Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We want to recognize and honor all our outstanding teachers who are the heart and soul of education. Thank you, teachers, for working hard each and every day to elevate our students to become successful in school and beyond. We celebrate you today and every day!
Connections - November 9, 2021
We're hiring! Consider a career in LWSD
LWSD is always seeking great talent for positions throughout our district. In addition to other positions, we are looking for applicants for the following positions:
- Instructional Assistants (IAs)
- Bus drivers
These positions are also available in a substitute role. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings.
Lake Washington School District Board of Directors named “Board of Distinction”
34 school boards across the state recognized
The Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Board of Directors was one of 34 school boards in Washington state to be named a “Board of Distinction” by the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA), and one of 14 in the “Large School Districts (9,001+ students FTE)” category.
“Despite historic challenges this year, school boards displayed tremendous leadership in bringing students back to in-person learning safely and creatively,” said WSSDA Director of Leadership Development Tricia Lubach. “Given the obstacles districts have had to face, I think being able to recognize so many boards this year is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of our school directors. The boards that are being honored developed unique approaches that reflected the needs of their students and families and relied on careful analysis of data that indicated those needs.”
Reminder: COVID Testing
We are excited to announce that we are now offering COVID testing at five regional locations at schools in our district. If your child’s school recommends COVID testing for your student, they can provide you with guidance on district test options. We continue to recommend public testing sites or visiting your child’s medical provider as the first option. We recognize however, that due to the onset of cold and flu season, that testing centers may be busy. Our goal is to minimize the amount of time that our students have to miss instruction.
Answers to many common questions about testing and COVID safety can be found by visiting King County’s website. They provide information in 33 languages. For questions about COVID-19 testing, we recommend the following:
- Find a list of free testing sites
- Call your medical provider
- Contact King County’s COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977. The call center is open between 8am – 7pm daily. Interpreters are available.
Reminder: COVID Safety
We are committed to the safety of our students and staff. Part of our COVID safety efforts includes regular communication with the Washington Department of Health and Public Health King County. Recently both issued new guidance for schools that includes adjustments to how schools should respond to symptoms of illness. A summary of this guidance can be found by clicking on this link - COVID Symptom Decision Tree.
If you have specific questions regarding your child’s symptoms, please contact your school nurse. We thank you for your ongoing partnership as we seek to keep our students’ healthy and in school.
Reminder: LWSD to place three levies on February 8 ballot
Two replacement levies and Building Excellence Capital Levy
Lake Washington School District is planning three ballot measures for the February 8, 2022, election. The measures are a replacement of the existing Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy, a replacement of the existing School Technology and Capital Levy, and a Building Excellence Capital levy. A recommendation was presented to the Board of Directors on October 4, and they formally approved the levies at their October 18 board meeting.
“Our students deserve educational programs, services and environments that match the excellence we are working towards for each student,” said Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent. “Our community has an opportunity to set the stage for future generations, continuing to make the Lake Washington community a great place to live, raise a family and to educate children.”
Why does the district need three levies?
To continue to provide excellence in education for the students of our community, LWSD is placing three measures on the ballot.
Replacement of the existing Educational Programs & Operations Levy – This levy accounts for 14% of the district’s operating budget. School districts are required to renew EP&O levies every four years. EP&O levies ensure our students have continued access to staff, programs and course offerings to be successful and graduate future-ready. The levy provides support for social/emotional learning and mental health counselors, health and safety, professional learning, additional course offerings, special education programs, English language programs, Highly Capable programs, transportation, athletics and activities and more. The EP&O levy fills the gap between what the state funds for basic education and what our students and schools need.
Replacement of the existing Capital Projects Levy - The four-year Capital Projects Levy replaces the expiring Capital Projects Levy which was approved by LWSD voters in 2018. This levy funds technology and facility needs not funded by the state, helping ensure our students have technology and healthy school buildings for learning. This levy funds facility needs such as: heating/ventilation systems; roofing replacement; athletic and playfield improvements; portables; and safety measures. It also funds technology needs such as infrastructure; network security; staff and student computers; instructional software; security cameras; communication and business systems; and staff training.
Building Excellence Capital Levy – To continue meeting the needs of our growing district, this levy will help us add classroom space to our schools. The Facility Advisory Committee provided recommendations for future facility projects to accommodate our rapid enrollment growth and continue to provide learning environments that promote excellence for students. The board considered these recommendations, received information and feedback from the Levy Advisory Committee and considered multiple options for addressing short and long-term capacity needs in seven study sessions between January and September 2021. This levy would fund the first step of three funding measures to provide required student space by 2034. This Levy funds critical capacity needs required by 2024:
- Elementary: Redmond area
- Middle: Juanita, Kirkland and Redmond areas
- High: Kirkland, Redmond and Eastlake areas
Middle school and high school options information now available – Choice school applications now open
Parents of students in grades five or eight should have received a Middle School options message or High School options message in their email. The messages 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.
If you did not receive this message or are interested in learning more, click on the links below:
Are you interested in enrolling your child in a choice school? Learn more about the process and curriculum at our information sessions coming up in November and December. Applications for choice schools open Monday, November 1 and will close on Friday, December 3 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit: lwsd.org/choice-schools
Reminder: Join our committee: French language instructional resources
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 the adoption process for French language instructional resources this fall. If you are interested in applying to be part of this committee, please fill out the application below. For any additional information, please contact Dr. Jen Rose, Director of Teaching and Learning.
No school on Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day
LWSD schools and district buildings will be closed on Thursday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.
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.
- Here are some other ways to find out about school schedule changes: Pop-up alert on www.lwsd.org and school webpages.
- Flashalert.net – this website allows you to sign up for text messages as well.
- Local TV/radio stations – they get a feed from Flashalert.net of all school schedule change decisions.
Capital Projects Levy funds summer facility upgrades
Upgraded roofs, building control systems, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and science classrooms, parking lot safety improvements, and athletic field upgrades are among recent facilities made possible from the 2018 voter-approved Capital Projects Levy. This four-year levy – to be renewed in February 2022 – provides funding for technology systems and facility upgrades.
Roofs play the important function of protecting schools from the weather – rain and shine. LWSD replaced and/or upgraded roofs at the four following schools over the summer:
- Franklin Elementary School
- Redmond Elementary School
- Redmond High School
- Rose Hill Elementary School (pictured)
CTE and science classrooms
As LWSD’s enrollment has grown, the need for specialized CTE lab classrooms and science lab classrooms has also grown. Schools that had classrooms renovated in summer 2021 include:
- Finn Hill Middle School (pictured: science lab classroom)
- Inglewood Middle School (CTE lab classroom)
- Redmond High School (CTE lab classroom)
- Rose Hill Middle School (CTE lab classroom)
Building controls systems
HVAC systems help keep schools a comfortable temperature and provide healthy learning environments for students. In addition to updating aging HVAC components, LWSD is using a grant from the Department of Commerce to update building controls at the following schools. The upgrades will help maximize energy efficiencies.
- Blackwell Elementary
- Einstein Elementary
- Dickinson Elementary
- Redmond Elementary
- McAuliffe Elementary
Site Improvements, athletics & playfield upgrades
Athletic facility improvements and playfield upgrades provide for the needs of both students and the community. As enrollment growth contributes to increased traffic, LWSD implements projects that improve vehicle access, traffic flow and student safety.
- Eastlake High School: Parking lot improvements
- Juanita High School: The baseball, softball and multipurpose fields were upgraded to artificial turf. The football field turf was replaced and the track was resurfaced. (pictured)
- Redmond Middle School: Traffic safety improvements
- Rosa Parks Elementary School: Traffic safety improvements
In addition, field lighting at LWSD’s four comprehensive high schools is being upgraded to LED lighting this school year with help from a Department of Commerce grant.
Juanita Elementary affirmation mirror
Strong kids begin with strong minds. That's why Jordan McClellion at Juanita Elementary is nurturing her students to see the best in themselves through the "affirmation mirror" station. Students pick a word, then recite it with the purpose of empowering them with a specific goal.