Writing, Math & World Language

Writing Portfolio

Whether drafting an engineering design report, creating a graphic novel, developing a social media campaign for an internship, preparing testimony for a state Senate committee hearing, or researching the causes and effects of a major historic event, writing is integrated into all aspects of learning at Gibson Ek. A student’s writing will be inspired by their learning plans and be authentic, purposeful and challenging. As students pursue learning, they find a real world need to write, discover the conventions of that writing context, and then engage in the writing process with mentorship from their advisors, other staff and professionals in the relevant context. 

Students gather evidence of their writing process on a page of their online portfolios. The writing portfolio will include some personal narrative, but also technical writing, creative writing, academic writing, and/or workplace writing as it relates to their learning. 

Portfolios emphasize students’  growth as writers, so each portfolio begins and ends somewhere different. Every portfolio, however, demonstrates that a student can produce a range of effective written expressions for a variety of purposes. 

Writing is supported in Grade Level teams, Design Labs, Crash Labs — and by advisors.

Minimum requirements include:

  • 101: 10 pages (3 pages of autobiography, 7 of additional writing)
  • 201: 25 pages (3 pages of autobiography, 22 of additional writing)
  • 301: 25 pages (3 pages of autobiography, 22 of additional writing)
  • 401: 15 pages (3 pages of autobiography, 12 of additional writing)

TOTAL by graduation: 75 pages

Content Time (Math or Language)

One hour each Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and Tuesday and Thursday for students who are on campus) is dedicated to students’ online learning in math or language, or to individual or small group tutoring in math or language. 

Online Math (ALEKS)

Students complete 100% of one ALEKS (or other identified platform) online math course each year. Students may request a math waiver through the counseling office for their senior year if they meet the following expectations:

  1. Have completed three years of math including Algebra 2 or a personal pathway math course
  2. Have met all state requirements for graduation for standardized tests
  3. Do not need four years of math for college admissions requirements. 

Time: The time needed to complete a math course varies from student to student, but most students will need to spend time doing math on campus and at home. At a traditional school, students spend an average of four hours in class and two to three hours at home working on math each week. This is something students should keep in mind as they plan their work time both at school and at home. 

Support: Students who need more support than what the online course offers have a variety of options at Gibson Ek including small group and one-on-one tutoring during Content Time and Exploration. 

Suggested Timeline: When students begin an ALEKS course they start with a pre-test. Their performance on this test determines at which point in the course students begin their work. This means a student might start the course at 10% complete, 18% complete or 37% complete, etc. Once students have a starting percentage they should divide the remainder into thirds and plan to complete at least one-third each learning cycle. Additionally, ALEKS gets progressively harder as the course continues, so many students try to complete as much as possible during the first learning cycle. Some students finish the course well before the end of the school year and start on their next math course. 

Targets for completing ALEKS may look like this:

Learning Cycle 1 

  • Complete pre-test first week of school
  • Complete 50% by the end of LC 1

Learning Cycle 2

  • Complete 80% by the end of LC2

Learning Cycle 3

  • Complete course by the end of Ma
  • Take ISD course final in June

Some students set monthly or weekly progress goals.

World Language

Students at Gibson EK have multiple options to pursue competency in a world language of their choice. While demonstrating competency in a world language is not a requirement for the Gibson Ek High School Diploma, students at GEHS may choose to study a world language in order to meet admissions requirements for 4-year colleges and universities. Most will require a minimum of 2 high school credits (2 years) of a world language to be eligible for admission. Because students at Gibson Ek do not earn credits, the following options are available to students to complete this requirement.

World Language Competency Exams: Nationally recognized proficiency assessments will be offered twice a year. Based on a student’s performance, they may be eligible for competency credits on their Gibson Ek transcript. These competency credits, if equivalent to 2 credits or more, will meet college admission requirements in the state of Washington. This option is for students who would like to study a language in a self-paced environment. It is also for students already fluent in another language and/or who study a language at a private language school in the community. More information at:  http://www.k12.wa.us/WorldLanguages/StudentsEarnCredits.aspx
a. Cost: $25 - $220 depending on the exam taken (this is driven by the language in which the student will be assessed)
b. Over 100 languages are available for assessment.
c. Students who demonstrate a high level of fluency can also earn a Washington State Seal of Bi-literacy on their Gibson Ek transcript and diploma.

Online World Language courses: The ISD Online Learning department provides access to OSPI approved online provider courses. These courses earn students high school credit on their Gibson Ek transcript (please note that these letter grades would not generate a GPA). To meet the minimum college admissions requirement for 2 credits of a world language, this option will take students 2 years to complete. This option requires students to be independent learners who turn in assignments on time and meet deadlines, know how to prepare for tests/exams, and can initiate communication with the online teacher when they need help. More information at https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/academics/online
a. Cost: no cost to student
b. Languages: Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Latin

Running Start: Students who want a traditional learning environment to study a world language can do so through the Running Start program and/or the Summer Enrichment program at Bellevue College. These courses earn students high school and college credit. The high school course and completion date  will be placed on the Gibson Ek transcript. This option requires students to wait until the completion of their sophomore year at Gibson Ek to begin their world language. To meet the minimum college admissions requirement for 2 credits of a world language, students must take 10 college quarter credits.  This would take a student two college quarters to complete (e.g. summer & fall, winter & spring, etc). This option is for students who are able to transport themselves to and from Bellevue College, have the maturity to participate in a college course that consists of students from diverse backgrounds and age ranges, and are independent learners capable of advocating for their needs with the professor/instructor who will treat them like any other college student. Additional information at http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/highschool/
a. Cost: $200 - $500 in tuition, school fees and book prices may vary
b. Languages: Arabic, ASL, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish

Personalized Plan: Coordinate closely with the student’s advisor to create a plan for independent study of a language. 


[From our Student Handbook]