October 19, 2020

Dear LWSD Families,

Last week I indicated that Lake Washington was holding on our implementation of returning K-1 learners in-person as we continue to align our decision-making processes with the Washington Department of Health Decision Tree and the data reported by King County Public Health.

As promised in last week’s message, this week, I want to provide you with additional information about what the transition will look like when we do determine a date for students to return to school in-person. This transition will provide a timeline for transition, training and implementation; and will take into account staff, student and family needs to realign schedules and work.

Key Messages:

  • COVID-19 rates continue to increase in King County.
  • Lake Washington continues to be designated as a High-Risk District per Washington Department of Health Decision Tree.
  • High-Risk categorization causes the District to pause implementation but not pause planning efforts.
  • The District is continuing active preparation for in-person learning. 
  • A Process for Transition model provides additional details about moving from remote learning for all students to remote and in-person learning for a full grade level. 
  • The District is developing a survey for students, staff and parents related to remote learning to launch on November 2.

Current Health and Safety Data:
King County schools continue to be listed as high-risk per the Washington Department of Health Decision Tree. These data help us in our planning to know when conditions are such that we can begin to bring back students for in-person learning.

King County Public Health Data:
Transmission Rate
King County Public Health targets a transmission rate less than 1.0 to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Current transmission rate in King County is at 1.5 (reported 10/14/20).

Cases per 100,000 residents:  
King County Public Health targets cases per 100,000 to be under 25. The Decision Tree places districts in the high-risk category when they have cases over 75 per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days. 

  • Currently, King County has 93 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days (reported 10/12/20). 

As a District we continue to monitor the local case rates across our district. King County Public Health reports case rates per 100,000 residents in four distinct areas across Lake Washington School District. It should be noted that Lake Washington serves about half of the City of Sammamish. Cases have varied over time in the four areas located within Lake Washington School District.

Date Range Reported 9/4/20 - 9/18/20 9/19/20 - 10/3/20 10/4/20 - 10/18/20
Kirkland 26.1 39.7 47.7
Redmond 41.1 52.2 44.3
Union Hill 36.3 40.8 27.2
Sammamish 32.8 40.6 26.5

Cases per 100,00 over 14 days by city/area

The Return to School Task Force workgroups are continuing their efforts to finalize details and plans in preparation for implementation when conditions are such that we can move forward. Our workgroup and bargaining teams are also working to finalize the K-1 in-person model so that it can be shared with staff and the broader community.

Process for Transition:
Lake Washington School District will continue to partner with King County Public Health regarding our effort to return students to in-person learning. When the transmission rate and case rates are such that we are in the Moderate-Risk category, we will target a timeline for returning to in-person learning. We anticipate having a three-week period of transition from the date we announce a return to the date that students would return to in-person learning. In preparation for future transition, we are currently developing possible classroom configurations that meet health and safety requirements.

Stakeholder Survey:
The District is developing surveys to seek input and feedback from students, families and staff regarding their experience with remote learning. This will allow the district to make adjustments to improve the implementation of remote learning for staff and students. The survey will be released on November 2.

As we continue working through these challenges, we appreciate the ongoing support and feedback related to these efforts.


Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District