Sustaining-Green-District Graphic

The Issaquah School District will practice resource conservation and engage students, staff and all members of the school community in environmental stewardship.


  • Implement and expand waste reduction and recycling practices and other conservation actions by operating environmentally efficient and responsible facilities and departments
  • Involve the whole school community in environmental stewardship
  • Provide instruction about conservation, natural resources, and the environment at all grade levels in an interdisciplinary manner through science, the social studies, the humanities and other appropriate curricular areas
  • Increase and improve the leadership capacity by developing a model of collaboration, innovation and creativity


King County Sustainability Level  4

  • Green School District, Level Four: Achieved in May 2019
  • Green School District, Level Four: Achieved in May 2018
  • Green School District, Level Three: Achieved in May 2017
  • Green School District, Level Two: Achieved in May 2012
  • Green School District, Level One: Achieved in May 2011
  • Began participating in the Green Schools Program: April 2005



US Department of Education Green Schools

The Issaquah School District was recognized in 2016 for reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of schools, students and staff, and providing effective environmental and sustainability education.

Washington State Green District Leader

The Issaquah School District was recognized as a Washington State Green District Leader for excellence in Pillar 1 (Reduce environmental impact and costs) and Pillar 3 (Provide effective environmental and sustainability education) by OSPI.

King County 2015 Earth Hero

A King County 2015 Earth Hero was given to our district for the District's sustained and successful waste reduction and recycling practices. All 24 schools in the District have reduced garbage volumes and expanded recycling.

Green Globe Award

In 2009 Issaquah School District received the Green Globe award for being one of the "best of the best" organizations by King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks for its recycling and conservation programs.

Pictured right: John McCartney receiving an award from Dale Alekel of King County Green School's program, for his years of service to our District's sustainability initiatives.

Sustainability Work

Waste Reduction and Recycling*

  • Prior to participation in the King County Green School Program, the district-wide recycling rate was approximately 30 percent. Following program assistance, the recycling rate jumped to 55.6 percent.
  • All 24 schools in the Issaquah School District have implemented recycling and waste reduction programs and, as of 2012, achieved a combined total recycling increase of 6,091 cubic yards per year and a combined garbage volume decrease of 4,301 yards per year.
  • Three elementary schools – Sunset Hills, Discovery, and Cougar Ridge – discontinued use of disposable lunch trays and began using washable, durable trays. These schools have a combined student population of more than 1,700 students.
  • By replacing liquid soap dispensers with foam soap, the Issaquah School District saved water, time and money - and created less waste. Liquid dispensers and foam dispensers are the same size, but differ significantly in cost, waste generation, water use and maintenance. Read the full foam soap dispenser case study (PDF, 24 K).
  • Issaquah School District has distributed more than 60 dollies to help custodians make recycling collection more efficient.
  • King County Green Schools Program and City of Issaquah have provided 225 classroom recycling containers, 40 32-gallon recycling collection containers for centralized collection of milk cartons, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and many dollies.

Energy Conservation*

Since 2000, Issaquah School District has maintained a database of energy use for each school. During 2000-01, the district used 132,455 MBTUs of energy. Since then, Issaquah School District has implemented an energy conservation program to closely monitor on/off operational times and several conservation efforts that included placing vending misers on all vending machines, installing CO2 sensors in gymnasiums, libraries and multipurpose rooms to modulate outside air dampers, replacing T12 florescent bulbs and old ballasts with T8 fluorescent lights and new electronic ballasts in several schools, upgrading HVAC equipment in a few buildings, and initiating a conservation education program for staff and students throughout the district. As of 2012, as result of these efforts, the district's energy consumption was reduced to 125,290 MBTUs and the district was using 5.4 percent less energy than it did in 2000-01, even though it added nearly 20 percent more square footage in new and renovated school facilities.

Water Conservation*

  • Maintains a database of water consumption (potable and irrigation) for each school.
  • Specified low flow toilets, faucets and urinals as building standards.
  • Installed faucet aerators in many schools. The half-gallon aerators at Discovery Elementary reduced water flow from 12-gallons per minute to a one-half-gallon per minute.
  • Installed 18 hose bib timers and Cal Sense irrigation controllers to control school irrigation systems, which has kept the irrigation water use about the same over the last 10 years even with the addition of five buildings with new irrigation systems.
  • Improved control of auto-flush urinals, resulting in a 34 percent reduction in water use. 

Cost savings

Thanks to waste reduction and recycling programs throughout the district, since 2005-06, the district's annual garbage costs have remained stable. The annual garbage costs for the district were $181,162 in September 2005, and were $182,360 in 2011.
*Information provided by King County


Elementary Schools

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Apollo Elementary 2011 2013 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Briarwood Elementary 2012 2014 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Cascade Ridge Elementary 2010 2014 2016 2017, 2018, 2019
Challenger Elementary 2010 2014 2015 2016, 2018, 2019
Clark Elementary 2010 2014 2017 2018, 2019
Cougar Ridge Elementary 2011 2012 2019
Creekside Elementary 2011 2011 2012 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Discovery Elementary 2010 2015 2016 2017, 2018, 2019
Endeavour Elementary 2010 2014 2014 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Grand Ridge Elementary 2010 2012 2014 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Issaquah Valley Elementary 2011
Maple Hills Elementary 2014 2016 2019
Newcastle Elementary 2010 2011 2012 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Sunny Hills Elementary 2011 2014 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Sunset Elementary 2011 2013 2014 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Middle Schools

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 
Beaver Lake Middle School 2010 2015 2017 2018, 2019
Issaquah Middle School 2009 2010 2011 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Maywood Middle School 2010 2016 2017 2018, 2019
Pacific Cascade Middle School 2011 2016 2018 2019
Pine Lake Middle School 2009 2012 2014 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

High Schools

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Issaquah High School 2011 2014 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Liberty High School 2010 2013 2014 2016, 2017
Skyline High School 2013 2014 2018 2019
Gibson Ek High School (est. 2015) 2019


Community Resources

King County Green Schools Program
City Of Issaquah