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Superintendent's Message

Delivering our Levy Promises Banner

August 2019

Dear Issaquah School District Community,

As we embark upon a new school year, I’d like to take a moment to share my excitement and make note of some important milestones we have attained in the Issaquah School District in this past year. Of significant note, changes to the state funding model, along with the passage of our Educational Programs and Operations Levy in February 2018, allowed the District to implement programs in 2019 that the community has been requesting for many years. These include:

  • A new Modified 7-Period Day High School Schedule that creates opportunities for acceleration, exploration, and remediation
  • A new Elementary Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program at Clark and Issaquah Valley Elementary Schools
  • More Academic Guidance Counselors
  • More Mental Health Counselors and Behavior Support Coaches
  • Adding a Director of Safety and Security and implementing new safety measures in our schools
  • New teacher mentoring and support program to ensure a successful entry into the profession

Looking forward to the 2019-2020 school year, we will remain focused on fully implementing our new programs. However, the levy supporting these programs will expire in 2020, so we will need to ask voters to renew the levy in 2020 to continue funding them.

As our community evolves and changes demographically, we are reshaping our practices to best meet the needs of the students and families we serve. This past school year, the Issaquah School Board of Directors adopted the District’s first Equity Policy that sets a clear expectation throughout the system to provide all students the opportunity and support needed to meet their highest potential in a safe and welcoming environment.

Superintendent Thiele at Apollo Elementary with First Graders 

We are deeply committed to narrowing the achievement/opportunity gap between our students performing at the highest and lowest academically. As we work toward accomplishing our mission, we pledge to question, grow, and evolve in our understanding of diversity and what it means to be culturally competent. 

We have made provisions to deliver additional professional development to staff and, for our students and parents, an equitable behavior expectations section has been added to our student handbooks this year to provide clear guidance. We also intend to continue collaborating with community partners to address complex issues such as racism with courage and conviction.

Last school year we wrapped up several significant remodel and expansion projects, including Pine Lake Middle School and Cougar Ridge, Endeavour, Sunset, and Discovery Elementary schools. We are excited to have finally taken possession of land for a new high school and elementary school planned for the former Providence Heights property. We also purchased land at the entrance to Talus off State Route 900 for Middle School #6 and the former Volpe property in Sammamish for Elementary #16 to fulfill the 2016 school bond project list. With the move of the District’s administrative offices to an office tower just off East Lake Sammamish Parkway, the District will keep the old administration building facility on Holly Street for future purposes, including providing more early learning opportunities. Watch for news of our groundbreakings and ribbon cutting ceremonies in your E-News, on Facebook and the District Website.

All of this wonderful progress would not be possible without the support of our community. From our amazing Volunteers for Issaquah Schools Committee, dedicated Parent Teacher Student Association, forward thinking Issaquah Schools Foundation, and every resident, family, student and staff person we are truly working together to deliver a world class education that prepares all of our students to accept the academic, occupational, personal, and practical challenges of life in a dynamic global environment.

Sincerely, 
Ron Thiele Signature
Superintendent Ron Thiele