Connections - October 26, 2023

Work with us

We're hiring! Consider a career in LWSD

We're Hiring

LWSD is always seeking great talent for positions throughout our district. In addition to other positions available throughout the district, we are looking for applicants for the following positions:

  • Nurses
  • Instructional Assistants (IAs)
  • Paraeducators
  • Custodians
  • Bus drivers
  • Substitutes

These positions are also available in a substitute role. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings.


Learning Focused

We value your feedback - Inclusion program survey

As Lake Washington School District continues its inclusive schools efforts, we want to engage with our families, staff and students in celebrating successes and in identifying barriers. 

Inclusion is about creating community and seeing each member of the community for the strengths and assets that make them unique. Since 2018, we have piloted the Inclusive Schools program in preschool and a handful of elementary schools. This school year, all elementary schools are participating, and we look forward to seeing the benefits of inclusive education for ALL students by way of greater academic gains, improved empathy and reduced fear of differences.

For more information please visit: Inclusion in LWSD video series

Please complete this survey by November 9, 2023:


Family Panorama survey extended to November 5!

Families, students and schools all play important roles in helping students do their best in school. To help LWSD learn how to make your child's schooling experience as positive and beneficial as possible, families are asked to take the Panorama survey. The topics covered in this fall family survey will be cultural awareness/action, family engagement and barriers to engagement.

The Panorama family survey can be accessed here:

For families who have students at different schools, we encourage you to take the survey multiple times – one time per school.

Thank you in advance for completing this year’s family Panorama survey!


Fall Smarter Balanced Assessment PDF reports available through Skyward/Family Access

In spring of 2023, students in grades 3-8 and 10 took the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in English language arts and math. Students in grades 5, 6 and 11 took the Washington State Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The primary purpose of these tests is to check in on how students are doing compared to some of the state standards. 

Scores from these tests were posted to Family Access in June under “Test Scores.” OSPI has now provided electronic score reports in PDF format to the district for the students that took the spring test. These score reports do not provide any new student score data; however, they do provide some graphical and textual explanations of the data. These score reports are now in Family Access.

To access the PDF score report:

  1. Login to Family Access.
  2. Select “Portfolio” on the left menu.
  3. Select “Show Scores” for the assessment.

Skyward Family Access support is available on the LWSD website.


Students and staff wear orange on October 18 to show we’re united against bullying

Unity Day celebration

Unity Day

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 18. 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 2022 marks 77 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 "Disability: Part of the Equity Equation."

To get involved see the below links:

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 LWSD website at Dyslexia and foundational literacy.


Reminder: Choice School application process opens November 1 at 9 a.m. Information nights started this week

Choice Schools and programs are optional schooling alternatives, created to meet specific needs and interests. They are designed to be smaller and use innovative approaches to education that are different from traditional public schools. Choice Schools and programs are often housed within an existing school or on the same campus as another school.
Applications for Choice Schools and programs will open on November 1, 2023 at 9 a.m. via ParentSquare. Additional information about the application will be sent out soon. Schools started hosting information nights this week. Please visit the Choice Schools webpage for details:


Reminder: Advanced Placement exam registration information for 2023-24 school year 

Registration and payment is open now until October 31, 2023, 11:59 p.m. for Advanced Placement exams!

We encourage all students who want to take May 2024 AP exams to complete the registration on time and pay for their exams during this period.  

Exam information, exam dates, costs, late registration windows/fees, and cancellation fees can all be found on our new LWSD Advanced Placement webpage: Advanced Placement - Lake Washington School District (
*Please note* Exam registration and exam payment are separate required processes. 

  1. Students register for exam(s) via AP Central. AP teachers and the school’s AP coordinator will have the codes that students will use to register for each exam.   
  2. Students pay via Online Payments or directly to the school bookkeeper. Students can pay for their exam(s) from now until October 31. 

 An AP Late Registration window will be offered in February. Students who register during this late window will pay an additional $50 per exam late fee in addition to the regular exam fee.  
Questions? Please contact your AP teacher and/or school’s Advanced Placement Coordinator: 


Reminder: World language proficiency testing

LWSD offers in-person, world language testing for high school students. These tests help students meet the “world languages” graduation requirement. They can earn up to four high school credits. They can also earn the Washington state “Seal of Biliteracy” on their transcript and diploma.

  • All high school students can take one language test for free. 
  • Students can take the test at any location (see list below).
  • Tests are available in any language that is both written and spoken.

See below for test dates and locations.

World language proficiency dates

Register and find more information here.

Questions? Contact the Assessment Team at


District Announcements

Energy Awareness Month – Beware the energy vampires!

Energy Awareness Month tips

October is Energy Awareness Month. Lake Washington School District and McKinstry want to remind our community to be thoughtful about how we use our energy. Did you know that devices that are turned off but plugged in still consume energy? These devices are called Energy Vampires. For Energy Awareness Month this October, take a look around school and your homes to see If you can find these vampires, all while practicing the tips on the flyer

For more information on LWSD’s sustainability practices, visit the LWSD website


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 ParentSquare.

  • Here are some other ways to find out about school schedule changes: Pop-up alert on and school webpages. 
  • – This website allows you to sign up for text messages as well. 
  • Local TV/radio stations – They get a feed from of all school schedule change decisions. 

Curious how school schedule change decisions are made? You can learn how to be updated when school is delayed or canceled on the School Closures and Late Starts page of the district website.


Lake Washington School Foundation

Rising food prices leave vulnerable families behind, but you can help

This year, the Lake Washington Schools Foundation is committed to investing over $340,000 in vital programs that provide essential food support to families in need, including:

  • Pantry Packs, which purchases, assembles and distributes weekend food packs to over 800 students each week.
  • LWSD School Break Food Support, which provides grocery vouchers to food-insecure students during school breaks when free and reduced school meals are not available.

Will you help LWSF ensure that no child in our school district goes hungry this year? Please go ALL IN FOR KIDS and donate to our fall campaign today:


Tech Savvy Teen | Parent Chat webinar on November 1

In the age of technology, it's important that your teen learns how to be savvy when it comes to internet consumption and usage. This talk is geared towards parents, but feel free to have your teens watch, too! 

Wednesday, November 1, 7-8 p.m., over Zoom 
Register at

Parent Chat is fully funded by the Lake Washington Schools Foundation. Learn more at


Get personalized feedback on your college essay | Find Your Fit webinar

High schools seniors, register for one-on-one sessions with independent college counselors, Mary Pat O’Neil and Jensen Woods! Don't miss this opportunity to receive expert feedback and guidance on your college essays. Mary Pat and Jensen are here to help you shine!

  • Sunday, November 5 from noon to 2 p.m., over Zoom

Register at

Find Your Fit is a program of Lake Washington Schools Foundation.


Building Excellence

Updates on the east side and west side high school capacity projects

East side high school capacity: Site 59 in Sammamish

Beginning in August 2023, Support Services Planning Principal Toby Brenner began work to identify core interests and priorities for the educational programming at High School 10 (Site 59). This site, located in Sammamish, was selected to serve as the location for the high school capacity project on the east side of the district. 

Principal Brenner began developing initial plans for gathering information and stakeholder feedback to inform decision-making. Throughout this input process, Brenner has met with principals and students from Eastlake High School, Redmond High School and Inglewood Middle School. A survey is planned to get additional feedback from students and families.
Gymnasium facility addition

The Capital Projects team is working on the physical design of the new facility with design and construction partners Mahlum Architects and Skanska Construction. Program decisions can have a direct impact on design planning, as we want to ensure that the final facility will support the intended instructional needs of future students.

Site 59 gymnasium


One design revision recommended through this process is the need to include a gymnasium as part of the core design for the facility. On Monday, October 23, the LWSD School Board approved a resolution to redirect construction levy funds to be used to build a gymnasium at Site 59. 

Building a gymnasium at Site 59 is important to add to this project now, because it

  • Provides students with access to physical education given that movement and exercise are essential to our core standards and curriculum
  • Provides maximum flexibility in determining educational programming at Site 59
  • Allows students to participate in athletics and activities
  • Allows the entire student body to gather in a single space for positive events such as assemblies
  • Allows for events that create community such as dances or other types of activities
  • Adds a valuable community resource to the Sammamish Community
  • Reduces future cost escalations
  • Would be completed in the same timeline as the other parts of the school for occupancy September 2025

West side high school capacity: Emerson Campus
Also included in the 2022 Building Excellence Construction Levy, was additional high school capacity on the westside of the district. At the October 2 School Board Session, staff shared that these funds will be used construct a new facility on the Emerson Campus. The campus currently includes Emerson High School, Emerson K-12 and Northstar Middle School. Northstar would remain in its current location at the Emerson Campus.

West side high school capacity

This project will accomplish multiple goals: 

  1. It addresses an aging facility by rebuilding, expanding and enlarging the school,
  2. Capitalizes on currently beneficial, yet under-enrolled educational program, 
  3. Provides space for early learning, relieving capacity at elementary schools which is part of the district's long-term plan and, 
  4. Enhance the opportunity and long-term viability of infant daycare services for enrolled students and families. 

Continued work will be needed to reimage the educational programming for Emerson High School and Emerson K-12.

This project is estimated to cost $65 million and bring the capacity of the building to 600 students. 

Please see our website for more information regarding our 2022 Building Excellence Construction Projects.

Student & Staff Success

"My oh my" – Eastlake High School senior wins scholarship prize, gets visit from Mariners legend

Julia Chen scholarship recipient with Rick Rizzs

On a foggy October day in Sammamish, Eastlake High School (EHS) senior Julia Chen was lining up for the annual EHS Family Photo. The photo is a yearly tradition where all students form letters or a shape on the football field and a picture is taken by a drone from above. This year was a little different. After the photo was taken, a loud, booming voice came from the press box. “Hello everybody, my name is Rick Rizzs, the broadcast announcer for your Seattle Mariners.” It turns out that Chen was about to receive a prize in front of the entire student body and had no idea it was coming.

Read more about this on the LWSD website.


RHS Orchestra's performance of Peter & the Wolf

RHS orchestra performance of Peter and the Wolf

The Redmond High School (RHS) Orchestra is putting on a very special performance on Saturday, October 28 as a way to raise money. They will be performing Prokofiev’s musical fairytale, Peter and the Wolf. The money raised will go to RHS music programs. There are two performances, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the Robinson Performing Arts Center at RHS. There will be an instrument “petting zoo” after the 2 p.m. performance for younger students.

Watch the video on the LWSD website