Connections - June 5, 2019

Learning Focused

U.S. Secretary of Education Names Lake Washington School District a 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Lake Washington School District (LWSD), is among the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardees.

Lake Washington School District was nominated by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Since the 2005–06 school year, we have reduced electricity usage per square foot by 30 percent. Domestic water usage has been reduced 30 percent per student.

Sustainability efforts in Lake Washington School District rely on the participation of every student and employee. Parents, community organizations and volunteers are valuable partners. LWSD's vision is “Every Student Future Ready.” This vision requires understanding and taking responsibility for the effect of one's decisions and actions, as well as contributing to a better future for the next generation.

Read more about LWSD receiving the Green Ribbon award.

Watch this video from KING 5 about LWSD winning the award

State Board of Education recognizes 11 Lake Washington School District schools

Honored as ‘State-Recognized Schools’ for high achievement and closing gaps between different student groups

Over the past year, the State Board of Education (SBE), the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC) worked together to revise the Washington State school recognition system to more equitably recognize schools.

This spring, in the first phase of the new state school recognition system, 216 schools statewide are being recognized which have demonstrated exemplary performance or who have made significant progress closing opportunity and achievement gaps in the Washington School Improvement Framework (WSIF) measures. Eleven of those schools come from Lake Washington School District (LWSD).

Visit our district website for a list of the schools and more information about the awards

School Start Time Advisory Findings and Recommendations 

During the 2018-19 school year, the task of the School Start Time Advisory was to:

  • Understand the impact of the start time changes made for 2018-19
  • Engage staff, parents, and students to learn about the impacts
  • Identify recommendations for district consideration

School Start Time Advisory members shared their findings and recommendations with the Superintendent and School Board in a May 6 Board Study Session:

  • The impact of the later start and end times for elementary schools created unintended consequences, particularly for the schools with a 9:20 a.m. start time.
  • The impact of changes in middle school start and end times has resulted in less disruption than those reported by elementary schools.
  • High school students at all grades are divided as to the merits of a later start time compared to staying with their current start and end time.
  • High school students with an 8:00 a.m. school start time reported more benefits about their current school start and end times.

The Advisory shared 3 recommendations for the district to consider in planning for any potential future changes in school start times:

  1. Recommend that the district consider the range of Preschool programs and Elementary school start times to begin no later than 9:00 a.m.
  2. Recommend that the district consider the range of middle school start and end times to remain similar to the 2018-19 ranges.
  3. Recommend that the district consider the range of High School start times to begin no earlier than 8:00 a.m.

Next Steps:
The Superintendent will examine the recommendations to determine next steps and feasibility for any changes. Any revisions to the existing schedule would not take effect until the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Additional materials, including survey data results, verbatim survey comment themes, and student listening session themes can be found at the Start Time Advisory webpage

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. 

Building on Success

Say goodbye to the old Kirk and Mead elementary school buildings on June 6 (Note: Kirk’s event date has changed)

Alumni and community members can tour the old Kirk and Mead elementary school buildings before they are demolished this summer. Attendees will be able to peruse yearbooks from each of the schools’ decades of existence. Visitors at Kirk’s event can leave a handprint on the wall while those attending the Mead event can write a fond memory on the walls. Details for both events are below.

Peter Kirk Elementary Open House:
Please note the new date. 

  • What: Farewell to the old Peter Kirk Elementary building 
  • When: Thursday, June 6 from 6-7 p.m. 
  • Where: Kirk Elementary Library, 1312 6th St., Kirkland, WA 98033

Margaret Mead Elementary Open House:

  • What: Farewell to the old Margaret Mead Elementary building 
  • When: Thursday, June 6 from 7-8 p.m. 
  • Where: 1725 216th Ave N.E., Sammamish, WA 98074 

Important Reminders and Updates

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. 

Planning for 2019-20 

Johnny Phu named Director, Student Services

Johnny Phu, director, Student Services

As the Assistant Director of MTSS, Equity, & Diversity, Johnny has advanced key initiatives for equitable educational opportunities for students. He developed and implemented student supports in the areas of school counseling, mental health, social-emotional learning and equity through partnerships with staff, community, leaders and universities. His work has led to stronger systems of support for students social, emotional and behavioral health. He believes education is the nexus for cultivating the healthy development of students' identities, unlocking their potential and purpose. 

Before working in education, Johnny coordinated programs in youth development, mental health services and residential placement. Specifically, he worked with marginalized communities to enhance services and opportunities for youth. He is excited for the opportunity to serve LWSD and get to know each school community this coming year.

Reminder: Core Academic Summer Program registration is now open!

LWSD Summer School registration is now open! Tuition-based summer learning options are available at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Programs will run July 1 - August 2 in ten or twenty day sessions and will be held at Rockwell Elementary and Redmond High School. Limited transportation is provided. A wide variety of courses are offered. Classes will fill up fast, so register today. To learn more please visit:

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.

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.

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 Program.

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

A tale of two writers - Horace Mann Elementary students write their own books, get hardcover treatment  

Mann book project

Two third-grade students from Horace Mann Elementary School (Mann) are proving age is nothing but a number. In fact, they each wrote a story, which became popular hardcover books in their school library. Carter Moynihan and Gideon Stone used the Six Traits of Writing framework to create the stories with their teacher. Carter wrote a story called, “The Crystal of Dawn” and Gideon wrote a story called, “The Squideon’s Adventure.” Read more about the two young writers.

Redmond Middle School student CEO advances to national entrepreneur competition 

Nir Pechuk

Nir Pechuk, Redmond Middle School, advanced to the 11th annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Saunders Scholars National Semi-Finals College Scholarship competition May 3 in Rochester, New York. A panel of judges made up of investors selected Nir who pitched his business, Extentek, at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce YEA! event on March 20. Read more about Nir and his business. 

Read more student and staff success stories here.

Work with us

We’re hiring!

LWSD needs paraeducators, instructional assistants, bus drivers, 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.