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What Every Parent Wants to Know about the Issaquah School District- High School Information

1. High School Pathways:

  • Regular 4-year High School 
  • G.E.D. – General Education Diploma
    • Must be 16 years of age
    • It is not the same as a high school diploma.
    • Testing completed through a local college
  • Running Start
    • Students can take classes at a local college while in high school
    • This program is only available to 11th and 12th graders
  • Online learning
    • There is a variety of course available online
    • Students can only take 2.0 online credits a year
    • Students can take 4.0 online credits total while in high school
  • Honors Program
    • All high schools offer Honors 9th and 10th grade English and Social Studies
  • IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma Program – only offered at Skyline High School
    • The IB Diploma program is a challenging 2-year curriculum for students in grade 11 and 12.
    • During their sophomore year, the student will sign a contract outlining their classes for 11th and 12th grade.
    • The Diploma is recognized by many universities worldwide.  Scores on IB exams may be accepted by colleges and universities for credit.
    • Students are eligible to take IB classes without being a Diploma candidate
  • AP (Advanced Placement) Classes – offered only at Liberty High School and Issaquah High School
    • AP classes offer college-level classes and exams to high school students.
    • There are many different AP classes offered to 9th-12th graders.
    • Scores on AP exams may be used for college credit.

2. Graduation Requirements

  • Found in Student and Family Access 
  • Found on the school website, under Academics.
  • Students and families will also be able to request their student’s classes for the next year
    • Identify which course your child wants to take
    • Double check on graduation requirements
    • Teachers will work with students on identifying courses to take for the next year
    • Students and families will make final decisions and then request the courses via Student Access 
  • State exams are also required in Biology, Math and Language Arts- given in 10th and 11th grade  
    • Math-SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment) is for students graduating in 2018 and beyond
    • Math- EOC (End of Course Exam) is for students graduating in 2017
    • English/Language Arts- SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment)
    • Science- EOC (End of Course Exam) in Biology, usually given when the student is enrolled in Biology class
  • High School and Beyond Plan is another part of graduation requirements. Please talk to the school’s Career Center to learn more

3. Grading

  • Colleges and employers only look at high school transcript
    • A transcript has:  all high school grades, courses and a student’s GPA - cumulative grade point average
  • Letter grading:  A,B,C,D,F.   D is passing, F is not passing
  • No ranking of student in high school.
  • Letter grades are converted to GPA (Grade point average).  
  • GPA and letter grade will appear on high school transcript for college.
  • Check teacher syllabus for grading expectations.
  • Read and keep the syllabus from each teacher.  The syllabus:
    • outlines grading policy and student expectations
    • provides an overview of course expectations/ what students should be doing 
  • Students and families should also look at teacher websites
    • find assignments, tests and quizzes 
    • teacher office hours and contact information  
  • Always contact the teacher if you need help

4. Testing and College - Entry Tests

5. ELL Program

  • ELPA21 Test given every February/March.  
  • The ELL class focuses on academic language needed for content classes

6. Online Resources for Families

  • Family/Student access (Skyward). Get the App on your phone.
    • Allows you to check student grades, homework and missing assignments.
    • Find GPA - Grade Point Average
    • Check student’s graduation requirements
    • Updated every 1-3 weeks, depending on teacher
    • Can call School Registrar for username and password
    • Link on School District website
  • Connect - students use teacher website to:  
    • check homework
    • do assignments, such as blog, upload files…
  • ClassLink - students get access to all their programs with one password (online textbooks etc…)

7. Homework Expectations

  • Depends on teacher – find out at Curriculum Night or on the teacher’s website.
  • Posted on website and students write in their planners
  • Check Gradebook to see if student did homework
  • In some classes, students can turn in late work and make up assignments
  • If they have a question, they can email teacher or stop by before/after school
  • Schools offer after school help for many classes.
  • Check website for additional resources.
  • Tutoring Help – ask the teacher, King County Library free tutoring program, school programs

8. Classroom Expectations

  • Students are encouraged to participate in class
  • Students can answer questions by raising their hand or participating in discussions
  • Many courses involve critical thinking and having peer discussions to problem solve challenges

9. Communication with The Teacher

  • No official Parent Teacher conference at high school
  • You can request a meeting with the teacher to discuss your child’s progress at any time during the school year.
  • If concerned about grades in a specific class, call or email the teacher 
  • Interpreters are available for meeting or phone interpreters are available (Language Line) for telephone call and conversations. 
  • For social, behavior or emotional concerns or questions – contact the school counselor.

10. Attendance law

  • The district has to contact the Juvenile Court, if your student has:
    • 7 unexcused absences in one month
    • 10 unexcused absences in a year
  • Communicate with the school about absences, so they get “excused” (illness/health, family emergency, pre-approved family trips, religious observances)

11. Supporting Students with Disabilities 

  • IEP
    • Special education services include individualized, specially-designed instruction in academic, self-help, communication, motor, vocational and social skill areas. 
    • Individual Education Programs (IEPs) are developed at least annually. IEP goals are written for each student based on the results of formal and informal testing and observations. 
    • In order to qualify for special education services (IEP) a child must meet three criteria:
      • Have a disability
      • The disability affects the child’s access to education
      • The child needs Specially Designed Instruction
    • Most supports for students with learning needs are addressed at the school building.
  • 504 Services
  • The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.  In order to qualify for special education services (504) a child must meet two criteria:
    • Have a disability
    • The disability affects the child’s access to education

12. School Events/Extracurricular activities

  • Clubs – schools offer a variety of after school clubs at no cost.  Check website to see what clubs are at the school and the dates the clubs meet.
  • Sports – schools offer a variety of sports for boys and girls each year.  ASB card is required for participation in the sports.  Health physical exams are also required. 
  • School events - Spirit Week,Homecoming- Parade, Dances, Music/ Theater, Prom/ Dances

13. ASB Card (Associated Student Body)

  • Students need an ASB card to participate in sports and events.
  • ASB fundraisers – to help support school clubs and sports at the school.  
  • ASB funds pay for many extracurricular activities and sport costs such as transportation, equipment, 
    and uniforms
  • Financial assistance is available.  Students may qualify for a free card.

14. Costs at school

  • Some materials will cost you
    • Clubs or sports (ASB card)
    • Field trips
    • P.E. uniforms 
    • Yearbook 
  • Financial assistance is available. Please ask a school counselor, the school office professional, or the Family Partnership Team. All requests are kept completely confidential.

15. PTSA – Parent Teacher Student Association and Issaquah Schools Foundation 

  • Fundraisers for materials and programs
  • Holds events such as Culture nights
  • Communication and partnership with school
  • Family and Community Engagement (FACE) liaison

16. Parent Participation and Volunteers

  • Parents & Teachers work together. We welcome parents to be involved as partners.
  • Advocate for your child. Ask questions. Give feedback on curriculum adoption.
  • Attend events such as Senior Exit Interviews, athletic events & Curriculum Night
  • Support students and be a VOICE mentor. Visit the Issaquah School Foundation website.
  • Be a Cultural Ambassador or Cultural Liaison or Interpreter
  • Please complete the volunteer form to volunteer in the building.