Connections - August 31, 2020

Learning Focused

A message from Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen

Dr. Jon Holmen

The excitement that comes with a new school year is something I look forward to annually. The excitement of a young scholar starting school as a preschool or Kindergarten student for the first time in Lake Washington, a sixth grade student starting middle school, an incoming freshman beginning the last phase of their K-12 journey, and our seniors starting their last school year before moving onto their next phase of life. 
Each of these moments comes with great emotion for students, families, staff and the overall community. This year, our start will look and feel different. I am encouraging all of us to take the opportunity to reach out to a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, or a peer to welcome them to the 2020-21 school year. While we won’t be together in the schoolhouse that does not change the fact that we are all interconnected across our 76 square mile district. Whether students are learning in Sammamish, Redmond or Kirkland; We are Lake Washington School District. We are a diverse community, and we all have a responsibility to each other as members of our greater community.  

More than ever I want to stress the importance of kindness, acceptance, empathy and grace. Each of us has been affected by the global health crisis differently. As an organization, we are acutely aware of the challenges that many in our community have faced and are currently facing. As a leadership team, we are taking every action possible to advocate for funding and supports that will provide real-time help to our community as well as long-term support that will all us to return to in-person experiences when conditions allow. As we start this year; we must be thoughtful and considerate of those around us and, particularly, those that have been most impacted by COVID-19. Our kindness, acceptance, empathy and grace allow us to create stronger community bonds while possibly allowing those around us the space to work through their difficulties. 

I wish you the best as we start the 2020-21 school year. 


UPDATE! Fall grab and go meals begin Tuesday, September 1: Meals are Free for All Children Age 1-18

Student Meals

Lake Washington School District is offering free meals to all children ages 1-18, starting Tuesday, September 1. 

According to the USDA press release from August 31, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is extending a suite of nationwide waivers for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through the end of 2020, or until available funding runs out.

Meals should be ordered in advance and will be available for pickup on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Each pickup will include multiple meals. Tuesday meal pickups will be meals for Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday meal pickups will be for Thursday, Friday and Monday.

Meals will be available at the following schools:

If you are unable to pick up meals at one of our six distribution schools, please fill out this survey regarding future pickup locations. Please note, by filling out this survey you are providing information that will help us in making decisions and does not guarantee your requested delivery location will be added.

For more information, or to place an order, visit:


View the 2020-21 school year calendar 

The 2020-21 LWSD school calendar is available on the district website. Here is a direct link to the PDF of the calendar from the site (Spanish).


Student health plans and immunization records

Families received notification this week about documentation for individual health plans (for students with life threatening conditions), medications, and immunizations.  We recognize that there has been some confusion regarding this requirement due to fact that most students will be participating in remote learning.   

We are adjusting the due date for families whose children will be participating in remote learning to submit this information. The new date is October 5. This applies to most of our families. We recognize that some of our families may find it challenging to obtain doctor appointments or paperwork at this time. If there are issues with having this information ready by October 5, families can work with their building nurse. Though, we do not know at this time when all students will return to in-person instruction, having paperwork will help us to be prepared for when we do. 

A limited number of students with special education services will be receiving in-person instruction at the start of the year. Any student receiving in-person instruction or participating in childcare in district schools should plan to have their documentation and medications turned in prior to their first day in a school. Dates for these services are as follows: 

  • September 8: Students receiving special education services who participate in Learning Center, Transition Center and Transition Academy Programs 
  • September 10: Students receiving special education services who have been identified to participate in in-person Intervention Center or Resource Programs 
  • September 14: Students receiving special education services who participate in early learning programs 

A child’s immunizations must be up to date and paperwork for medications, individual health plans as well as all required medications must be provided before a child can attend school in-person per state guidelines. Students will be unable to attend school in-person or participate in childcare in district schools if their immunizations are not in compliance or if they have not provided the necessary paperwork and medications if their child requires them.   

If you have any questions, please contact your building nurse. 


Advanced Placement exam registration information for 2020-21 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 for AP exams from September 1, 2020 to the end of the last lunch on September 25th. The payment window for all exams will be October 1, 2020 through October 30, 2020. We encourage all students wanting to take May 2021 AP exams to complete the registration and pay for their exams during this registration window. CollegeBoard has suspended the cancellation fee for the 2020-21 school year. Students may cancel an exam at any time throughout the course!

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 1, 2021 through end of last lunch on February 19, 2021. 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 Advanced Placement exam registration.


Microsoft Classroom Teams video tutorial for families

Need help using Microsoft Classroom Teams? Lake Washington School District (LWSD) has created a video tutorial to help families navigate this online learning platform. Visit

As always, feel free to reach out to your student’s librarian for any help navigating technical issues you may be having like forgotten passwords. 

Additional Help Resources:

District Announcements

Peachjar to deliver community electronic flyers 

LWSD will continue using the Peachjar eflyer service this school year. Peachjar distributes eflyers from nonprofit organizations as well as from schools and school-related organizations directly to parent email inboxes. If you are new to LWSD, you will receive a welcome email from Peachjar that gives instructions on how to manage flyer delivery preferences. Learn more about Peachjar on the district website.


Teen Startup event application deadline 

Teen Startup Challenge

The LWSD Teen Startup Challenge is designed to promote student startup ideas and venture creation. The challenge provides the opportunity for high school students to win prizes and learn from local business leaders. Finalists will present their ideas and business plans and receive invaluable feedback from successful professionals. The application for this event is now midnight on September 28, 2020. Visit to learn more about this event.

Visit to learn more about this event. 


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.

Ready to go!

We are excited to share a summer update on the progress at Old Redmond Schoolhouse. On July 17, LWSD Director of Early Learning Kim Brenner led preschool staff on a virtual tour of the Early Learning Center at Old Redmond Schoolhouse. We hope you enjoy the virtual tour! 

This update was recorded in July 2020. To see the most recent photos of Old Redmond Schoolhouse progress, visit our Building on Success website


JHS pedestrian bridge connects campus to community

Students and local fish will have an easier time navigating Juanita Creek thanks to a new pedestrian bridge installed in August. The bridge connects a trail along the south edge of Juanita High School that is used frequently by community members. Before the bridge was available, pedestrians crossed the creek on wooden boards. As part of the design and planning for the rebuilt and enlarged school, Lake Washington School District collaborated with the City of Kirkland and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife on the project. 


Student & Staff Success

Three LWSD schools earn Sustaining Green School recognition

Three schools in Lake Washington School District were named 2020 Sustaining Green Schools by King County Green Schools in June. Environmental & Adventure School (EAS) qualified for the recognition for the first time this year. The shared campus of Carl Sandburg Elementary and Discovery Community School have earned the recognition for five consecutive years. Read more about these recognitions

The beat goes on – Rose Hill Middle School virtual band performances

When schools closed in March, the traditional end-of-year band concerts that showcase a year’s worth of practice and progress were effectively canceled. Rose Hill Middle School (RHMS) Band Instructor, Angela Laulainen got creative during the remote learning period and had her students record their parts at home. The audio, video and image files then got edited together by Arts Laureate into virtual performances. Read more about these performances.

Share a picture with us! #LWSDFirstDay

Although our school buildings are closed, students and staff will be engaged in many fun, unique and creative learning opportunities in their remote setting. We know this first day of school will look different from previous ones, but we want to celebrate that our students and staff are back together. Send us a message through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of your photos and videos for a chance to be featured on our social media channels! Let's celebrate learning together again!


Just for fun

We got this! Calling all LWSD students! We’re asking student artists to color in our "We got this" coloring sheet. Then, take a picture of yourself holding the sheet when you are done, and post to the LWSD Facebook page to share with the rest of our community! 

Here's a link to the coloring page.


Work with us

Careers at LWSD

LWSD is always seeking great talent for positions throughout our district. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings



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