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 - March 11, 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.

     

    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:

    • 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

    Pathway Forward message from Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen

    I want to share with you an update regarding changes in guidance from the Department of Health.

    • I’ll be sharing about all of the layers of protection that continue to be in place such as staying home when sick and isolating when testing positive for COVID
    • I’ll share details about the choice of whether to mask or not, with the exception of our health and isolation rooms. 
    • I’ll also share information about changes to quarantine protocols
    • Additionally, I’ll share the continued vaccination requirement for employees, contractors and volunteers. 

    To watch this update as a video message, click here: https://youtu.be/i5CzkHEMeWw

    As students and staff return to school next week, we will begin a new phase of our response to COVID. Students and staff, with very few exceptions, will now have the choice of whether to wear a mask or not while on school district campuses

    To read the full message, please visit our COVID-19 page on the LWSD website
     

    K-5 math curriculum

    Positive things are happening for students as we continue forward with our new math curriculum, Illustrative Mathematics by LearnZillion. Teachers have been excited to engage in professional learning and collaboration this year as we get deeper into the new curriculum, with many positive benefits for their work with students. Teachers and administrators report that students are engaging in math in deep ways and seeing themselves as mathematicians in their daily work. Students are engaging in learning by developing conceptual understanding through explaining their thinking, justifying their solutions and working together to solve problems. Teachers’ observations about their students’ learning have been exciting and positive:

    • "Kids are able to interact and talk a lot about math. It’s amazing hearing them share their thinking with each other."
    • "Students are realizing the importance of explaining the concepts behind their mathematical expressions."
    • "The kids are having really meaningful conversations around math and seem to have much stronger numbers sense."
    • "I have never seen students so engaged in math, nor have I seen such high-level critical thinking."
    • "Students are engaging in in mathematical discourse better than ever before.They are looking at math in new ways and are excited about the content."

    We also wanted to share that we have worked with LearnZillion to expand family access to learning through a Family Portal. Families can access math resources outside the classroom and follow along with the in-class learning. Parents can access these resources using their student’s district credentials. Parents can contact their student’s teacher to get that information, if needed. 

    For additional information, please contact Dr. Jen Rose, Director of Teaching and Learning.

     

    Thank you, Classified Staff! 

    Education Support Professionals Week is March 14-18 
    This week, March 14-18, is Education Support Professionals Week. Classified school employees are involved in nearly every aspect of education, including maintaining school buildings and grounds, providing secretarial and clerical assistance, preparing and serving meals, providing safe transportation, keeping school facilities clean and orderly, assisting in the classroom, providing a secure and healthy environment, and many other specialized services. Thank you to the approximately 1,450 classified school employees working in Lake Washington School District! 

    Read the LWSD proclamation for Education Support Professionals Week signed by the LWSD Board

     

    Reminder: Register for Kindergarten now!

    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: Early entrance to LWSD kindergarten application now available

    In the state of Washington, students must be five years old by August 31 to register for kindergarten. Children whose fifth birthday fall between September 1 and November 30, and whose parents believe to be exceptionally qualified for kindergarten, may apply for early entrance to kindergarten. The application for early entrance to kindergarten for LWSD families is now open. Children whose fifth birthday falls after November 30 are not eligible to apply for early entrance to kindergarten.

    Please read the Early Entrance to Kindergarten FAQs before completing the application. Please contact the Accelerated Programs office at 425-936-1238 if you have questions about the early entrance to kindergarten process. Please visit the LWSD website for more information.

     

    Reminder: 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.

     

    Reminder: 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. These resources will also be linked on our district Curriculum Adoption and Resources webpage.

    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.   
      
    If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Dr. Jen Rose at jerose@lwsd.org or Krystal Stephens at kstephens@lwsd.org. 

     

    District Announcements

    2022 graduation schedule announced

    The graduation schedule for 2022 has been finalized. You can find the details on the LWSD webpage. We look forward to recognizing our class of 2022 graduates in June. Additional information, including details about tickets, will be shared with families by each school.
     

    Information on how to receive the Child Tax Credit and/or Earned Income Tax Credit

    Child Tax Credit

    The Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit are large tax refund payments that people can receive when they file a tax return. The 2021 American Rescue Plan expanded who can receive these payments and increased the amount of money available to many families and individuals. The Child Tax Credit increased from $2,000 to either $3,000 or $3,600, depending on the child’s age and the income of their parents or guardians.

    Most families got half of what the IRS estimated would be their Child Tax Credit in advance monthly payments from July to December 2021.

    The Earned Income Tax Credit increased to $1,500 for some workers without qualifying kids at home. This is nearly three times as much as previous years.

    To get these remaining credits, families and workers must file their taxes, even if they might not normally make enough to be required to file.

    Visit the ChildTaxCredit.gov website or the IRS.gov Child Tax Credit website for more information, and resources to file taxes for free.

     

    LWSF logo

    Valentine Recap

    This year, for Valentine's Day, our community put a record of over 450 messages of appreciation on our virtual Wall of Love and sent more than 320 postcards to LWSD teachers and staff. Donations in honor of teachers and staff raised $17,800 to help LWSF pursue its mission to enhance academic access and nurture all students' emotional well-being. Thank you for warming the hearts of so many teachers and staff members this spring! We are absolutely honored to have received your donation.

     

    Community Service Opportunities for Kids

    Kids Coming Together is back with a full slate of community service events this month, where children grades 3-8 can meet new friends and connect with their community. Register for upcoming events.

     

    College 101 Webinar 

    On March 15 at 6:30 p.m., join independent college counselor Mary Pat O’Neil as she dives deep into explaining the college application process. Learn about the five possible parts of a college application and what colleges look at. Understand the numbers behind highly selective colleges and why students need a balanced college list. Register here.

     

    Parent Chat webinar: Winter series

    Parent Chat brings you topics at the intersection of youth mental health and parenting on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Register at www.tinyurl.com/BIMWinter2022.

     

    Building on Success

    Franklin Elementary addition update

    Franklin Elementary addition update

    In addition to the eight classrooms that opened in the fall, construction on a new gymnasium at Benjamin Franklin Elementary is underway. The classroom addition provided critical learning spaces for the growing student population, the new gymnasium will provide additional core space for physical education and the existing gymnasium space will become flexible space to use to expand commons/cafeteria space during lunches or provide additional space for physical education.

    Stormwater utilities for the new gym and recently relocated portables have been installed while the footings and foundations for the gym are now formed and ready to receive concrete. A concrete workers strike, which began in December 2021, continues to impact all construction activity throughout King County. The project team is actively implementing innovative strategies to limit the impact until concrete becomes available again. Next steps include the installation of under-slab plumbing and electrical, followed by preparing the building footprint for the first concrete slab pour that makes up the floor of the gym. The new gymnasium is scheduled to open in fall 2022.
     

    Student & Staff Success

    Taking care of business - 316 LWSD students qualify for state DECA competition

    WA DECA logo

    A total of 316 LWSD students received an invitation to the DECA State Career Development Conference from March 3-5. The students competed at the DECA state competition at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Wash. on January 7. Any competitors who place in an event are eligible for the state competition. Students from all four comprehensive high schools competed. The state competition will also be held at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. Read more about this on the LWSD website.


    If the shoe fits – Wilder Elementary creates empathy month to celebrate good deeds with shoe cut-outs 

    Wilder Elementary empathy jar

    Staff and students at Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary have been focusing on character traits all school year. For the month of January, the trait they centered on was empathy. The definition they used throughout the month was “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” The school’s Student Council took it one “step” further by creating the Empathy Challenge. Each time a staff member, or fellow student, witnessed acts of empathy, they would give the person a paper shoe to color. Those were then added to the “Empathy Jar”, which was a giant poster filled with the shoe cut-outs that were colored by the empathetic student. Read more about this on the LWSD website