Programs and Services
The District offers a variety of programs for students with various learning needs, including English Language Learners (ELL), Title 1, and struggling and gifted 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 information about the programs and services we provide at our schools to reach all levels of learners so they can achieve their potentials. Please explore the various programs and services at the links to the left. 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.
Our high-quality teachers are the foundation of all of our programs and services. Research shows that a good teacher is five times more influential than any other education factor on student achievement. Therefore, one of the most effective tools we have to reach students who are struggling, excelling, or somewhere in between is teacher professional development and evaluation-both of which were major focuses for the 2015-16 school year.
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 data to inform their instructional practice.
Elementary teachers had an opportunity work with National Literary Expert, Matt Glover, on how to inspire young readers and writers through the power of explicit instruction, modeling, and book selection. This learning was further explored as many elementary teachers attended writing institutes led by staff from Columbia University. Math institutes were offered to elementary teachers in advance of implementation of our new Eureka curriculum. Middle School Language Arts teachers have participated in literacy demonstration lessons and middle and high school Biology teachers will have job-embedded coaching this year.
Enhancing the professional development offered during the school-year, each summer many of our educators attend immersive workshops and classes. These are intensive opportunities to grow professionally and also to meet as grade-level, subject-level, and school-level groups to collaborate and brainstorm.
ISD Highly Capable Program
Washington State requires that all schools identify their "most highly capable" students and provide a continuum of services to identified students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
In our District, services for students in kindergarten through second grade are provided through the Primary Enrichment Program, with a special teacher working with small groups of students once per week. Services for students in grades three through five are provided through a variety of models which may include MERLIN classes, differentiated instruction in the regular classrooms, teacher consultation with the SAGE teacher, and/or the weekly SAGE program that focuses on math which includes science, and engineering projects.
For students in grades six through 12, a variety of accelerated and enhanced options exist, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, honors courses, compacted math courses, Running Start, and College in the Classroom. More information is available on our website about our programs as well as the nomination and selection process.
Creating a Culture of Kindness through District-Wide Positive Behavior and Social-Emotional Support
The Issaquah School District continued its strong commitment to supporting our students through our Positive Behavior and Social-Emotional Support (PBSES) framework introduced in our elementary and middle schools last year. The PBSES framework employs evidence-based practices and multiple tiers of support to serve all students. Our vision for PBSES is to promote respect, positive relationships, and predictable, proactive learning environments so that students can lead socially and emotionally safe and healthy lives.
Our Guiding Goals for PBSES
- Students and staff understand and are mindful of their own social/emotional functioning.
- Staff demonstrate flexibility and empathy as they respond to individual student needs.
- Staff implement explicit strategies for establishing, maintaining and restoring relationships.
- Staff provide a progressive response to problem behaviors through structured Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions.
- Students experience a reduction in unhealthy externalizing and internalizing behaviors.
Student Support Coaches are working at each of our elementary and middle schools to provide direct in-classroom student and staff support implementing the PBSES framework to positively impact students and improve the school and the classroom learning environment.
If you have questions, please contact PBSES Coordinator, Jen Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-837-7097.
Sustainability Efforts Recognized Nationally
The Issaquah School District was among the 15 honorees earning the U.S. Department of Education’s 2016 Green Ribbon School and District Sustainability Award. The Issaquah School District was recognized for water conservation efforts that have led to no increases in the irrigation rate, even though the district has added five buildings with new irrigation systems.
The announcement was made on April 22, 2016, Earth Day, by John King, U.S. Secretary of Education and Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The District Sustainability Award recognizes exemplary efforts in at least one of three Green Ribbon pillars: reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; civic skills; and green career pathways.