Connections - January 17, 2020

Learning Focused

A Message from Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent  

Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

The calendar has turned over to the new year, and I found it just a bit disconcerting to actually write down the number 2020. I can remember when that date seemed very far away and almost had a science fiction type ring to it. 

On the day before a break ends, I often think of children and adults and the range of emotions that can be part of returning to school and work. I see families making final trips to the store for lunch bag items and supplies for the week and I notice kids outside playing, using up some energy so everyone sleeps well that night. Undoubtedly, there is a mixture of excitement and anxiety about going back to the regular schedule after being away from the routine. 

Our District Strategic Plan – Elevate includes initiatives that are specifically designed to support people and even create some excitement about returning to school after a break! 

One of the most helpful and foundational elements of a healthy mindset toward school is having a significant, positive relationship with a teacher or caring adult at school. 

One of the ways we’re enhancing the ability to connect with students in meaningful ways is through training designed to create a learning environment where students are affirmed and engaged as valued members of their learning community, known as Culturally Responsive Teaching (Hammond, 2015)

Read more of Dr. Stavem’s message here.


Welcome! Saturday morning event for new and international families 


All new and international families are invited to join the Lake Washington School District and Lake Washington PTSA Council for a Welcome event on Saturday, January 18 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. At this event, families will learn how to navigate the LWSD school system, the resources and support available from the district, about the PTSA and how you can be involved in school, as well as learn about relocation challenges and how to support your child through transition. Tickets are free for this event. Visit to sign-up.

If you need translating or interpreting services, please contact Danit Erlich at and include your name and choice of language. 

View the event flyer (EnglishSpanishChinese).


Reminder: No School Monday, January 20, 2020 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Observed)


Reminder: Credit requirements for high school students available in Family Access  

Students and families can now monitor progress toward high school graduation requirements. There is a tab called “Graduation Requirements” on the left menu in Student and Family Access. After opening this menu, you will see a list of the coursework requirements. Questions about how to interpret the information can be found on our Skyward Family Access Support page.  


Changes to end-of-semester dates

Due to school closures this week, Lake Washington School District has adjusted the end of Semester 1 for all middle and high schools. We have moved the end of Semester 1 from January 24 to January 28. Grades are now due at midnight on February 5. Report cards will be mailed home beginning February 6. Each school will adjust their end of semester activities and finals schedule as necessary. If you have any questions, please contact your school directly.


Reminder: Is your child too sick for school?  

While school attendance is important, so is the health of all students and staff. If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, please keep him/her at home or make appropriate child care arrangements: fever, vomiting, lice/scabies, diarrhea, chronic cough and/or runny nose, sore throat, rash, ear infection (with fever), or eye infection. If he/she experiences any of these symptoms at school, the school nurse or office staff may ask you to pick your student up as soon as possible. Read more about when to keep your child home from school.  


District Announcements

Kindergarten Registration: Schools will stay open until 7 p.m. on February 20

Kindergarten registration

If you live in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) and your child will be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2020, it is time to register them for kindergarten. Registration takes place at your neighborhood school, beginning February 20 from 1–7 p.m. and continuing during regular school hours through the end of the school year. We will also have summer registration available at the LWSD Resource Center. 

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. 


Lake Washington Schools Open Enrollment Is February 3-28

Most schools closed to those outside their area
Lake Washington School District holds an open enrollment period once each year for parents who want their children to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. Parents may apply between February 3-28 for a change to the school assignment for the 2020-21 school year for their student in grades 1-12. This option is also known as an In-District Variance.

This open enrollment option only applies to neighborhood schools that have space available. The list of schools that are closed to students outside their neighborhood will be available on the district website by February 1. Schools are closed if current and projected enrollment shows that students who live within their attendance boundary will fill the school’s capacity. District enrollment has increased rapidly over the last seven years. Learn more on the In-District Variance webpage.


Reminder: Half-Days for Elementary Conferences – January 28, 30 and 31

Elementary students will have half-days January 28, 30 and 31 for the second set of parent-student-teacher conferences. View the Half-Day schedule here for all elementary schools.


Reminder: Use the My Stop app to estimate your bus arrival during winter weather 


The My Stop app that allows you to view the estimated time of arrival for your student’s bus can now be used to monitor changes to arrival times during winter weather events. Download the Versatrans My Stop app for Apple or Android. GPS technology allows families to view estimated times of arrival for buses at bus stops. (Data on the app is updated every 5 minutes.) 

Visit the My Stop App page for information on how to download and register to use the app. Families with students who ride the bus should have received a postcard in November with information about their school bus snow route.

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 more about school delay or closure decisions on the School Closures and Late Starts page of the district website.


Secondary English Language Arts (ELA) Adoption Committee to pilot new materials in grades 6-12

The grades 6-12 English Language Arts (ELA) Adoption Committee has been meeting since the start of the 2018-19 school year. Last year, the focus of the work was learning about standards, equity and the potential for resources available to educators in the 21st Century.  

This year, the ELA Adoption Committee utilized district rubrics to assess curriculum on key components of effective instruction: Assessment, Digital Resources, Effective Practice, ELA Standards and Organization and Design. The Adoption Committee considered additional information provided by District Directors on indicators for materials that would ensure access and learning for all students, including those who need intervention support, special services, and learning extensions. These indicators also included a focus on features that promote equity, access and opportunity for all students. 

The Adoption Committee also considered student feedback provided through a student survey of students in grades 6-12. The survey feedback provided insight into student perceptions about what helps them to learn in the English Language Arts classes. The committee reviewed fourteen curricula, including several Open Educational Resource (OER) curricula. OER materials are high quality resources that are available to educators through hubs or open resource portals and are a viable alternative to traditional publisher materials. Using a consensus model, the committee eliminated twelve curricula that did not meet our needs and standards as a district, as measured by the rubrics. The middle school curricula selected for piloting are Expeditionary Learning (OER) and Amplify ELA. The high school curricula selected for piloting are Engage NY (OER) and MyPerspectives, published by Pearson.  

The programs will be piloted at the start of second semester through the end of March. Throughout the pilot period, the committee will evaluate how the different programs operate in a daily classroom environment for both teachers and students.  The committee will debrief the results of the pilot in late March and give a recommendation for the adoption of materials to our Instructional Materials Committee to review in the spring.  After the Instructional Materials Committee reviews the curricula, a recommendation to the Lake Washington School Board will be made by April 28, 2020.

As part of the work this year, the 6-12 ELA Adoption Committee will develop an implementation plan for the new curriculum for the 2020-21 school year, dependent upon Board approval.  

The materials for all four curricula are available for parent/public preview from January 27, 2020 - March 27, 2020.  They are located outside of the Curriculum Library on the first floor of the LWSD Resource Center.  Access to the digital materials will be provided to parents and community members, along with a link to a survey to gather input.  We would appreciate your feedback using the survey forms located alongside the materials and/or the online link.  Additionally, there will be a Parent Information Night regarding the adoption process and pilot curriculum on February 4, 2020 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the LWSD Resource Center.  If you have any further questions, please contact Alice Humphres or Jen Rose


Make a difference in one hour a week: AVID, Lunch Buddy seek mentors 

Lake Washington School District (LWSD) recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for students to meet with and learn from community members. We are currently looking for mentors for two different mentoring opportunities: AVID and the LINKS Lunch Buddy program.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is an elective offered in four LWSD middle schools and all LWSD comprehensive high schools. Mentors meet with a small group of students in the classroom at least once a week for one class period and lead inquiry-based discussions to help students learn to problem solve.

LWSD will offer a one-hour information session to learn more about the AVID program. For specific dates and times please visit the AVID Information Sessions and Orientations calendar. For those who would like to become mentors, training is provided, and the dates are also listed on the calendar.

In the LINKS Lunch Buddy Program (Looking Into the Needs of Kids in Schools), mentors provide social-emotional support to elementary students who need a little extra one-on-one attention. Mentors are matched with a student and meet once a week during the school year for lunch, games, crafts and conversation. All Lunch Buddy mentors attend a two-hour orientation session to learn about tips and resources for a successful mentoring experience.

To learn more about Mentor Programs, please visit the Volunteer Programs page on the LWSD website at: For more information please contact Chris Robison at or call 425 936-1270.


Reminder: World Language Proficiency Testing 

District World Language Proficiency Testing is open to all high school students who speak/read/write a language other than English and register for the test. Students can take the test once free of cost and earn up to 4 high school credits. Tests will be offered on the following dates:  

  • February 26, 2020, 1:30 p.m. at Redmond High School 
  • April 29, 2020, 1:30 p.m. at Juanita High School  

Registration will close 2 weeks before each test date. Registration and further information about assessments can be found on the LWSD website: World Language Credit Options

For additional information please contact Theresa Vasquez, World Language Teaching and Learning Specialist. 


Juniors and seniors can take Fitness Knowledge Assessment February 19

High school students can meet the Physical Education graduation requirement by taking PE classes, taking the Fitness Knowledge Assessment or submitting a Fitness Plan. The Fitness Knowledge Assessment is offered to 11th and 12th graders three times a year. The final session for this school year is February 19. Submit the required form and register for the test at your high school. The deadline for 11th and 12th graders who wish to submit a Fitness Plan this year is February 19. Learn more about physical education credit options.


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. 


Information session at Lake Washington High School on February 5

LWHS constructions

Join us to hear about the addition of a new auxiliary gym and commons space at Lake Washington High School (LWHS). A community event is scheduled for February 5 at 6 p.m. in the LWHS Commons. Construction on the auxiliary spaces is scheduled to begin this summer. 

Construction on 20 additional classrooms has already begun. The new classroom wing will open in fall 2020. Watch installation of the last steel beam for the classroom addition.


Construction to add classrooms at elementary schools begins this summer

Info Session

Parents and school staff had a chance to talk to architects and district staff during information sessions at three elementary schools in November and December. Mark Twain Elementary, Ben Franklin Elementary and Rose Hill Elementary will receive classroom additions that are scheduled to open in fall 2021. Additional core facilities (pending feasibility) are scheduled to open in fall 2022.

An information night at Rachel Carson Elementary will be scheduled for next year. A four-classroom addition at Carson is scheduled to open in fall 2022. 

Thank you to our voters for passing a Capital Projects Levy last April. Learn more about each project and see the posters from each school information session on our website:


Student & Staff Success

Robotics for all – Eastlake Unified Robotics places 3rd at championship

EHS Unified Robotics Team

A team of 24 young athletes and partners, with and without disabilities, represented Eastlake High School (EHS) at this year’s Special Olympics Washington Unified Robotics Championship. The EHS team, with their Wolf Pack Green robot, earned third place. They also won the Spirit Team and Rising Star awards. Watch as students at EHS lined up to cheer on the team before the competition. Learn more about the EHS team and Unified Robotics.


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. 



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