Connections - February 4, 2021

Learning Focused

A message from Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent

Dr. Jon Holmen

Dear Lake Washington School District Students, Staff and Families:

Over the next week, many of the schools across Lake Washington School District will participate in activities that highlight support for our Black students. This week has been identified as Black Lives Matter at School and is the launch of Black History Month.

As an organization committed to the success of every student, it is our responsibility to also understand how certain groups of students are experiencing school in Lake Washington. Today, I ask us as a community to recognize the importance of seeing our Black students for who they are; brilliant, intelligent, rich with culture and a critical part of the fabric of our district. 

I have had the opportunity to hear from many Black students and families over the past few months. In these conversations I have continually heard a desire for safety, inclusivity, fair treatment and high expectations. These students and families expressed this through stories and lived experiences.

As a community, it is our obligation to be open to conversations about change; open to conversations about how we make our schools and our communities more inclusive of diverse viewpoints, cultures and races. We must be open to the possibility that “the way we’ve always done things” may not be what is beneficial for our entire community. We have to be open to the possibility of a better pathway forward for all of our students.

I am the proud Superintendent of 31,000 students and today, I am delighted to celebrate our Black students and tell them they matter, that they are seen and heard, and we are committed to their success. I am committed to ensuring we continue to work to make our district and schools emotionally and physically safe, inclusive and that our systems and procedures are fair and not biased towards race, ability, income levels or any other social factor. 

Today, I am pleased to proclaim that the lives of the Black students in Lake Washington School District matter.

In solidarity,

Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District

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


Lake Washington Schools open enrollment Is February 1-26, 2021

Lake Washington School District (LWSD) holds an open enrollment period once each year for parents who want their children to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. Parents may apply between February 1-26 for a change to their school assignment for the 2021-22 school year for their student in grades K-12. This option is also known as an In-District Variance. 

Read more about open enrollment on the district website.


Kindergarten registration begins February 18, 2021  

Kindergarten registrationIf you live in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) and your child will be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, it is time to register your child for Kindergarten! 

Registration for all K-12 LWSD students is online. All necessary documents can be accessed on the LWSD website and completed documents can be uploaded securely. Parents who are unable to upload documents may send them to the school by U.S. mail or contact the school to arrange a safe drop off.

Read more about Kindergarten registration on the district website.


Videos to help with Skyward

A series of videos has been developed to help support students and families in using Skyward Student Access and Family Access.  You will find videos on how to sign in, how to change language settings, how to view report cards, and more. Student Access videos can be found here. Students will need to select the “Stream” version of the video if they are using their district laptop. Family Access videos can be found here.


Facilities Advisory Committee makes recommendations after yearlong process

After more than a year of work, the LWSD Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) addressed the Board on January 25 during its regular meeting. The FAC was tasked with making recommendations to accommodate the District’s rapid enrollment growth and continue to provide quality learning environments. 
The FAC made recommendations for projects which will help inform next steps and decisions. The Board will use the recommendations to determine next steps, which could include sending a funding measure to voters in 2022.
You can see the final recommendations report and the FAC’s presentation to the Board here:

KaMS and Alcott Elemetnary

In its recommendations, the Facilities Advisory Committee prioritized rebuilding and/or expanding Kamiakin Middle School and Alcott Elementary School. The recommendations also include a new choice high school, a new elementary school and additions at existing schools.


Protect online privacy with these tips from Common Sense Media

LWSD is preparing students to become 21st-century learners. For its digital citizenship curriculum, the district has adopted Common Sense Media. January 28 was Data Privacy Day. Here are some data privacy tips for families from Common Sense Media:

Grades K-5

  1. Have a conversation about personal versus private information to be shared online.
  2. Use privacy settings when accessing online resources or tools.
  3. Avoid location tracking.
  4. Power up passwords.
  5. Skip clickbait quizzes and "special offers."

Grades 6-12

  1. Use privacy settings.
  2. Read the fine print.
  3. Discuss online scams, clickbait and "special offers."
  4. Understand how tech companies make money.

Other topics addressed in Common Sense Media’s curriculum include media balance and well-being, digital footprint and identity, relationships and communication, cyberbullying, digital drama and hate speech, and news and media literacy.


Reminder: Grab and go 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.


Reminder: 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.


Reminder: 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 in February at Redmond High School, and March at Lake Washington High School. 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: 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 now open seven days a week/24 hours a day.

Families Contact: Family Technology Access at, 425-936-1322

Parent Help email address:


District Announcements

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 are closed to the public during the school day from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and open for weekend and evening use. School campuses are closed during the school day. As a reminder, large, organized activities are not allowed. 

  • Play is limited to groups of 5 or fewer.
  • Face coverings and 6 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.

Stadiums – fields and ball fields with synthetic turf opened in January. 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.


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.


Building on Success Progress Report

The Building On Success Progress Report will be sent to addresses across the district in the next couple of weeks. It includes an overview and progress updates on construction projects funded by the 2016 bond and the 2019 capital projects levy.


Building on Success: Year in Review 2020

School openings looked a little different in 2020. Grand Opening celebrations with students have been postponed, but Lake Washington School District staff and students with special needs are enjoying their new spaces for teaching and learning. 

Three schools opened this fall. After opening Phase 1 to students in fall 2019, the complete Juanita High School opened in September 2020. The renovation of Old Redmond Schoolhouse into a 10-classroom Early Learning Center and the 20-classroom addition at Lake Washington High School also opened in September.

Construction for additions at three elementary schools in Kirkland began over the summer and are scheduled to open in September 2021. 

Enjoy these images from our new schools and construction projects. #BuildingOnSuccess #ThankYouVoters

More video tours 

Learn more about the district’s long-term plan to continue to build schools and to provide quality learning environments and experiences at

Student & Staff Success

Schools celebrate Martin Luther King’s pursuit of peace and justice 

BSU at EHS virtual assembly

Schools throughout LWSD took time to recognize the importance and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s pursuit of freedom through nonviolence. The Black Student Union at Eastlake High School put together a virtual assembly that featured speakers, quotes, images and other elements focusing on the black experience in America.


International Carbon XPRIZE inspires EMS students to design products made from CO₂

Carbon XPrize EMS

Would you wear a watch and slippers made from carbon dioxide emissions? Or brush your teeth using toothpaste made from CO₂? Before the pandemic, students at Evergreen Middle School were learning about real products that capture and store carbon dioxide that would otherwise go into the atmosphere. 

They recently had a chance to revisit their work during a Microsoft Teams meeting with some special guests. 

In February 2020, teacher Kerry McNaughton asked the seventh-grade Quest students to come up with solutions to help green sea turtles. The sex of sea turtles is determined by the temperature of their eggs before they hatch. In recent years, about 98% of green sea turtles have been born female because of a warming climate. Read more about this 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. Current positions include: bus drivers, instructional assistants, paraeducators and more.



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