Lake Washington Schools Foundation Programs
Lake Washington Schools Foundation Programs
To help the Lake Washington School District meet its mission: Each student will graduate prepared to lead a rewarding, responsible life as a contributing member of our community and greater society
, the Lake Washington Schools Foundation’s funding priorities focus on three critical areas:
- Equal access to educational opportunities
- Quality teaching and leadership
- Future-ready skills
The Lake Washington Schools Foundation raises funds for programs that inspire learning, help at-risk students and improve academic performance, while meeting Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) goals. The foundation supports all students in reaching academic and personal goals with a variety of programs:
Reaching for Success Grants
(Quality Teaching, Equal Access, Future Ready Skills) – makes funds available for innovative and creative projects that enhance or expand the curriculum in the classroom, inspire learning, and help schools meet their CIP goals.
(Equal Access, Future Ready Skills) – Looking Into the Needs of Kids and Schools recruits and trains caring members of the community to volunteer one hour or more per week in a school. Volunteer opportunities include academic mentor, tutor, lunch buddy, and general classroom assistance. LINKS volunteers support academic achievement, boost confidence in students, help them develop relationships with others, and help students acquire the skills needed for lifelong success.
(Equal Access) – helps low-income middle and high school students pay for school-related supplies, text books, and SAT, ACT and AP test fees. The Access Fund also funds extracurricular activities such as musical instrument rentals, a school activity card, and fees for art classes, field trips and science labs so that so that every student has equal access to educational opportunities and experiences, giving them well-rounded skills they need for college, work and personal success.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Lake Washington Schools Foundation is excited to collaborate with Lake Washington School District to bring innovative learning approaches to our schools.
In the fall of 2012, LWSF received the largest single gift ever awarded to the foundation from Waste Management; a $225,000 grant to help support the district’s new high school Signature Programs. This grant targets a new approach to interdisciplinary learning, designed to inspire and prepare high school students for college and careers. The first programs will focus on global health, environmental engineering/sustainable design, global engineering and medical bio-engineering.
Signature Programs allow students to explore real-world problems through a STEM lens (science, technology, engineering and math). Combining the expertise resources of professionals and industry leaders – the Signature Programs will help prepare students for college and twenty first-century careers. The first programs in Global Health, Environmental Engineering & Sustainable Design, Hunger & Sustainability, Digital Media & Design, and Forensic Science & AP Psychology will roll-out September 2013 at Emerson, Juanita, Redmond, and STEM High Schools, followed by roll-outs at other high schools in September, 2014.
The foundation continues to fund exciting Reaching for Success Grants to stimulate the minds of LWSD students. For the 2012-2013 school year, LWSF funded 30 grants in wide ranging subjects. “Preparing Students for Their Future with Computer Science” built a new computer lab. Grants were also awarded to two new Robotics Clubs at a high school and a middle school. Another grant was awarded to help students build a greenhouse to cultivate native Northwest plants for environmental restoration projects. A grant recipient’s school earned a “School of Distinction” award for which they credit using the Accelerated Math (AM) / Accelerated Reader (AR) program. “Nature Vision Science Enrichment” is dedicated to showing students how science can be relevant to everyday lives. Because reading is so fundamental to a student’s success, several grants were awarded that focus on increasing literacy at the elementary school level. The “Kindergarten Launch” Program works with at-risk kindergarteners in pre-reading activities – such as recognition of letters and numbers. Another grant recipient is using Kindles with audible books for struggling readers. The “Words Their Way” curriculum focuses on reading fluency and comprehension. All these grants recognize that making reading connections at an early age is critical to a student’s later success in all areas of academia.
LWSF funded thirteen grants focusing on math enrichment including “Math Resource Room Expansion” for math skills reinforcement and “Building a Math Culture for Academic Success” with monthly Math Challenges and Parent Math Nights. Grants for Explorations in Math (EIM) were awarded to three elementary schools. EIM (an on-line math program) helps make math relevant to a student’s everyday life. Increasing a student’s mathematical success through on-line programs like EIM and another on-line math program, IXL, have proven that students want to learn math when is “fun” and “exciting”. Students can work on-line at school and at home mastering skill levels and meeting new math challenges that stimulate and reward them. Seven grants for IXL were awarded to elementary schools, more than double the previous year. Teachers use IXL to supplement their curriculum as well as track their student’s progress in learning math concepts and it alerts them to trouble spots a student may be having.