Connections - June 18, 2019

Congratulations Graduates!

It is graduation season in LWSD. Watch our website and Facebook page for photos and videos from each graduation ceremony in the coming weeks, and congratulations to all our class of 2019 graduates!

Learning Focused

A Message from Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent 

LWSD Superintendent, Dr. Jane Stavem

Graduation is one of my most favorite times of the year – it is why our school district exists. As I watch students walk across the stage, I look at each of their faces and think – are they a living, breathing version of our district vision and mission?


Each student will graduate prepared to lead a rewarding and responsible life as a contributing member of our community and greater society.


Every student (who walks across the stage, not just some of them) future ready:

  • Prepared for College (if they choose to go, away from home, on their own, doing college-level work)
  • Prepared for the Global Workplace (fast-paced, competitive, multi-lingual, with other adults)
  • Prepared for Personal Success (self-supporting, resilient, connected, happy with their choices)

Last week one of our amazing kindergarten teachers sent me a very cute picture of her class in their little purple, paper graduation caps – the caption said – PRESENTING THE CLASS OF 2031. 

After doing the math for how old I would be at that point, I quickly switched to thinking about how things will look when they walk across the stage. What will be the latest technology? What will they be interested in as a career? What will it mean for them to be prepared for their futures? 

Educating students is an enormous responsibility and one that our district takes very seriously. We have so much to be proud of and so much to celebrate. We also have challenges and great work ahead to make sure we live up to the mission and vision of our school district.

As we look forward to the 2019-20 school year, we’ll be sharing our Strategic Plan 2019-23 which highlights our most important work and inviting you to be engaged with our school district. School districts cannot do the work alone – it takes everyone – to make sure the graduates of every class are equipped to be successful. 

As we wrap up the final days of the 2018-19 school year I want to extend my sincerest gratitude as I complete the first year of my tenure. Every day has been a new opportunity to learn about the ways we help our students learn and grow, and it is astounding to see the range of programs, services, and supports that are offered in Lake Washington. 

It has been even more fun to meet the people along the way who make the world go around each day. Everywhere you turn there are smiling faces, welcoming greetings, helping hands, and caring people who are deeply committed to our collective purpose of educating children. I am excited about the great opportunities ahead for Lake Washington!

Thank you for a wonderful 2018-2019 school year and enjoy the summer season!

View the 2019-20 school year calendar

The 2019-20 LWSD school calendar is available on the district website. Here is a direct link to the PDF of the calendar from the site (Spanish).

Tell your new neighbors – Summer registration available at LWSD Resource Center  

If you need to register your student for the 2019-20 school year while your school office is closed for the summer, we can help. Summer registration is available at the district’s Resource Center from July 15 – August 16 during the following hours:

  • July 15 – 31
    • Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    • Tuesday/Thursday: 12:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • August 1 – August 16
    • Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Resource Center is located at 16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond, in Redmond Town Center.

Building on Success

Alumni and current students say goodbye to the old Kirk and Mead elementary school buildings

The first generation of students at Peter Kirk Elementary and Margaret Mead Elementary – which opened in 1975 and 1979 respectively – are now in their 40s or 50s. Many have children, or even grandchildren, of their own. Alumni of all ages dropped by both schools on June 6 to say farewell to the old school. Many wanted to see the courtyard and hallways one more time before the school is demolished this summer. Both Kirk and Mead will open new schools this fall with space for 690 students.
At the event, Kirk Elementary also had Norkirk Elementary yearbooks from the 1960s and ‘70s. Students from Norkirk moved to Kirk Elementary in 1975 when that school was converted to Kirkland Junior High School. Jim Jessen (LWHS, 1973) attended Norkirk Elementary in the 1960s. He enjoyed looking through the yearbooks with his children, Anna and Eric. Both attended Kirk Elementary from grades K-6 and graduated from Lake Washington High School. 
At the Mead event, more than 900 people RSVP’d to attend their farewell celebration barbecue. After brief comments from Superintendent, Dr. Jane Stavem, and Principal Sandy Klein, current students and alumni were invited into the school where they could write their names on the courtyard walls. They also visited their former classrooms and the library where old yearbooks and photos were kept for the event. See more photos from the events.

Important Reminders and Updates

An important message regarding Washington State Law and the MMR vaccine

Effective July 28, 2019 no personal or philosophical exemptions from the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccination will be available to families. The law applies to all public and private schools and licensed child care facilities in Washington state.

If a student has had a personal or philosophical exemption in the past, we must now have documentation of MMR immunization from a health care provider or on or before the first day of school on September 3, 2019 as a condition of enrollment. The new law does not affect religious or medical exemptions.

Two doses of MMR are required for all students in grades K-12. The two doses must be given at least 28 days apart. When your child has a first MMR vaccination, please let your school nurse know the date it occurred as well as the date the second dose is administered. We are notifying families now to allow sufficient time to meet the new immunization requirement before the first day of school.

More information can be found at the WA Department of Health school immunization page, including FAQs. You are also welcome and encouraged to contact your school nurse if you have questions.

ACTION REQUIRED – Are you coming back in 2019-20? Online enrollment verification: June 17-August 12, 2019

Please confirm if your student(s) will return to the Lake Washington School District for the 2019-20 school year, using a quick online process. This information will help the district plan for staffing, class sizes and scheduling for next year. This information is also critical to ensure we have accurate emergency contact information for each student. This online verification process opened June 17 and will close on August 12.

Here are the steps to confirm your student(s) enrollment:

  1. Log in to Skyward Family Access
  2. Click on “Go to Online Student Information Verification for (Student Name)” or click on the “Online Student Information Verification” button.
  3. Click on your student’s name. 
  4. Verify your student’s information.
  5. Click on “Next Step” on the right-hand panel of your screen to go through the different items to verify or click on the actual line item.
  6. For each step, click "Complete Step 1a Only" or "Complete Step 1a and move to Step 1b" at the bottom of the screen when done. A check mark will appear next to the item.
  7. Review and request changes for each of the steps below:
    a. Verify Student Information: Student Information
    b. Verify Student Information: Family Address
    c. Verify Student Information: Family Information
    d. Verify Student Information: Emergency Contacts
    Please note: The online system asks for your home phone number. This should be your primary contact number. It does not need to be a landline phone.
  8. Click on “Complete Online Student Information Verification.”
  9. Click “Submit Online Student Information Verification”. (Important Note: Verification is not complete until you click “Close and Finish”.)
  10. Repeat these steps to go through the verification process again for each of your students.

Please note: If a student has two families in the Skyward system, only the first family needs to verify the student's plans next year. 

Need additional help? Visit the Skyward Family Access Support page for more information. For assistance, please email

If you do not plan to return in 2019-20, please contact your school office as soon as possible

New app will allow parents to view estimated bus stop arrival times

Coming in Fall 2019, LWSD will begin using a new mobile phone app called “Versatrans My Stop." This app provides parents/guardians with an estimated arrival time to the assigned bus stop. The Versatrans My Stop app uses GPS data collected from school buses to track buses as they may their way along bus routes. Versatrans My Stop graphically displays a school bus location on a map, as well as the estimated time of arrival (ETA) to a specific student’s bus stop. Information is automatically updated, and the ETA is recalculated to accommodate any delays due to traffic while in route. Parents/guardians will also be able to access My Stop on a computer. More information about the Versatrans My Stop app will be available to families in the fall.  

Find Your Fit summer workshops

Applying to college can be confusing, lengthy, and an unforgiving process. Make sure you're ready for the college application season by joining Mary Pat O’Neil of True Fit College Counseling and Lake Washington Schools Foundation at these three summer Find Your Fit workshops.

College Application Bootcamp – for rising seniors only
June 29, 2019, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the LWSD Resource Center
Topics include: The five possible parts of a college application, how to create a balanced college list and why it is important to do so, understanding the various college application platforms and more!

Apply to College 101 Workshop – for high school students and parents
July 30, 2019, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at the Kirkland Library
Learn the steps involved in applying to college, but also how to find the perfect college fit. From how to decide where to apply, why grades matter, how scholarships work, and more - this workshop explains everything you'll need to know to be college ready.

College Application and Essay Workshop – for rising seniors only
August 5, 2019, 2:00 PM - 4:00PM at the Redmond Library
Learn tips on how to complete a college application as well as what it takes to write a personal and compelling college essay.

All workshops are FREE to attend, but registration is required.

Planning for 2019-20 

Jeff DeGallier named Principal on Special Assignment

Jeff DeGallier

Jeff DeGallier will serve in the role of principal on special assignment overseeing special projects in the Intervention Services Department next school year. Jeff has successfully served as a principal at Muir Elementary, one of our Title 1 Schools, for the past 14 years and has led efforts to improve literacy instruction and supports for students. In this new role, he will be supporting Title schools and our expanded Safety Net program; facilitating our review of literacy and math screening and progress monitoring assessments; and helping us to identify and support specific interventions for literacy and math to be part of a system of tiered academic supports included in our Classification of Instructional Programs. We are developing a plan to fill the open principal position at Muir.

Keith Buechler named Principal at Franklin Elementary School 

Keith Buechler

We are very pleased to announce that Keith Buechler has been selected as the new Principal at Franklin Elementary School. Keith has served for the past the three years as Principal of Gold Bar Elementary School in Sultan School District. Keith has a wealth of experience and a strong foundation as an instructional leader across the K-8 continuum building and supporting systems that enhance student learning while nurturing the cultural environment within schools and the local community. Before serving in his current position, Keith was Dean of Students and Assistant Principal at Sultan Middle School as well as a humanities teacher at the middle school level. Keith started his career 14 years ago as an elementary teacher at McParland Elementary School in Manteca, California. 

Ashley Boughton named Principal at John Muir Elementary School 

Ashley Boughton

Congratulations to Ashley Boughton who has been named the new principal at John Muir Elementary School. Ashley recently said that it is her passion to encourage, empower, and equip students, teachers, and families with the skills and knowledge to be successful. She says she will infuse a passion for teaching and learning, close achievement gaps, and build an inclusive school culture. She is very happy to have the opportunity to join the Muir community to do this important work together. Most recently, Ashley served as the Associate Principal at Emily Dickinson Elementary and learned many valuable lessons from her experience. Prior to administration, I served as a Professional Learning Coach in the Lake Washington School District. In all her leadership roles, she has partnered with teachers to improve student learning and grow teachers’ instructional capacity through reflective conversation and collaboration.  She has worked in Lake Washington School district for 13 years and feels fortunate to continue serving the district next year.

Reminder: Smarter Balanced Assessment Results

Results from the spring 2019 Smarter Balanced assessments will be available online on June 21. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) allows the District to access and share these score reports electronically in PDF format. These score reports will be added in Family Access on June 21. Beginning in fall of 2019, paper reports are available only by request as we have moved to complete electronic delivery of the assessment results.

Only SBA ELA and math scores will be available online in June. Science scores will not be available until the fall after OSPI releases those scores.

Reminder: LWSD partners with King County Metro to offer free ORCA cards to eligible students 

LWSD is partnering with King County Metro to offer free unlimited ORCA passes to eligible high school students to help them get around during the summer. The ORCA unlimited passes will work from June 10, 2019 to September 9, 2019. Only students who qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible for the program. Applications are available online or in each high school office. 

Reminder: Core Academic Summer Program registration is now open!

Summer School registration closes on June 26!  There are a few spaces left in elementary Drama Camp, middle school Jr. DigiPen 2D Game Development and secondary Core Academic courses. Register today.

Contact with questions.

Reminder: Attention fifth-grade parents: Tdap vaccination requirement 

Parents of fifth grade students: To enter the sixth grade, families must show proof of one dose of the Tdap vaccine (to help prevent pertussis/whooping cough). The deadline to turn in the completion form is June 1, 2019, unless your child has a summer birthday. Children with summer birthdays just need to have a completed form on file by the first day of school. The form is also available on the district website.

If you choose to take an exemption based on medical, religious or for personal reasons, it must be documented on a Certificate of Exemption (COE) form available here:

If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse

Reminder: Lake Washington School District to Offer Summer High School Athletics Program 

Summer athletics programs to operate the same as during the school year 
Starting in Summer 2019, Lake Washington School District (LWSD) is offering high school summer athletics as part of its overall athletics programming. 

Starting this year, LWSD will officially offer a summer athletic season that will compensate coaches for providing supervision, establish a system that ensures compliance with WIAA rules, ensure that team summer activities are carried out in a fashion consistent with the same standard of care as is applied throughout the school year, and ensure that all participants are medically cleared to participate.

Read more about the summer athletics program on our district website.

Reminder: Lake Washington Preschool Program accepting student enrollment applications 

Lake Washington School District's Preschool Program is now accepting tuition-based applications for the 2019-20 school year. Parents are encouraged to apply so students can be placed on their preschool site's waiting list*. 

Applications will 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.

*Acceptance to preschool programs is based on space at each school

Read more about Lake Washington Preschool Programs.

Reminder: Tell your neighbors and friends: Register early for Kindergarten 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

Can’t live without it: Teacher designs chemistry unit around water   

JHS chemistry

If a 9.0 earthquake disrupts your water supply, where will you get fresh water? With this scenario in mind, Juanita High School chemistry students tested water from local rivers, lakes and streams for contamination from phosphates, chloride, bacteria, copper, lead, iron, ammonia, nitrates, chromium and more. They also tested tap water, which is regulated by the EPA, and bottled water, which is regulated by the FDA. Read more about this project.

Change for the better – ICS student wins full scholarship to explore and learn in Ghana  

A student from International Community School (ICS) is the winner of a full scholarship for travel to Ghana this summer. Sravya Ganti, a sophomore, is one of five winners of the Project: Change essay contest sponsored by American Field Service (AFS). Her winning essay is titled “Tomatoes and Power Plants in China.” Read more about the scholarship.

Read more student and staff success stories here.

Work with us

We’re hiring!

LWSD needs paraeducators, instructional assistants, bus drivers, mechanics, custodians, plumbers and electricians. 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.