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 - October 13, 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.
February 2022 Levies
At the October 4 School Board Meeting, LWSD Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen presented a recommendation to place three levy measures on the February 8, 2022 ballot. The Board is expected to take action with placing levies on the ballot at their October 18 meeting.
- Educational and Programs Operations Levy: The four-year Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) would replace the expiring EP&O levy, which was approved by LWSD voters in 2018. This levy is part of the district’s general fund budget, and it helps pay for important programs and services that are not fully funded by the state. This levy covers 14% of the LWSD’s overall operating budget.
- School Capital Projects Levy for School Technology & Operations: The four-year Capital Projects Levy will replace the expiring Capital Projects Levy which was approved by LWSD voters in 2018. This levy supports technology and facility needs for students and staff not funded by the State. It covers 90% of LWSD’s overall technology and facilities maintenance budget.
- Building Excellence Capital Construction Levy (Capital Construction Levy): 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. Funds 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
You may have heard about the series of TikTok “challenges” that are affecting schools throughout the country, including ours. We are asking our families to help us stop these trends quickly, or before they start.
A previous challenge encouraged students to vandalize schools and school property. LWSD, like many other school districts, is experiencing this trend with destruction and theft of items in school bathrooms.
While the TikTok challenge may seem like an innocent prank to students, it has serious consequences. Not only is the damage expensive to repair, stolen items are difficult to replace during the pandemic.
Additional TikTok challenges are planned for the rest of the school year, including those that promote physical violence against educators and school staff, vandalism and even physical/sexual assault. Any action resulting in theft, destruction of property or assault will be dealt with in accordance with the Student Rights Handbook.
Please talk to your child(ren) and help us send a message about respecting their school, their teachers and all staff members and classmates.
Thank you for taking this matter seriously and for your efforts to help ensure Lake Washington Schools are safe for all students and staff.
Upcoming Calendar Items:
Half Days for Elementary Conferences – October 11, 12, 14
LEAP Day – October 15 (No School)
October 11, 12 and 14 are half days for elementary students for conferences. Visit our half-day dismissal times webpage for exact end times for schools. Preschool students will also have conferences on these dates so there will be no preschool programs.
October 15 is a Learning Enhancement and Academic Planning (LEAP) Day. That means no school for students so that teachers and staff members can focus on professional development.
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.
LWSD supports Spanish-speaking families through local partnership
Weekly Spanish bulletin provides families with culturally-relevant district news
Lake Washington School District (LWSD) has joined forces with the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, Bellevue School District, Bellevue Schools Foundation, Eastside Pathways, and Equity in Communication Collaborative Action Network, as part of the Remote Learning and Living Collective Action Network (now known as the Equity in Communication Collaborative Action Network), convened by Eastside Pathways. The partnership was formed with a shared goal of better supporting our community of Spanish-speaking and Latinx families through thoughtful and culturally-relevant communications.
Breaking down language barriers in a pandemic
A workgroup of the partnership, the Remote Learning and Living Collective Action Network, was created to share and discuss ways to help Spanish-speaking families at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was clear that language would be a barrier for Latinx families and students receiving information in a culturally responsive way. Often, when information is translated, it lacks cultural context and is not understood or is hard to navigate.
To address this barrier, the Remote Learning and Living Collective Action Network conducted a focus group in fall 2020 to address the immediate and emerging needs of families during remote learning. Families shared where they needed support, what they had been struggling with, and what had been helpful.
Responding to student and family needs
The group learned that many families do not have or use email and that Google translate does not give information in a culturally relevant, understandable manner. The group also found that social media was the primary means through which families accessed information.
The focus group responses led to the creation of 15-minute, bi-weekly video newsletters. The newsletters provided information delivered by native Spanish speakers from Lake Washington School District and Bellevue School District in Spanish and were made available on Facebook and YouTube.
Positively impacting students and families
The video newsletters were designed to include up-to-date news from both school districts, information about district or school related programs and how to access these programs, and ways to continue to navigate the school system.
“All the videos have been informative and helpful. In the translation from districts, concepts get lost. Information does not make sense in written translation. Love the videos. Thank you for the videos and for this group.” - Parent feedback from spring focus group
In spring 2021, another focus group was held to hear from families who had watched the videos. Families shared that they found the videos incredibly helpful in understanding what was happening in their child’s school district. They liked receiving information in their own language on a platform that allows for comments. Additionally, the ability to share the video newsletters with other families helped broaden their reach, helping even more families navigate the public school system.
Now produced on a weekly basis, the video newsletter has become vital in providing more equitable access to district information, allowing families to better support their students. Project partners are looking forward to continuing this work, finding new ways to support and engage families and having a positive impact on the Latinx community.
Check out past weekly newsletters, available every Monday:
Thank you, community partners
This work would not be possible without the collaboration of all partners of the Equity Communication Collaborative Action Network partners, including: Eastside Pathways, Lake Washington School District, Lake Washington Schools, Bellevue School District, Bellevue Schools Foundation, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Sistema Escolar USA, City of Kirkland, and King County Housing Authority.
Reminder: COVID-19 protocol updates
Thank you to all of our students, families and staff for the collective efforts to keep everyone safe. We continue to need everyone to be vigilant about staying home when sick, wearing face coverings and washing hands.
We continue to follow guidance from King County Public Health when it comes to determining when students can return to school when they are close contacts, test positive or have symptoms. Isolating and quarantining students or staff that present symptoms, test positive, or have been close contacts is an important layer of safety to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 within our schools.
When provided with a range of options we are using the safest options identified by King County Public Health. We will continue to evaluate the impact on our students and schools and may adopt other options identified by Public Health as conditions evolve. Under Public Health guidance:
- Unvaccinated students and staff identified as close contacts and have a negative test will quarantine for 14 days from the last date of contact with the person with COVID-19. Students and staff who are vaccinated and do not have symptoms do not need to quarantine
- Students and staff who test positive and have no symptoms can return after isolating for 10 days. Students and staff who test positive and do have symptoms, must also be symptom free before returning.
- Students and staff with symptoms of illness, who test negative and have no close contact, can return 24 hours after symptoms have passed OR if there is an alternative diagnosis by a health care provider
- Students and staff with symptoms, who test positive, and have no close contact are required to isolate for 10 days.
- In all cases where students have symptoms, they must be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning regardless of the length of isolation or quarantine.
Families can access testing in multiple ways, including
- Accessing free testing sites and private providers as a first option for testing
- For families that cannot access free sites or private providers resources, the district will soon begin offering free testing at regional sites.
Visit our COVID Information for Families webpage on the LWSD website to help answer any questions you may have about prevention, isolation and quarantine, testing and resources that are available to our community. More information about our COVID Safety Plan is available here.
Reminder: Advanced Placement exam registration information for 2021-22 school year
College Board has continued with the fall ordering deadlines. To meet the College Board ordering deadlines, Lake Washington School District students will register for AP exams from September 10, 2021, to the end of the last lunch on October 8, 2021. The payment window for all exams will be October 1, 2021, through October 22, 2021. We encourage all students wanting to take May 2022 AP exams to complete the registration and pay for their exams during this registration window. Bookkeepers can accept checks in person or families may pay online. College Board has reinstated the $40 cancellation fee for the 2021-22 school year.
Students need to register via AP Central. AP teachers and the school's AP coordinator would have the codes that the students need to register. Students can pay the school's bookkeeper or can use our Online Payments tool after October 1.
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, 2022 through end of last lunch on February 16, 2022. Students who register during the late AP Registration window will incur a $50 per exam late fee in addition to the $98 per exam fee.
Reminder: Current COVID-19 data for in-person learning in LWSD
Lake Washington School District takes all positive COVID-19 cases seriously. We have a comprehensive COVID-19 Positive Case Report Response process that includes reporting the case to Public Health, communicating information as needed to affected staff, parents/students (also called close contacts), and implementing our cleaning protocols that includes cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing work spaces as required. The information collected from this process is placed in a Health and Safety Dashboard on the LWSD website.
Reminder: 2021-22 Registration for World Language Proficiency/Seal of Biliteracy Testing NOW OPEN
In order to continue to recognize the incredible talents of our bilingual and biliterate students, LWSD offers in-person world language testing for any current 9th-12th grade LWSD students. Students can satisfy the world languages graduation requirement through testing, earning up to 4 high school credits and the WA State Seal of Biliteracy on their transcript and diploma. We offer tests in any language that is both written and spoken. Testing is held on the designated dates and locations below. All 9th-12th grade students can take one language test free of cost and can test at any location and we offer testing for any language that is both written and spoken. Testing will be conducted in-person following state and district safety protocols. Register here for a specific test date. Questions? Contact the LWSD World Language Specialist and Test Administrator, Theresa Vásquez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wednesday, October 27 at Eastlake High School; 1:30 p.m. test start time (Registration closes Oct. 13)
- Wednesday, December 1 at Lake Washington High School; 1:30 p.m. test start time (Registration closes Nov. 17)
- Wednesday, February 9 at Redmond High School; 1:30 p.m. test start time (Registration closes Jan. 26)
- Wednesday, April 27 at Juanita High School; 1:30 p.m. test start time (Registration closes Apr. 13)
Reminder: Free meals for the 2021-22 school year and additional benefits for free and reduced lunch families
Lake Washington School District will continue to provide meals free of charge at all school sites for the 2021-22 school year due to a USDA-issued waiver. This nationwide waiver allows for free meals for the 2021-22 school year only.
Apply for free or reduced-price meals for additional benefits
Families that previously qualified for free or reduced-price meal benefits will need to reapply to continue receiving district supported fee reductions and benefits. Depending on your family income and size, your student may qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Families that are eligible for free and reduced meals may also qualify to have fees for ASB cards, sports participation and other extracurricular activities waived by providing your consent to share eligibility information on the application. If you have already completed an application or are directly certified, you can also provide your consent to share eligibility information in Family Access by following these instructions | instrucciones.
To apply for free or reduced-price meals:
Preferred method – Complete an online application
- Please print the application and information | aplicación y información*
- Fill it out completely submit application one of these ways:
- Scan and mail it to F-RMealapp@lwsd.org, or
- Return it to your child’s school office, or
- Drop it off at the Resource Center, 16250 NE 74th St., Redmond, WA, or
- Mail it to: Business Services, PO Box 97039, Redmond, WA 98052
*For applications in other languages, please go to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.
Note: Children of parents who qualify for Basic Food, formerly known as food stamps, are automatically enrolled in the free lunch program. For more information, go to www.foodhelp.wa.gov.
Call the Nutrition Services office at 425-936-1393 or email NutritionServ@lwsd.org.
National School Bus Safety Week – October 18-22
National School Bus Safety Week is a public education program that addresses the importance of school bus safety. School districts throughout the country observe School Bus Safety Week the third week in October each year. This year’s theme is “Red lights mean STOP!”
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
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.
Wear orange on October 20 to show we’re together against bullying
Unity Day is Wednesday, October 20
Make it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? If you care about safe and supportive schools and communities make your color ORANGE on Unity Day. That’s the day everyone can come together – in schools, communities, and online – and send one large ORANGE message of support, hope and unity. Show that we are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Read more about Unity Day.
Earthquake Preparedness in LWSD
Disasters cause anxiety precisely because they can occur without warning and without regard for other, existing emergencies. Practicing emergency plans helps us develop unity in our preparation and response and increases confidence in our safety and security resulting in a more resilient community. Lake Washington School District (LWSD) works with all its schools to ensure that earthquake response plans are in place. Our buildings are built to seismic codes, and older buildings have been retrofitted. All natural gas lines have seismic shut-off valves. The district has a Safety Advisory Committee that meets monthly to discuss emergency planning and safety. As part of those plans, the district follows guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and currently recommends “drop, cover and hold” as the state-approved response to earthquakes. Staff and students will practice earthquake response and think about how they would respond to an earthquake. Resources to prepare for and practice earthquake safety can be found at Great Washington ShakeOut. Great Washington ShakeOut will occur on October 21 at 10:21 a.m. This is a state-wide earthquake drill.
Welcome to our new elementary school additions
Seeing old friends and making new ones have been highlights for students who are back in classrooms this fall. Hands-on activities help students grasp math concepts. Class discussions provide a framework for writing.
As our community continues to grow, LWSD is adding more space to ease overcrowding. Thanks to a levy approved by voters in 2019, 20 additional classrooms opened at three elementary schools this fall. Thank you to our community for making these new classrooms possible! Learn more at LWSD.org/BuildingOnSuccess.
Two Redmond High students help kick off Hispanic Heritage Month at Redmond City Hall
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15-October 15. On September 21, two students from Redmond High School (RHS) were at Redmond City Hall to ring in the annual celebration of Hispanic culture in the United States. Itzel Lorenzo, senior, and Diego Gonzalez, junior, were there to accept the proclamation. The proclamation was read in both English and Spanish during the city council meeting. Mayor Angela Birney was on hand to read the English version while the founder of Padres Unidos, Monica Trujillo, read the proclamation in Spanish.
Careers at LWSD
LWSD is always seeking great talent for positions throughout our district. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings.