Dear Issaquah School District Community,
The 2015-16 school year is off to a terrific start with students and staff returning to school with smiles and enthusiasm. Our teachers and support staff worked hard throughout the summer to help ensure a warm welcome back to school and a positive and productive experience for all of our students. This year, in addition to our ongoing commitments to a culture of kindness, safety, and sustainability, the District will be focusing on several key issues.
This year, the District is in the early stages of establishing a new approach to managing student behavior. We call it our Positive Behavioral Social Emotional System, or PBSES. This approach is being introduced in all of our schools with a special emphasis in our elementary and middle schools. We will also be working on the issues of grade reporting and its connection to homework and examining our school day start and end times.
Student behavior management, grade reporting, and bell times are all very significant and complex issues. A challenge public school systems have when addressing important issues like the aforementioned is ensuring that while we study, implement, and look forward, that we remain in the moment. Each day, we come to work committed to creating and maintaining the best learning experience possible for our students.
Growth management another critical issue confronting the Issaquah School District. The District continues to grow, adding more than 400 new students for this school year and nearly 1,000 new students in the past two years. Last spring, I chartered a School Construction Bond Feasibility Committee made up of 49 diverse community members and school district staff. This committee unanimously passed a recommendation for a future School Bond.
I forwarded the committee’s proposal, with some modifications, on to our School Board for consideration. The School Board has held several meetings open to the public to discuss this recommendation, and will continue to gather more public input as they consider a future Bond election. Growth, along with the desire for full-day kindergarten and lower class sizes, all drive the need for more classrooms across the district. The good news is we live in a part of the country that has a very strong economy, beautiful natural surroundings and an incredible public school system. All of these factors that make this a very desirable place to live and learn.
I am enthusiastic and excited about the coming school year. All of us in the Issaquah School District are honored to serve our families, students, and community as we work to prepare each and every student for and the academic, occupational, personal, and practical challenges of life in a dynamic global environment. Have a wonderful school year.
Superintendent Ron Thiele