Connections - January 25, 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.

 

 

Learning Focused

Lake Washington School District receives grant funding for two zero-emission buses       

Electric Bus

On Tuesday, January 9, 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will receive funding for two new electric buses and infrastructure to support them through the Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition. This grant is designed to replace diesel buses with zero-emission buses. LWSD was one of 20 districts in Washington to receive these grant funds totaling nearly $15 million.

The funding comes from the Clean School Bus Act which was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and provided $5 billion in funding for low- and zero-emission school buses. This legislation created a competitive grant program, the Clean School Bus Program, for school districts and other eligible entities to apply for funding to replace their diesel buses with clean models. The program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"We are excited to bring zero-emission buses to our district," said Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent. "We have applied for multiple grants to help us bring zero-emission buses to LWSD but have not been selected until now. We are incredibly proud of our team for continuing to find ways to help us fund projects like this in our district."

Learn more about the district’s grant for zero-emission buses.

 

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.

 

LWSD preschool information session

Interested in preschool for your 3, 4 or 5-year-old? Please join the preschool team for a virtual information session on Wednesday, January 31 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. You can find out more about the following preschool programs:

  • Inclusion preschool
  • Head Start preschool
  • Child Find development screenings

For more information on this virtual information session, you can view the flyer, visit the preschool webpage at lwsd.org/preschool or you can plan on joining the Microsoft Teams virtual meeting by clicking here.

 

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.

 

Adopted curriculum committee opportunities

In Lake Washington School District, we arrange committees of stakeholders to review our adopted curriculum on a regular basis. These committees consist of teachers, administrators, specialists and community members. The committees usually meet 1-2 times a month but may also have additional sessions as needed. Committee members engage in learning about current research, standards and effective instructional practices. They then apply that learning in evaluating resources for potential adoption. The process of reviewing and/or adopting new curricular materials will be a two-year commitment. 

For the remainder of the 2024-25 school year, there will be two, all-day meetings; one in March and one in May. It may entail independent work outside of the meeting times. We have begun building some common understanding with a K-5 Reading Advisory Committee and will continue expanding this spring. If you are interested in applying to be part of this committee, please fill out the application for the committee. For any additional information, please contact Kelly Pease, Director K5 Teaching and Learning: kpease@lwsd.org.

 

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.

 

Schools celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s pursuit of peace and justice    

MLK assembly

Schools throughout LWSD took time to recognize the importance and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s pursuit of freedom through nonviolence. Students at Twain Elementary School held an assembly to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Third graders read quotes from Dr. King and from other influential people of the time who celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and activism. The students also sang songs and played music that spoke to the importance of all Dr. King did for our country. 

Visit the LWSD website to see more photos from the Twain MLK assembly

 

Protect online privacy with these tips from Common Sense Media 

LWSD is preparing students to become 21st-century learners. For its digital citizenship curriculum, the district has adopted Common Sense Media. January 28 is Data Privacy Day. Here are some data privacy tips for families from Common Sense Media:

Grades K-5

  1. Have a conversation about personal versus private information to be shared online.
  2. Use privacy settings when accessing online resources or tools.
  3. Avoid location tracking.
  4. Power up passwords.
  5. Skip clickbait quizzes and "special offers."

Grades 6-12

  1. Use privacy settings.
  2. Read the fine print.
  3. Discuss online scams, clickbait and "special offers."
  4. Understand how tech companies make money.

Other topics addressed in Common Sense Media’s curriculum include media balance and well-being, digital footprint and identity, relationships and communication, cyberbullying, digital drama and hate speech, and news and media literacy.

 

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.

 

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 www.lwsd.org/FutureChefs.

 

Reminder: 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.

 

District Announcements

Maintenance and custodial teams go above and beyond to restore services at schools impacted by the recent cold weather

We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all our Facilities team members who work tirelessly to keep the schools running smoothly. Thank you for your service and for making a positive impact on the lives of the students and staff at Lake Washington School District.

Lake Washington School Foundation

Parenting for emotional wellbeing workshops

Parenting challenges us like nothing else. The most effective way to support your child's social and emotional growth is to cultivate your own Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills as a parent.  

Take the first step today and join LWSF for their upcoming workshops in February and March. Spaces are limited so register early! Virtual and in-person options available: www.lwsf.org/parentingworkshop.

 

Lake Washington Institute of Technology: An alternative to the traditional four-year college

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) is a wonderful community resource that many people aren’t aware of. Join the upcoming webinar to learn about:

  • Stackable programs including certificates, associate degrees and 4-year degrees. 
  • A wide range of academic programs in business, design, education, engineering, health sciences, IT and more. 
  • The focus on employment and student outcomes.
  • Hands-on learning and small cohorts.
  • Direct Transfer Agreements (DTA) to complete a 4-year degree.

Register for the February 1, 2024 webinar: www.lwsf.org/findyourfit.


Reminder: 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

 

Building Excellence

Kirkland Middle School construction update

KiMS construction

Construction started at Kirkland Middle School for their new addition this week. As a reminder, Kirkland Middle School will get an eight-classroom addition as part of the 2022 Building Excellence Levy. Its addition will be done through modular construction - these buildings are built off-site and then assembled on location. This saves time, money and resources. The new modular building is expected to be ready by Fall 2024.

Check out images and details about the Kirkland Middle School project on the virtual open house webpage.
 

Student & Staff Success

King of KingCo and beyond - Juanita High School athletic director named best in class

Jason Thurston, JHS AD

Jason Thurston JHS ADJason Thurston at Juanita High School has been named the Sea-King District 2 Athletic Director of the Year. Back in November, Thurston was crowned the KingCo Conference Athletic Director of the Year. This is especially significant since those who vote on that award are all the athletic directors, Thurston’s peers, from Juanita’s conference. It is notable because his colleagues have the most interaction and knowledge of the contributions Jason makes to his school, the school district and the league. 

Read more about this on the LWSD website

 

Audubon Elementary hosts Kindness Day to unite students

Kindness Day at Audubon Elementary

The PTSA at Audubon Elementary hosted Kindness Day to unite students and promote love and acceptance in their school community. The evening featured an array of entertainment and activities for students and families to explore, including interactive booths with art activities and a hot cocoa stand followed by a magic show. 

Read more about this on the LWSD website.

 

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