Connections - August 31, 2023
Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! As the first day of school approaches, the Lake Washington School District team is looking forward to welcoming our students to another exciting year of learning! This newsletter is just one way to stay in touch with what is happening in the district. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for up-to-date news and information.
LWSD back to school countdown on Facebook
We are excited to welcome back our students for the 2023-24 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 school. Follow us over the next week as we count down to the first day of school!
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.
View the 2023-24 school year calendar
Student health plans, medications 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 2023-24 school year, we want to remind everyone of a couple important health-related items.
- Individual Health Plans & Medication Authorizations: If your student has a life-threatening health condition, the following requirements must be met before your student 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 documents should be submitted directly to the School Nurse and NOT through FinalForms. Until these requirements are met, your student will not be able to attend school.
For more information, visit: https://www.lwsd.org/programs-and-services/health-services
- Immunizations: Immunization records must be turned into the school on or before the first day of attendance. Your student cannot attend school until you provide these records.
Tdap: For the 2023-24 school year, all students attending grades 7 through 12th must have had one booster dose of Tdap vaccine. All students in seventh through tenth grade must have received their Tdap vaccine dose on or after age 10 to be accepted for school entry. Students in eleventh through twelfth grades must have received their Tdap dose on or after age seven to be accepted for school entry.
Medically Verified Records
Medically verified records include one or more of the following:
- A completed Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) signed by a health care provider. Find the CIS form by visiting https://www.doh.wa.gov/SCCI and clicking on “Certificate of Immunization Status.”
- A CIS filled out by you or another parent/guardian with medical records attached.
- A CIS printed by a health care provider or school from the Washington State Immunization Information System.
- A CIS printed from MyIR which is a free Department of Health online tool that allows families to view and print their official immunization records themselves. Go to https://wa.myir.net/register to begin the sign-up process.
LWSD is transitioning to the Washington Immunization Information System (WAIIS) School Module which requires parent consent for nurses to upload immunization records. Please sign the WAIIS consent form in Skyward Family Access to allow the School Nurse to manage your student’s immunization records.
For more information, visit: https://www.lwsd.org/programs-and-services/health-services/immunizations
Questions about immunizations? Please contact your School Nurse.
- Sports Physicals Required for Middle School/High School Sports Participation
As a reminder, sports physicals are required for participation in middle school and high school sports. High School sports seasons start in August, so it is important to have your paperwork on file in the school office prior to the start of the sports season. Health Care Provider offices in our area are expecting more appointment requests for physicals in August, so it is a good idea to schedule your appointment early. For middle school students, sports begin in September. Families will receive messaging from FinalForms with reminders about the required forms to complete.
For more information, visit: https://www.lwsd.org/programs-and-services/athletics
Kindergarten Family Connections help students, families have a successful year
The first day of school for grades 1-12 is on Tuesday, September 5. Students in Grades 1-5 will have half-days on September 5, 6 and 7 for elementary conferences. Kindergarten students will have Family Connection Meetings on September 5, 6 or 7. The first day of Kindergarten is Friday, September 8. 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: https://www.lwsd.org/schools/school-hours.
Community Resource Officers
Lake Washington School District (LWSD) continues to partner with all four local police agencies in our district for the 2023-24 school year. This year, the partnership will include Community Resource Officers to support students at all schools.
For the 2023-24 school year, each law enforcement agency will select one Community Resource Officer for each comprehensive high school feeder pattern. If additional law enforcement resources are available, the agency may assign other school-trained officers to provide additional services. You can learn more about the duties and expectations of the Community Resource Officers, District and Law Enforcement here: https://www.lwsd.org/programs-and-services/safety/community-resource-officers.
Community Resource Officers will work with all schools to:
- Participate in threat assessments, as needed or requested
- Provide continuous support of district efforts to manage threats of violence or harm
- Respond to 911 and other emergency calls at schools
- Conduct scheduled safety assessments of school facilities at the request of district administration
- Conduct Child Protective Services (CPS) investigations
- Truancy paperwork service
- No Trespass paperwork service
- Respond to collisions that occur on campus
- Provide support for traffic and pedestrian concerns in school zones
- Collect/dispose of evidence/paraphernalia obtained during school operations
- Provide educational support, if requested by building administration
- Provide safety training for staff, students, parents and the greater community, as requested
- Comply with district policies and procedures
In addition to the Community Resource Officer program, LWSD is creating a new program called Community Connectors. This group will be made up of stakeholders and partners, as well as those individuals and organizations that we do not presently collaborate with, to gather information that will strengthen our school safety planning efforts.
LWSD envisions a community that supports a unified definition of school safety, supports effective teaching and learning by creating and promoting a physically, emotionally, socially, behaviorally and academically secure climate for students, staff and visitors. Keeping our schools safe involves planning for prevention, mitigation, response and recovery. We have worked on building a thoughtful community engagement process to inform our district’s plans for school safety. Subsequently, we have used this process for the upcoming 2023-24 school year on our Community Resource Officer program, previously the School Resource Officer program.
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.
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.
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? 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.
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.
Building Excellence is Lake Washington School District's long-term plan to provide permanent classrooms for students and address aging facilities and reduce reliance on portables through 2034. The Building Excellence Plan identifies the specific projects needed and a long-term funding plan that allows all required projects to be completed by 2034.
Contractors for Lake Washington School District were busy over the summer implementing multiple construction projects for the 2022 Building Excellence Construction Levy. This construction levy passed in February 2022 thanks to our community. Step 1 of the Building Excellence Plan funds $295 million in construction needs. This levy provides funding to build critical classroom space across our district:
- Additions at Finn Hill, Kirkland and Redmond middle schools, providing capacity for 600 more students.
- Rebuild and Enlarge Rockwell Elementary
- Note: Due to change in enrollment since the levy passed, the funds that were originally planned for a new elementary school on the Redmond Elementary campus was repurposed to rebuild and enlarge Rockwell Elementary. This change was approved by the LWSD school board. See the press release for more information.
- Additional high school capacity eastside area for 600 students.
- Additional high school capacity westside area for 600 students.
- Acquisition of property for future schools.
Construction began this summer on the middle school additions. Planning and pre-design is currently happening for Rockwell Elementary and high school capacity in Sammamish. In addition, our Capital Projects team is working on pre-design studies for our aging facilities: Alcott Elementary, Smith Elementary, Kamiakin Middle School and Evergreen Middle School
Stay tuned for updates on these projects and more throughout this upcoming school year. We will provide updates here in Connections, on the LWSD website and through newsletters that will be available by mailer and through email.
For additional information on our Building Excellence Plan visit our website at https://www.lwsd.org/programs-and-services/facilities/construction. You can also see individual project updates on that webpage.
Two additional LWSD students receive National Merit College-Sponsored Scholarship
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced this week that two additional Lake Washington School District (LWSD) students will receive National Merit College-Sponsored Scholarships:
- Ishan Goel, Redmond High School - National Merit Purdue University Scholarship
- Aubrey S. Jacob, International Community School - National Merit Lawrence University Scholarship
Back to school donations
With the new school year almost here, school supply donations are crucial to help families in need. Redmond Fire Fighters collected new school supplies for Lake Washington School District students on August 8. They collected new backpacks, crayons, spiral notebooks and more. The supplies were delivered to the LWSD Resource Center on August 14 to be used for the upcoming school year. Thank you to everyone who donated supplies! Read more about this on the LWSD 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!