News

Redmond, Wash. – The Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Board of Directors has selected Dr. Jon Holmen to be the next Lake Washington School District Superintendent. They announced their decision on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Redmond, Wash. – The Lake Washington School District has been following guidance from Public Health in an effort to stay open as long as possible. In light of the current information shared today by our elected officials, we believe it is time to plan for alternative ways to serve our community and families. 

In collaboration with our School Board of Directors and our Lake Washington Education Association, we have made the decision to close all schools from March 12 through March 27, and re-evaluate any further closures during that time. 

In light of today’s news about a King County resident’s death related to the Coronavirus (or COVID-19), and that additional cases are anticipated, we wanted to reach out to share what Lake Washington School District (LWSD) is doing to monitor and prepare for a potential increase in frequency of the Coronavirus in our schools.  

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    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

    Support during school closure March 12 - April 24

    Remote learning resources
    Grab and Go Student Meals
    Childcare services
    Community Resources

    Most recent update

    March 27, 2020

    This communication is to provide you with the latest updates about how we’re supporting learning during our closure. Normally, we would not include so much information at one time, but we want to make sure our students, staff and families are well informed as we move forward. We will also be posting this information in a more “digestible” format on our website early next week.

    Our district’s learning services teams, principals and teachers have been working since before the closure to plan for how we can continue student learning during the major disruption to our normal school year caused by COVID-19. Though our school buildings have been closed, our educators have been working hard to develop and provide supplemental, enrichment and reinforcement educational resources so that students can continue to learn.

    As we mentioned in our communication on Wednesday, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recently provided school districts with updated guidance regarding teaching and learning supports and meeting class of 2020 graduation requirements. These new expectations call for districts to plan for student learning on a weekly basis, deliver flexible instruction, check for student learning, and make instructional adjustments. This call to action will require significant efforts. Nonetheless, the guidance gives us the opportunity to build upon the work we’ve already started.

    Moving forward, we will work to help students progress in their learning using our district curriculum. This learning will include the most essential areas for each subject area and reinforce habits that support continued learning and assist students in being able to transition back to school. At the secondary level it will also allow students to resume earning credit for courses.

    Included below you will find an update of our efforts to date and plans moving forward to support student learning in the likelihood that we are closed for the remainder of the school year. Our plans were developed using guidance from OSPI, the Continuous Learning Task Force Guidance from the Kansas Department of Education, and in consultation with regional districts. The timing and items actions in the plan are intended to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that our teachers are equipped to provide meaningful learning for students. This information is not exhaustive, and we will likely need to adjust as the Coronavirus situation develops, and as we receive new guidance and learn from our experience. While the plans for remote learning have been developed through the end of the year, we are also planning for the event that students return to school before June 19.

    Work to Date:

    • Developed and posted supplemental, enrichment and reinforcement learning resources for students and families. These included learning activities for preschool, elementary, secondary and special education. Also included were tools and strategies for families including sample schedules.
    • Trained teachers and provided guidance for the use of our existing digital tools to support supplemental, enrichment and reinforcement learning during a closure. These include PowerSchool Learning, OneNote, Outlook, and district digital supplemental curriculum tools.
    • Distributed laptops to over 700 students and set up approximately 500 wi-fi hotspots for students in our district who do not have internet access at home.
    • Developed and are providing weekly supplemental, enrichment and reinforcement learning resources for students and are communicating with families.

    March 30 – April 3:
    Professional Learning for LWSD Curriculum-Based Remote Learning

    • Teachers will continue to provide supplemental, enrichment and reinforcement resources for the week as they develop their skills and knowledge to deliver our district curriculum remotely.
    • Secondary teachers will collect and grade work assigned or completed prior to school closure.
    • District staff will continue contacting families to determine if additional supports are needed to access learning resources.
    • District staff will distribute printed learning resources for grades K-5 starting March 30 at 18 school pickup sites. Information about these resources will be emailed to directly to families this week and next.
    • We are developing a voluntary, limited trial of the use of graded, curriculum-based remote learning tools and resources to inform our remote learning efforts that will begin district wide on April 20. Teachers participating in this trial will reach out to families with more information.
    • Teachers will participate in remote training and be provided guidance to:
      • Use existing digital platforms to deliver LWSD curriculum-based content remotely.
      • Assess and provide feedback to students on their work.
      • Provide course credit for students at the secondary level. 
    • Special education teachers and related services staff will contact families on their caseload, and determine which students need additional supports.
    • Counselors will continue to review progress of seniors and will begin reaching out to students who need additional support to stay on track for graduation.
    • The district will form a “Continuous Learning Work Group" that includes teachers, school administrators and district staff to continue to develop resources, support and professional development for remote learning, and to monitor and provide feedback on our efforts.

    April 6-10:
    Scheduled Spring Break

    Lake Washington School District will follow our planned/calendared spring break.

    April 13 – April 17:
    Planning and Preparation for LWSD Curriculum-Based Remote Learning

    • On Monday, teachers will provide the last set of supplemental, enrichment and reinforcement resources for the week as we prepare to transition to curriculum-based remote learning.
    • Teachers will communicate with families about new learning expectations to start the week of April 20.
    • Teachers will have otherwise limited contact with families during this week as they prepare to move to the next phase of student learning connected to the LWSD curriculum.
    • Teachers will have time to work to work in their teams, participate in professional learning, and to plan and prepare content for the following week that is connected to Lake Washington School District approved curriculum and that can be delivered remotely.
    • Teachers may begin using video conferencing resources on a voluntary, trial basis. More information about these resources will be shared soon.
    • Using guidance from our district Continuous Learning Work Group, teachers will work collaboratively with teams to plan and prepare for grading. At the secondary level teachers will also plan for assigning credit using this guidance.

    April 20 – April 25:
    Implementation of LWSD Curriculum-Based Remote Learning

    • Preschool students will have 30 - 60 minutes of assigned learning each day.
    • Elementary students will have assigned learning each day as described below:
      • K-1 students: approximately 1-1.5 hours/day, 5-7.5 hours/week
      • 2-3 students: approximately 1-2 hours/day, 5-10 hours/week
      • 4-5 students: approximately 2-3 hours/day, 10-15 hours/week
    • Elementary Music and PE teachers will send one learning activity per grade level each week. This activity will be in addition to the activities assigned by elementary teachers.
    • Secondary students will have approximately 3-5 hours of assigned learning each day. This will include approximately 30-45 minutes per class per day or 15-25 hours/week.
    • Teachers will be encouraged to work with grade level, content area and school teams to coordinate work sent to students.
    • Secondary teachers will begin to enter graded assignments into Skyward. We will work with teachers and consult with state guidance to determine if/how semester letter grades can be assigned or if a pass/fail semester grade will be used. We will have more information to share with staff and families in the coming weeks.
    • Each Monday, teachers will post assignments and communicate with families about the new learning expectations for the week. This could be a schedule for the week with daily activities or a longer project to be completed over multiple days.
    • Special Education, English Learner and Safety Net teachers will send their expectations to their students and collaborate with classroom teachers.
    • Tuesday through Friday, teachers will check in and connect with students and collect assignments as they are due. Teachers may consider setting office hours as well. We encourage teachers to set up times for classes to check in and support student-to-student interaction. Additional information about tools, strategies and guidelines will be provided for teachers in this area.

    April 25 – June 19:
    Continuation and Monitoring of LWSD Curriculum-Based Remote Learning

    Our current plans are to continue with the work started in the week of April 20. At the same time, we recognize that we may need to adjust based on what we learn as we move to this new form of curriculum-based remote learning. For example, it may be necessary to adjust daily/weekly learning time, use different district digital tools, or respond to new/updated state or federal guidance. We continue to plan for our scheduled end date of June 19.

    We also know that, given the challenges and variability in environments, our students may not learn at the same rate as they would have under normal circumstances. We will continue to do our best to address these challenges as we learn together in this very new environment.

    Additional Information:

    Third Quarter Grades
    We will not be providing third quarter progress reports this year. Quarterly grades are intended to communicate progress to students and families. With the closure of our schools, we have limited information to provide meaningful information about this progress. It’s also important to note that third quarter grades do not appear on transcripts nor are they reported to colleges and universities. Teachers will be collecting, and grading student work assigned from before the closure and entering this work into gradebooks. Moving forward, we will also be asking teachers to enter graded assignments so that we can ensure secondary students can continue to earn credit for courses. This will be particularly important in high school where students need credits for graduation. We will work with teachers and consult with state guidance to determine if/how we can assign letter semester grades for courses and will have more information to share with staff families in the coming weeks.

    Seniors/Class of 2020
    We are prioritizing meeting specific graduation requirement needs for seniors. As mentioned above, we are planning to resume assignments and grading for credit so students can stay on track for graduation. Our counselors will be determining which classes and credits seniors need to complete to meet credit requirements for graduation. This includes assessing current class schedules and reaching out to students who need additional support. We are currently developing options for seniors to stay on track for graduation, including completing work in courses remotely, and the ability to waive some elective credit requirements.

    In addition, at the end of the 2020 Legislative Session, legislators granted the State Board of Education authority to administer an emergency waiver program to provide flexibility to districts to ensure students who were “on track to graduate before the gubernatorial declaration of emergency” are not negatively impacted by measures taken in response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

    The State Board of Education is currently creating a process to temporarily grant districts additional flexibility to waive the requirement of certain credits in order to graduate, provided students make a good faith effort. Additional rulemaking or guidance from the State Board will provide clarification on this later. As soon as we have more information about waivers, we will provide updates for families.

    Currently, we are planning all our graduation ceremonies in June. As of now, no dates or times have been changed. We have also started to plan for alternatives to graduation ceremonies in case we are not able to run them as planned. We will have more information about ceremonies in the coming weeks and as the novel Coronavirus situation develops.

    Advanced Placement
    We have been working with the College Board to get the latest information about Advanced Placement courses and testing. The most recent information from the College Board about testing is summarized below.

    • Students may take a 45-minute online exam at home.
    • For each AP subject there will be two testing dates.
    • The exam will only include topics and skills most teachers already covered in class by early March. (For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.)
    • The specific test dates and the free-response question types will be posted by April 3, 2020.
    • The College Board will offer free online AP exam study resources starting March 25 for all subjects: Click here to learn more.
    • The College Board has not provided any information regarding how they will support students who have testing accommodations; We have been informed that there will be there will be more information provided on April 3, 2020.
    • Logistics:
      • Students may test on any device they have access to – computer, tablet, or smartphone.
      • There is flexibility for students with technology challenges to assure they have the tools and connectivity they need. You can contact the College Board Directly here.
      • Students are highly encouraged to take the test but can choose to cancel the test at no charge.

    We encourage all students who have registered for an AP Exam to proceed with their plans to take it. We are committed to supporting students through the AP Exam process. We will continue to provide an update after April 3, 2020 and as needed moving forward.

    YouTube Access
    Lake Washington School District takes the safety and security of students very seriously. The District is held accountable for data and cyber safety through the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) helps interpret these regulations as districts and other organizations work to comply with the responsibility to keep students and their data safe and secure. Additionally, the Federal Department of Education has provided guidance on FERPA and Virtual Leaning Related Resources as additional clarification is needed by all K-12 districts.

    Currently, there are outside organizations that are requiring students to access learning materials via YouTube. Lake Washington School District does not have a stance on the quality of YouTube, but it has been determined that YouTube is not a site that complies with a school district’s obligations for keeping students safe. Due to this evaluation of YouTube, Lake Washington has had this site blocked from student use for many years.

    Given this unique point in our history, we are seeking new avenues to be able to provide the required content, so students can continue their learning in these courses.

    All Updates - Click on date to read full post

    We know that students and families continue to have questions about education during this uncertain time. Our school district is working to provide answers to specific questions, including grading, course completion, graduation requirements, dates, and many other things affected by these school closures.

    Earlier this week the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provided school districts with updated information and guidance regarding teaching and learning supports that school districts may provide to students and families during the school closures, and meeting class of 2020 graduation requirements. We are currently reviewing the information from OSPI and will provide updated information for our staff, students and families by the end of the week.

    Dear Lake Washington School District Families, 

    Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the challenges of this global pandemic as a community. These are difficult times as we continue to hear sad and concerning news from our local community, state, nation and around the world. The hardships many are experiencing due to school and business closures create additional challenges and anxiety. We know that people seek certainty during times of uncertainty, and unfortunately, that is a challenge to provide on some topics. Having said that, we want to provide you with an update on our current efforts to support student learning as we navigate this complex and evolving situation with COVID 19 (Coronavirus) and resulting school closures. 

    Learning resources for students are available now on the “School Closure and Support” section of our district website. Links to these resources are below:
    •    Preschool Learning Resources
    •    Elementary Learning Resources
    •    Secondary Learning Resources
    •    Special Education Learning Resources

    Lake Washington School District (LWSD) is committed to supporting our children and community through these unprecedented times.

    LWSD will be closed from March 12 to April 24, 2020. Following are updates regarding nutrition, supervision, activities, trips, and educational services during this time period. 

    We will continue to provide regular updates as more details emerge or if guidance from the Governor’s Office, OPSI, or Public Health changes.

    Free Grab & Go Meals For All Students 

    Just a quick reminder that student meals (both breakfast and lunch) are being offered to students during our school closures. Meals must be ordered by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow (March 16, 2020) for pick-up on Monday, March 16. Meals will be distributed at the six middle schools where our base kitchens are:

    • Finn Hill Middle School
    • Inglewood Middle School
    • Kamiakin Middle School
    • Redmond Middle School
    • Rose Hill Middle School 
    • Timberline Middle School