Connections - October 26, 2020

Learning Focused

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Message from Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen 

Dr. Jon Holmen

Annually, October is recognized as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Our children, aside from remote learning, have a higher level of access and opportunity to potentially explore and communicate through digital applications, wireless phones, internet browsers, and video game consoles. As a parent, it feels like a never-ending journey to set and maintain appropriate boundaries and safeguards. It is an important part of parenting today to maintain diligence and persistence related to the online content and spaces being frequented by our children.

As adults, we are also at risk of falling victim to a cyber-security breech or hack. Our continued vigilance and awareness can keep us and our families safe from those seeking to harm us in the digital world. Common sense strategies that each of us need to keep in the forefront of our minds to maintain a safe digital profile is to be aware of phishing attempts in email, use strong passwords, and keep all software and applications current with the most recent security components. Washington State Attorney General provides advice for “Keeping the Web Safer for Everyone” by promoting the concepts of (1) Keeping a clean machine, (2) Protecting your personal information, (3) Connecting with care, (4) Be web wise, and (5) Be a good online citizen. 

Read more of Dr. Holmen’s message.


Highly Capable Programs/Quest applications now available 

Applications for Highly Capable Programs/Quest are now available on the district website. All applications are due on Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. 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 these programs can be found on the Accelerated Programs section of the district website.


We want your input!

Opportunity for Community Feedback: Participate Online – Ends October 30, 2020
Lake Washington School District (LWSD) community – we want your input! The LWSD Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) is offering you an opportunity to tour a virtual “open house” to learn about their recommendations, and to provide your feedback before they move their recommendations to the School Board for approval.

In November 2019, LWSD formed the FAC to make recommendations for future facility planning, informed by enrollment trends, community expectations and district programs. The committee met from November through May 2020 and provided preliminary recommendations in June. 

The FAC plan included engaging the community this fall. Due to COVID that engagement was moved to an online format. These recommendations address the capacity and facility needs over the next ten years to accommodate our enrollment growth and provide for quality learning environments. 

Visit this webpage to participate in this online feedback opportunity:

This website will provide more context on this issue, provide an overview of the work the FAC has done, present the FAC’s draft recommendations, and offer opportunity for community input for these recommendations.

The FAC will be using this feedback as it finalizes recommendations for facility strategies to align with the district’s Strategic Plan. This online open house and feedback opportunity will be open now through October 30, 2020.

Check out the Facility Advisory Committee’s webpage for more information. 

The district will also be sending out a separate survey in early November to address the topic of remote learning for our families.


Students and staff wear orange on October 21 to show we’re united against bullying 

Unity Day Celebration
Make it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? LWSD staff and students showed they cared about safe and supportive schools by making their color ORANGE for Unity Day on October 21. That’s the day everyone came together – in schools, communities, and online – to send one large ORANGE message of support, hope and unity.  

Check out more photos from Unity Day on our Facebook page.  

Read more about how you can stand against bullying and come together for kindness, acceptance and inclusion


Save energy at home during remote learning

Energy Savings house

October is National Energy Awareness Month. Here are some energy-saving tips for families who are learning and working from home. 

  1. Save time and water using the dishwasher: it uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand. And wash only full loads of dishes.  
  2. What two household appliances use the most energy in a typical household? The washer and dryer!
    1. Wash clothes with cold water to save 50% on a load of laundry’s overall energy usage. Cold water detergents help ensure items still get clean. 
    2. Wash full loads only to reduce cycles and maximize the washer’s efficiency. 
    3. Use dryer balls. Wool or rubber dryer balls will help separate your clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time. They can also reduce static so you don't need dryer sheets
    4. Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer to reduce drying time and wear. 
    5. Use the moisture sensor option on new dyers, which automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. 
  3. New “smart” thermostats can learn your daily schedule and use local weather data to make temperature changes automatically, saving on heating and cooling costs. PSE will even provide a $75 rebate for each one.  
  4. Switch out incandescent lights for LED bulbs. Traditional light bulbs waste about 95% of the input energy and do not last as long as LEDs.
  5. Unplug electronic devices that are rarely used. Electronics in standby mode will still consume energy through status lights, background processes, etc. 
  6. Take showers instead of baths. A ten-minute shower only uses 25 gallons of water. A full bath can use more than double that amount. 
  7. Maintain home appliances and clean filters in ducts, furnaces, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Clean appliances will run more efficiently, extend the life of the system and improve air quality in your home.
Green Ribboon Schools 2019 Award Winner

Learn more about LWSD’s commitment to resource conservation.


Reminder: Payment for AP exams available October 1-30

If you registered to take the Advanced Placement (AP) test in Spring 2021, you may log in now to make a payment. Payments are accepted online from October 1-30, 2020 at If you need help with online payments, financial assistance or have any other questions, please contact your high school bookkeeper. You can find their contact information and more on the LWSD website at


Reminder: Join one of our curriculum committees

In the Lake Washington School District, we convene committees of stakeholders to review our adopted curriculum on a regular basis. These committees consist of teachers, administrators, specialists, community members and students. The committees meet up to two times a month to engage in learning about current research, standards, and effective instructional practices and then apply that learning in evaluating resources for potential adoption. The process of reviewing and/or adopting new curricular materials can be a one or two-year commitment, depending on the size and impact of the adoption. We are starting this process in several content areas this fall. If you are interested in applying to be part of one of these committees, please fill out the application for that content area committee. For any additional information, please contact Dr. Jen Rose, Director of Teaching and Learning.


World language proficiency testing

To continue to recognize the talents of our bilingual and biliterate LWSD students, we are tentatively offering in-person testing on Wednesdays this year, as indicated below. Testing will be conducted following strict safety and social distancing protocols. After registering here on LWSD's 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. 

We are using a rolling registration this year and students can register now for any of the following testing windows:

  • Wednesdays in November at Juanita High School
    (Registration closes October 28, 2020)
  • Wednesdays in January at Eastlake High School
    (Registration closes December 16, 2020)
  • Wednesdays in February at Redmond High School
    (Registration closes January 31, 2021)
  • Wednesdays in March at Lake Washington High School
    (Registration closes February 28, 2021)
  • Any Wednesday at the LWSD Resource Center, 16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond, WA 98052
    (Registration closes March 31, 2021)

Registration is now live for Seal of Biliteracy/World Language Proficiency Testing at

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


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.


Reminder: Fall grab and go meals now available – 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. Please visit the website for more information:

The menu is available here.

Meals should be ordered in advance and are available for pickup Monday through Friday. Friday pickup includes meals for Saturday and Sunday.

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


District Announcements

Remember to Vote: November 3 

November 3 is election day! Remember to vote. Ballot drop box locations can be found on the King County Elections website. You can also find more information about the November 2020 General Election here.


Lake Washington Schools Foundation Supports LWSD Students and Staff 

Lake Washington Schools Foundation - LWSF

Lake Washington Schools Foundation (LWSF) is a non-profit organization that has been partnering for 15 years with Lake Washington School District to improve the education of every student in the district. LWSF supports students and families with programs like Pantry Packs, Balance in Mind, LINKS Mentoring, Find your Fit and Reach for Success Classroom Grants. 
LWSF relies on donations from community members and local businesses to fund these important programs. You can learn more about the LWSF here:


October is Washington Disability History Month 

October is Washington Disability History Month. Here are some resources to help you understand more about the history of disability rights in our state and how you can speak with your children about disability awareness.

  1. Disability Rights Washington:
  2. People First Language:
  3. Famous People with Disabilities:
  4. Special Olympics:
  5. “Including Samuel”:


Reminder: LWSD playgrounds now open to public

LWSD Playgrounds Open

All LWSD playgrounds are now open to the public during evenings and weekends. This is in accordance with city, county and state guidance. Playgrounds will be closed to the public during the school day from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Just a reminder that large, organized activities are not allowed. Play is limited to groups of 5 or fewer. Please wear a face covering and keep 6 feet apart. Hands should be washed after play. 

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.


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month 

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month co-founded and co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance

Program materials from the Stop.Think.Connect.Toolkit provide information and activities to help students, staff, and parents learn more about and practice safe computing. Cyber criminals target vulnerable computer systems or users of technology in large and small businesses, schools and at home. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility in which we all have a role. Click on the links to access tools for Students and Parents and Educators


Student & Staff Success

Ndidi Opara

It’s all in the research – Lake Washington High School senior published in Journal of Student Research

Have you ever wondered if socially conscious lyrics in music impact the popularity of the music? Well, this is something that Lake Washington High School senior Ndidi Opara took on in an article she wrote recently. In fact, the article was so well-written that it was published in the Journal of Student Research. The article is titled “BROCKHAMPTON: Social Advocacy and Diversity in Rap Music.”

Read more about this research article on the LWSD 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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