LW School District No 414


CONTACT:  Kathryn Reith for your questions, comments and public records requests

Public Comment is usually taken during the Regular Meetings on the first Monday of the month, 7PM, District HQ near Redmond Town Center.

EDITORIAL: According to Lake Washington School District BY-LAWS, "The job of the Board is to represent the citizens and to lead the organization by asking critical questions and by determining and demanding appropriate and excellent organizational performance."

School Board of Directors are elected officials and are each authorized a $4,800/yr stipend to work with due diligence to represent their constituents and lead the Administration.  They waive their stipend for personal compensation. They spend part of their stipend for an annual retreat and may spend it for election campaigns (not sure).   A proclamation by Governor Inslee thanking school board members for their volunteerism weakens the Board's over-sight of our District Superintendent and Board accountability to their constituents. Though improving, in my opinion, the Board doesn't  "demand excellent organizational performance" from the Administration.

Infrastructure and facility needs are still not aligned with population growth owing to the Board and Superintendent's failure to pass two recent Bond they made progress with passage of the 2016 bond...but there's three more bonds to go.

Bond funding policy, re-boundary policy,facilities planning policy and regional feeder school adjustment policy are examples of when the BOARD's voice, active representation and administrative oversight is expected yet not fully achieved.

The Lake Washington School District has over 98,987 registered voters (2/2011). Yet, when the KIMBALL BOARD "asked the community" in 2005 if they should run a bond to completely overhaul and rebuild the schools only 427 citizens responded.  Community involvement in the decision making process reached a low point under KIMBALL. The PIERCE BOARD needs to "lead the organization" (By-Laws) with updated Decision-Making Policy language to involve the greater community in a timely manner.  Tracy Pierce has made great strides to this end by implementing a Regional Advisory Task Force on Facilities in preparation for the 2016 Bond.

"Community Involvement in Decision Making Policy" verbiage was adapted 12/2/74, last revised May 7, 1990 and is over twenty-two years old. The Board and Superintendent needs to update these governance policies to be more effective and accountable to their constituents.  Perhaps they have.

By Bob Yoder

Washington State Education Ombudsman - here to help you!
2011  6-Year Capital Facility Plan, 2010 - 2015 ,   This important document was removed from the  LWSD website.


Lake Washington School Foundation Volunteer Programs

Lake Washington School District Website

School Board of Directors LWSD Website

Board Meeting Videos  LWSD Website

How residents and tax-payers can volunteer to help our students

Public is allowed to speak once a month to the Board of Directors and Superintendent for approximately 3 minutes/month at their "Regular Business Meeting" on the 1st Monday of the month. Arrive early to sign-in for Public Comment. Public Comment is also taken during "Budget Readings". The meetings are usually held a 7 pm and  they held at 5:30 pm. but without public comment.

School Board Meetings, Public Comment days, and Work Session Meeting schedule is here. Email Kathryn Reith to confirm the meeting times and public comment period, kreith@lwsd.org.

The BOARD meets with Superintendent Pierce during bi-monthly "Work Study Sessions." The public may watch from the gallary in the Hughes Room, 1st floor. Sessions are held on the same day as the two "Regular Public Meetings," usually at 5:30 pm before the regular meeting. (email kreith@lwsd.org to confirm). These work sessions are a very good way to learn how our Board of Directors asks critical questions, determines appropriate superintendent performance, and leads the organization. Bring a snack, if you'd like. Study Sessions aren't taped. Minutes are taken only to document the Session topic and attendance. Handouts of PowerPoint presentations are sometimes available to the public.

Kathryn Reith is the Communications Director (media relations, community relations, public record request officer) can give you a LWSD Public Record Request form or they are online. Turn around time is 5 days - by state law. The District is cooperative on these requests. Diane Jenkins is the "Board Clerk" responsible for official filing of approved Board documents, Minutes, and Meeting Packets. djenkins@lwsd.org. Make an apointment with Ms Jenkins to access her file.

The Meeting Agendas, Minutes and BOARD Packets are usually in short supply. They are found at the information desk counter in the lobby and not on the chamber table near the Diaz where the Public Comment Sign-In sheets are placed. Sign-in for comment before the meeting starts.

Organizational Chart - revised in 2010. under Kimball and 2012 under Pierce.

Report and opinion by Bob Yoder