Connections - September 1, 2022
Work with us
We're hiring! Consider a career in LWSD
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:
- Instructional Assistants (IAs)
- Bus drivers
These positions are also available in a substitute role. Check out the LWSD website for job descriptions and postings.
ParentSquare: A new school-to-family communication tool
LWSD is committed to keeping our families and staff up-to-date by communicating important information as it happens. That is why LWSD is moving to a new communication platform that will make staying engaged and informed with our schools even easier.
LWSD selected ParentSquare after reviewing potential options. One of the key reasons ParentSquare was selected is that we are able to provide translatable text messaging for our community. This was seen as a need both by families in our community as well as staff members and teachers across our district. ParentSquare will likely replace many other communications tools for LWSD, allowing us to focus on one solution for multiple methods of communicating – phone, text and email. The platform comes with an application (app) that will allow families to have a “hub” for information about their students. Families will be able to self-select how they receive messages from teachers, the school and the district. It also allows for two-way communication.
Visit the ParentSquare page on the LWSD website for more information.
COVID-19 guidance update for the 2022-23 school year
The health and safety of our students and staff is the number one priority in Lake Washington School District (LWSD). The district follows the guidelines associated with the Department of Health regarding COVID-19. Washington state updated its COVID-19 school and child care guidance on August 5, 2022, for the 2022-23 school year. Following these safety measures reduces the spread of COVID-19. This letter explains how the updated guidance impacts your family and the community.
A few important points from the guidance:
- Masks are not required in our buildings except in the health room and in other very specific situations. Students are always welcome to wear masks if they choose to do so. We will provide an environment where students can feel safe with whatever decision they make.
- Lunches no longer have any requirements related to COVID-19. Staff in our school buildings are preparing to host lunch that will be similar to what it was like before the pandemic began. Lunch will no longer be held outside unless the guidance changes.
- Testing will still be available to students and staff this school year. Please visit our COVID-19 Testing page on the LWSD website for more information.
View this message in your ParentSquare account or on the LWSD website.
Over the last several months, there has been a rise in cases of the disease Monkeypox. It is typically spread through close physical contact. The virus often causes a rash, which may look like bumps on your skin, blisters or ulcers.
Are children at high risk for MPV infection?
No, the risk of MPV infection to the general public in King County including children is low. Cases among children nationally have been rare. However, children in a household with a person with confirmed MPV can become infected if there is close, prolonged and/or direct contact, such as what may occur during caregiving.
If your child is ill and develops symptoms such as a rash, they should stay home and away from public settings including childcare or school and get checked out by a healthcare provider before returning to daycare or school. Parents and caregivers should notify a school or childcare immediately if a child receives a positive lab result for MPV.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance for schools and childcares.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
On July 16, 2022, the country transitioned to using the 988 dialing code. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and expand the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and change how crisis services are delivered nationwide.
988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number. It is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health related distress. Whether that is thoughts of suicide, symptoms of mental illness or substance use disorder or other factors. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need these types of crisis supports.
School Start Time Committee opportunity
Lake Washington School District is looking for parents of students to join a working committee about school start times. This group will be making a recommendation to Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen for high schools to start no earlier than 8:00 a.m. The group will also make a proposal to adjust preschool start/end times. Seven meetings have been scheduled on Thursdays between September and January.
This committee will include parents from multiple perspectives across the different high school feeder areas. Therefore, members of the group will be chosen based on their location in the district. If you are interested, please fill out this form with your name, contact information and details about your student(s). We are looking for eight parents and four students. Below is a schedule of the group meeting dates:
|Advisory Group Meeting Dates (Thursdays)|
|September 22, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
|October 6, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
|October 27, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
|November 10, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
|December 1, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
|December 15, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
|January 12, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.|
Those interested in applying should look at the work from the last school start time committee as review. You can view that information here. If you are not selected for the committee, there will be opportunities for feedback from the broader community as the group does their work.
LWSD Online School selects name, mascot and colors
Last spring, the LWSD Online School completed the process of selecting the school’s name, mascot and school colors. The school naming committee was comprised of students, staff and parents. This committee met to pare down the list of names submitted to 6-9 selections. Ultimately, six names were returned to the students for the first round of voting. The top two results were voted on in a final ballot that resulted in a name related to the Coast Salish tribes from the area.
The Sammamish River Valley Online School was presented to the Board of Directors and approved on May 9, 2022.
The student body then submitted names and colors to select from. Using the same voting process the Sammamish River Valley Online School voting resulted in the mascot ‘salmon’ with the school colors: navy blue (to represent the water and sky), Kelly green (to represent the abundant growth of our forests), and silver (to represent our natural resources of iron and silver).
View the 2022-23 school year calendar
The 2022-23 LWSD school calendar is available on the district website. Here is a direct link to the PDF of the calendar from the site (Spanish).
Student health plans and immunization records
Lake Washington School District is committed to the health and wellness of our students. Each school has a registered nurse available to provide a range of services. At the beginning of each school year, nurses collect student health information to plan for needs during the school day. As we plan for the 2022-23 school year, we want to remind everyone of a couple important health-related items.
- Immunizations: The State Board of Health (SBOH) has approved changes to Chapter 246-105 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) concerning school and child care immunization policy. These rules apply to all public and private schools and licensed child care centers in Washington State. The update to Chapter 246-105 WAC has three major focuses:
- It now requires medically verified immunization records for school and child care entry.
- It clarifies conditional status in regards to school and child care immunization requirements and implementation.
- It changes the Tdap immunization requirement to seventh through 12th grades.
- It states that immunization information must be provided to schools prior to the student attending classes, and the conditional status no longer applies.
Medically Verified Records
The revised rule requires medically verified immunization records for school and child care entry. Medically verified records include one or more of the following:
- A Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) printed from the Immunization Information System (IIS)
- A physical copy of the CIS form with a healthcare provider signature
- A physical copy of the CIS with accompanying medical immunization records from a healthcare provider verified and signed by school staff
- A CIS printed from MyIR
- Download a copy of the CIS
LWSD has transitioned to School Module in Washington Immunization Information System (WAIIS) which requires parent consent for nurses to upload immunization records. Please sign the WAIIS consent form in Skyward Family Access to allow the building nurse to manage your child’s immunization records.
Questions about immunizations? Please contact your school nurse or Shelley O'Rourke, Health Services Manager.
- Individual Health Plans: If your child has a life-threatening health condition, the following requirements must be met before your child can attend school: You must supply:
- the required emergency medication to the school,
- health care provider orders,
- an individual health plan, and
- any necessary supplies on or before the first day of school.
These health plans should be submitted directly to the school nurse and NOT through FinalForms. Until these requirements are met, your child will not be able to attend school. If you have any questions, please call Health Services support personnel at our Special Services Office: 425-936-1201.
Kindergarten Family Connections help students, families have a successful year
The first day of school for grades 1-12 is on Tuesday, September 6. Kindergarten students will have Family Connection Meetings on September 6, 7 or 8. The first day of Kindergarten is Friday, September 9. Kindergarten families should expect to receive additional information from their school about their specific schedules.
Need to know your school’s start and end time? Visit our school hours page on the LWSD website.
LWSD back to school countdown on Facebook
We are excited to welcome back our students for the 2022-23 school year! As we all prepare for the first day of school, visit the LWSD Facebook page for a list of resources that will help prepare your student for in-person learning. Follow us over the next week as we count down to the first day of school!
District tip line
Safety is one of our district’s top priorities. To keep our school community safe, our district uses Vector Alert, a tip reporting service that allows students, staff and parents to submit safety concerns to our administration five different ways:
- App: Search for “Vector Alert” in the App Store to download for free
- Phone: 425.529.5763
- Text: Text your tip to 425.529.5763
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: http://1342.alert1.us
If an administrator is not nearby or available to take your tip, you and your child can easily report tips on bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism, threats of violence or any safety issue you're concerned about through Vector Alert. When you submit a tip, be sure to use our district’s identification code: 1342 in your communication.
Every tip Vector Alert receives about our district is immediately logged in the system and our administration is notified so that they can investigate and take appropriate action. And, tips may also be submitted anonymously if you prefer.
Together, using Vector Alert, we can make our district a safer place to work and learn! Thanks in advance for your support.
Very excellent – Two LWSD elementary schools recognized nationally as a PTA School of Excellence
National PTA has recognized both Peter Kirk and Norman Rockwell Elementary schools as a 2021-2023 School of Excellence. They received this recognition for their accomplishments in building a strong, effective family-school partnership that is enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
Read more about this on the LWSD website.
Getting to/from school
Riding the bus: As part of the Student Information Verification process, families who qualify for transportation can request transportation services. The district provides transportation only to those students living outside a one-mile radius, unless the district has reviewed walk routes and determined no safe walk routes are available. Within that boundary, our practice allows for elementary students to walk up to one and a half miles to school and middle and high school students to walk up to two miles. Students with walk distances that exceed these limits are eligible for bus service. These guidelines are used to establish all walk boundaries for Lake Washington School District. It is important that you sign up for transportation services through the Student Information Verification process.
Instructions for viewing student busing information in Skyward Family Access:
- Log in to Skyward Family Access.
- Select “Busing” to open the student’s transportation information.
- The student’s AM and PM route number, stop location and times will be shown.
Students who receive special education and preschool services should have received communication by phone from your child’s bus driver by August 31. If you have not received a phone call by September 1, please contact our dispatch office at 425-936-1120. Please remember this is a busy time of year and they will get back to you as soon as possible.
Questions about buses? Contact the Transportation Department at 425-936-1120 or visit the transportation page.
Walking or Bicycling: Walking and bicycling are healthy ways for students to get to school. Suggested Walk Route Maps for elementary schools are available on the district website. A subcommittee of the district’s Safety Advisory Committee, along with traffic and pedestrian safety experts, worked with a consultant to develop these safe walking/biking routes.
LWSD moving away from "Let’s Talk”
Lake Washington Scholl District has removed “Let’s Talk” from the district website. We have moved forward with a new system for families and community members to ask questions or provide feedback. Families and community members will still be able to ask questions or provide feedback on the LWSD website. The new system has a button on the website, very similar to what we had for Let’s Talk. The new button says, “Contact Us”. When you click on that button, you will be taken to a contact form to submit questions or comments. All questions/comments will be routed to the appropriate department to ensure your question is answered and your comment is heard. This new system will allow us to provide faster responses to questions from our community. It will also allow us to save the district significant money by using existing platforms.
Peachjar to deliver community electronic flyers
LWSD will continue using the Peachjar eflyer service this school year. Peachjar distributes eflyers from nonprofit organizations as well as from schools and school-related organizations directly to parent email inboxes. If you are new to LWSD, you will receive a welcome email from Peachjar that gives instructions on how to manage flyer delivery preferences. Learn more about Peachjar on the district website.
Welcome back from LWSD
Lake Washington Schools Foundation (LWSF) welcomes our students and staff back to school! As a nonprofit organization, we are proud to contribute to the success of students in the community through the funding and undertaking of critical work that focuses on removing barriers, supporting wellness, building connections, and enhancing the learning of students in our community.
You can stay connected with our mission and our work in different ways: Subscribe to our e-newsletter, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Mentors needed for local students
Become a Lunch Buddy mentor and make a difference in the life of a local elementary school student. The LINKS Lunch Buddy Program is seeking volunteers to mentor young students in Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish. Give 45 minutes of your time each week to enjoy fun games and crafts, and to talk with a student who could really benefit from some extra social-emotional support at school.
To learn about the process and how to apply, visit www.lwsf.org/links. Please contact Victoria Goetze-Nelson at 425-936-1410 if you have any questions. Mentor training and support will be provided.
Teen Startup event application deadline
The LWSD Teen Startup Challenge is designed to promote student startup ideas and venture creation. The challenge provides the opportunity for high school students to win prizes and learn from local business leaders. Finalists will present their ideas and business plans and receive invaluable feedback from successful professionals. The application deadline for this event is midnight on October 3, 2022. Visit www.lwsd.org/teen-startup to learn more about this event.
Juanita High School street construction project delayed to early 2023
The City of Kirkland is constructing an eastbound, right turn only lane onto Juanita High School Access Road from Northeast 132nd Street. The project was expected to begin construction in early September, but this has been delayed until at least early 2023. It is expected to bring delays for commuters throughout that area. As we learn more information about this project and the impacts it will have on drivers, we will update the community. In the meantime, feel free to visit the project webpage at http://www.kirklandwa.gov/ne132ndstreet for project details and schedule updates.
Student & Staff Success
Training for champs – Two LWSD athletic trainers work with world class athletes at World Athletics Outdoor Championships
The athletic trainers at Lake Washington High School (LWHS) and Redmond High School (RHS) were busy this summer. Both participated as trainers at the first-ever World Athletics Outdoor Championships to take place in the United States. Delaney Farmer (LWHS) and Keith Cross (RHS) worked with some of the best athletes in the world at the competition in Eugene, Ore., July 12-24. Not only did they both provide on-field care for this event, but Farmer was the head athletic trainer. As injuries happened, the athletic training crew was there to care for these world-class athletes. Read more about this on the LWSD website.
Juanita High School student gets opportunity of a lifetime at Special Olympics USA Games
Audrey Hagen got to fly business class for the first time recently, and loved it, but that was not the best part about her trip. The rising sophomore at Juanita High School was asked to be a gaffer at the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Fla. That means Audrey got to carry equipment for her father, who was working as media for the event. Read more about this project on the district website.
Share a picture with us! #LWSDFirstDay
Welcome back! The first day of school is coming up for LWSD students. Please send us a message through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of your photos and videos of your students returning to school for a chance to be featured on our social media channels! Let's celebrate learning together!