Connections - September 27, 2019


This newsletter is just one way to stay in touch with what is happening in the district. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for up-to-date news and information.

Learning Focused

Attend to achieve  

A recent Associated Press report showed that the state of Washington has one of the highest rates of chronic absenteeism in the country. While the Lake Washington School District has one of the lowest rates in the state, 10 percent of our students are considered chronically absent (missing 10 percent or more of school).

To continue to reduce the number of students that are chronically absent, we’ve updated our attendance policies to focus on chronic absenteeism at all levels. During the month of September, as part of Attendance Awareness Month, we have been communicating with students about the importance of regular school attendance. Learn more about why attendance matters in LWSD


Online absence requests via Skyward Family Access 

There is a new process available for parents to request absences online through Skyward Family Access. In addition to calling or emailing the school, families can now log into their Skyward Family Access accounts to let schools know that their student will be absent. This can be for a one-day absence or long-term absences as well. Click here for instructions on how to use this new process

Reminder: Know a Hero in the Classroom?  

Nominate a teacher for a Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award 
Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks are looking for teachers who are Heroes in the Classroom. Anyone can nominate a teacher for this award. Honorees are selected based on their ability to make a real difference in students' lives; to go above and beyond in their day-to-day responsibilities; and to help students build life skills. Nominations may be submitted through the program’s online submission tool.  

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. Symetra makes a $2,000 donation to each teacher-hero’s school for classroom books and supplies. Hero honorees also receive tickets to a Seahawks home game, where they are acknowledged during on-field presentations at CenturyLink Field.

District Announcements

General safety reminders when visiting LWSD schools  

It is always a good idea to be vigilant while out and about, visiting a school should be no exception. Just a reminder that if you park at our schools, always lock your door and put your valuables away; just like when you visit your local store. You are also encouraged to help report something suspicious if you come across a situation that doesn’t look right. You can call the LWSD Resource Center at 425-936-1200 or the front office at the school you are visiting, or find a staff member and let them know the situation. For more information about safety in our school, you can visit the Safety page.  


Earthquake Preparedness in LWSD   

Lake Washington School District (LWSD) works with all its schools to ensure that earthquake response plans are in place. Our buildings are built to seismic codes, and older buildings have been retrofitted. All natural gas lines have seismic shut-off valves. The district has a Safety Advisory Committee that meets monthly to discuss emergency planning and safety. As part of those plans, the district follows guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and currently recommends “drop, cover and hold” as the state-approved response to earthquakes. Students practice this method during earthquake drills. LWSD will also participate in the Great Washington ShakeOut on October 17 at 10:17 a.m. This is a state-wide earthquake drill.  


Reminder: 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 25 at 4 p.m. Information sessions are available for parents on the following dates/times: 

  • Kindergarten Highly Capable Information Night
    Thursday, October 3 at Lake Washington High School from 6:00-7:00 p.m. 
  • Grades 1-4 Highly Capable Information Night:  
    Thursday, October 10 at Lake Washington High School from 6:00-7:30 p.m.  
  • Middle School (Grades 5-7) Highly Capable Information Night
    Tuesday, October 15 at Lake Washington High School from 6:00-7:00 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 Accelerated Programs


Reminder: Advanced Placement Exam Registration Information for 2019-20 School Year  

College Board has new ordering deadlines, late fees and cancellation fees. To meet the College Board ordering deadlines, Lake Washington School District students will register and pay for AP exams from October 14, 2019 through end of last lunch on October 25, 2019. We encourage all students wanting to take May 2020 AP exams to complete the registration and pay for their exams during this October registration window. 

For students that may still be deciding in October if they want to take AP exams in May, LWSD is offering a LATE AP Exam Registration window from February 18, 2020 through end of last lunch on February 27, 2020. Students who register during the late AP Registration window will incur a $50 per exam late fee in addition to the $96 per exam fee. 

Read more about the changes College Board has made to the AP Exam registration process.  

Reminder: The old Parent Access portal is gone!  

To access Skyward, Online Payments, FinalForms (Athletic Registration), Powerschool Learning, School & Bus Finder and other helpful resources, visit our For Students and Families page. For login or access questions, email

Reminder: Want a full LWSD Calendar for the 2019-2020 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).  


Reminder: Volunteering in LWSD  

In order to volunteer at school events or chaperone field trips for your child's school, you must be an actively approved LWSD volunteer. Volunteer approvals are valid for two years from the date of approval. You can apply to be a volunteer by visiting the LWSD website and registering through our Raptor Volunteer system.  

We ask that volunteer applicants apply early, at least two weeks prior to the event or activity, in order to ensure there is enough time to complete the volunteer approval process. The Communications Office processes applications as quickly as possible but there are typically thousands of applications at the beginning of each school year.  

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Robison at or 425-936-1270.

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.  

Thank you, voters! Join us at an upcoming Open House 

Students and teachers are settling in at four new schools this fall. Celebrate with us and see the schools for yourself at these upcoming Open House events: 

Can’t wait that long? Check out this playlist to see video from each new school:


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. 

Student & Staff Success

2019-20 LWSD Excellent Staff Recognition Program  

Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD’s) Excellent Staff Recognition Program welcomes you to share information about one of our excellent LWSD staff members with us. Have you been inspired by someone in our schools? Do you have a teacher, paraeducator, bus driver, principal, custodian, instructional assistant, office manager, school secretary or other staff member who has elevated your life or the life of your child? Do you work with a colleague who keeps us climbing upward, elevating the quality of everything they do to provide the best education for our students? We want to hear your story! View all of the recognized staff and nominate a staff member. #LWSDExcellentStaff 


Winning on a global stage – Tesla STEM student helps Team USA win medals at Earth Science Olympiad  

Yuchen Li, Tesla STEM High School

Yuchen Li, Nikola Tesla STEM High School, can now add gold medal winner to his resume. Li competed for Team USA at the 13th annual International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) in Daegu, South Korea August 26 to September 3. This was the best year ever for Team USA, winning a total of five medals and best practical exam. Li was one of the two members from Team USA who took home a gold medal. Only five percent of the test takers at this year’s Olympiad scored well enough on the exam to receive a gold medal. Read more about Yuchen Li the International Earth Science Olympiad