Connections - August 30, 2018

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Learning Focused

A Message from Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

Welcome to 2018-19Portrait of Dr. Jane Stavem
As the new superintendent of Lake Washington School District (LWSD), I want to extend a warm welcome as we anticipate a great start on September 4. We are excited about the new school year and look forward to helping every student learn, achieve, and succeed! Whether you are just starting your first year or returning to the district, we are honored and proud to serve you.

As the new school year begins the district focuses on the best ways to serve students in order to accomplish our “Every Student Future Ready” vision. We are committed to providing a high-quality education that supports students on their journey to success. As the district continues to grow, we are building new schools, expanding opportunities, and improving our existing programs. We value our partnership with parents, families, and the community as we collectively support all our students.  This is an exciting time to be part of LWSD!

Read Dr. Jane Stavem’s Back to School message here.

District Announcements

Changes to school start and end times

In March 2018, LWSD announced that school start and end times would change in the 2018-19 school year, as a seven-period day is implemented for high school students. You can find your school’s exact start and end times here:

Verify your child’s information online now

Families of registered students can visit Skyward Family Access to verify their child’s information. You can even use the Skylert tab inside of Skyward Family Access to verify what phone number we should call during an emergency. Visit for more information. Check out our Students and Families webpage for links to important tools for families, including Skyward Family Access.

Keep your student healthy – Reminders from Health Services

Before school starts on September 4, don’t forget:

Getting to/from school:

Riding the bus: LWSD’s transportation department mailed out postcards to all families whose student(s) qualify to ride the school bus to/from school. Questions about buses? Contact the Transportation Department at 425-936-1120 or visit the district website.

Walking or Bicycling: Walking and bicycling are healthy ways for students to get to school. Suggested Walk Route Maps for elementary schools are available on the district website. A subcommittee of the district’s Safety Advisory Committee, along with traffic and pedestrian safety experts, worked with a consultant to develop these safe walking/biking routes.

Kindergarten Family Connections help students, families have a successful year

Lake Washington School District provides full-day kindergarten for all students. The first day of school and classes for kindergarten students will be September 7. (Grades 1-12 begin school on September 4.) Kindergarten families will meet with their student’s teacher in a Family Connection meeting between September 4-6. Schools will connect with families directly to schedule these meetings.

Peachjar to deliver community electronic flyers

LWSD will continue using the Peachjar eflyer service this school year. Peachjar distributes eflyers from nonprofit organizations as well as from schools and school-related organizations directly to parent email inboxes. If you are new to LWSD, you will receive a welcome email from Peachjar that gives instructions on how to manage flyer delivery preferences. Learn more about Peachjar on the district website.

LWSD partnership with King County Library System (KCLS) to provide students with online access

To increase student access to KCLS’s online resources, LWSD participates in the KCLS Partnership Program. This partnership creates special library accounts for all students in our district. These special online accounts allow students to seamlessly log in from school, home or from any computer or device to access KCLS resources. The special student accounts:

  • Are easy for students to remember. The account number will utilize each student’s school ID number preceded by the School District number (414).
  • Give each student seamless access. Students will be able to use the array of databases, downloadable materials (through Overdrive) and online homework help services offered by KCLS without needing a physical card.
  • Do not accrue fines or fees. Since students will only be able to access electronic materials it won’t be necessary for students to track due dates.

Secondary students in the LWSD have participated in the program since February 2017. This year, the program will be made available for both secondary and elementary students. If your student already has a traditional KCLS library card, they will continue to be able to use it to checkout materials from the public library and use in-library computers. The arrangement between LWSD and KCLS supplements the traditional library card and improves each student’s ability to access KCLS online research tools as part of their school work.  In October, KCLS will automatically launch the system to all students in LWSD.  Secondary students will be provided continued access each school year.

Families who do not wish for their children to be included in the program may opt out through Skyward Family Access Online Forms. Read more about this KCLS opt-out form here. This form will be open from August 15 through September 17, 2018.  If you have any trouble completing the online process, please call or visit your school’s office for assistance.

Lake Washington School District implements new volunteer system in 2018-19

This summer, Lake Washington School District’s volunteer application system was transferred to a volunteer system developed by Raptor Technologies, Inc. Raptor is used across the nation in many school districts and is considered the industry leader.

Information for all current volunteers has been transferred into the new volunteer system. Instead of logging in to Parent Access, parents will log in to the Raptor system to complete and update their volunteer applications.

Read more about the new volunteer system.

Want a full LWSD Calendar for the 2018-2019 school year?

Printable versions of the district calendar are available on the district website. You can also access the LWSD Online Calendar for school-specific events. You can sign up for alerts and/or create a filter when using the calendar to see events specific to your school(s).

MySchoolBucks convenience fee change

MySchoolBucks, the system that families use to add or check lunch account balances is increasing its online convenience fee from $1.95 per transaction to $2.49 per transaction. This includes any AutoPay automatic payments you may have set up. This change is now in place. This is the first time in 16 years MySchoolBucks increased the convenience fee and is due to the rising costs of processing transactions. As a reminder, you can also add money to your lunch account by sending a check to LWSD Nutrition Services. Visit the Breakfast and Lunch Menus page of the LWSD website for more information.

Safety Corner

New visitor entry control system increases security for our schools

The safety and security of students is a top priority of our school and district. One of the new safety enhancements for the 2018-19 school year is the implementation of entry control systems at all schools in the district. These controls will allow schools to keep all exterior doors locked and will require all visitors to use a video call system to request access. These types of systems are similar to how visitors gain access at many apartments or condominiums that keep all entry doors locked. The district now has Entry Control System hardware installed in all schools. The goal of the system is to:

  1. Maintain control of access to the building interior, and
  2. Maintain knowledge of persons entering the building interior.

All elementary and middle schools will begin using the new entry control system in September. High Schools will begin using these systems later this fall. Here’s what to expect:

  • All exterior doors will be locked.
  • Visitors will need to use the entry control system video unit to request permission to enter the building.
  • Visitors will be asked their name and the purpose of their visit.
  • Visitors must then proceed to the office to show picture identification and sign in.

This will be a change for everyone in our community, yet we believe this is a crucial step towards enhancing the safety and security of our school campus. Please allow for extra time if you need to pick your child up early due to a medical appointment, or if you plan to volunteer in the classroom. Thank you in advance for your patience as we implement this new system.

For more information about safety in LWSD, visit the safety webpage:

Building on Success

Building on Success is Lake Washington School District's long-term plan to reduce overcrowding, accommodate growing enrollment, and continue to provide quality learning environments and experiences for our students. 

Two new Lake Washington schools designed to enhance learning, conserve natural resources
Adds space for 1,380 elementary students in rapidly growing district

Entrances to Ella Baker Elementary and Clara Barton ElementaryStudents in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will have a little more space to learn this fall. Two new elementary schools will open in September: Ella Baker Elementary, located in the Redmond Ridge East Community (9595 Eastridge Drive NE, Redmond); and Clara Barton Elementary, located in North Redmond (12101 172nd Avenue NE, Redmond).

These schools were approved by voters in 2016 and each school will provide additional space for 690 students. The first day of school for students in the Lake Washington School District is September 4.  Kindergarten students begin September 7.

“We are excited to open these two new elementary schools,” said Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent. “As the district continues to grow, we are building new schools, expanding opportunities, and improving our existing programs. We value our partnership with parents, families, and the community, as we collectively support all our students."

The new schools are named after Ella Baker, a civil-rights leader and mentor, and Clara Barton, a teacher and founder of the American Red Cross. These two women made a difference by dedicating their lives to service – a cornerstone of learning stressed by the principals of each school, Kim Bilanko and Karen Barker. Read more about the two new elementary schools here.

Work with us

We’re hiring!

LWSD needs bus drivers, custodians, para educators and instructional assistants. Job descriptions are available on the district website, under “Employment” then “Classified Employees.” Bus drivers earn $24.80 per hour. Learn more about why driving a bus for LWSD is a great job. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

Custodians needed

LWSD is looking to fill multiple custodial positions throughout our district. Custodians need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a physical and pass a criminal background check. Job descriptions are available on the district website, under “Employment” then “Classified Employees.” Pass along to anyone looking for an important and fulfilling position with LWSD.

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.

Student & Staff Success

Rockwell Elementary receives prestigious national PTA award

Proud to be a National PTA School of ExcellenceNorman Rockwell Elementary School (Rockwell) was named a 2018-2020 National PTA “School of Excellence.” Rockwell received the recognition for their commitment to building an inclusive and welcoming school community. A school where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. Read more about the national PTA award.

Tooting our own horns - Transportation Department awarded grant for new school buses

Barbara Posthumus, Tom Spellman, Jeff Miles and Superintendent Dr. Jane StavemTom Spellman, a Transportation Shop Supervisor for Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD) Transportation Department, applied for, and was awarded, a $560,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. This grant provides $35,000 per bus toward the purchase of 16 new school buses (approximately 31% of the total cost). The grant’s objective is to reduce emissions by replacing older buses with newer buses, thereby reducing toxic emissions up to 99%. Read more about the Transportation department's grant.