members have been actively engaging with the community to ensure that everyone is informed and has a chance to provide input. The recent open house event at Redmond City Hall was well attended by 50+ community members.LWSD will host two additional community meetings in the coming months at Norman Rockwell Elementary School. The next meetings are a Design & Construction Open House scheduled for Fall 2024 and a Good Neighbor Meeting scheduled for Spring 2025. 

In addition to these community meetings the School Construction Input Team (SCIT) continues to meet regarding the project. SCIT is a group of staff and family members who provide input into the design of the school.

Learn more about the City of Redmond’s permitting process, including the open house presentation here:

Learn more about the Norman Rockwell Elementary project here:


Student & Staff Success

Kennedy Roberts Tesla STEM Miss WA HBCU

Tesla STEM student wins title of Miss Washington HBCU Junior Teen, headed to nationals next

A student at Tesla STEM High School could be a national scholarship pageant winner by the end of her school year. Kennedy Roberts, junior, was recently named Miss Washington HBCU Junior Teen. HBCU stands for historically Black colleges and universities. 

According to Kennedy’s GoFundMe page, the Miss HBCU Junior Teen Scholarship is a national competition that celebrates the achievements, talents and leadership of high school students who aspire to attend HBCUs. 

Read more about this on the LWSD website


Paint the town - Eastlake High School students start makeover of park fence in Sammamish

EHS fence art project

The City of Sammamish asked Eastlake High School art students if they could help paint a fence for the new entrance of Big Rock Park. The students from Suzanne Chamberlin’s advanced 2D2 class have jumped on board and are hard at work painting the panels for the new fence. Each panel has a pollinator/nature theme. The students’ art work is scheduled to be installed by mid-February.



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