Programs and Services

picture of middle school asb retreatThe 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 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.


Teachers

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 all students is teacher professional development and evaluation-both of which were major focuses for the 2016-2017 school year.


image of professional development dayProfessional Development

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 to participate in job-embedded professional development to support their implementation of the new Eureka Math curriculum. Instructional Coaches in each of our elementary schools provided assistance in planning and teaching math lessons that teach the state standards in math. This learning was extended as many elementary teachers attended summer math institutes here in the district. Middle School language arts teachers implemented new curriculum which incorporates student choice of reading material, explicit skill instruction and differentiation in a Reader’s Workshop approach. Middle School Science Teachers participated in professional development to support the implementation of the new middle school Science and Technology Concepts (STC) curriculum developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The professional development focused on the Next Generation Science Standards and best instructional practices. High School teachers participated in training related to their subject content areas.


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, cluster grouping, and/or the weekly SAGE program that focuses on math or reading. 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 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 SupportPBSES Logo

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, Callie Greenfield at GreenfieldC@issaquah.wednet.edu or 425-837-7206.

Cultural Competency

image of Cultural Competency talk January 2017We believe that the diversity of our District is one of our greatest strengths, and that every community has unique and critical contributions. We welcome and empower everyone and strive to provide equitable opportunities for each and every child. Building on work begun in 2015, the District addressed three areas of focus for 2016-2017 as recommended by the District’s Equity Advisory Group comprised of parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and community members. Those areas of focus included:

  1. Family Partnerships
    • Develop parent leaders in buildings who can serve as family connectors and cultural brokers with families
    • Provide year-long, district-wide training and education for parents about the school system
    • Work with PTA to engage families from diverse cultures/languages
  2. Hiring and Retaining Diverse Staff
    • Continue working on alternate routes to certification for Paraeducators (to support ParaEds of color to become teachers)
    • Explore teacher pipeline: ISD high school students-of-color to become ISD teachers
    • Look at job descriptions and interview questions for other possible ways to attract/hire diverse candidates 
  3. Cultural Competency Professional Development and Training for ISD Staff
    • Continue with current professional development for staff – teachers and support staff
    • Continue with current professional development for principals/administrators
    • Consider having mandatory training for all staff

In 2016-2017, the Issaquah School Board began the process of developing equity policies and that the District is using a diversity lens as we review, evaluate, create and adopt curriculum materials. Several equity trainings for teachers and administrators as well as school assemblies were held throughout the District with nationally recognized experts, such as Dr. Caprice Hollins and Ilsa Govan of Cultures Connecting. Additionally, we have a thriving cultural and family partnership team of parents who work with the district to support student success by supporting families. For information, please visit our Cultural and Family Partnerships page.