August 6, 2020
Dear LWSD Families,
We knew from the onset of our planning process that we would receive information that shifted our thinking, planning, and efforts. On July 23, you heard from me that, based on a review of available data and guidance, Lake Washington would be starting the school year with the majority of students learning remotely. Since that date, we have continued to actively work on plans to create the best possible experience for each student in Lake Washington.
This has included actions such as:
- Providing professional learning for staff;
- Developing a plan to provide a laptop to any student that needs one;
- Adopting Microsoft Teams as our single learning platform for student/teacher interaction;
- Creating systems to support students that are unable to participate in planned instruction/activities;
- Defining for each grade level the amount of live instruction (synchronous learning) vs. individual work/learning (asynchronous) time;
- Expanding access and redefining mental health supports at elementary, middle, and high school levels; and
- Documenting and developing training related to the health and safety procedures for when students and staff are on campus.
This is only a glimpse into the tremendous amount of work that is being done by staff at all levels as we prepare for the opening of school on September 1.
New Model for Evaluating Schools:
Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference to announce the release of metrics and benchmarks for school districts to evaluate when and how to return to in-person teaching and learning. The “Decision Tree” was developed by the Washington Department of Health based on requests from multiple stakeholder groups; one of which was school district superintendents from across the state.
The model for decision making is based on “number of cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.”
The Decision Tree separates districts into three categories:
- High Risk: >75 cases/100K over the last 14 days
- Moderate Risk: 25-75 cases/100K over the last 14 days
- Low Risk: <25 cases/100K over the last 14 days
With each risk level, the model provides recommendations for education modality and extracurricular activities. Currently, Lake Washington, like the majority of districts in the State of Washington, is in the High-Risk category and the model recommends remote learning for the majority of students as well as canceling/postponing extra-curricular activities including sports, performances, clubs and events.
We will shift our planning to align with this model as it provides a consistent approach for all districts in the state while providing needed levels of flexibility. This model plus the additional factors of: (1) King County Public Health Dashboard Key Indicators, (2) availability of rapid testing and contact tracing, (3) staff availability due to high-risk status, and (4) student learning data; will help us make decisions to phase students back to in-person learning.
Current COVID Related Data:
Data Point: Cases/100K
As of yesterday, King County is at 91 cases/100K over the last 14 days. This places Lake Washington in the High-Risk category.
Lake Washington’s planning and current actions do not change since the decision was made on July 23 to move most students to remote learning.
Data Point: Transmission Rate
Transmission rate is at 1.1 and the target set by King County is <1.0.
Analysis: Transmission Rate
It is important that the entire community understand that transmission rate is directly connected to “cases/100K”. We each have a responsibility to do our part to slow the spread of the virus which will change conditions and allow for movement towards phasing students back to in-person learning.
Data Point: Testing Capacity
King County is significantly below their stated target for testing capacity. Currently, King County is at 31 tests per positive result and the target is 50 or more.
Analysis: Testing Capacity
Once in-person learning begins it is critical that testing capacity is available for staff and students. When there is a suspected case, long wait times to be tested will have a significant impact on that classroom and school.
Data Point: Test Timeliness
To address the spread of the virus, those with symptoms need immediate availability to be tested. King County is currently testing individuals within 3 days of initial symptoms. The target set by King County is equal to or less than 2 days of initial symptoms.
Analysis: Test Timeliness
Identifying symptoms and being able to take quick action will be critical for staff and students once we return to in-person learning. This will allow for significantly less closure due to possible exposure.
|Data Reference: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data/key-indicators.aspx|
Again, I want to thank each of you for continuing to work through this with us. As a District we are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students and staff while also planning for high-quality instruction.
ACTION REQUIRED – Please confirm your student’s information in Family Access. Student Information Verification is now open from August 6-August 16.
Each summer we ask families to confirm student information and emergency contacts through an online process called Student Information Verification. This process helps to ensure we have accurate information for emergencies and helps us confirm enrollments for class sizes and scheduling. We are also providing the 2020-21 Parent Handbook, Nurse Alert and State Immunization forms through this year’s process. This Student Information Verification process is open August 6 through August 16.
Here are the steps to confirm your student(s) enrollment:
- Log in to Skyward Family Access.
- Click on “Go to Student Information Verification for (Student Name)” or click on the “Student Information Verification” button.
- Click on your student’s name.
- Verify your student’s information.
- For each step, click "Complete Step # and move to Step #" at the bottom of the screen when done. A check mark will appear next to each item.
- Click on “Next Step” on the right-hand panel of your screen to go through the different items to verify or click on the actual line item.
- Review and request changes for each of the steps below:
Step #1: Verify Student Information:
- Student Information
- Family Address
- Family Information
- Emergency Contacts
Please note: The online system asks for your home phone number. This should be your primary contact number. It does not need to be a landline phone.
Step #2: Verify Military Family Affiliation
Step #3: Fill out Nurse Alert Form
Step #4: Review and update the WA State Immunization Information System Form
Step #5: Review the Parent Information Booklet
Step #6: Complete the Student Housing Questionnaire (optional form)
Step #7: Free and Reduced Lunch Application (optional form)
Step #8: Native American Education Program (optional form
Step #9: Verify your Skylert notification preferences (optional form)
Step #10: Complete Student Information Verification. Review all items to ensure they have a green check mark next to them.
- Click “Submit Student Information Verification”. (Important Note: Verification is not complete until you submit.)
- Repeat these steps to go through the verification process again for each of your students.
Please note: If a student has two families in the Skyward system, only the first family needs to verify the student information. If you recently registered online with the school district, we still ask that you still complete this verification process to ensure all information is accurate.
If your student is withdrawing from the Lake Washington School District, please send an email with the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Student First Name and Last Name:
- Student Birthdate:
- Lake Washington School Attended during the 2019-20 School Year:
- Public, Private, or Homeschool your student will be attending during the 2020-21 School Year:
Special Needs Community:
LWSD is looking into both remote and in-person services for our students with special needs. We are planning to provide an update with more details by August 10, 2020. Parents with questions about individual student needs will be able to reach out to case managers when they return in August.
We are working with our community partners, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, and our district extended day program to be offering childcare at a number of our elementary schools. They are currently working on their program models and fees. We hope to post registration information on our website by mid-August.
For our childcare offerings this fall, we expect to have smaller numbers of children/staff at each school, the ratios between staff and students will be small due to Health Department Requirements. It is important to note that childcare is not the same as school. Children will not be with a certificated teacher all day, rather a childcare staff member. They will be able to assist the students with their remote learning as needed.
LWSD will not be offering interscholastic athletics this fall at the middle school or high school level.
On July 28, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced modifications to the 2020-21 sports season schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The high school sports calendar will move from a three-season model to a four-season model. This schedule will move the official seasons for the fall sports of Football, Girls’ Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, Girls’ Swim/Dive, Slowpitch Softball, Boys’ Golf and Boys’ Tennis to spring (Season 3). You can see the new high school sports schedule here.
Middle School sports seasons will be determined at a later date.
Free Meal Service Extended:
LWSD’s free meal service for all children ages 1-18 has been extended through August 14. The program was scheduled to end on August 7. Visit the Free Meals page of the LWSD website for more information: www.lwsd.org/meals
REMINDER - Pandemic EBT: Emergency Schools Meal Program
Your child may be eligible for a new food assistance program called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides families with funds to make up the cost of meals while school was closed. This benefit is for ALL children in Washington who receive free or reduced-price school meals. These benefits will be on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card which is used like a debit card to buy groceries.
For additional Information about the P-EBT Program, visit the OSPI website here: k12.wa.us/PEBT.
We are continuously working on updating the FAQ for the website. You can see our latest version here.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District