Connections - September 15, 2023
The first day of school for grades 1-12 was on September 5. We are so excited to welcome back our students! Visit our Facebook page to see photos from the first days of school at all levels.
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.
Highly Capable referral window now open
Referrals for Highly Capable eligibility are now open and will be available on your Skyward account. The referral window opened at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12, and will close on Monday, October 2 at 11:59 p.m.
First and fifth grade families
PLEASE NOTE: As of July 2023, Washington state law now requires universal screening for two grade levels. LWSD will be universally screening ALL first and fifth grade students for Highly Capable services. Families who choose to opt their first or fifth grader out of Highly Capable universal screening must do so by completing the opt-out form in their Skyward account.
K, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 families must complete the Permission to Assess referral form on Skyward to opt their child into the eligibility process.
More information regarding the eligibility and assessment process this year will be found on the updated Accelerated Programs webpages.
Sixty LWSD students named National Merit Semifinalists
Sixty Lake Washington School District (LWSD) high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the semifinalists on Wednesday, September 13.
Sixteen thousand high school seniors nationwide qualified. About 14,500 semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level. A little less than half will win a National Merit Scholarship. These students will be able to continue in the competition for 7,140 National Merit Scholarships, worth nearly $28 million.
Students qualified for these awards by completing the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The semifinalists include the highest-scoring students in each state. The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.
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.
Produced weekly, the video newsletter provides more equitable access to district information, allowing families to 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 Spanish-speaking and Latinx community.
LWSD welcomes new Eastside Native American Education Program (ENAEP) coordinator
We are pleased to welcome Lauren Nabahe as the new Eastside Native American Education Program (ENAEP) Coordinator. Lauren has an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a graduate Degree from The University of Washington. Her working experience in education started as a Youth Care Technician. She then moved on to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) where she was a Re-Entry/Intervention Specialist in SPS’ Native American Education Program. She was also a Special Education Teacher at West Seattle High School. Ms. Nabahe has also volunteered in the Native American Youth Leadership Academy (NAYLA) as a facilitator.
ENAEP is a federally funded program that assists Native American, Alaska Native and American Indian students in the Lake Washington, Bellevue and Northshore School Districts in grades K-12. Since the initiation of the Indian Education Act of 1972, the Federal Government has assisted local school districts in funding educational programs for all Native American, American Indian and Alaska Native children. These programs are intended to provide children with programs that not only offer them the opportunity to succeed academically but to enrich their cultural lives as well.
New and International Families Welcome Event
The LWPTSA Council and Lake Washington School District will be co-hosting a New and International Families Welcome Event soon. Watch for information and details in ParentSquare.
Register your Youth ORCA card!
As a reminder, youth 18 and younger ride transit for free. For riders 13 and older, using a Youth ORCA card (also known as a Free Youth Transit Pass) is highly encouraged, but not required. Tapping a Youth ORCA card allows transit agencies to better understand how many young people are riding transit, including where and when. Learn more about participating agencies and read FAQs at FreeYouthTransitPass.com.
Students who have Youth ORCA cards: To ensure that their card provides free fare until they turn 19 years old and does not expire sooner, all students should register their card at FreeYouthTransitPass.com as soon as possible. This 2-minute process requires only an email address, Youth ORCA card number, and birthdate. Students who currently have a Youth ORCA card should not order a new card but should register the card they already have.
Students who need Youth ORCA cards: Students aged 13 and older are encouraged to order a free Youth ORCA card by visiting https://www.myorca.com/buy-online/ (the card will automatically be registered when ordered). If online ordering is not an option for students you serve, please contact us to discuss alternative options.
What is Lake Washington Schools Foundation?
Discover the heart and soul of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation in just a few minutes. Watch their short video and learn how LWSF works together with the community to make a difference in the lives of LWSD students.
Building bridges to education: LWSF raises $23,250 for summer learning
The overwhelming support of compassionate community donors empowered LWSF’s Summer School Campaign to facilitate summer school enrollment for children experiencing homelessness. Additionally, the $23,250 raised supported enrichment activities and covered transportation costs for Title 1 schools, as well as scholarships for grade enhancement. Learn more here.
Parent Chat webinar on September 20, 7-8 p.m. - Instilling Motivation in Your Teen
Unleash Your Teen's Potential! Join LWSF for a power-packed session where you'll gain actionable strategies to supercharge your teen's motivation. Learn to create a positive home environment, nurture independence, and ignite a growth mindset, all while becoming a key player in your teen's journey towards success and fulfillment.
Register at www.lwsf.org/parentchat.
Parent Chat is fully funded by the Lake Washington Schools Foundation.
In-person workshop for high school seniors: Cut Through the Noise With Your College Essay
Attention high school seniors! Unveil the art of impactful college essays at LWSF’s workshop with Mary Pat O'Neil, creator of Find Your Fit. Craft compelling essays that stand out. Parents, you're invited too! Learn more and register at www.lwsf.org/our-work/find-your-fit.
Find Your Fit is a program of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation.
Kids Coming Together events
Kids Coming Together community service events are great opportunities for children grades 3-8 to meet new friends and connect with their community. High school student volunteers are welcome!
View and register for upcoming events at www.kidscomingtogether.org.
Kids Coming Together is a program of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation.
Keeping the peace - Tesla STEM sophomore named a fellow for social justice organization for environmental work
Naman Mutalik Desai, a sophomore at Tesla STEM High School, was recently named as a recipient of the Mike Yarrow Peace Fellowship (MYPF) for 2023-2024. Naman was nominated for creating his own award-winning initiative for improving soil health and reducing fertilizer pollution. This year’s fellowship was granted to 26 youth organizers across the country. Recipients are provided a monetary grant of $500, along with training and mentorship to develop a social justice campaign or project of their choice for the year. Naman will be conducting his year-long fellowship project focused on environmental justice.