Connections - April 4, 2019

Learning Focused

Seven LWSD students nominated for US Presidential Scholar Program

Students from three LWSD high schools are nominees for this year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. This is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars. 
Here are the LWSD nominees: 

  • Detlef Knauss International Community School
  • Alexia FriedmanNikola Tesla STEM High School
  • Pranav SukumarNikola Tesla STEM High School
  • Martin Shi Redmond High School
  • Pranav VaidRedmond High School
  • Shuhua XieRedmond High School
  • Jasmine ZhangRedmond High School

The selected scholars are honored during the National Recognition Program, held in June in Washington, D.C. LWSD has increased the number of nominated students from four students last year to seven students this year.
Read more about the program on the district website

How to Talk to Your Child About Sexual Health

Lake Washington School District is excited to partner with the King County Public Health Department in hosting an informational parent event: How to Talk to Your Child About Sexual Health. Our presenter is Becky Reitzes, Health Educator and Family Planning for King County Public Health. This event will be held at the Resource Center Board Room on Tuesday, April 23 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. This informative evening will provide strategies and tips, primarily aimed at parents of fourth through eighth graders, to help parents engage in age-appropriate conversations with their children about a topic that is often considered difficult to discuss.

April 2019 Capital Projects Levy Information

April 23 Capital Projects Levy: Critical Capacity Needs

Lake Washington School District is running a Capital Projects Levy on April 23. Watch this animated presentation about how the 2019 Levy will add space for over 1,000 students in our schools:

You can also watch this animated presentation about the levy, and visit the levy webpage.

Remember to vote by April 23. (Find ballot drop box locations here).

Building on Success

Functional to its core: Architects explain design process to JHS students 

Cut a geode in half and you will see the rock has several distinct layers. Architects explained to students at Juanita High School (JHS) that they used the geode as a metaphor while designing their new school. Two architects from Integrus Architecture visited the JHS interior design class on March 21. 

Architect Shelly Engels Yancy defined a geode’s layers – a prismatic core, a gradient transition, and a protective outer shell. The protective exterior of the school includes durable brick and metal panel siding along with fiber cement that resembles wood. The fiber cement adds the softness of wood but is more durable. The architects passed around samples of some materials used in the new school, including carpet, wood ceiling panels, laminate and self-healing tackable panels.

Students had a chance to ask questions after the presentation. They have been learning about color, lighting, fabrics and floor coverings, and were curious what their new classrooms will look like after their teachers move in. Architect Kim Young compared their classrooms to an empty house where no one lives yet. The classrooms will take on more of their character after teachers settle in. “It’s made to be flexible, so it will still work for students in 75 years,” she said.

Visit the Juanita High School project page on the district website.

Important Reminders and Updates

Students spread the word: “Idling is Fuelish” 

As part of their service learning, fourth-graders at Ella Baker Elementary created “No Idle” signs for the pick-up lane at school. The signs reminded parents that "Idling is Fuelish." 

The Washington Department of Ecology states that exhaust from idling vehicles “can cause long-term respiratory and cardiovascular problems. They are also a major contributor to climate change.” In addition to temporary signage, the students created presentations for their classmates. The presentations emphasized healthy ecosystems and the environmental implications of idling.

LWSD plans to install no-idle signs at all schools over the summer. Ella Baker and Clara Barton elementary schools will pilot the signs after spring break.

Planning for 2019-20

Matt Gillingham named Associate Superintendent of Student & Community Services

Matt Gillingham has been named the new Associate Superintendent of Student & Community Services. He will begin this role on July 1, 2019. As Director of Student Services, Gillingham has been an advocate for equitable and safe learning environments for students. Gillingham has worked closely with counselors and school administrators as well as community partners and universities to increase behavioral health supports for students and has been leading efforts to expand and deepen efforts to provide all students with social emotional instruction. As district athletic director, he advocated for the creation of athletic equity committees, found resources to enhance student safety, and has helped to introduce two new sports. Additionally, he has helped to support the introduction of AVID into nine secondary schools.

John Appelgate named Director, Athletics & Activities

John Appelgate has been named Director, Athletics & Activities. Appelgate will begin this role on July 1, 2019. Appelgate has served as the Athletics and Title IX Specialist for LWSD for the past three years. As part of this position, he instructed administrators, athletic directors and coaches throughout the state in Leadership Training Institute courses. He also oversaw Athletic Equity Committees at each comprehensive high school concerning Title IX. Before serving in his current position, Appelgate was an Athletic Director for both Juanita High School and Redmond High School and was a classroom teacher at both schools.

Jill VanderVeer named Redmond High School Principal

Jill VanderVeer has been named the new principal of Redmond High School, starting July 1, 2019. VanderVeer replaces Jane Todd who will retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year. VanderVeer has been a valued member of RHS for many years, serving as an Associate Principal for the past four years. VanderVeer started her career as a high school English teacher, and in that time taught grades 9-12 and all levels from Special Education to Honors and Advanced Placement.

Brian Story named Principal of Alexander Graham Bell Elementary

Brian Story, the current Interim Principal at Alexander Graham Bell Elementary has been named the Principal of the school starting July 1, 2019. Story replaces Heidi Paul who will be the principal of the new Timberline Middle School. Story has been serving as the Interim Principal since January 2019. Story has been dedicated to the field of education for more than 17 years, during which time he served as a teacher, Dean of Students, Associate Principal and Interim Principal.

Reminder: Lake Washington Preschool Program now accepting applications starting for 3- and 4-year old students

Lake Washington School District's Preschool Program is now accepting tuition-based applications for the 2019-20 school year. The initial registration took place at the Resource Center on April 1. If more children are registered for any one location or session (a.m. or p.m.) than there is availability, a lottery for each preschool site will be held by April 16 to determine the students in those classes.

Parents will be notified of results by May 15. Applications continue to be accepted at the Resource Center on any school day from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Only children registered on April 1 during the registration hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. are eligible to be in the lottery. All students whose applications are received after April 1 will be placed on a waiting list. Acceptance to preschool programs after the lottery is based on remaining space at each school. Read more about Lake Washington School District Preschool Programs.

Reminder: Tell your neighbors and friends: Register early for Kindergarten Registration for 2019-20

If you live in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) and your child will be five years old on or before August 31, 2019, now is the time to register them for Kindergarten! Registration takes place at your neighborhood school during regular school hours through the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

While registration will continue throughout the school year and summer, parents are highly encouraged to register students as soon as possible. Doing so helps ensure class sizes are balanced and adequate staff are hired in time for the new school year. 
Visit the Kindergarten Information webpage for more information. 

Student & Staff Success

Student & Staff Success LWSD students plant trees to celebrate progress toward 1 million goal

EAS plants trees

The goal is in sight for King County’s 1 Million Trees initiative. The initiative recently reached 700,000 trees planted. Five students from Environmental and Adventure School (EAS) celebrated the progress during an event on Feb. 26. The students (Hannah Beaver, Nihira Cherukuri, Erik Holmquist, Tavis Lie and Jana Wick) helped plant trees at Big Finn Hill Park with County Executive Dow Constantine and other local officials, as well as the Mariner Moose. Read more about the initiative on the district website.

A space odyssey – astronaut holds question and answer session with LWSD students while in space

Astronaut Anne McClain

Anne McClain always dreamed of being an astronaut when she was in elementary school. It was only fitting that she got to answer questions from young dreamers at Henry David Thoreau Elementary School (Thoreau) while floating in space. McClain chatted via video 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS). A few students from each classroom won a competition to be a part of the event and most got to ask a question. Read more about this unique experience.

Read more student and staff success stories here.

Work with us

We’re hiring!

LWSD needs paraeducators, instructional assistants, bus drivers, custodians, plumbers, and a building equipment mechanics/HVAC specialist. Job descriptions are available on the district website, under “Employment” then “Classified Employees.” Bus drivers earn $25.57 per hour. Learn more about why driving a bus for LWSD is a great job. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

Sodexo/Nutrition Services is hiring

Are you looking for a way to get involved in LWSD? Would you like a part-time job that gives you the flexibility to be with your kids before and after school? Shifts that range from two hours to eight hours are available, helping serve students breakfast and lunch. Starting pay depends on experience. If interested, contact Nutrition Services at 425-936-1385.