5,000 Days Project

The 5,000 Days Project follows a group of about 20 Issaquah School District students as they progress to graduation. The participating students will be filmed several times each year—sharing their experiences and ideas—until they leave the project, when their story will be compiled into a final video documentary. Along the way, participants will be featured on the Issaquah School District 5,000 Days website. Their space will be like a "scrapbook" of their school days, with items added each year such as pictures, interviews, short film clips, art work, and more. This is where their final video story will be posted as well.

Why a video documentary project?

The Issaquah School District has a comprehensive mission statement and set of End learning goals that stretch far beyond academics. We want every student to graduate mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially prepared to live satisfying and successful lives. Therefore, we must look beyond traditional standardized tests and get to know what is happening with students at a deeper level to monitor how well our schools and our community are serving children. Hopefully, these documentaries will help our entire community better realize that every student has exceptional gifts, struggles, and successes; break down preconceptions and stereotypes about youth; and develop educational and social programs that reflect the reality of what we learn from the films. We also want students to be able to watch the documentaries and recognize that their own personal challenges and feelings are shared by many of their peers. Today's classrooms are complex, dynamic environments, and we would like to invite every community member to see that first-hand through the eyes of our 5,000 Days participants.

Do you have an example of what the final videos might look like?

Yes! Professional filmmaker Rick Stevenson has partnered with the Issaquah School District to create the 5,000 Days Project. As part of his non-profit work, Mr. Stevenson has been conducting a similar documentary project with several students around the Puget Sound for many years.

Here is an example of one of his videos, showing Joseph Nelson.

How are participants selected for the project?

With the help of principals and supervisors, information about the Issaquah School District 5,000 Days Project spread to classroom educators, who were invited to suggest students who have a unique point of view, are open and articulate, and are able to provide valuable insight into what it is like to learn and grow in the Issaquah School District. All of their suggestions were narrowed down to ensure we had a representative cross section of students with varying ages, schools, and experiences.

Who should I contact for more information?

L. Michelle, Executive Director of Communications, 425-837-7004.