Programs and Services

Maywood Middle School StudentsThe District offers a variety of programs for students with various learning needs, including English Language Learners (ELL), Title 1, and highly capable students. These services are based upon the same foundation of curriculum, instruction, and assessment provided for all general education students. In collaboration 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 highlights from the 2019-2020 school year. However, we encourage you to explore the various programs and services at the links to the left to get a more comprehensive overview of the programs that support student achievement. 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.


Preview image for Lunch Distribution During School Closures
Lunch Distribution During School Closures Starting March 18, we've begun distributing lunch at seven of our schools aro... Posted March 18, 2020

Food Services Provides Breakfast and Lunch Distribution at Height of Pandemic

Starting March 18, 2020, the Issaquah School District begun distributing breakfast and lunch take home meals a number of school campuses throughout the district. Any child under 18 was able to pick up free breakfast and lunch each day, Monday through Friday.

On the first day of the program, the ISD distributed 504 meals to families in need. To get meals, families needed to visit one of the available sites - Briarwood Elementary, Newcastle Elementary, Issaquah Middle School, Issaquah Valley Elementary, Grand Ridge Elementary, Endeavour Elementary, or Sunset Elementary - between 9 a.m. and noon. As these meals were considered reimbursable meals, meaning the ISD would be reimbursed by the federal government for each meal handed out, the family's child or children needed to be present as well.

In April of 2020, the Food Services department added bus service for meals, sending meals through neighborhoods for pickup in the event that families were unable to get to one of the pick up locations regularly. In total, 74,000 meals were handed out between March and June of 2020.


Cultural and Family Partnership Team and Events Continue to Grow

Cultural and Family Partnership event photoThe Cultural and Family Partnerships Team, which is part of the Issaquah School District's Equity Department, continued to grow their presence as fundamental support for international families through a series of annual events in the 2019-2020 school year. Overseen by Executive Director Alaina Sivadasan and organized by Equity and Family Partnerships Specialist Lorna Gilmour, the team hosted six events during the 2019-2020 school year.

The goal of these CFP events is to help families learn more about the various schools and programs available to their students across the district. It also gives families the opportunity to ask questions and converse with district staff and family partnership volunteers to understand the supports in place at ISD schools. Regular events include:

All events have both Spanish and Chinese interpreters available. Families who speak other languages are welcome to contact the Cultural and Family Partnership Team prior to the event to request an interpreter in the language of their choice. Events have quickly gained popularity - by January 2020 nearly 250 families attended the 8th Grade Transition Night event to help with the move from middle school to high school, and an additional 15 attended the 5th Grade Transition Night to help with the transition from elementary to middle school. Due to the demand for further events the CFP team will be expanding their offerings in the 2020-2021 school year, with the goal of hosting nearly 10 events for families across the Issaquah School District.


V.O.I.C.E. Mentor Program Continues Its Work to Support Student Emotional Well-being During Its Second Year as a Formal District Program

The 2019-2020 school year marked the second year that the Volunteers of Issaquah Changing Education (V.O.I.C.E.) Mentor Program operated as an Issaquah School District run program. V.O.I.C.E. began as a program in the Issaquah Schools Foundation, but made the move to the ISD during the 2018-2019 school year.

Preview for VOICE mentors: Kim and Nathan 02:27
VOICE mentors: Kim and Nathan Kim first met Nathan when she was a secretary at Sunset Elementary and he was...
Preview for VOICE Mentors: Anna and Anne 02:31
VOICE Mentors: Anna and Anne Anna was a smart, sassy fifth-grader who loved to cook and didn’t love recess...
Preview for VOICE mentors: Keke and Sheri 02:53
VOICE mentors: Keke and Sheri Sheri knows that high school can be tough, and that having role models you ca...

For over 16 years, adult volunteers have connected one-on-one with ISD students as mentors through the V.O.I.C.E. program. 320 mentors supported 418 students across the District's 24 schools by meeting once a week for an hour with the student or students they are paired up with. Mentors help support students by providing guidance on academic work, helping grow emotional and social skills, and providing an overall positive and caring adult presence.

Like many programs in the 2019-2020 school year, the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the way the program was traditionally run. Volunteers were no longer allowed to visit schools, beginning in February 2020, to support social distancing. At this time V.O.I.C.E. quickly shifted to ensure its mentors and students stayed connected. They launched a card and letter writing campaign, which in turn resulted in the exchange of over 300 cards and letters sent between students and their mentors. Additionally, 40 mentor and student pairs were able to meet in a virtual format.


PD ImageProfessional Development

Professional development is an ongoing focus annually in the Issaquah School District, for teachers, office professionals, and administrators in all buildings and curriculum areas. During the 2019-2020 school year, district staff needed to make swift pivots in order to meet the needs of students. In order to meet these needs staff took part in professional learning focused on the development of Remote Learning which included Canvas Learning Management Training, developing learning management systems and instructional planning for remote learning, developing successful remote learning environments and the Distant Learning Playbook was widely disseminated and used in book-studies as well as in school-based professional development.