Programs and Services

Community Report Images_STEM - ElementaryThe District offers a variety of programs for students with various learning needs, including English Language Learners (ELL), Title 1, and highly capable students. These services are based upon the same foundation of curriculum, instruction, and assessment provided for all general education students. In concert with Special Education, Career and Technical Education, and at-risk partners, these offerings constitute a full continuum of student services supporting our belief that in Issaquah, all children can and do learn powerfully.

In this section of the Community Report, you will find highlights from the past year. However, we encourage you to explore the various programs and services at the links to the left to get a more comprehensive overview of the programs that support student achievement. For more information about student activities, student and family programs, student achievements, and more, please visit our Snapshots page and the Family Resources tab located on the top teal navigation bar.

Our mission statement:

Our students will be prepared for and eager to accept the academic, occupational, personal, and practical challenges of life in a dynamic global environment.


Cultural Competency and Equity

Community Report Images_EquityIn 2018-2019, the District continued to move forward in implementing its new Equity Policy EL-16. As our community evolves and demographics change, we are charged with reshaping our practices to best meet the needs of our students and families we serve. As we work toward accomplishing our mission, we pledge as a school district to question, grow, and evolve in our understanding of diversity and what it means to be culturally competent.

In May 2018, Dr. Caprice Hollins facilitated “listening sessions” with our School Board for students, parents, and staff members of color to share their experiences in the Issaquah School District. Successes, barriers and suggestions were discussed in order to inform the Board regarding future equity work. Dr. Hollins is shown here supporting the Board in reviewing the input from these listening sessions, and setting goals around family engagement, equitable access, curriculum development, and recruitment and retention of diverse staff.

Pictured clockwise from top left: Assistant Superintendent Teaching and Learning Emilie Hard; Dr. Caprice Hollins Cultures Connecting; ISD Board President Harlan Gallinger; Director Marnie Maraldo; Director Anne Moore; Director Suzanne Weaver; ISD Superintendent Ron Thiele; Director Sydne Mullings; ISD Director of Equity Alaina Sividasan; and Executive Director Teaching and Learning, Rich Mellish


ISD Dual Language Immersion Program

Community Report Images_DLIPAfter two years of development and preparation, the ISD launched its first Spanish-English Dual Language Immersion Program in the fall of 2019. Dual language education programs integrate English speaking students with Spanish speaking students.

Academic instruction is presented in both languages. Social and academic learning occurs in an environment that values the language and culture of all students and sets high standards to ultimately achieve academic success in both Spanish and English.

Students are exposed to the same curriculum as their peers while also having the opportunity to learn a second language. The program is housed at Clark and Issaquah Valley Elementary Schools. Each year, kindergarten students who enter the Dual Language Program will form a cohort that will potentially continue through high school.


 

 

New High School Schedules at Skyline and Issaquah High Schools

CTE Secondary photo - culinary class

In February of 2018, voters approved the Issaquah School District’s Programs and Operations Levy, paving the way for the District to pursue expanded opportunities for high school students within a new schedule to address CORE 24 graduation requirements as well as increase opportunities for acceleration, exploration, and remediation for our students. A high school scheduling committee was chartered and tasked with developing and recommending a common schedule for all comprehensive high schools in the Issaquah School District that provides students with opportunities for enrichment, exploration, acceleration, and remediation. The final recommendation and report of this committee was provided to Superintendent, Ron Thiele, in November 2018, who then made his recommendation to adopt at the December 12, 2018 regular school board meeting. The School Board approved the modified seven period day for Skyline and Issaquah High Schools including flex time for academic intervention, school business and social/emotional learning and support.

 

The current Liberty High School schedule, an eight period alternating block schedule, does allow for students to complete the required 24 credits to graduate and have additional opportunities.  However, the schedule does not allow for flex time interventions or school business, nor does it allow for classes to meet four times per week—two significant advantages of the modified seven period schedule.  While Liberty High School prepares to move to the modified seven period day no later than the fall of 2022, they have the opportunity to learn from Issaquah’s and Skyline’s implementation of the schedule as well as look at academic, attendance and other data together to evaluate its effectiveness.  High School #4 will also move to the modified seven period day when it opens. This will allow time to develop and implement a thoughtful transition plan for LHS. We can learn from the experiences at Issaquah and Skyline High Schools while examining and modeling strategies to address program and course offering impacts such as those on elective programs.

Professional Development

Ongoing professional development occurs throughout the school year in all curriculum areas. Teachers have aligned their instruction with state standards and developed common assessments to measure student growth. They meet regularly to review evidence of student achievement to inform their instructional practice.

Elementary teachers had an opportunity to participate in job-embedded professional development to support their implementation of Math and Language Arts curriculum. Instructional Coaches in each of our elementary schools provided assistance in planning and teaching lessons aligned to state standards.  Additional professional development was provided to support the implementation of our new elementary social studies curriculum, including how to teach a culturally responsive social studies curriculum through discourse and inquiry.

Middle school teachers continued collaboration to build professional practices and align curriculum to standards.  Staff also engaged in the development of new units for financial literacy. 

New science curriculum  adopted in both middle and high school, aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, led to additional professional development for secondary science teachers. High school math teachers also engaged in professional development in support of new math curriculum.

Literacy Expert Works with Elementary TeachersMatt Glover Elementary Reading Professional Development Session

Matt Glover, nationally recognized literacy expert and the author of numerous professional books for teachers, spent a week working with ISD elementary teachers. He conducted demonstration lessons in classrooms while teachers observed, then led discussions about strategies for supporting writers. Many thanks to the Issaquah Schools Foundation for funding this opportunity for staff and families.

Pictured: Matt Glover in 1st grade classroom at Cascade Ridge Elementary.