Lake Washington School District (LWSD) recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for students to meet with and learn from community members. There are three different mentoring opportunities available to correspond with mentor interests and availability.



    Two new Lake Washington schools designed to enhance learning, conserve natural resources

    Adds space for 1,380 elementary students in rapidly growing district

    Redmond, Wash. – Students in Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will have a little more space to learn this fall. Two new elementary schools will open in September: Ella Baker Elementary, located in the Redmond Ridge East Community (9595 Eastridge Drive NE, Redmond); and Clara Barton Elementary, located in North Redmond (12101 172nd Avenue NE, Redmond).

    These schools were approved by voters in 2016 and each school will provide additional space for 690 students. The first day of school for students in the Lake Washington School District is September 4.  Kindergarten students begin September 7.

    “We are excited to open these two new elementary schools,” said Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent. “As the district continues to grow, we are building new schools, expanding opportunities, and improving our existing programs. We value our partnership with parents, families, and the community, as we collectively support all our students."

    The new schools are named after Ella Baker, a civil-rights leader and mentor, and Clara Barton, a teacher and founder of the American Red Cross. These two women made a difference by dedicating their lives to service – a cornerstone of learning stressed by the principals of each school, Kim Bilanko and Karen Barker.

    Spaces for learning
    Both new schools will feature 30 standard classrooms, plus music, art/science rooms, English Learner (EL), Safety Net and Special Education spaces, a library, a cafeteria/commons, a gymnasium and an outdoor covered play area.

    Learning will extend beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. Sliding NanaWalls (bi-folding doors) open to shared learning spaces in each classroom wing. These flexible spaces, also included in other modernized LWSD schools, increase opportunities for collaboration and reflect an emphasis on project-based learning.

    New SMART interactive boards will replace Activboards. All schools in Lake Washington are receiving SMART interactive boards over the next two years. Students interact with these electronic panels much like they would their own touch devices. Watch SMART boards in action.

    Sustainable design
    With LED lights and geothermal temperature control, future Ella Baker bears and Clara Barton bobcats will learn in schools designed to conserve resources as well as enrich learning. Sustainable geothermal loops will help keep the building a comfortable temperature. Water in the pipes warms (or cools) underground before returning to the surface. The heat is extracted to help control the temperature in the schools.

    Conservation helps the environment and it also helps the district save money. In addition to energy savings from the geothermal heat system, occupancy sensors in each room turn lights off when no one is in the room.

    Building materials were selected to reduce maintenance costs. Recycled materials were used where possible to reduce the impact on the environment. The lobbies at both schools feature wooden benches crafted with Douglas fir reclaimed from each site.

    Building on Success
    Ella Baker and Clara Barton elementary schools are two of eight bond projects approved by voters in April 2016. By fall 2020, the program, known as Building on Success, will provide space for an additional 3,000 students.

    To ensure cost-effective design and efficient use of space – as outlined by the Long-Term Facilities Task Force – the district assembled a panel of local experts to weigh in on the 2016 bond projects as they were developed. This Design and Construction Advisory Committee provided advice on each project during design development, and provided feedback on schedules, budget, materials, site layout, risk mitigation and more. LWSD is one of the fastest growing districts in the state. From 2010 to 2017, enrollment grew an average of 700 students per year. Enrollment in 2017-18 was 29,572, with growth projected to continue.

    Ella Baker Elementary School was designed by DLR Group and built by Lydig Construction. Clara Barton Elementary School was designed by BLRB Architects and built by BNBuilders Construction. Construction management services were provided by OAC Services.


    Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington. It is the third largest district in the state of Washington, with over 29,500 students in 54 schools.