Lake Washington School District has been growing on average 600 students per year (the size of one large elementary school) – to 30,000 students. Our current educational model needs to adapt to meet the demands of the 21st Century, to allow our students to become future leaders and engaged citizens. Of critical importance in the next few years will be the development of creative options for where, how, and what we teach the next generation of students.
Provide healthy learning environments
Our community and students need schools where all feel safe and welcomed – physically, emotionally and socially. We need to build new buildings and update old ones. But while physical facility changes are important and can increase a sense of security, that alone will not create a healthy school climate. A school climate that celebrates diversity and respects all individuals and their talents must be developed in a way that welcomes and fosters inclusion for the well-being of our students, families and staff.
We have been making progress ensuring excellent learning spaces.
- Passed a capital bond and capital levy
- Switched to green portables like SAGE
- Established Design and Construction Advisory Committee
We have also been making progress addressing students’ social and emotional needs.
- Funded social workers at our high schools
- Implemented social-emotional learning curricula
- Funded additional school nurses
Ensure opportunities for every student
We need to meet all students where they are so they can reach their potential. LWSD is a high-performing school district in many of the traditional measures, however, not all students have the opportunity to explore areas of interest, deepen understanding of topics or to receive additional academic help. We need to expand opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, for all students to succeed regardless of background or characteristics (i.e. race, ethnicity, language, ability status, gender, socio-economic status).
We have been expanding student opportunities.
- Improved on-time graduation rates to 93.6%
- Expanded highly-capable programs
- Implemented AVID and support for College Bound
- Implemented a District Equity Team, School Equity Teams and hired a Director of Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion
- Expanded to a 7-period day at high schools
- Added world language opportunities, such as American Sign Language (ASL) and dual-language (Spanish) immersion program
Adapt to a rapidly changing environment
The LWSD area is rich with technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity. The changing demographics in our region and the growing international population have brought additional viewpoints that enhance and strengthen our community. Technology is advancing at a pace quicker than our education system is designed to incorporate, and our students are living in a world that changes on a daily basis. All this change requires an approach to education that facilitates how to learn – not to deliver knowledge. We must provide students with the opportunity to create, build, and experiment in ways that are not rote and allow for students to design their own learning.
We have been creating new ways to educate.
Build partnerships and connections
A high quality education that prepares students to be future-ready requires strong relationships and partnerships across all stakeholders in public education. We must engage with students in the classroom; engage with families as equal partners in a child’s education; and engage with community and businesses to leverage resources, generate ideas and build commitments to a strong public education system.
We created opportunities for parent and community involvement.
- Curriculum Adoption committees
- Long-term Facilities Task Force
- School Start Time Advisory
- Dyslexia and Foundational Literacy Committee
- Community Engagement forums to update the Strategic Plan
We strengthened partnerships and collaborations.