LWHS Senior Year

Families of Seniors – What to Expect in the Senior Year

Senior year is a busy time not just for seniors themselves, but also for their families. LWHS PTSA has created this page to help families get an overview of most of the various activities happening throughout the school year (and some items that should ideally be started before the end of Junior year).

Note that your Senior will be informed through various channels at school of these items (ie, via ASB, College and Career Center, school news, etc) and should be taking charge of most everything listed below. We will update this webpage regularly; check back frequently for the most up-to-date info.

The school also has a senior and yearbook section on their website with more information: LWHS Senior Graduation Information.



  • Senior Sunrise (ASB sponsored): typically the morning of the first Friday of school. Seniors meet at the school to watch the sunrise. Many seniors purchase and wear white/purple/black overalls self-decorated in LWHS colors to this and other events throughout the school year.
    • Example overalls - should be purchased by mid-August and then hand-decorated
    • Fabric dyes and paints can be easily purchased at stores like Michaels or Joann’s
  • Yearbook Orders $$ – Sept to Jan: Parents and students are usually given an opportunity to contribute content to the yearbook (e.g, Senior Recognition Ad, Student quote, Student photos, etc.). Your student’s school photo will be included in the yearbook UNLESS you want to upload a professional quality digital photo such as the ones taken for Senior picture. See the school website for the most up-to-date deadlines and requirements. - Yearbook Info.
    • Senior pictures (optional - if your Senior does not want to submit a personal senior photo, then the school photo will be used in the Yearbook): should be taken in the Fall in preparation for submission to the yearbook just after Thanksgiving; these can be professionally done (book a photographer ASAP!), or casually (take advantage of the light from beautiful Fall sunsets!).
  • College (Much more information regarding post-high school options including 4 year colleges, 2 year colleges, technical schools, gap years, etc will be spearheaded by LWHS College and Career Center) 
    • SAT and AP testing $$ – Junior and Senior year. Students will need to finish standardized testing by October of Senior year to use the score on applications. The last few years, LWHS has provided a school day in early October where Seniors can take the SAT, but this is not guaranteed every year. Many colleges (including all WA public and UC schools) make this testing optional, so paying, studying and taking one or both of these tests may not be necessary depending on which college your student is interested in.
    • College Application Workshops (PTSA sponsored – volunteers needed) – Sept to Jan. Experienced volunteers are available to help your student with ideas and editing of their college application essay. Traditionally, this has happened in person after school, but we are looking for ways to bring this valuable service to students in a virtual format.
    • Teacher recommendations: ideally, a request for a recommendation letter is done at the end of Junior year, and letters are provided in the Fall of Senior year. Some college applications request recommendations from a teacher or advisor.
    • College essays: many college applications require a college essay: an opportunity for a student to personalize their application beyond grades and scores. This is ideally done during the summer before Senior year begins; often during the last month of Junior year, various English teachers will work with students to begin composing their college essays.
    • College Applications $$ – differs from school to school. Almost all applications will “open” or become available in the summer and then have deadlines between October and January. Although applying to several schools can be a good idea for options, applications are roughly $60-90 each, so choose wisely.
      • Common App and Coalition App – these are “clearinghouse” applications. Students fill in their personal data one time and then can check the schools they want to receive the application. Many schools have an additional special essay section that students fill out, per school. For the schools students are interested in, find out which application system is used.
      • Other schools may have their own application system including University of California schools, California State schools, Georgetown, MIT, etc.
    • FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. This is a single financial aid application that gets submitted to colleges to which your student applies. It provides the info needed for each college or university to determine what financial aid it can offer your student including grants, scholarships, work studies, loans, etc.
      • Regardless of financial status, it may be of interest to complete the form as it is the way to access a variety of work-study funds, aid, grants, and loans. Beware of false application sites or companies offering to fill it out for you for a fee. Families can do it themselves at no charge; the official federal site is https://studentaid.gov
  • Cap & Gown Orders $$ – begins around October: Jostens is the LWHS vendor for these and many other graduation related items. Look for communication directly from the school regarding ordering information. Some families choose to look for hand-me-down caps/gowns from previous students. Jostens also provides caps/gowns for families in need. See the Senior Graduation Information page on the school website for details.
  • Athletics and Activities Senior Celebration (throughout the year) – Most sport teams, clubs and activities such as Music and Drama will have a “senior night” at the last home game or event where family members are encouraged to attend. Seniors are honored in whatever way the coaches, teacher sponsors and booster parents arrange.


  • Senior Party Tickets go on sale, read description below or click here for ticket purchase.
  • Senior Signs and Decals go on sale, click here for information.


  • Decision day: May 1st (or thereabouts): LWHS usually does some sort of photo booth so students who have decided their next steps can wear/bring their college swag for photo opportunities. Students can also submit a photo and their post grad plans to be featured in the Destination Video.
  • Senior Announcements $$ – optional: These are professionally printed announcement cards (like a baby announcement), often with a senior photo included. These are given or mailed to friends and relatives as a way of announcing the student’s graduation and plans for the following year (college, gap year, etc).


  • Senior Awards Ceremony (June 5th, by invitation): evening award ceremony presented by LWHS; students receiving an award will receive an email invitation from the school.
  • Senior Prom (ASB sponsored) $$ (June 1st): Senior Prom is a formal dance usually hosted off campus. Attendance is limited to the Senior class, though Seniors may choose to ask a student from a lower grade to accompany them. Students usually dress in formal attire, and it is common for students to gather at Carillon Point or Kirkland Marina Bay for photos at sunset, before heading to the dance. 
  • Senior Farewell (PTSA sponsored – volunteers needed, June 7th at 6:30pm): an informal celebration of our graduates along with family and friends, specifically to provide lots of photo opportunities for Seniors dressed in cap & gown. It can be difficult to find time on the day of graduation to get all the photos families may want. This is held in the LWHS Commons.
  • Senior Sunset: (June 7th) immediately follows Senior Farewell. It's like Senior Sunrise, but the opposite! Unlike Senior Farewell (where parents and families of seniors are all invited), this is a student only event.
  • Senior March (May 29th): if your senior attended a local elementary school, many of these schools have an afternoon when they invite seniors back to walk the halls and enjoy being celebrated by the elementary students.
  • Moving Up Assembly (ASB sponsored, date TBD): occurs during the school day, this ceremony commemorates the seniors' exit from their usual spot and juniors taking their place.
  • Senior Breakfast (ASB sponsored, date TBD - likely June 13/24): followed by Graduation Rehearsal.
  • Graduation (June 14th, 2024, 7:30-9:30pm): The district, in coordination with each high school, plans the official graduation ceremony.  There is generally a rehearsal held the day before along with a senior breakfast.
  • Senior Party $$ (PTSA sponsored – many volunteers needed, occurs the evening of June 14th and into the morning of June 15th): is an all-night chaperoned event for seniors to celebrate in a safe and fun way with their classmates on graduation night. Senior Party dates and times will be announced early in the school year. Check-in is ~10pm at UW Alaska Arena after graduation ceremony. The party will start at ~11pm and go until 5:00am. The ticket price includes transportation to two venues, food, and a variety of entertainment to enjoy. Please see our Senior Party Info page for more details. Senior Party is a major event planned and run completely on a volunteer basis by a contingent of LWHS parents. If you’re unable to help volunteer, please consider donating money or goods for raffled prizes at Senior Party.

Last updated 5/23/2024 by Joanna McKay