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 yesterday morning. 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.
“With your support, we can reach our vision of Every Student Future Ready,” said Dr. Traci Pierce, LWSD superintendent, in a press release.
Attendees at yesterday’s event heard the district’s story through the eyes of three students who were filmed for a video titled, “A Day in the Life.” Three students were filmed over the course of a school day so that the community leaders could see what it is like to be an elementary, middle and high school student in LWSD. The district’s technology program, English Learner program, music programs and high academic standards were featured, along with the amazing accomplishments of the students.
The District’s story continued with Dr. Pierce sharing more information about LWSD. The graduation rate for the class of 2017 rose to 93 percent, and 80 percent of students graduating enroll in post-secondary education. LWSD continues to be the third-largest district in the state with 29,572 students. LWSD has 564 more students this year, the increase following 10 straight years of enrollment increases. Only the Seattle and Spokane school districts are larger.
Work has begun on all the projects that will be funded as a result of the April 2016 bond measure approved by voters. This includes building two new elementary schools 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 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.
Dr. Pierce spoke about the upcoming February 2018 bond, replacement capital levy, and replacement educational programs and operations levy.
This bond and two levies will help LWSD to: provide students with the best learning environments possible and provide classrooms for their ever-growing student population; ensure their students have safe school facilities and access to technology for learning; and ensure their students have access to the staff, programs, and course offerings to be successful and graduate future ready.
Dr. Pierce also spoke about the district’s ongoing efforts to use resources effectively and be fiscally responsible. For example, in 2014 the district saved taxpayers $17.3 million through bond refinancing. LWSD saved taxpayers an additional $6.9 million through bond refinancing in 2016.
Attendees also worked through a writing activity that allowed them an opportunity to share their story about a teacher who influenced them. They worked through the writing process including collecting ideas, developing those ideas, working with a partner to further develop their ideas, and then drafting their story.
The event closed with a performance by third grade students from Lakeview Elementary. They thanked attendees for their support and involvement in helping students in the Lake Washington School District.