Family Resources

New to Challenger FAQ

Welcome to Challenger Elementary! This page is designed as a resource for families new to the Challenger community. We hope to provide you with necessary information for getting started.

Please begin by reading our Challenger Student Handbook.

Who works in the school office? The first faces you will see in the office are Pam and Tanya, our secretaries. Pam can help with registration and take you on a tour of the building. Jen Kessler is our school principal and Brandy Falk is our Dean of Students. Also available are our school counselor, our school psychologist, and our health room staff, Jean and Sherrie.

What is the EVP (Enrollment Verification Process)? EVP is an online process that verifies student enrollment for the upcoming school year.  If you need support with this, please speak directly with our registrar, Pam. 

What is Family Access? Why do I need to be familiar with this? How do I get started? Family Access gives parents and students on-line access to student information, including test scores, attendance, class schedules, and immunization records. Parents can verify on-line that the emergency contact information on each student is correct.

What is E-News? How do I sign up? E-News is the most efficient and widely used way to send District and school information—including during an emergency—to parents and the community. E-mails in Family Access are automatically subscribed to District and appropriate school E-News lists three times every school year. Manage your E-News list membership.

How do I set up my child’s lunch account with My School Bucks? Funding your student's lunch account is simple and may be completed online using your debit or credit card at Your personal information and your debit and credit card information is protected by the most advanced internet security. Cash and checks are also accepted at Challenger. More information about  MySchoolBucks.

How do I volunteer at Challenger? How can I volunteer when English is not my first language? If you would like to volunteer at Challenger, please register using the Issaquah Volunteer Application System. All of our school volunteers must be screened prior to volunteering. There are many ways to volunteer - by supporting students in your child's classroom, helping with clerical tasks, helping with a PTA program or event, or more. If you would like help getting started as a volunteer, the office staff would be happy to find a job that works well for your interests and skill-set. 

Where can I get a calendar for the school year? Issaquah School District calendars. For Challenger-specific dates, check the Challenger Homepage, the PTA website, and/or your child's teacher's website. 

How do I find before/after school care for my child? Before and After School Care is offered on-site through Comet Club. Our site manager is Wendee Mathiesen

How do I purchase school supplies? If you enroll between September and December, please reference our 2019-20 Supply List on our school homepage. It is also possible to order a complete set of school supplies using  If you enroll after December, please work with your child's new teacher to determine which supplies are needed.

What do I do if my child is absent?  See our attendance policy and information about pre-arranged absences. You may report that your child is absent by calling the attendance line at (425) 837-7550 or by e-mailing

Where do I drop off/pick up my student? Challenger is a walking school. We encourage families to walk to school as much as possible. If you have a kindergarten student, we ask that you park in our front lot and escort them to their line-up spot. First-fifth graders can be dropped off using the back loop. Ask your child's teacher about their line-up location and the exit their class uses at the end of the day. It is very important that families partner with the teacher to have a clear, well-understood plan for how students are dropped off and picked up each day.

Where will my child go to middle school and high school? Most Challenger students attend Beaver Lake Middle School and Skyline High School

My student has medical needs and/or medications. Who do I contact? Please alert our registrar when you complete your registration packet. We have a school nurse on-site on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a full-time health room technician who is here M-F. You can e-mail our nurse, Sherrie Brewer.

What is Challenger’s adopted curriculum? Issaquah's curriculum and current adoption work. We currently use Eureka Math, Making Meaning, Fountas and Pinnell Phonics (reading), and Lucy Calkins Units of Study (writing). We also use the Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum.

What standardized tests are given here? What time of the year are these tests administered? Assessment information.

My child’s first language is not English. What support do you have for language learners?  The Issaquah School District uses an acceleration model that provides ELL students with powerful learning experiences that stress complex, engaging activities and direct teaching of the English language. Language and skill development is accelerated, so students can meet high standards in ALL academic areas. The Washington State English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPs) provide learning targets for teachers as they help the ELL students learn English. At Challenger, we have full-time ELL teachers, who works with classroom teachers to support our English Language Learners.

My student has an Individualized Education Plan from our previous school. Who do I contact about special education information and programming? When you enroll, please let the office know your child has an IEP. This should come to us in your child's records from their last school. Our school psychologist will review this paperwork and be a resource as your child starts special education services at Challenger.

Why should I join PTA (Parent Teacher Association)? How do I join PTA and/or learn about their events? Challenger is fortunate to have a wonderful, supportive PTA. To join PTA and learn more about upcoming events, visit the PTA website.

How do I get connected socially and/or set up play dates? Joining PTA is a great first step! PTA events and volunteer opportunities are a great way to meet other Challenger parents. The PTA also publishes a directory each year with contact information. PTA helps coordinate summer play-dates for incoming kindergartners. There is also a Klahanie Families and a Challenger PTA Facebook page you can join to get connected through social media. 

We have a kindergartner and live in the Highlands. How does busing work? Challenger currently has three bus routes for kindergarten families living in the Highlands. To find your bus route, see the transportation E-Link. In the morning, kindergarten bus riders are greeted at drop-off by a Paraprofessional and 5th grade safety patrollers who walk them to their class. At the end of the day, bus riders are checked off and accounted for by school staff as they get on the bus.