Student/Family Handbook

Below is an abbreviated version of the handbook that can be translated into many languages.


Thoreau Mission             Each student will graduate prepared to lead a rewarding, responsible life as a contributing member of our community and greater society

Thoreau Vision       Students will be confident, engaged, knowledgeable community members,

      equipped for life-long learning.        

Our Values:        Work Hard, Be Kind, Be Safe

·       Office:   425-936-2720

·       Safe Arrival:       425-936-2721

·       Fax:       425-814-4986

·       Website:  

·Office Hours:     8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Dear Thoreau Students and Families,

Welcome to a new year at Thoreau Elementary! We are excited to partner with you in your student’s elementary school journey. This year will be like none we have ever seen. We are navigating a global pandemic, working to maintain physical and emotional health and safety, while providing a world class, equitable, and inclusive education. That is no small task but together, we can do this. We are Thoreau Strong!

This Student and Family Handbook contains important information regarding school policies, procedures, and guidelines as well as the LWSD Student Rights and Responsibilities. The purpose of this handbook is to outline to our students, families, and staff the expectations for building a strong educational community at Thoreau Elementary where everyone feels safe, included, and can communicate and learn. Having shared expectations, procedures and policies helps us respect the diverse community in which we live, work, and learn every day. We understand this isn’t the most “warm and fuzzy” document to welcome you to school with and hope you will read through it with the lens of knowing we adore our kids and families and these guidelines are to ensure we are all productively working together with as few bumps along the way as possible. Please join us as we challenge each student to focus on Working Hard, Being Kind, and Being Safe.

In the general information section, you will find answers to many of your school questions. In the Family & Volunteer section you will find copies of our Volunteer Guidelines and information on our Collaborative Code of Respect.

It is required by the state that each school publish a handbook and that each family sign and return a form indicating that they have read it and are aware of the LWSD Student and Family roles and responsibilities. Please take time to review each section of this handbook with your child/children and complete the online signature form. Signature Form

Thank you for working in collaboration with us to create and foster a positive, welcoming, and inclusive school culture and learning environment.

Warm Regards,
Keriann Levinson Julie Guest
Principal Associate Principal


Collaborative Code of Respect

Family - School Partnership
The purpose of the Thoreau Code of Respect is to provide a common set of behaviors to guide the work of the adults who partner in our students’ education. This includes all adults; certificated and classified staff, parents/guardians, community members and volunteers. We recognize that our school is rich and diverse population of students, families, and staff that deserve to be equitably welcomed and included in the school community. The Code of Respect guides each of us in our interactions in a way that maintains focus on our students and maintains positive relationships among adults.

Thoreau Code of Respect
At Thoreau Elementary, I believe that practicing respectful behavior helps create an equitable, positive, inclusive, and successful learning environment. As an adult, I recognize the importance of modeling the kind of responsible, considerate, and positive behavior we hope to instill in children.

As an adult member of the Thoreau community, I strive to create an atmosphere of respect as I:

• Share Responsibility for Thoreau: I take ownership for helping Thoreau to be a safe place to learn, work, and volunteer by acting as a considerate team member while adhering to the school’s policies and procedures.

• Honor the Professional: I demonstrate trust and confidence in the professional expertise of all staff members and acknowledge the various parenting styles within our community believing everyone operates with the best intentions.

• Collaborate with One Another: I will share ownership of problems not by shifting responsibility or blame, but rather by working collaboratively to resolve issues through respectful interactions and appropriate behavior.

• Use Positive Communication: I will show respect for the dignity, diversity, and well-being of all adults and students by putting into practice Thoreau’s Top Ten.

• Model Appropriate Use of Social Media: I recognize that social media is part of society and that it has an impact on others. I commit to using social media in a manner that promotes a positive Thoreau. When I have a concern, I will “go to the source” and engage in a direct, confidential and private conversation about a concern. In order to build

a positive, trusting community for our students, the Thoreau staff commits to practicing respectful communication with parents / community members and we value the same from our community.

Thoreau’s Top Ten

              1.           Listen.

              2.           Think first, act second in both face to face and electronic communications.

              3.           Be respectful through tone of voice, choice of words, and body language in

                             face to face and electronic communications.

              4.           Direct questions to the source -when issues arise,

                           opt for face to face communication.

              5.           Communicate honestly with care and tact.

              6.           Refrain from idle gossip or complaints.

              7.           Maintain confidentiality.

              8.           Respect even a subtle “no”.

              9.           Be inclusive.

            10.           Thank others and acknowledge contributions.

Thoreau Behavior Policy

Developing responsible, emotionally healthy individuals is a responsibility shared by parents, school and community. Thoreau Elementary School will promote appropriate behavior by teaching expectations; modeling and practicing appropriate behaviors; recognizing positive behaviors; and if poor choices are made, allowing children to experience appropriate consequences. Please review all this information with your child.

Thoreau Rules

We will be teaching and focusing on the following positive behaviors and life skills. The life skills listed below each expectation are also evaluated on the school district report card.

Thoreau students are expected to:

Work hard

• Be attentive and follow directions.

• Work well independently and use time wisely.

• Consistently put forth effort.

• Accept suggestions and opportunities for improvement.

• Complete work carefully and on time.

Be Kind

• Demonstrate respect for personal and community property

• Demonstrate self-confidence; ask questions; and let needs be known

• Communicate in a respectful and courteous manner.

• Cooperate while working in groups; support others and accept differences.

Be Safe

• Follow school rules and accept responsibility for personal actions.

• Organize work space and materials.

Behaviors such as bullying and harassment are treated seriously. This includes bullying or harassment on the phone or internet. Students will be taught strategies for responding to these behaviors and be told to report any issues to the

teacher, counselor, or principal. If you believe your child is being bullied or harassed at school, please encourage him or her to tell the teacher or principal or contact the school. Please refer to the Student Behavior Matrix for more information.

Thoreau Behavior Policy

 What happens when children make poor choices?

Our first responsibility is to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment. When a student makes a choice that violates these rights, we work together with the parents of all the students involved to teach students what is expected and to develop a strategy to change the behavior.

Consequences are given as a result of a student’s behavior and are appropriate to the incident. They should lead the student to understanding the expected positive behavior and knowing that there are consequences when he or she doesn’t meet the expectations. We use a range of interventions and consequences in a progressive manner including: redirection, verbal warning, time-out, restitution/restorative conversation, conflict mediation, Think Sheets, loss of privileges (recess, eating with the class, field trips, etc.), campus clean up, restricted play area, phone call to parent, meeting with principal, counselor and/or teacher, in school or out of school suspension. When behaviors are reoccurring and/or moderate to severe in nature, parents are contacted by the principal, counselor, or the teacher and the behavior and consequences are discussed.

When student behavior is inappropriate, the staff use it as an opportunity to discuss the behavior and teach the student the expectations. Students often work on a Think Sheet that helps them process their behavior and what they could have done differently. Think Sheets need to be discussed at home, signed by a parent, and returned the following school day. If that behavior persists the student may receive a Behavior Communication Slip. This form is designed to communicate to parents what has happened at school. It will also list the consequences for that behavior which could include a restorative conversation, loss of privileges, or timeout. Parents will be contacted by either the teacher or principal, and the student will bring the form home to be signed by the parent. Recess privileges will be restored when the student has completed the consequences and also returned the signed slip.

If a child receives three Behavior Communication Slips there will be a conference between the parents, teacher, and principal to discuss a plan to help the child be successful.

Severe Behavior

In the case of disciplinary incidents that are severe in nature such as violence, threats, racial slurs, and/or possession of disruptive, harmful, or illegal items at school, students are subject to immediate action, which may include short or long-term suspension or emergency expulsion in accordance to district rules and regulations. In no situation will any student be allowed to threaten the health, safety, and welfare of fellow students and/or staff members.

Severe inappropriate behavior includes:

              A. Significant classroom/school disruption

              B. Disobedience or disrespect

              C. Physical aggression or stealing

              D. Damaging property

During the first weeks of school, the staff will be teaching students the expectations for behavior and the rules. They will be reviewing these continuously throughout the year. It is important, that parents also review the information in the handbook with students, sign the parent-school behavior agreement form, and return the form to the teacher. This helps all of us work together with students and deliver consistent messages.

Students need to be aware that the school rules are the same when they are:

• Walking to and from school

• On the bus

• Biking to and from school

• At all school and PTA events

• On the internet and phone if the learning climate at school is negatively impacted because of harassment or bullying

Students may be disciplined according to the behavior policy for behaviors in these areas as well as at school.

Thanks for your help and support in creating and maintaining a positive learning environment.


General Information – Attendance, Arrival, and Dismissal

Absences/Late Arrival

All absences and late arrivals need to be called to the office on the Safe Arrival line that is available 24 hours per day: 425-936-2721.

Arrival At School

1.           For safety reasons students may not arrive to school before 9:05 a.m. unless attending breakfast, due to lack of adult supervision.

2.           Students are to line up outside the school in their designated class line. Students are not to walk through the building to their class line but to walk around the building to line up.

3.           They may not play on the equipment or enter the school until the bell rings.

4.           When bell rings at 8:55 a.m., students are to enter the building quietly once their teacher has directed them to do so. All students are in their classrooms by 9:20 a.m. to begin work.

Early Dismissal from School

1.           In the interest of student learning, please try to schedule student appointments outside of the school day whenever possible.

2.           Students will only be released to an adult who is listed in their Emergency Card (received on first day of school).

3.           Students who need to be checked out of school early must be signed out by an adult from the office.

4.           To honor our teachers’ end of the day routines and schedules, students should not be checked out during the final 15 minutes of the day.

Change in Bus Routines

A written note is required from the parent or guardian if there is a change in the normal bus riding routine. The note must be turned into the office at the beginning of the day. An email is permissible but must be sent to both the teacher and office and be sent prior to 2pm (M/T/TH/F) and prior to 12:30 on Wednesday to ensure the communication is received.

Absentee/Tardy Policy

We will write tardy/admit slips beginning at 9:20 am per the wall clocks. Parents must accompany any child that is tardy to sign them in. Students will not be able to go to class without a parent signature. Principal will review a monthly report for absenteeism and tardiness issues.

At 5 tardy/absences in a trimester or if a teacher has significant concerns, classroom teachers will be notified and asked to make contact with the families, explaining the educational impact on the student, teacher and classmates. When contact has been made, classroom teachers should notify the school counselor.

At five or more tardies or absences a letter will be sent from the principal to parents indicating the continuing problem and mentioning the BECCA requirements for attendance.

If there is not improvement and tardies or absences continue there will be another letter requiring parents to make an appointment with the principal.

If tardiness or absenteeism continues to be an issue, a letter will be sent requesting a meeting with the LWSD BECCA representative, parent, student and principal.

There may be some exceptions to this based on individual student situations and circumstances.


Family vacations are special, but we ask that you consult the school calendar when making your vacation plans. Student achievement and classroom attendance are positively related. We urge you to plan your family vacation during the school breaks. Teachers do not provide missed work for vacations but suggest that students keep a journal of their travels. Please stop in the office to fill out a vacation absence form at least 2 weeks prior to your vacation.

Vacation Homework Policy

Family vacations are special times, but we ask that you please consult the school calendar when making your vacation plans. Student achievement and classroom attendance are positively related. We cannot duplicate what happens in the classroom by only making up written work. Often written work is practice or an extension of what is taught and

discussed during the lesson in class. Those assignments that can be completed outside the classroom environment will be accumulated and saved by the teacher for your student. The student will complete them upon their return, at home with parental assistance. Although every effort will be made to see that your child gains the needed learning, teachers are not required to assemble packets for such absences.

The Washington attendance law, the BECCA bill, requires students by law to be in school. This law can apply to elementary school aged students when they are excessively absent even if they are excused. Washington State law requires that all children, from age 8 to 17, attend school. This law also applies to children ages six and seven if the parent enrolls the child in public school. Regular attendance is a major factor in determining a child’s success in school and helping them to perform well academically. Although missed assignments can be made up, nothing can replace valuable in-class instruction.

We understand that there is the occasional vacation and/or circumstance that take students out of school. Please visit the school office to fill out a pre-approved absence form at least 2 weeks prior to your vacation.

General Information –Communication & Transportation


The following methods give our parents updated information about classroom activities, curriculum and special events:

• Teacher emails and newsletters (sent electronically, paper by request only)

• Weekly Update: Frog News (School Newsletter)

• Thoreau website (

• Thoreau PTA website (Actiteepi://thoreawkourscholpgeskcom/hom)

• Thoreau Reader Board

• School Messenger is an automated phone service that the district will use for important information.


LWSD provides bus transportation for those students who live over a mile from their school. Students assigned to ride a bus must ride, not walk to school, for safety issues. Safe walking routes are not designated in neighborhoods for bus riding students. All inquiries and concerns should be addressed to the LWSD transportation department at 425-936- 1120.


We have a limited number of lines for phone use at Thoreau. Student access to the phones therefore, will be limited to short emergency calls only when accompanied by a pass from the teacher. Plans for visiting friends, early dismissal, etc. Must be made by families prior to coming to school.

General Information – Campus & Safety Information

Entry Control System

Starting in the 2018-19 school year, LWSD will have entry access control systems in all schools to help ensure we know who is in the building. This system allows us to keep all doors locked and use a camera and doorbell system for visitors to gain access to the building.

What to Expect for Parents: When you arrive at school during business hours, enter through the main door. Please give your name and purpose of your visit after ringing the doorbell (e.g. I am here to pick up my student, I am volunteering today, I am dropping off something for my student). Upon entering, proceed to the office, present ID, and check in. Please wear your Volunteer ID badge at all times when in the building.

What to Expect from Staff: Staff will review safety expectations periodically throughout the year and will wear identification badges at all times. Staff will escort any adult in the building without an ID badge to the office for check-in. Staff will keep all interior and exterior doors in a locked position at all times and direct traffic to the front door. To accommodate large groups of students and parents, we will create small windows of time with a staff 'greeter' in lieu of the Entry Control System.

Bicycles/Skateboarding/Roller Blades:

Students age 10 and above may ride bicycles to school. Before riding to school, a permission form must be completed and signed by the student and by the parent and returned to the office. Bicycle riders are required to wear a helmet and have a lock for their bikes. Bikes should be walked onto and off of the campus for pedestrian safety. Skateboards and roller blades are NOT a safe alternative transportation to and from school and are not allowed on campus. Students who are not 10 years old or above may not ride to/from school without a parent. Please note that the school assumes no liability for damage and/or theft of bicycles from school property.

They need to follow these guidelines:

1.           Wear a helmet when riding.

2.           Follow community safety and school rules when riding a bike to and from school.

3.           Walk the bike on to and off of the school grounds.

4.           Park the bike in the rack and lock it up with a bicycle lock that the student brings from home.

5.           Failure to follow these procedures could result in a student not being allowed to ride a bike to and from school.


Parents are urged to talk with students about the safest route to and from school. Students must always use the crosswalks to cross the street and walk on the sidewalk. Please refrain from jay walking at all times. They are expected to follow the school rules at all times coming to school and returning home. Students who would like to ride bicycles to school must be at least 10 years old and complete the “Application to ride my bike to school” form located in the office and in this handbook. Students with bicycles must walk their bikes and use normal walking procedures while on school grounds and they must secure their bike in the bike rack provided.

Dogs on Campus

In order to ensure our schools are safe and comfortable for all inhabitants, the district has developed the following requirements regarding dogs:

• Dogs are not allowed in the school, on school grounds or in the classroom unless they are serving as a bona-fide service dog to a staff member, parent, child or visitor. This means that dogs or other animals should not be on their leash in the front of our school at the beginning or end of the day. Please don’t bring your dog in your arms as children love to pet them and we don’t want to have any bites or scratches.

• During non-student hours dogs must be leashed and all dog waste removed in accordance with Kirkland City Code 11.80.060.

• King County Code requires that dog bites will be reported to the King County Health Department and the dog may be placed in quarantine for 10 days.

Safety Patrol

School Safety Patrol students (ages 10 and up) as well as adult crossing guards will be assigned supervision of intersections. Students are expected to use designated crosswalks and obey the safety patrol and crossing guards on duty. Safety Patrol students must be at school by 8:25 a.m. and are done with their duties at 3:45 p.m.

Parking Lot Safety

Car pick-up and drop-off: Drivers should make sure to obey posted speed limits and to watch for students when arriving and leaving school. If you are going to be dropping off or picking up a student(s), only use the DROP-OFF/PICK- UP zone where student patrols will be directing traffic. This is a No Parking/Blocking zone before school (8:30 – 9:00 a.m.) and after school (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.). Do not let students enter or leave the car in any space other than the drop off area, and ALWAYS from the curb side of the vehicle; the safety of students is our primary concern. If students need parent assistance getting out of the car, please park the car. It is unsafe for parents to get out of the car in the drop-off/pick- up zone. Please continue to pull forward as space allows when loading or unloading students to help ease congestion. Remember that you are a role model for students who are watching you. 

General Information – Nutritional & Medical Information

Illness or Injury at School

When children become ill or are injured at school, office personnel immediately contact parents. The student waits in the health room until the parents arrive. If the parent or emergency contact cannot be reached, school personnel do whatever is needed to respond to the needs of the child including calling emergency aid vehicles. Because we need to be able to contact you or a nearby relative or friend promptly in an emergency, it is critically important that the school has your correct contact information.

If a child is seriously injured at school, the parents will be called immediately. If parents cannot be reached, a neighbor or friend listed on the Emergency Card will be contacted. If no one is available, we will use our best judgment about what to do for your child including contacting 911 if needed. Your assistance in providing updated and complete information on the Emergency Card is critical in case of an emergency.


State law (RCW 28A.31.118) states that the attendance of every child is conditional upon the presentation on the child’s first day of attendance either (1) full immunization, (2) the initiation and compliance with the schedule if immunization as required by law OR (3) a certificate of exemption. Students may not be enrolled or attend without this documentation.


Sometimes children need to take prescribed medication during school hours. The district policy requires that the child’s physician complete a Lake Washington School District Medication Authorization form. This form gives explicit instructions for administering the medication. All medication must be in the original container and brought to the office by the parent. The office personnel and the parent count the medication before it is left. A daily log of medication administration is also done by office staff. The child may not have in his possession nor may any medication be given unless this procedure is followed. This includes over the counter medication such as aspirin, cough medicine, cough drops, eye drops, topical ointments, etc. A parent or guardian may administer medication to the student at the school whenever needed without the requirement of following this procedure.

Nutrition Services

Free and Reduced Under a provision of the National School Lunch Act, our district is able to offer free or price reduced breakfast and lunches to children from families determined qualified under the Eligibility Scale. Applications are available in the school office.

School lunches cost $3.25. Breakfast is $1.75. Milk is $0.50.

You are encouraged to make sure your account has sufficient funds to provide lunch for your child. Under no circumstance do we want a child to go without a meal during the school day. Students will be allowed to debit their school meal account for the purchase of a complete breakfast or lunch when their account shows insufficient funds or when the student does not have sufficient funds in the form of cash or a check. The purchase of ala carte items including 2nd entrees, milk or juice and snacks are strictly prohibited when an account is negative or will become negative due to the charge.

Nutrition Services will make every effort to communicate with families the status of their student’s low and negative meal account balances through the following efforts:

Accounts with low balances of $10 or less:

• Families will receive an automated email message twice a week (Mondays & Wednesdays) regarding their child’s meal account balance.

• Families who utilize MySchoolBucks to manage their child’s account can set alerts that will notify you when an account balance reaches a certain point. This is managed strictly by the parent.


Accounts with negative balances:

• Families will receive an automated phone call and an email message three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays) regarding their child’s meal account balance. Notifications will continue until account balance is paid off.

• Families will receive a personal phone call from the Nutrition Services Office once their child’s balance reaches a negative $15.

• If the child’s account balance continues to remain negative after these attempts, Nutrition Services will contact the school designee who will connect with the families to problem solve ways to resolve the negative balance issue.

• Unresolved negative balances at the end of the year will be submitted to the Accounting office for collection. We strongly encourage families to complete the School Meal Benefit application annually to determine if they qualify for free or reduced priced meals. The School Meal Benefit application may be completed throughout the school year if a family’s income changes. The School Meal Benefit application is available here.

Head Lice

Students with lice will be sent home to be treated and have nits removed. No child will be readmitted to school unless first checked by a nurse or district representative in the health room and no live lice are present. An adult must accompany students when they return to school. To schedule a re-admittance appointment please e-mail our school nurse, Jess Gordon at When the student returns to school, the student will be checked for evidence of live lice. If live lice are present the student will be sent home. If no live lice are present, but there are some remaining nits, the student will be allowed to go to class. The parents will be reminded to continue working on removing any remain nits if there are still nits present. The student will be rechecked by the school nurse in seven to 10 days. If you have any questions about this policy, contact the Thoreau office.

General Information – Academics and School Day


The Student Profile, adopted by the Board of Directors, serves as a guide to the knowledge, skills and attributes that a graduate needs to be successful. The Student Profile will provide guidance as we work to improve both what we teach and how students learn at all levels from kindergarten through 12th grade. It will also assist in providing consistency between grade levels and among schools To accomplish this challenge, we have created the Student Profile Curriculum Framework, which is a guide for teachers that specifically describes what students should know and be able to do beginning in the primary grades and progressing through high school.

There is a framework for each of the following content areas:

• Literacy and Language

• Mathematical and Scientific Reasoning

• Social Studies

• Information and Communication Technology

• Culture and the Arts

• Career Planning and Life Management    The interdisciplinary skills and attributes are:

• Academic Thinking Skills and Strategies

• Communication and Collaboration Skills

• Local and Global Citizenship Skills

• Personal Attributes


For additional information, go to > For Parents > Teaching and Curriculum > Teaching Framework

Homework Policy

Purposes of homework:

• Preparation for learning

• Independent practice/reinforce curriculum

• Review skills

• Involve parents when appropriate

• Teach responsibility/independence/self-direction

Parental Support:

Homework should be completed independently by your student.  Please provide homework support for your child in the        following ways:

• Schedule homework time each day that is sufficient for time expected to complete homework for your child’s grade level

• Provide a consistent place for your child to do his/her homework.  If possible, it should be somewhere quiet and free of distractions.

• Provide verbal praise and encouragement for your child

• Provide prompting to read directions, study examples and continue working when needed.

• When it is time to go to bed, please stop your child, even if homework is not complete

• If your child cannot complete homework alone or cannot complete homework in a reasonable amount of time, please contact your child’s teacher so that concerns can be addressed

• Check your email, as well as your child’s homework folder, planner or binder daily for information regarding homework

• Feel free to ask your child’s teacher any clarifying questions or address the need for modifications specific to your child


All students at Thoreau participate in a weekly library program which provides instruction in the use of our library, research skills and the enjoyment of literature. The children may check out books on a weekly basis. The responsible care of books is important. Lost or damaged books will be paid for by the student. Intermediate grade students may volunteer their time during recess to help with a variety of jobs necessary to our library. The library is open during most recesses for students to complete homework, read, or work on special projects.


All students are expected to participate in Thoreau’s recess periods. Students well enough to return to school following an absence should be able to go outside for short periods providing they are appropriately dressed. Students returning from an extensive illness or surgery or those under specific doctor’s orders may require a specific plan. Please contact the school office to discuss any specific doctor’s orders or plans that we should be aware of.

Inclement Weather

• All children should wear coats, hats and other warm clothing to school during cold and wet weather.

• All children will be encouraged to go outside during recess.

• Students are to use common sense on the playground and remain dry; absolutely no splashing, sliding or kicking of water and/or mud is allowed.

General Rules:
• Playground supervisors “Life Guards” are the adult support on the playground.
• Students are not to sit or stand on railings, ledges, or column bases. Students are not to sit on top of or jump off any high bars.
• Sticks, pine cones, and rocks stay on the ground.
• Students will keep hands, feet, and body to themselves.
• Students will refrain from rough and dangerous play. Use ropes for jump rope only.
• Students will treat each other with kindness
• Balls are to be used on the black-top or field area only. Do not take balls in the bark area.

Big Toy(s) Rules
• Bark stays on the ground.
• Go down the slide only when seated and facing forward. Do not climb up slides.
• Students may not climb on top of the structures
• One person at a time on the slide

• Two finger touch for touch football and tag
• No tackling or slide tackling
• Do not throw balls at other people
• Choose teams by counting off or using an ‘A’-‘B’ pattern
• When returning from field carry balls-do not bounce or kick balls on sidewalk
• Covered area is for wall ball.
• Soft bouncy balls must be used for wall ball. No hard soccer balls or footballs in covered area.
• If a ball rolls out to parking lot get a recess teacher. Do not retrieve the ball without a recess teacher accompanying you.

Digging Garden
• Return Tools to Bin and Use only school provided tools.
• Share your area.
• Tools are only for digging
• Don’t throw sand (sand stays on the ground). Leave sand in the digging garden

Report cards

Students receive report cards twice a year. Conferences are held for all students twice a year. Parents may request a conference with the teacher at any time during the year to discuss their child’s performance by contacting the teacher. Visit the Lake Washington School District website,, for more information about this year’s grading periods and conferences.

Interruptions to the School Day

We will not disrupt classrooms after 3:15 p.m. to notify a teacher or student about a change in the plans for dismissal. We ask that parents communicate end of day plans with your student each morning before school to reduce impact on class time, so that class time is rarely impacted with changes. If there is an EMERGENCY in which you have to contact your child about a change in plans for the end of the day, you need to call the office.

Birthday Treats and Invitation Policy

Birthdays are one of the highlights of childhood both for the celebrant and the guest. To respect the feelings of all students, when sending out invitations, we ask that you mail them, hand deliver them to the friends’ homes, or make email or phone invitations. Invitations may not be handed out at school including before/after in line-up unless you are inviting the entire class. You may find the PTA directory helpful with this task since it includes most of our students’ emails, phone numbers, and/or addresses. School emails are intended for school related communication purposes. We are not able to forward personal emails from one family to another family or families. We are also prohibited from sharing email addresses of our Thoreau families unless your teacher has an opt in email list.

Due to health reasons and allergies, birthday treats are not allowed to be sent to school. All classes will recognize the child’s birthday with a non-food item or celebration.

Class Placement
Each spring, the Thoreau staff gives thought to the placement of each child. Family input is welcome by filling out a Student Placement Input Form. Current and future teachers, the counselor, special education team and principal meet and craft class lists that meet the needs of each student, are balanced according to a variety of factors, and meet contractual expectations. A considerable amount of time is devoted to optimizing student learning for every child. Our overall goal is to create a balanced class of students who will work and learn well together. Any change in one child’s placement impacts the balance of multiple classrooms.

Class assignments will be communicated at Back to Business Day in August and posted in Skyward Family Access Should you have a concern regarding your child’s assigned teacher, you are invited to address that concern with the teacher and allow the teacher time to respond. If you still wish to request a change of placement, you need request fill out a request form and submit that to the principal. No change of placement requests will be accepted without a form and proper wait time given for adjustment.

Extended Day Program

When school dismisses at the end of the day, the school staff cannot provide supervision for students. Thoreau does not offer child care through our school office. Thoreau does have an Extended Day Program available only to Thoreau students from 6:30 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. This program is run through the school district. For more information please call the LWSD Extended Day program at 425-936-1175.

General Information – What to Bring and Wear

Dress Guidelines
Clothing for Students: Students may express individuality in their dress or appearance as long as their appearance does not cause or have the potential to cause a disruption to the educational process for themselves, other students, or staff.

The following guidelines are designed to promote a positive, safe, healthy learning environment:
• Shoes should be appropriate for running, climbing, and playing on recess equipment, stairs, outdoor terrain, and participating in P.E.
• Clothing covers underwear and torso (stomach and back). Layered tank undergarments are allowed.
• Clothing does not promote alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexist/racist themes, profanity, violence, illegal/dangerous weapons, sexual connotations or gangs.

If a student is dressed inappropriately, staff will speak with the student in a discrete and respectful manner that limits impact on student learning time. For isolated incidents, that could include a verbal reminder of dress guidelines and appropriate clothing given to student if necessary. For repeated or severe incidents, administration/counseling staff will offer support by problem solving dress guideline obstacles with the student and contacting the parent/guardian to provide other appropriate clothing.

Personal items at school
Students may bring any tools they need to do their work including an e-reader used appropriately for reading. Students may also bring a ball from home to play with at recess. Ball should be labeled with student name and must follow the expectations for all recess balls: school approved ball (soccer, basketball, four square, tennis, football), must be willing to share the ball, be inclusive of all students. Students assume responsibility for their ball. Thoreau will not replace a lost or damaged ball. No lacrosse, baseball, bouncy balls, or other non-school ball is allowed.

Students may not bring:
• Toys, dolls, or stuffed animals unless it is a special classroom event and then used under teacher guidelines
• iPods, other electronic games/toys or devices
• Any type of trading cards (unless part of a club w/staff advisor)

These items need to be left at home and enjoyed there. If a student brings one of these items to school, he or she will be reminded of the rule and the item will be kept by the teacher or principal. The item will be returned at the end of the day for the student to take home. If the item is brought a second time, it is taken and kept by the teacher or principal until the parent/guardian can pick it up at the school.

Cell Phone and Smart Watch Policy
Cell phones are allowed on campus but must be turned off and left in backpacks during the day. Smart watches are allowed but must be disabled from text/internet and only used as a watch during the day. If students are using a smartwatch as a device including to text, they will be asked to remove it and place it in their backpack for the school day. Devices may be turned on and used only outside of the building before they arrive on campus and after school. Students must use a school phone to contact a parent/guardian during the school day. If you need to get a message to your child regarding a last-minute change in their schedule, please call the office and we will relay the message. Please do not text your child during the school day.

Forgotten items
Classrooms are locked when teachers leave in the afternoon, students may retrieve forgotten items the next school day.

General Information – PTA and Volunteers

Parents are welcome to join the PTA. At Back to Business day you will receive a packet with information on what Thoreau’s PTA does throughout the school year. The PTA website is A listing of the PTA board members with emails can be found in this handbook.

Parents/guardians are welcome and encouraged to visit school. Classroom visits need to be planned in advance with the teacher so please schedule an appointment before going to the classroom. For the protection and safety of students, all visitors are required to check in at the school office and wear a visitor’s sticker. Students from another school or state are not allowed to visit classrooms or spend the day at school. Parents/guardians are welcome to join their child for lunch but recess time is reserved for student play. Parents need to check out after lunch when their child goes to recess.

Volunteers enhance opportunities for learning in the classroom by increasing the effectiveness of individual student learning. To ensure the safety of our students, all classroom helpers, field trip chaperones, drivers for off campus activities, and volunteers must complete a volunteer application and be approved. Off campus drivers will have additional insurance forms to complete prior to the field trip. Field trip chaperones must be at least 21 years of age.

Volunteer Application Procedure
All the information you need to volunteer in our district is found on the LWSD website at -

Volunteer Guidelines and Expectations:

Volunteers are expected to:
• Be an approved volunteer
• Read the LWSD Volunteer Handbook
• Sign in and out at the office and always wear an ID badge while on school grounds
• Show respect for all staff and students
• Share concerns regarding students with the school staff only
• If you cannot make your scheduled volunteer time, please call the school so the teacher and students will know you will not be there.
• Please do not bring younger children to the school during your volunteer hours.
• For safety reasons the work room is for adults only.
• Younger siblings may not go on field trips
• In case of an emergency or scheduled drill, volunteers must follow school emergency procedures.
• Schedule a meeting outside of your volunteer time to discuss concerns about your child.
• Please turn off your cell phone while you are volunteering in the classroom and refrain from making personal calls or texting while on the school campus.

Names of approved volunteers may be released to Lake Washington School District PTSAs, upon request, for the purpose of recruiting volunteers or verifying approval status for school activities.

Ground Rules for School District Facilities
•No smoking or tobacco allowed, including on athletic fields and in district vehicles
•No weapons allowed
•No drugs or alcohol allowed
•Do not use school equipment for personal purposes

Maintain Student Confidentiality
Volunteers are expected and required to keep all student information that they obtain while working as a volunteer for the district confidential. Federal law strictly prohibits school districts and district volunteers from releasing any student information without parent/guardian permission. Student information includes all academic, medical and personal information. Volunteers cannot take photos of students during their volunteer activities and post them publicly without authorization from the school. Student work, like artwork or papers, is also protected by law and cannot be shared publicly without written permission.

Disclosure of student information by a volunteer is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and may subject the volunteer and the district to civil liability. It is very important that you keep information about students confidential. It is important that you do not discuss students or their progress with others –even their parents. Do not make references to student’s abilities in front of other students. The only person who should be told about a student’s work is their teacher. If parents ask about their student’s progress, suggest in a friendly way that they contact the teacher.