Connections - September 14, 2018

Thirty-two LWSD students named National Merit Semifinalists

Students now compete for scholarships worth more than $31 million

Thirty-two Lake Washington School District (LWSD) high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the semifinalists on September 12.

Sixteen thousand high school seniors nationwide qualified. More than 90% of the semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level. More than half will win a National Merit Scholarship. These students will be able to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $31 million. See the full list of semifinalists here.

District Announcements

Upcoming Parent Information Nights for Highly Capable Programs/Quest

Applications for Highly Capable Programs/Quest will be available on the district website on Monday, October 1. All applications are due on Friday, October 26 at 4 p.m. Information sessions are available for parents on the following dates/times:

  • Grades 1-4 Highly Capable Information Night:
    Thursday, October 4, Lake Washington High School Performing Arts Center
    6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Middle School (Grades 5-7) Highly Capable Information Night:
    Monday, October 8, Lake Washington High School Performing Arts Center
    6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Kindergarten Highly Capable Information Night:
    Tuesday, October 2, Lake Washington High School Performing Arts Center
    6:00 p.m.

Attendance at information sessions is optional and not required to apply to Highly Capable Programs.  

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.

Student enrollment growth requires Lake Washington to develop short-term space plan to accommodate students

New portable at Rose Hill ElementaryEnrollment in LWSD has grown 25 percent in the last decade. The district has a long-term strategy to build facilities and increase capacity. Until the long-term plan is completed, the district develops short-term plans to address immediate needs for classroom space. For fall 2018, the district installed 10 energy efficient portable classrooms at Lakeview Elementary (2), Benjamin Rush Elementary (1), Mark Twain Elementary (3), Rose Hill Elementary (2) and John Muir Elementary (2).

The district adopted a portable standard in 2014 of SAGE (Smart Academic Green Environment) portable classrooms. SAGE portable classrooms are energy-efficient, have more natural light than traditional portables and are constructed with low-emitting building materials. The LED lights turn off automatically when no one is in the room. The HVAC systems in SAGE portables also improve ventilation and reduce noise.

Enrollment is projected to reach 32,000 students in the next five years. For information about LWSD’s plan to increase permanent capacity, visit our Building on Success page.

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. 

Get a glimpse of what our two new Lake Washington schools look like


The first day of school at the new Clara Barton and Ella Baker Elementary Schools was on September 4. The schools incorporate features that conserve natural resources and reduce energy costs. Watch the videos by clicking the following links or on the images above. Ella Baker Video | Clara Barton Video

The schools are two of eight projects funded by the 2016 bond program, Building on Success.

Important Reminders and Updates

Washington State 2018 Healthy Youth Survey

Our district is participating in the Washington State 2018 Healthy Youth Survey during fall 2018.
The Healthy Youth survey includes questions related to physical activity and diet, unintentional and intentional injury, substance use, risk and protective factors, access to school-based services, and sexual behaviors, abuse and orientation. Survey results are used by schools, communities and state agencies to plan programs to support our youth and reduce their risks.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and the students’ answers are anonymous.

Please read the Parent and Student Notification Letter for more information about the Healthy Youth Survey:

Read more about the Healthy Youth Survey on the district website.

Is your child’s backpack too heavy?

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), backpacks should weigh less than 10 percent of a student’s body weight. Backpack Awareness Day is September 26. Purchasing a backpack this year? Visit the AOTA website for tips on purchasing the right backpack for your child.

Reminder: Verify your child’s information online until September 17

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.

Reminder: 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 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. If you are still within your two-year approval window, you do not need to reapply. The renewal window opens 30 days before your expiration date. Volunteers can now renew through the district website instead of logging into Parent Access.

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).

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

Happy First Day!

The first day of school was on September 4. Our videographer created a video showing families and staff at Rose Hill Elementary School showing up and preparing for the 2018-19 school year.

LWSD bus driver puts students first during smoke scare

Wade Minor, LWSD bus driverWade Minor, Lake Washington School District (LWSD) bus driver, had to act quickly when smoke appeared in the back of the bus. Minor was transporting approximately 20 students when a mechanical issue forced him to pull over the afternoon of September 6. His first action was to evacuate the kids from the bus to a safe distance. It was his quick thinking that kept the situation from getting out of control.

Read more student and staff success stories here.