Connections - October 26, 2018

Learning Focused

Lake Washington School District continues to have unprecedented growth

2018-19 brings a 10th year of significant growth to the District
Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD) official October 1 student enrollment was 29,987 students. This represents 417 more students than last year’s October 1 count.

For the last 10 years, from 2008 to 2018, the district’s enrollment grew by approximately 620 students each year. That is the size of a large elementary school. A total of 6,218 more students are in LWSD schools today than 10 years ago, representing 26 percent growth.

“Our enrollment growth is reflective of our thriving communities,” said Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent. “We are grateful for the support of our community as we strive to find solutions to support our rapidly growing student population.”

Enrollment growth is forecasted to continue. The district anticipates growing an additional 2,000 students in the next four years. These forecasts take into account the number of births in our area, current enrollment patterns and planned development within district borders.

Read more about LWSD’s continued growth.

Students and staff wear orange on October 24 to show we’re united against bullying Unity Day celebration

Unity Day 2018 at Stella Schola Middle SchoolMake it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? LWSD staff and students showed they cared about safe and supportive schools by making their color ORANGE for Unity Day on October 24. That’s the day everyone came together – in schools, communities, and online – to send one large ORANGE message of support, hope and unity. Check out more photos from Unity Day on our Facebook page.

Read more about how you can stand against bullying and come together for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

October is National Energy Awareness Month

Earth Day is every day in Lake Washington School District. We are a recognized leader in sustainability practices and education in the region. This recognition has come from various organizations:

  • McKinstry’s 2015 Champions of Sustainability award.
  • Eight-time winner of the King County Best Workplace for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Nearly 75 percent of schools in the district collect organic food waste for composting. The district is committed to proactively right-sizing service, including smaller garbage containers and less frequent pickups.
  • LWSD is one of 12 districts in the nation to receive Excellence in Integrated Pest Management star certification. This certification ensures the use of alternate, non-chemical pest control methods. The district passed a rigorous 37-point evaluation conducted by the independent nonprofit IPM Institute of North America.
  • 2017 Green Cleaning Award from American School and University Magazine. Cleaning to protect the health of students and staff without harm to the environment.
  • Grants approved thus far from Puget Sound Energy for high-efficiency features for new schools: $144,100.

District sustainability efforts rely on the participation of every person in the district, in addition to community partners and volunteers.

Visit the district website to learn more about LWSD’s commitment to resource conservation.

Safety Spotlight

A.L.I.C.E. Training

LWSD uses the A.L.I.C.E. program to prepare staff and students to react to a life-threatening emergency. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. These five actions are not to be done in order, rather, they should be considered like tools in a toolbox. Staff members and students should utilize whichever tool would work best given the current situation. Each year, all LWSD staff are trained in A.L.I.C.E. as it is the response protocol for all schools in the district.  Additionally, as part of the annual emergency drill schedule, all schools are required to perform five age-appropriate drills throughout the year with a focus on A.L.I.C.E. to ensure staff and students have the opportunity to put into practice the skills learned in the training. If you have questions about the specific emergency drills in your school, please talk to your principal or school office staff.

Learn more about safety in LWSD schools here.

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.

Clara Barton Elementary holds Grand Opening Celebration and Community Open House

Ribbon cutting at the Clara Barton Elementary School grand openingThe community gets a glimpse of the brand new building as Clara Barton Elementary opens its doors to the public
Hundreds of students, staff, parents and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Clara Barton Elementary School on Thursday, October 11. Lake Washington School District Board Members were on hand along with Superintendent Dr. Jane Stavem and many other district leaders.

Clara Barton principal Karen Barker started the event by having the staff and students sing the school song. That was followed by speeches from Dr. Stavem, School Board President Siri Bliesner, state senator Manka Dhingra, U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and principal Barker. Speeches were followed by the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Later that day, dozens of community members arrived at the school for an open house. The public was invited to tour the new school and hear about what makes it an ideal learning environment for its students. Watch this highlight video from the grand opening and open house:

Read more about our Building on Success program.

Important Reminders and Updates

Remember to Vote: November 6

November 6 is election day! Remember to vote. Ballot drop box locations can be found on the King County Elections website. You can also find more information about the November 2018 General and Special Election here.

Are you ready for inclement weather?

When emergency conditions such as snow and ice or windstorms result in school schedule changes, the district will notify families directly through our SchoolMessenger automated phone system. You can learn how to know when school is delayed or cancelled on the School Closures and Late Starts page of the district website. Families with students who ride the bus should watch their mail in mid-November for a postcard with information about their bad weather bus route. Want to make sure you receive alerts about school closures right away? Sign up on to be notified about the latest school delay and school closure news from LWSD.

Reminder: Welcome Event for New and International Families — All Families Welcome!

LWSD and the LWPTSA Council are hosting two Welcome Events for New and International Families. These events will be held at the LWSD Resource Center on Thursday, October 25 from 6:30-9 p.m. and Saturday, October 27 from 9:30 a.m. - noon (sessions are identical).
These events will feature guidance for new and international families, including:

  • Navigating the school system.
  • Special sessions for parents of elementary and secondary students.
  • Pacific Northwest activities and culture.
  • Relocation challenges and America 101 for international families.
  • Meet and learn from PTSA and parents.

Families can register here.

Reminder: Highly Capable Programs/Quest Applications Due Friday, October 26

Applications for Highly Capable Programs/Quest are now available on the district website. All applications are due on Friday, October 26 at 4 p.m. If a family is unable to access the internet-based application or needs an application in a language other than English, please contact the Accelerated Programs Office at 425-936-1238. More information on these programs can be found on the Accelerated Programs section of the district website.

Reminder: National School Bus Safety Week – October 22-26

National School Bus Safety Week is a public education program to address the importance of school bus safety. School districts throughout the country observe School Bus Safety Week the third week in October each year. This year’s theme is #StopOnRed! Remember to stop for buses when the red lights blink and the Stop sign is out.

Student & Staff Success

Corn picking for good - Rosa Parks Elementary students harvest corn for people in need

Students and their parents pick corn to donate to a local food bankA group of Rosa Parks Elementary students and their parents worked with two other community groups to harvest 11,000 pounds of sweet corn, which will be donated to a food bank. Read more about this project.  


Never too young – State senator reads to students; encourages civic participation and voting

Senator Manka Dhingra reads to studentsState Senator Manka Dhingra stopped by Ella Baker Elementary on October 12 to promote the need for everyone to participate in a democracy and to tell students what motivated her to run for office. Read more about Dhingra’s visit

Read more student and staff success stories 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 $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.

Lake Washington School District is currently hiring paraeducators

Paraeducators make an important difference in the lives of our students. Paraeducators are responsible for individual and small-group instructional support for students who have physical, behavioral or medical needs; encourage and help students working on assignments; support students’ health care needs; and much more. Additional job descriptions, qualifications, openings and more are available on the district website.

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.