Saturday, November 21, 2015

LWSD recognizes those who support the district as part of American Education Week

Redmond, Wash. --  The Lake Washington School District (LWSD) recognized the many community partners, business leaders, elected officials, and parent leaders who support the district today as part of American Education Week.
“We could not do our work without all of you,” said Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce. 
Attendees of the Community Leaders Breakfast, held at the LWSD Resource Center Board Room, participated in a live Skype session with Lake Washington High School Astronomy Teacher Ryan Palmer and his students. They also heard about the success of the New Teacher Support Program, directly from a mentor teacher and a new teacher. A highlight video introduced some of the programs that support student learning at all levels. 
Dr. Pierce also gave an update on the progress on the district’s five strategic goals to ensure every student is future ready, including facts about student success:  
  • Graduation rates continue to rise and far exceed the state standard
    • LWSD’s graduation rate has risen over the past three years from 89 to 92%. The state average is 77%.
    • 92% of seniors graduated on-time last spring, and half of the students who did not graduate on-time are still enrolled and working to complete their high school diploma. The target is 100% graduation by 2018.
  • Our students are prepared to succeed in college
    • Currently, 81% of students enter a 2- or 4-year college directly after high school compared to 62% statewide. The target is 88% post-secondary enrollment by 2018.
    • 89% of students earn college credit while still in high school.
  • LWSD students outperform state and national averages on tests
    • Average SAT critical reading scores in the district rose by 11 points over last year. Reading scores across the state of Washington fell by 8 points, and nationally, reading scores decreased by 2 points.
    • SAT writing scores rose by 11 points; state scores fell by 7 and national scores fell by 3. 
    • SAT math scores were the highest they have been in the past four years. They rose 9 points over last year, while state scores fell 8 points and national scores fell by 2 points.
    • Students in grades 3-8 performed 23-27% higher than the state average on the new state assessments.
In addition, Dr. Piece spoke about the district’s enrollment growth, which has averaged an additional 625 students per year over the past five years.
“Our growth has been about the equivalent of adding a large elementary school every year for the past five years,” Dr. Pierce said.
Now the fourth-largest district in the state with 27,830 students, this year alone the district saw an even bigger increase. LWSD has 1,114 more students this year, which equates to 34 additional classrooms. By 2016 the district will have 168 portables, which is equal to seven elementary schools.
Last December, the district convened a 63-person community Task Force to develop a long-term facilities strategy to address this growth. The group of parents, community leaders and staff worked for nearly a year and sought significant community input and feedback before presenting their final 254-page report. The board will vote on the facility recommendations next week.  
Dr. Pierce also spoke about the district’s ongoing efforts to use resources effectively and be fiscally responsible, citing a number of specific efforts. The event closed with recognition and thanks to attendees for their support and involvement in helping students in the Lake Washington School District. 
“I hope you learned more about how we are growing together and serving our community,” Dr. Pierce said. “I am so proud of our student success, our educators, and the active engagement and involvement of our parents and community.”

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