Connections - March 25, 2019

Learning Focused

A Message from Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

Value of Many Voices

LWSD Superintendent, Dr. Jane Stavem

Lake Washington School District recently conducted a series of four Community Engagement Forums. Group members included students, parents, staff, and community members. 
The goal of the forums was to have structured conversations focused on six main areas related to the current Strategic Plan:

  • Achievement
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Safety and Security
  • Recruit, Hire, and Retain
  • Facilities and Finance
  • Communication and Engagement

The feedback from the groups was then summarized in the format of Findings and Recommendations and presented to the Board of Directors at the March 4 meeting. The document is available online.

The next step is for the Board of Directors and District Staff to review the information and begin drafting new goals for the revised Strategic Plan that will continue to move our district forward. 

The value of this type of process can’t be underestimated and leads us to future conversations about the things that make Lake Washington School District an exceptional place for students to learn and grow. When diverse groups of “voices” join together we have rich conversations that produce new and fresh ideas, provide feedback for where we can improve and help us to understand the different points of view and experiences people bring to our District.

Most importantly, our students had a voice and shared that they loved being part of the conversation and felt like their feedback mattered. That’s also an area where we will continue to grow in the future through opportunities for more students to share ideas and perspectives on things that affect them every day in our schools.

We are grateful to our participants and look forward to more opportunities for people to be involved in the conversations that make us the best school district in the world!

Jane Stavem, Superintendent

Snow make up day announcement

The district has finalized plans to make up for the days and time missed due to the February snow events. The 2018-19 calendar has been modified to reflect the changes. As a reminder, school districts can request a waiver from the state for missed school days during the Governor’s declared state of emergency. Districts are not allowed to seek a waiver that would impact the required K-12 average instructional hours of 1,027. After analysis of both requirements, it was determined that a total of 3.5 days must be made up to maintain compliance with both requirements. The 2018-19 calendar has May 28 built-in as a snow day, so a total of 2.5 days must be made up beyond the built-in snow day.

The following modifications will be made to the 2018-19 calendar:

  1. Wednesday, May 1: change from an early release to a full day for students
  2. Wednesday, May 8: change from an early release to a full day for students
  3. Friday, May 24: change from a non-school day to a school day for students
  4. Tuesday, May 28: change from a non-school day to a school day for students
  5. Wednesday, June 19: change from a half day to a full day for students
  6. Thursday, June 20: added as a half day for students (last day of school)

These changes were made in consideration of students, families and staff. It should be noted that high school graduation dates and times will not be affected by these changes. Families with preschool students will receive communication from their program about any changes. We appreciate your flexibility as we fulfill the state required hours.

View the printable school calendar.

Nikola Tesla STEM High School Earns First College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Tesla STEM is One of Nine Schools in Washington State to Earn Award for Achieving High Female Representation in AP Computer Science Courses 

Nikola Tesla STEM High School (Tesla STEM) has earned the first College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A (CSA) and/or AP Computer Science Principles (CSP). Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses. Out of more than 18,000 secondary schools worldwide that offer AP courses, only 685 have achieved this important result.

“This is a foundational piece of our work at Tesla STEM High School,” said Cindy Duenas, Principal. “We have a long-term goal to strategically support gender balance not only in our STEM course enrollment but also in our goal for gender balance in all STEM and STEM-related fields.”

Read more about this achievement on the district website.

April 2019 Capital Projects Levy Information

April 23 Capital Projects Levy: Overview

Lake Washington School District is running a Capital Projects Levy on April 23. Watch this informational presentation about the levy and visit the levy webpage.

Building on Success

First tour for Mead Elementary teachers and staff 

Margaret Mead Elementary kindergarten teachers and specialist staff had their first opportunity to tour their new school on March 6. The Mead PTSA president and vice president also attended. When they reached the kindergarten pod, teachers asked questions of the project team, trying to imagine what the completed school will look like. 

The rebuilt and enlarged Mead Elementary School is designed with 30 classrooms – five classrooms for each grade. Mead will be the first three-story elementary school in the district. Future tours are scheduled for the remaining Mead staff in the coming months.

Visit the Mead project page on the district website.

Margaret Mead Elementary staff tour


Important Reminders and Updates

Lake Washington Preschool Program accepting applications starting April 1 for 3- and 4-year old students 

Lake Washington School District's Preschool Program will start accepting tuition-based applications for the 2019-20 school year beginning April 1 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Registration takes place at the Resource Center (16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond). If more children are registered for any one location or session (a.m. or p.m.) than we have availability, a lottery for each Preschool building will be held by April 16 to determine the students in those classes. 

Parents will be notified of results by May 15. After April 1, 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.

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. Read more about Lake Washington Preschool Programs.

Reminder: K-5 Science Adoption Committee

The K-5 Science Adoption Committee has used their knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and effective practices in teaching to guide a deep evaluation of different available K-5 Science curricula. The committee reached consensus in choosing two curricula to pilot this spring: Building Blocks of Science and Amplify Science. 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 two programs will be piloted until the end of March. 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 shift instruction towards the Next Generation Science Standards.

Parent and community feedback is essential in this process. We welcome your input and we have provided a way for parents and community members to preview the materials and give us their thoughts from home. Below you’ll find information about accessing digital versions of both programs, along with survey link that you can use to provide feedback.

Program Website
Amplify Science
Building Blocks of Science 3D
Link for feedback survey

Survey responses are anonymous. These responses will help inform the recommendation our K-5 Science Adoption Committee makes about the adoption of materials. The committee is scheduled to make a recommendation to the Lake Washington School Board in early April. 

Additionally, information about the adoption process and the science programs being considered will be shared at an information night scheduled for Wednesday, March 20 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Lake Washington School District Resource Center. We would love to see you there! If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Dr. Jen Rose at or Hanna Seidler at

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

Going places - Three LWSD students receive University of Washington Presidential Scholar awards

There are only 19 University of Washington (UW) Presidential Scholar awards to go around in Washington state. This year, three of those awards went to students in Lake Washington School District (LWSD). Two of the students are from Redmond High School: Pranav Vaid and Sarah Raza. The other LWSD student attends Nikola Tesla STEM High School: Sonika Tayade. Read more about the award and the LWSD winners.

LWSD Presidential Scholars

One of the best in the west – Cambridge program at Juanita impresses visiting academic advisory board

JHS Cambridge Tour dicussion

A group of college admissions faculty from across the western states was in town recently to observe the Cambridge program at Juanita High School (JHS). The advisory board is from the Western Regional Higher Education Advisory Council USA. Read more about the visit.

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.