Connections - December 17, 2020

Wishing you all a happy holidays and restful winter break!

Winter break begins Monday, December 21, and extends through January 1. District offices will be closed December 24-25, 31 and January 1. Learning will resume on Monday, January 4, 2020. Until then, enjoy your break and happy holidays!

Happy Holidays-winter break


Learning Focused

A message from Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent

Dr. Jon Holmen

As the year 2020 draws to a close, I want to take some time to thank our entire Lake Washington School District community for the way we have come together to support our students, staff, families and schools over the course of this unprecedented year.

We are grateful to partner with our families, PTSA members, community organizations and city leaders. We are grateful to our community members and voters for supporting our schools and students. And we are grateful to our students for the hard work they have done to be active participants, even in learning environments that are significantly different than typical.

Read more of Dr. Holmen’s message on the district website.


Special December holiday distribution schedule - Grab and go meals are free for all children age 1-18

Student Meals

On Friday, December 18, we will be distributing six days worth of meals for: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be NO meals distributed or available December 21 - January 4. We will resume meal service on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

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


Skyward downtime over winter break (December 23-30)

Please be advised of an upcoming critical database maintenance outage for all Skyward systems December 23 through December 30. Skyward modules and services that will be unavailable during this time include:

  • Family Access
  • Online Student Registration
  • Student Access 

Students or families that need information from Skyward during the outage (i.e., gradebook details or academic history) should access this prior to 5:00 p.m. on December 23.  All information will be back and available on December 31.


LWSD developing online school for 2021-22 school year 

Lake Washington School District is currently developing an online school that will open in the fall of 2021. This new learning environment will provide students with a rich learning experience to support their growth and success. The online option is separate from the remote learning our students are currently experiencing and our return-to-school efforts and plans.
This online school will initially target incoming 9th grade students for the 2021-22 school year, with expanded grade options to be added over time. While there are many details to determine, we believe providing an online school will meet the needs of many of our students and families.
Family information sessions that will detail enrollment procedures and the structure of the online school will be scheduled for February and March.
More information will be coming soon on the Lake Washington School District website.


Update: World language proficiency testing

To continue to recognize the talents of our bilingual and biliterate LWSD students, World Language Proficiency Testing for high school credit is being offered for current LWSD 9th-12th grade students on January 27 at Eastlake High School, February at Redmond High School, and March at Lake Washington High School. Spots are still open for January 27 testing at Eastlake HS and registration for January testing closes on January 3. You can register here:

Testing will be conducted following strict safety and social distancing protocols. After registering here on the LWSD website, we will contact you via the preferred email indicated in the registration to coordinate your specific test date and time at your preferred location. Please note that we are operating at limited capacity this year and will prioritize 11th and 12th graders who need World Language credit to graduate. We will test 9th and 10th graders if additional spots are available

Questions? Contact the LWSD World Language Specialist and Test Administrator, Theresa Vásquez at


Reminder: Heritage speaker opportunity 

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in collaboration with the World Affairs Council, is funding an exciting program for heritage speakers of Spanish, Russian and Romanian (students 14 years old+). These free, virtual after school programs aim to connect students with other heritage speakers of their language around the state, engaging in interesting learning and projects, and improving their language and intercultural proficiency. Students can earn the Global Competency Certificate and will be offered the Seal of Biliteracy Testing at no cost, for which they can earn up to four high school credits, depending on their proficiency. More information for students and families can be found here. If students are interested in applying for the program, they should email as soon as possible, as recruitment for the program is underway and will run through November. The Spanish program in particular is already filling up. 

If you would like more information about the World Language program in LWSD, please contact Dr. Jen Rose, Director of Teaching and Learning, or Theresa Vasquez, our World Language Specialist.


Reminder: Free internet available to eligible families

Reliable connectivity to the internet is critical for student success during remote teaching and learning. The state recognizes this need and has partnered with Ziply Fiber, Comcast/Xfinity and Presidio to create Washington’s K–12 Internet Access Program, which gives eligible families free internet access so students can connect to online learning from home.

This internet access opportunity will potentially provide families with faster and more reliable connectivity than hotspots, which will better support our students. Eligible families can receive free internet access through June 30, 2021.

LWSD has developed this webpage for families to check eligibility, choose a provider in their area, request an access code and sign-up for service.


Reminder: 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

For additional, self-guided support, feel free to look through the below documents to help you navigate the Classroom Teams platform:

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:
Helpdesk is open! 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., 7 days/week.
Families Contact: Family Technology Access at, 425-936-1322
24x7 Parent Help email address:


Reminder: Child care space still available

Child Care

Space is still available for families and staff who need child care. The district has worked with community partners, YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs of King County to provide emergency child care for students in grades K-5. In addition, our district extended day program will provide care at select sites. Each provider will have multiple locations to choose from.

These childcare services provide emergency or critical support for families that cannot otherwise be with their children during the day due to work responsibilities outside of the home.

Visit the LWSD website for more information.


COVID-19 updates

Did you know LWSD has an Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) team that has been working nonstop since the pandemic began to provide a safe environment for students and staff? The ECC, with help from other district leadership, has created and continually updates the LWSD COVID-19 Safety Plan. This plan includes a collection of guidelines from federal, state and local agencies on how best to address safety concerns related to COVID-19. The safety plan is currently in use to keep our staff and students safe who are learning and/or working in person. In addition, the ECC provides support in many ways including having responsive Leads who provide guidance, answer questions and respond to positive and suspected cases in LWSD buildings. Leads include: Attestation & Screening, Communications, Custodial, Medical, PPE, Safety and Security. The ECC Lead coordinates team actions and leads positive case responses.

An essential part of the COVID-19 Safety Plan is that each district building has their own COVID-19 Safety Team, which includes a Medical Coordinator (nurse) and is supported by the ECC. Each building COVID-19 Safety Team is put in place to help implement our safety policies and procedures at their specific site. Our Medical Coordinators’ deep knowledge and professional medical experience make them an invaluable resource during this pandemic.

Refer to this section in each edition of this newsletter for any changes to our COVID-19 Safety Plan. The most recent edition to our Safety Plan includes an updated definition of “close contact” as well as the Symptom Flow Chart our district uses.

Click here to view the LWSD COVID-19 Safety Plan.


District Announcements

Lake Washington School District Budget Earns Meritorious Budget Award for Fourth-Straight Year 

Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD’s) 2020-21 Budget has earned the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Meritorious Budget Award (MBA). This award promotes and recognizes excellence in budget presentation in school districts. LWSD has received this award four years in a row. LWSD is the only district in the state of Washington to receive this award.

ASBO International’s MBA and Pathway to the MBA promote and recognize best budget presentation practices in school districts. Participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents.

Read more about the meritorious budget award on the district website.


Juanita High School students vote on new mascot 

Juanita High School students voted for their new high school mascot on December 1. Juanita High School will now be known as the Juanita High School “Ravens”. This change was announced to students late yesterday evening. Juanita becomes only the second public school in the state to have “Ravens” as its mascot.

Read more about the new mascot for Juanita High School on the district website.


Reminder: Weather Events & Internet/Service Outages – What to Expect

We know that our Pacific Northwest weather can be unpredictable. Please take a few minutes to review the information below so you know what to expect when there is a weather event or power outage during a school day.

Power and Internet Outages 
If a student/teacher experiences a power or internet outage:

  • Contact your teacher or school to report the outage.
  • If you lose power or connection during a Microsoft Teams class session and you are unable to connect, you should attempt to connect as soon as a connection is available.
  • If your teacher is suddenly absent without notification from a Microsoft Teams class, you should leave the session and re-enter after 15 minutes. If the teacher is still absent from Microsoft Teams you may end class.
  • The teacher will follow up with individual students or the class as soon as possible.
  • You should take note of asynchronous activities you could do without an internet connection.
  • You can also continue to work on previously assigned classwork.

Weather events (snow days)
Snow days during remote learning will work differently than a normal school year. If snow or inclement weather affects a school day, remote instruction will continue and in-person students receiving special services will shift to all remote learning for that day. There will not be late starts due to snow or weather events.

Announcements will be made to staff and families via our SchoolMessenger system (by phone, email, and by text messaging for those signed up), district website posting, and social media postings. We will also use, which reports directly to local media and provides text alerts to anyone who signs up.


Reminder: LWSD fields remain closed - playgrounds, tennis courts and tracks are open to public on evenings and weekends

All LWSD Playgrounds, tracks and tennis courts will be closed to the public during the school day from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. All LWSD fields remain closed seven days a week/24 hours per day. This is in accordance with city, county and state guidance. Playgrounds, tennis courts and tracks are open to the public during evenings and weekends. Just a reminder that large, organized activities are not allowed. Play is limited to groups of five or fewer. Face coverings and six feet physical distancing are required. Hands should be washed after play. Please note that some elementary schools have childcare on site until 6:00 p.m. so play structures may be in use until that time.

We will update our communities as more of our facilities open to the public.

Thank you for your cooperation in helping to slow the transmission of COVID-19. 


Student & Staff Success

LWSD Teen Startup Challenge a success despite new, virtual setup 

Alex Tsao Teen Startup

It was moved from in-person meetings in board rooms to virtual sessions on the computer, but this year’s Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Teen Startup Challenge was as successful as ever. Participating LWSD students showed their innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit during the sixth annual event. Teams of students submitted ideas from providing virtual concert experiences, to creating STEM Maker-Kits and face masks, to developing web applications that may change the world. Eight teams were eventually selected to create a 10-minute, "Shark Tank” style video pitch for a panel of judges representing various professions. Read more about this event on the district website.


Reminder: Just for fun

We've Got This coloring sheet

We've got this! Calling all LWSD students! We’re asking student artists to color in our "We've 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! 

Download the coloring page here.


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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