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 22, 2021
Remember to vote by November 2!
November 2 is election day! Are you registered to vote? Check your voter status to make sure you can vote in the Nov. 2 election. The last day to register online for the November election is October 25.
Ballot drop box locations can be found on the King County Elections website. You can also find more information about the November 2021 General Election here.
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.
We are excited to announce that we will begin offering COVID testing at five regional locations at schools in our district, starting this week. 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.
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.
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 and technology 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 open on November 1
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
FINAL NOTICE: Advanced Placement exam registration information for 2021-22 school year – *Payment window extended through October 30!
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 30, 2021 (payment window extended). 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.
Students and staff wear orange on October 20 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 20. 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.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability History Month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and 2021 marks 76 years of the United States recognizing workers with disabilities. According to the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, NDEAM is “a time to celebrate the importance of a diverse workforce and the value individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace.” This year’s theme is "America's Recovery: Powered by Inclusion."
To get involved see the below links:
- Read about the history of disability rights in the USA
- Learn about adaptive technologies available in the workplace and beyond
- Read Disability Inclusion Network's Inclusive Virtual Meeting Planning Guide for all workplace meetings and events
Washington state passed a law in 2008 asking schools to use the month of October to increase awareness, respect and acceptance for people with disabilities, and to bring a greater sense of pride to people with disabilities. The following state law was created by the Washington state legislature to help bring this awareness to schools:
“The legislature finds that annually recognizing disability history throughout our entire public educational system, from kindergarten through grade twelve and at our colleges and universities, during the month of October will help to increase awareness and understanding of the contributions that people with disabilities in our state, nation, and the world have made to our society. The legislature further finds that recognizing disability history will increase respect and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities. The legislature further finds that recognizing disability history will inspire students with disabilities to feel a greater sense of pride, reduce harassment and bullying, and help keep students with disabilities in school.”
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” (Lyon, Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2003).
In Lake Washington, we screen students for indications of dyslexia using screening tools that exemplify best practices as identified by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. We then provide interventions to students who have areas of need associated with dyslexia. In addition, we provide training and support for our teachers in the areas of evidence-based literacy instruction, and dyslexia.
Additional information about dyslexia, including tools and resources that districts may use can be found on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website and by visiting the links below.
October is Energy Awareness Month
Small steps make large impact during Energy Awareness Month
We can do more together than we can apart. This is especially true in the quest for sustainable schools and communities.
Learn how Lake Washington School District (LWSD) students, staff, parents and community members worked together in October for Energy Awareness Month:
Green by Design
LWSD has experienced uncommon growth in the last decade. With growth comes responsibility and we are “Building on Success.” LWSD is building new schools and additions while reducing our environmental footprint.
With a combination of smart design and technology, LWSD’s new schools are up to 20% more efficient than the latest energy codes. High-performance features of new schools include:
- Light-colored roofs help to mitigate the urban heat island effect. A lighter roof color results in significantly less absorption of solar radiation, which helps to reduce energy consumption.
- High-efficiency LED lighting inside and outside.
- Geothermal heat pumps use heat captured naturally from deep wells.
- Occupancy sensors turn lights off and on automatically.
- Extra insulation throughout most walls and roofs.
- Plentiful natural light, allowing artificial lighting to automatically dim.
- Landscaping includes native, drought-tolerant plants.
- High-efficiency plumbing fixtures and low-water cleaning procedures help conserve water.
- Convenient water-bottle filling stations. By encouraging students to fill durable water bottles throughout the day, schools reduce use of single-use plastic bottles.
And the momentum continues: over the summer of 2021, the district installed advanced heating and ventilation controls in an additional six elementary schools and is in the process of converting stadium lights to LED, all of which will generate thousands of dollars in energy savings. These upgrades were made possible by the 2018 Capital Projects Levy which is scheduled for renewal in February.
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.
Read more about this on the Equity in Communication Collaborative Action Network page of the LWSD website.
Reminder: TikTok Challenges
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
- 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.
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.
Reminder: 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!”
Thank you, voters! Construction measures providing space for more than 4,000 students
Lake Washington School District has completed 12 projects since voters approved construction measures in 2016 and 2019.
Click on a link below to see updates and photos:
The April 2019 Capital Construction Levy provides classroom space for 1,052 students. In addition, schools are receiving core expansions and safety and security enhancements. Security cameras have been installed at all elementary schools and entrances at Redmond, Eastlake and Lake Washington high schools now have entry control systems to increase safety.
- Rachel Carson Elementary addition (Scheduled for completion in 2022)
- Benjamin Franklin Elementary addition (Completed in 2021)
- Franklin Core Expansion (Scheduled for completion in 2022)
- Rose Hill Elementary addition (Completed in 2021)
- Rose Hill Core Expansion (Scheduled for completion in 2022)
- Mark Twain Elementary addition (Completed in 2021)
- Twain Core Expansion (Scheduled for completion in 2022)
- Lake Washington High School classroom addition and commons expansion (Completed in 2020)
- LWHS Auxiliary Gymnasium (Completed in 2021)
The April 2016 bond funded eight projects that are now providing space for 3,000 additional students.
- Juanita High School (Completed in 2020)
- Early Learning Center at Old Redmond Schoolhouse (Completed in 2020)
- Peter Kirk Elementary School (Completed in 2019)
- Margaret Mead Elementary School (Completed in 2019)
- Timberline Middle School (Completed in 2019)
- Clara Barton Elementary School (Completed in 2018)
- Ella Baker Elementary School (Completed in 2018)
- Explorer Community School (Completed in 2017)
How perfect! – Sixteen LWSD students earn perfect ACT scores
Sixteen students from Lake Washington School District (LWSD) have achieved something that less than one-half of 1% of test takers achieve. These students earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. According to the letter they received, only 5,579 out of nearly 1.67 million students who took the ACT last year accomplished this feat. Read more about this on the LWSD website.
Careers at LWSD
LWSD is always seeking great talent for positions throughout our district. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings.