August 21, 2020


Dear LWSD Families:

It is that time of year when familiar routines remind us that another school year is about to begin. Internally, we have welcomed our new staff through job specific orientation; administrators participated in annual professional learning and planning sessions; our new teaching staff was welcomed and started their week-long training program; our office professionals held their professional learning and training day; our custodians and bus drivers held their in-service training; and all teachers and certificated staff and many of our support staff are preparing to return to work next week. While these routines are familiar, we are acutely aware of how different the start of school will be this year. Externally, families are preparing for what will be a different start to the year as well. Many families have participated in laptop/textbook pick up procedures at their child’s school, school supplies are purchased, and learning spaces are being prepared. District staff and families are both focused on the same outcome, positive learning and success for every student. Your partnership is greatly appreciated, and our staff looks forward to providing a rigorous and beneficial learning experience for your child.

LWSD Hosts Two Live Events:
Earlier this week, a number of District administrators provided updates during two Live Broadcast events. Each evening, over 3,600 viewers participated in the Live Broadcast. On Tuesday evening, participants heard about the District’s Equity work, Elementary Education, and Special Education Services. On Wednesday evening, participants heard about Secondary Education, Family Technology Supports, and Health & Safety. I greatly appreciate our administrators for putting their presentations together and we hope this was beneficial for all participants. Each broadcast was recorded and is available on the Return to School Task Force webpage.

Updated Virus Modeling Information:
Last Friday, the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) released an updated report related to reopening schools. This report, Maximizing education while minimizing COVID risk, is supplemental modeling to their earlier report, Schools are not islands. The resulting findings continue to point to transmission rates needing to be consistently below 1.0 to allow for additional in-person teaching and learning opportunities. The report concludes by expressing the tension foundational to our current situation. Current conditions are such that opening schools for all students would lead to an accelerated spread of the virus and that it is the entire community implementing mitigating measures that will create the conditions for schools to phase students back to school for in-person learning.

Child Care Information:
The LWSD website was updated with Child Care resources on Monday, August 17. As a reminder, these childcare services are to provide emergency or critical support for families that cannot otherwise be with their children during the day due to work responsibilities outside of the home. Please visit the Child Care page for more information or to register: https://www.lwsd.org/covid-19/child-care-resources

Sincerely,

Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District