Lake Washington School District (LWSD) recognized the many community partners, business leaders, elected officials and parent leaders who support the district at its Community Leaders Breakfast on Nov. 14.
This annual event is part of American Education Week and seeks to raise awareness of the importance of public education while informing the nation of the accomplishments and needs of public schools.
“We all have to do this together. It’s one community in terms of supporting kids,” LWSD Superintendent Dr. Jane Stavem said in a press release.
According to the release, the district is committed to making sure students have the best opportunities to excel and succeed now and in the future. At the breakfast, Stavem talked about the Four One, For All initiative the district has undertaken. Four learning communities — one school district — for all kids.
LWSD is divided into four learning communities represented by four comprehensive high schools (Eastlake, Juanita, Lake Washington and Redmond). Beginning this month and continuing through the school year, Stavem and other senior leaders will be engaging the community in a process to envision the future of the school district, the release states.
“We’ll be charting a new course for an updated strategic plan; updating our student profile that defines the knowledge, skills and attributes every student should have; and planning for the future of our district facilities,” the release reads.
Stavem spent time at the breakfast updating attendees with information about the growth and success of students throughout the district. The graduation rate for the class of 2018 rose to 93.6 percent, the release states, the highest LWSD has ever had.
The district continues to be the third-largest district in the state with 29,987 students. LWSD has 417 more students this year, the increase following 10 straight years of enrollment increases, according to the release. Only the Seattle and Spokane school districts are larger.
In terms of handling this continued growth, work has begun, and is completed in some cases, on all the projects that have been funded as a result of the April 2016 bond measure approved by voters, according to the release. This includes building two new elementary schools (completed) and one new middle school in the Redmond learning community, as well as the renovation of Juanita High School and Peter Kirk Elementary in Kirkland, Mead Elementary in Sammamish and Explorer Community School (completed) in Redmond. The Old Redmond Schoolhouse will also be renovated for use as an early learning center. More information on these projects can be found on the Building on Success section of the LWSD website.
Attendees at last month’s event completed a writing activity that allowed them to share their hopes and dreams for the future of the district. As they worked through the writing process, the group was shown a video about the importance of innovation and thinking differently about how to define schools of the future.
The event closed with a tabletop discussion between Stavem and two students from Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School. The superintendent asked the fourth and fifth grader what they would like to see in the classroom that would help prepare them better for their future. An idea from one of the students was to provide electives to not just middle and high school students, but to elementary students as well.