Connections - November 7, 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

A Message from Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent 

Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

What are the implications for being the second largest district in the state? This is a question I recently posed to our District Leadership Team as we reflected on our new rank within Washington school districts. 

You may have just reread that first sentence thinking it’s potentially an error because just five short years ago the district was only the sixth largest district in the state. That is a short trip to second place as we welcomed over 31,100 students this fall. 

Read more of Dr. Stavem’s November Message here.


Lake Washington School District now second-largest district in Washington state 

2019-20 brings an 11th year of significant growth to the District 
Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD) official October 1 student enrollment was 31,106 students. This represents 1,124 more students than last year’s October 1 count. LWSD is now the second-largest district in the state, behind only Seattle Public Schools.  

For the last 11 years, from 2008 to 2019, the district’s enrollment grew by an average of 667 students each year. That is the size of a large elementary school. A total of 7,339 more students are in LWSD schools today than 11 years ago, representing 31 percent growth. 

“Our enrollment growth is reflective of our dynamic communities,” said Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of our entire school district community as we continue to address the needs related to our rapidly growing student population. The growth of our school district presents unique challenges and opportunities as we address current over-crowding and future expansion possibilities.” 

Read more about the district’s enrollment growth


Visit the new Margaret Mead Elementary on Nov. 14   

Join us on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4-7 p.m. for a Community Open House at Margaret Mead Elementary. The school is also celebrating its 40th anniversary! Meet students and staff to celebrate the opening of the rebuilt and enlarged school.


Choice School applications open Friday; Middle school and high school options booklets available  

Choice School applications will be available online tomorrow, Friday, November 8, 2019, for the 2020-2021 school year. The deadline to apply is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13, 2019, for any school that relies on a lottery to determine enrollment. 

Parents of students in grades five or eight should have received a Middle School options postcard or High School options postcard in the mail. They outline the opportunities in these respective levels, including information about neighborhood schools and choice schools. Videos about each choice school are posted on the district website and YouTube channel.  

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

Thanksgiving break coming up!  

We hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving Break, November 28-29. Please remember that Wednesday, November 27 is a half day of school. For more information, visit the Half-Day Dismissal Times page of our district website. 


Reminder: City of Sammamish to host Community Forum on Teen Drug Use tonight

Sammamish teen drug use forum

In light of recent tragedies in Sammamish, the city is hosting a community forum entitled Teen Drug Use: Warning Signs and Resources. The forum will take place on Thursday, November 7 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Central Washington University Sammamish Campus. It will include Influence the Choice’s "Hidden in Plain Sight” exhibit, which is designed to equip parents and guardians with knowledge to help them identify signs in the home of possible teen drug or alcohol use. 

In addition, there will be presenters from Friends of Youth, Sammamish Police and other organizations who will address the state of teen drug use, warning signs and what parents can do. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with providers for information and resources.  

Visit the Facebook event page for more information.  


Reminder: 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: 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:  

  • December 11, 2019, 1:30 p.m. at Lake Washington High School 
  • 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. 


Reminder: High School PE Credit Options 

High school students can meet the Physical Education graduation requirement through taking PE classes, taking the Fitness Knowledge Assessment or submitting a Fitness Plan. The Fitness Knowledge Assessment is offered three times a year. The first session was on October 9, but there are additional sessions on December 4, 2019 and February 19, 2020. Students must fill out specific forms and register for this test at their high school. Students opting for the Fitness Plan will have three opportunities to submit their plan this year. See the district website for more information. 

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. 

Peter Kirk Elementary celebrates during Grand Opening Ceremony  

Students celebrated the opening of Peter Kirk Elementary during a Grand Opening Ceremony on Oct. 24. Speakers included Lake Washington School District Superintendent, Dr. Jane Stavem; School Board Vice President, Mark Stuart; Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet; and Kirk Elementary Principal Monica Garcia. Following the event, the school hosted an Open House for the community.

See more photos from the ceremony.


Community tours Phase 1 of Juanita High School  

Student volunteers and district staff answered questions about Phase 1 of Juanita High School during a community Open House on Saturday, October 26. Visitors could watch as construction crews continued working on Phase 2 of the new building across the courtyard. See more photos from the Open House. 


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

Teacher Karen Knerr named a Symetra Heroes in the Classroom  

Students have found that when they take a class with Karen Knerr, they learn more than just math. The Kamiakin Middle School teacher is one of 16 Seattle Heroes in the Classroom to be recognized during the 2019 NFL season. Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks will recognize her, in a customized Seahawks jersey, during the November 3 game where she will be an honored guest. Read more about the award


Dickinson students participate in Disability Fair to raise awareness about people with disabilities  

Dickinson Disability Awareness Fair

Students at Emily Dickinson Elementary are now more knowledgeable about the challenges people with disabilities go through every day. The school’s PTSA hosted a Disability Awareness Fair in its gym on October 23, which was also National Unity Day. The gym was set up with six different stations that helped replicate some obstacles associated with common disabilities. Each station included information and an activity that demonstrated what it would be like to have that disability. The different station categories were vision, sensory, motor planning, speech and language, reading and writing, and mobility. For example, the mobility station had a wheelchair and walker, and students were asked to follow a path outlined in tape on the ground. Read more about the fair