Back to School 2020-21 - Frequently-Asked Questions

Update to In-Person Instruction

We will employ all of the following, as well as other behaviors: 

  • Face coverings
  • Physical distancing,
  • Temperature checks
  • Health attestations
  • Contract tracing
  • Increased handwashing
  • Contact tracing
  • Increased handwashing
  • Appropriate building cleaning

You can see a slideshow presentation about our behaviors and protocols here or view a video presentation on YouTube here.

We closely follow updates from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC). In particular, we use these resources:

To mitigate possible spread of the virus, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) has been distributed to each school. PPE includes masks for teachers and masks for students who may not have one on a given day.

Middle School

In order to return to in-person instruction with groups of students we will have all five middle schools return to a 6 period day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays will remain remote with SEL learning and student support meetings taking place virtually.

Students will have the opportunity to access equal amounts of in-person instruction for each of their scheduled classes regardless of which day they are assigned to attend in-person. We plan to start with two days per week per student for in-person learning and hope to expand as conditions allow.

Because we are running a livestream model, every enrolled student will have a “reserved” or saved seat in each of their classes on the day(s) they are scheduled to attend in-person. If students are not initially ready to attend in-person classes, they can choose to stay fully remote and when ready, fill their saved seat by attending in-person learning on their designated day(s).

**Please note that middle school start times have been adjusted 10 minutes earlier in order to accommodate the current elementary schedule. Middle schools will start at 8:00 AM on MTTHF and dismiss at 2:25 PM.

We are working with Student Information Systems now to create the student groups. Principals are working to arrange classrooms space to meet CDC social distancing guidelines. In very rare cases, it is possible one class roster could be too large on a given day to fit into a classroom space with our current physical distancing requirements. Therefore a class may be moved to an alternate location OR as a last resort, a student may have his/her/their schedule altered to switch the period a class is taken for another period that class is offered with that teacher. In every case, we will do our utmost to retain the current teacher.

On the three days of the week that students are NOT assigned to onsite learning they will attend virtually.

Each middle school will communicate its unique alpha and family student groups via email, Enews, etc. These reflect the slight adjustment made to make transportation possible. Please watch for an Enews notification prior to April 2.

  • Confirmation of a daily attestation completed by the parent or guardian.
  • A well-fitting, clean mask.
    • Students are required to wear a cloth face covering or acceptable alternative, which includes a surgical style disposable mask. (Current guidance is that the mask must be of multiple layers and fit snugly over the nose, along the cheeks, to under the chin.)
    • Students may remove face coverings to eat and drink (see lunch details below).
    • Students are expected to wear their own face covering to school, including when riding on a school bus. Cloth face coverings must comply with school dress code rules, including restrictions on obscene or vulgar material and language. Schools may be able to provide face coverings for students who forget to wear one to school.
  • District issued laptop if student is using one at home
  • Other personal technology if it assists student with schoolwork
  • Any other preferred school supplies; there will be no sharing of materials allowed out of an abundance of caution
  • For safety reasons, middle school students will not have access to lockers. Please bring the supplies you need for class, but keep in mind that students will need to carry all items with them throughout the day. We recommend only bringing items required for that day.
  • Wear clothing that fits the season/weather and dress in layers.
    • Buses will transport students with the windows down regardless of exterior weather.
    • Attestation confirmation and temperature checks will be outdoors.
    • You may have a class that is held outdoors, especially if you are currently registered for PE or music.
    • You may be eating outdoors as well.
  • Personal water bottle, as the drinking fountains will not be accessed except to fill personal water bottles.
  • Sack lunch that does not have to be refrigerated or heated. School cafeteria lunches will be provided as needed free of charge. https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/lunch

  • Go to one of the entries designated by your building administrators to show proof of attestation and get a temperature check.
  • See your school’s handbook and website for details on drop off and pick up.
  • You will have to maintain physical distancing after your attestation and before your first class of the day begins.

Students who do not have a parent completed attestation form will not be allowed in class until the attestation is complete. Building staff will contact parent / guardian to complete the attestation for the student.

If a student needs to stay home for any reason on their assigned day, she/he/they should attend virtually if well enough to do so. They will be marked present for virtual attendance just as they are now. The process for reporting asynchronous attendance (outside the scheduled school day) is unchanged. Go to your school’s website to see the phone number for the attendance office or use the parent attendance button we have linked at each site.

Each schools’ Return to In Person Handbook will detail a system for minimizing the number of students in a restroom at one time.

You may fill a water bottle at the fountain but you may not drink directly from it. Your water bottle should also not touch the nozzle. If the fountain has a button or lever, use your elbow to push it. Wash or sanitize your hands after use. 

Please see your school’s handbook for details. Physical distancing will be required and students will be assigned to specific locations. Administrators will need to know where students are during lunch in the event of any contact tracing that might need to be completed. 

Students may bring their own lunch as they have in the past, but students may NOT share food with fellow students. Parents may not arrive at the school to drop off a forgotten lunch, as we are not allowing visitors in the buildings at this time. School lunches will be provided to students free of charge. No ala carte items will be provided. See the attached link for monthly lunch menus. https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/lunch

District office staff read and followed the national guidance on methods for music instruction. We researched personal protective equipment (PPE) using this guidance and with colleagues around the state who were already in-person. We worked collaboratively with our music teachers to identify preferred PPE for student musicians. We began this process in late February and settled on the items to order in early March based on current headcounts and instruments types for students enrolled in choir and instrumental music classes. There will be additional physical spacing between students in music classrooms and music output including singing will be limited to not more than 30 minutes per class period. Please see your music teacher for more information.

Staff who are unassigned that period will supervise students attending in person. All students, regardless of in person or remote status, will be virtually accessing a teacher who must teach off site or remotely. An in person student’s learning period could happen in a school library, for example, and once class is over that student will go to his/her/their next in-person class.

The State of WA submitted a waiver request to the federal government that allows more flexibility in state testing. They have proposed, for the middle schools, testing a sampling of seventh graders in math only, and eighth graders only in science this year as well as conducting the diagnostic testing of our English language learners. The decision will likely be made as to which schools have been chosen to test on 3.31.21. Your school will put more details in building E news about state testing as we have them.

District ventilation systems are designed to exchange the air in an interior space at least every 15-20 minutes. Based on EPA, CDC, and ASHRAE recommendations, the District has implemented the following strategies as part of a multiple layer approach to COVID mitigation:

  • Filters have been upgraded from MERV 8 to MERV 13, where possible.
  • Air filters are changed on a quarterly basis at a minimum.
  • Outside air dampers have been opened to the maximum extent to allow as much fresh air into the building
  • Ventilation systems are running a minimum of 16 hours per day to completely change over air several times overnight
  • Windows (where available) are opened to promote air exchange and allow even more fresh air into spaces

The Fitness & Friends program will continue as scheduled in each middle school building and end the week of April 19. Registration for Track is open in FinalForms and will close on April 19. Track season will start on Monday, April 26 and end on Thursday, June 3. Track practices and competitions will be unique to each building and dependent on the number of students that complete the registration process. Mask wearing and social distancing as recommended by WIAA Return to Play Guidelines will be followed. Updates regarding Track will be sent via school Enews.

High School

Each school has set up a system to minimize the number of students in the bathroom at one time. Staff will encourage use of stalls, block off urinals if necessary based on the layout to maintain six-feet of social distance, and have students wash hands for 20 seconds. Students will wear masks in the bathroom.

You may fill a water bottle at the fountain but you may not drink directly from it. Your water bottle should also not touch the nozzle. If the fountain has a button or lever, use your elbow to push it. Wash or sanitize your hands after use.

We are working with Student Information Systems now to create the student groups and principals are working to test rosters and identify any classes which may need to be moved to a larger classroom space in advance of student returning to the buildings. In very rare cases, it is possible one class could be too large on a given day to fit into a classroom space with our current physical distancing requirements. Therefore a class may be moved to an alternate location OR as a last resort, a student may have his/her/their schedule altered to switch the period a class is taken for another period that class is offered with that teacher. In every case, we will do our utmost to retain the current teacher.

On the three days of the week that students are NOT assigned to onsite learning they will attend virtually.

Please see the updates to the HS schedules with student groups labeled. Each high school will communicate its unique alpha and family student groups via email, E news, etc. These reflect the slight adjustment made to make transportation possible. 

District ventilation systems are designed to exchange the air in an interior space at least every 15-20 minutes. Based on EPA, CDC, and ASHRAE recommendations, the District has implemented the following strategies as part of a multiple layer approach to COVID mitigation:

  • Filters have been upgraded from MERV 8 to MERV 13, where possible.
  • Portables will be outfitted with MERV 13 air filters as well.
  • Air filters are changed on a quarterly basis at a minimum.
  • Outside air dampers have been opened to the maximum extent to allow as much fresh air into the building
  • Ventilation systems are running a minimum of 16 hours per day to completely change over air several times overnight
  • Windows (where available) are opened to promote air exchange and allow even more fresh air into spaces

  • Paper copies will be available for high school students to complete. Click here to see the paper copy.
  • QR codes may also be used following instructions provided by your building administrators.

The State of WA submitted a waiver request to the federal government allowing us to suspend state testing. They have proposed, for the high schools, testing a sampling of 10th graders only in math this year as well as conducting the diagnostic testing of our English language learners. Public comment closes on 3.22.2021 and the decision will likely be made as to whether or not it is approved on 3.26.2021. Your school will put more details in building E news about state testing as we have them.

  • Attestation completed; high school students will be allowed to complete their own
  • A well-fitting, clean mask
    • Students are required to wear a cloth face covering or acceptable alternative, which includes a surgical style disposable mask. (Current guidance is that the mask must be of multiple layers and fit snugly over the nose, along the cheeks, to under the chin.)
    • Students may remove face coverings to eat and drink (see lunch details below).
    • Students are expected wear their own face covering to school, including when riding on a school bus. Cloth face coverings must comply with school dress code rules, including restrictions on obscene or vulgar material and language. Schools may be able to provide face coverings for students who forget to wear one to school.
  • District issued laptop FULLY CHARGED if student is using one at home
  • Other personal technology if it assists student with schoolwork
  • Any other preferred school supplies; there will be no sharing of materials allowed out of an abundance of caution
  • Wear clothing that fits the season and the weather and dress in layers
    • Buses will transport students with the windows down regardless of exterior weather.
    • You may have a class that is held outdoors, especially if you are currently registered for PE or music
    • You may be eating outdoors as well

Please see your school’s handbook for details. Physical distancing will be required and students will be assigned to specific locations. Administrators will need to know where students were during lunch in the event of any contact tracing that might need to be completed. 

Students may bring their own lunch as they have in the past, but students may NOT share food with fellow students. Parents may not arrive at the school to drop off a forgotten lunch as we are not allowing parents in the buildings at this time. Students will need to get a school provided lunch if they forget theirs. Students will not be allowed to order food that is delivered to school as we cannot let any vendors/visitors in the building who are not vital to the safe operation of our schools.

Expect outdoor spaces and unconventional lunchroom spaces to be used to accomplish this distancing. Students will be allowed to eat in their vehicle with a sibling(s) from the same household if she/he/they drive. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to leave with parent permission on file. 

**Students must stay six feet apart in the line and keep their mask on until they are to their assigned lunch space.

  • There will be no salad bar.
  • Condiments will be pre-packaged.
  • The meal for the day will be set up. Students will simply grab and go.
  • Lunch will be at no cost so, therefore no money will be exchange and no keypads used.
  • There will be no a la carte lunch and no self-service.

District office staff read and followed the national guidance on methods for music instruction. We researched PPE using this guidance and with colleagues around the state who were already in-person and worked collaboratively with our music teachers to identify preferred PPE for student musicians. We began this process in late February and settled on the items to order in early March based on current headcounts and instruments types for students enrolled in music classes, both choir and instrumental. There will be additional physical spacing between students in music classrooms and music output including singing will be limited to not more than 30 minutes per class period.

Please see your music teacher for more information.

We have a plan to have staff who are unassigned that period to supervise students who may be virtually accessing a teacher who must teach off site or remotely. A student’s learning period could happen in a school library, for example, and once class is over that student will go to his/her/their next in-person class.

In order to return to in-person instruction with groups of students we will have Issaquah High and Skyline High run all 7 periods M, T, Th and F. In this way, all students will get equal amounts of in-person instruction for each of their classes regardless of which day they are assigned to attend in-person.

Gibson Ek and Liberty High will retain their current schedules. Given its smaller student enrollment and unique T/TH internship opportunities, GEHS will have 50% of its students onsite Monday and 50% on Friday. LHS students will see all their A day teachers one week and their B day teachers the next week. Over two weeks, they will see all their teachers one time in person.

**Please note: HS start times will be adjusted by 15 minutes (starting at 7:45 am) to accommodate the current drop off and pick up times happening at the elementary level.

  • Go to one of the entries designated by your building administrators to show proof of attestation and get a temperature check.
  • See your school’s handbook and website for details on drop off and pick up.
  • You will have to maintain physical distancing after your attestation and before your first class of the day begins.

Yes, transportation will be available to all students on the days on which they are assigned to attend in-person. To find your bus route go to this link: 

You can expect buses to transport students with windows open so dress warmly and students will be expected to wear their masks at all times.

Assemblies and gatherings will be limited to classroom groups and may happen in the classroom with the teacher; we have done assemblies in this way in the past, especially when we wanted to foster discussion on a topic. Some of our students will already be familiar with this format. Large assemblies/meetings will occur virtually to limit interactions of students. Physical distancing should be maintained to the extent reasonably possible.

Elementary School

In order to plan for staffing for in-person learning to occur, we are currently gathering information from teachers and staff. Once all information is gathered, staffing for full remote and in-person learning will be determined. Our hope is to keep all classes intact, including Dual Language, Science Tech and MERLIN. However, class lists may have to be adjusted, and keeping the same teacher is not guaranteed.

Each elementary school has a designated COVID supervisor, who is responsible for making sure correct protocols are carried out and attestation and temperature checks are completed for each student and staff member on a daily basis. All COVID supervisors have received training on responsibilities and COVID mitigation protocols. They are also the point of contact with the district level COVID coordinator. Should it be necessary, the district coordinator will provide building level COVID supervisors guidance on appropriate COVID exposure protocols referencing the King County Schools COVID -19 Response Toolkit.

Currently our Facilities and Maintenance Department is in the process of removing furniture in our K-1 classrooms to ensure they will be set up for physical distancing based on guidance of Public Health of Seattle - King County and the CDC. This team will be on-site in each building to assist with this process and they are working directly with principals and staff to set up classroom desks to provide six feet of spacing student-to-student and student-to-teacher desk.

Facilities and classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Classrooms will be disinfected between morning and afternoon sessions. Frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and railings will receive continuous cleaning throughout the day. Students will be expected to wear masks and practice physical distancing of at least six feet while at school.

Although individual teachers may communicate specific expectations with their students, the following guidelines apply to all students as a starting point.

  • Be Safe: Follow teacher directions on how to use the tools safely and keep class codes/links and login information private.
  • Be Responsible: Participate in your learning! Follow class expectations for asking questions and taking breaks. Post your work to the correct place.
  • Be Respectful: Mute your microphone until asked to unmute; use school-appropriate language when speaking or typing; give the speaker your attention.

Although it can be tempting to guide your student during a class session or to ask the teacher questions, please respect student voices by allowing your child to speak. If needed, schedule a time with the teacher to discuss your own questions or to hold a parent-teacher conference.

  1. Ensure your child has easy access to the class’s daily schedule by bookmarking it or printing it out. If your child seems distracted ask, “What are you supposed to be doing right now?” and refer him or her to the schedule. A digital clock can also be helpful.
  2. Encourage your child to take frequent movement and brain breaks —even adults struggle sitting for more than an hour! Changing the learning position (e.g., from sitting to standing or lying down), doing a few jumping jacks or a quick dance, cuddling the family pet, or getting a snack may help your child refocus.
  3. Allow your child to build stamina Start with small, realistic goals that are appropriate for your child. This may mean starting with 10 minutes engaged in nonstop learning! Increase the time a little bit each day so your child can be successful. 
  4. Help your child feel empowered for their own learning by making sure they know how to independently use the technology tools chosen by their teacher: Clever, Seesaw, Microsoft Teams, and others. Practice what to do when technology challenges arise, like getting “booted off” a Zoom/Teams meeting, or if the teacher gets disconnected. You can also access the ISD Family Tech Help Line at (425) 837-6371 (open 8:00am-3:00pm, Monday through Friday). 

A productive learning space can set your child up for successful at-home learning. A quiet, well-lit space at a desk or table is best for video meetings and online work. Make sure school materials are near at hand, along with a list of any necessary login/QR codes. If you can, post visual reminders and learning tools, such as a daily schedule, alphabet chart, vocabulary word list, and a personalized to-do list. To help your student take ownership of their learning, let them decorate the learning space with motivational signs, fun pictures or other personalized touches.

In addition to a formal workspace, it can also be helpful to have a more casual, comfortable space for independent reading and other offline tasks. Finally, having an adult close by can help our youngest students feel supported.

The District will not be offering a fee-based preschool program for the 2020-21 school year. ECE and ECEAP preschool programs will be conducted remotely until conditions allow for in-person instruction.

In order to access District curriculum and materials the student must be enrolled. Last year Lexia provided free licenses to all students, including home schooled students. However, this is no longer the case. The District has purchased Lexia licenses for enrolled ISD students, and it would be a breach of contract to distribute them outside of the District. This is also the case with other programs, like Raz Kids. Parents who choose to homeschool have the option of purchasing their own licenses not associated with the District for these programs.

Teachers put much care into creating balanced classes that benefit the learners and that contain a wide range and variety of students. Parent input about class placement is accepted in the spring and is considered in the placement process. While some movement to the class lists may occur during this unique time, it is not possible to honor requests for pod groupings as they could cause an imbalance in classrooms and equity concerns.

Depending on when the family decides to rejoin, adjustments to class lists may have occurred, so keeping the same teacher is not guaranteed. We will work with families, but it is possible that by changing your mind at a later time will likely cause your student’s schedule or teacher to change. It is even possible that the student could be assigned an ISD teacher that is not a part of their neighborhood school.

No, but the elementary schedules allow for independent student work time and flexible time during the mid-day. Families can adjust lunch time for when it works best for the family.

Yes, lists of standard materials will be shared by the teacher. If special materials are needed for lessons then families will be notified in advance.

Yes, schools will develop material distribution plans and will communicate them to families.

It will vary, but students will have multiple opportunities to engage live with their teacher daily. While whole-class learning opportunities will occur every day, small group instruction opportunities with the teacher may vary over the course of a week.

The first day of school for kindergarten students is Friday, September 4. On September 1, 2 and 3, kindergarten teachers will conduct WaKIDS Family Connection meetings. All kindergarten families will have the opportunity to meet with the teacher virtually prior to the start of school.

Special Education and Equity

Occupational therapy will be provided remotely through live video conferences for the start of school. Students should expect to have a regularly scheduled therapy session and to receive SDI as described on the IEP. If some goals are not possible during remote learning, other goals may be addressed.

Students will follow the ISD L.I.V.E. schedule for classes. All services on the IEP will be delivered via the live/remote model. Students should expect to see their special education teacher(s) live on zoom on the same schedule and frequency as if we were in school in the building. Students in co-taught classes will remain in those classes with both teachers (general education teacher and special education teacher) being present each class session. Paraprofessionals may be leading small group instruction or participating in classes to support students. Students in the ECE, LRC II or ACT programs will follow the schedule presented by the teacher. This will include direct lessons with the teacher(s) and paraprofessionals, activities and breaks from the screen.

If the testing needed for IEPs and evaluations can be done remotely, we will continue to do those pieces remotely. Assessments that need to be done in person will be completed in-person in the building with a special education staff member. Necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) has been provided to the buildings so that CDC recommendations are met for in-person activities (6 feet social distancing, mask/face shield wearing, cleaning of equipment). Individual appointments will be made with families and transportation will be provided.

Grading and Testing

Last year the College Board and the IBO altered their delivery of services to students as a result of COVID 19. Thus far, the College Board has said that they have exams planned for May 2021 and a plan in place to provide additional options if social distancing is still required. The IBO has a page on which they will post updates.

We will keep you posted through our usual channels—school E news, email to the address in Skyward, robo-calls, the school and district websites.

The District will be returning to all of our typical grading practices for the 2020-21 school year. Last spring, per guidance from the state, there were a number of our common grading practices that school districts could not use in assessing students (such as P/F and S/U grading in situations that would have merited it). The return to typical grading practices will allow teachers to have a myriad of options in grading students that were not available to them in the spring.

Chris Reykdal, Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, has told us to expect to administer state tests two times this year. We do not have more information than that yet, but will keep you posted through our usual channels: E-news, email to the address in Skyward, robocalls, and school and district websites. Please remember that, as of last year, students have eight different pathways by which to meet the graduation pathway requirement, which used to be met only through the state test.

Talk with your school guidance counselor if you have questions about which pathway is best for you.

Athletics and Clubs

Middle school season 1 sports have been cancelled. While ISD middle school sports are not officially part of WIAA, we look to WIAA for guidance in best practices. Fall sports at the high school level have been moved to later in the school year according to an alternative calendar created by WIAA. We will review the possibility of offering cross country, volleyball and co-ed softball later in the school year if and when conditions allow.

Volunteers

Currently all ISD buildings and facilities are closed to the public with the exception of providing access for essential business. Since most volunteer opportunities involve working directly with students and staff, volunteer opportunities will be limited with our current remote learning model.

  • The VOICE mentor program will continue to operate under limited and modified conditions during the closure. VOICE mentors should work directly with the ISD VOICE Coordinators. For more information please see the VOICE page on the ISD website.
  • All volunteers in the Issaquah School District must follow the District regulations about volunteers.
  • All staff, students, parents, or visitors who access an ISD building for essential business will be required to follow ISD protocol, which includes wearing an appropriate face covering, taking their temperature, maintaining physical distancing and completing an attestation.
  • No visitors or volunteers may have unauthorized access to ISD buildings at this time.

Families New to the Issaquah School District

Sign up for building e-news at www.issaquah.wednet.edu/news/ENews.

You can get information from the district website or your students school website in your preferred language. Use the “select language” tab at the top right hand side of the district website. Select the language you speak and the district website will be translated into your preferred language.

district website translation widget location

school website translation widget location

You can also translate District E-news into other languages by clicking on the message and then selecting “Translate Newsletter” in the top right part of the page.

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Please reach out to your student’s teacher and/or the school office and they can share these dates with you. Buildings will also send out this information in their e-news. You can sign up for building e-news at www.issaquah.wednet.edu/news/ENews. You can also reach out to a Family Partnership Liaison. They help families new to the American school system or linguistically diverse families navigate the American school system. They can be reached at: (425) 837-7122.

COVID-19 and Health

We follow the guidance provided by Public Health of Seattle-King County (PHSKC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current staff members are asked to inform their supervisor as soon as they have confirmation. All individuals accessing the building, are asked the same attestation questions upon entering, which includes the question “Have you had a positive COVID-19 test for active virus in the past 10 days?” An affirmative answer means the person may not continue to access the building on that day.

Upon learning of a confirmed case, the District begins an interactive process with the individual as soon as they are aware of the result. In the interactive process we ask questions such as:

  • Has the person experienced any symptoms?
  • When were they last in the building?
  • With whom did they interact while at work?

We use this information to determine which other staff members or people we need to contact to let them know they have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and share the next steps that are recommended on the PHKC website. We also use the information to determine what our next steps are regarding the necessity to contact PHSKC, the procedures to follow of ventilating, cleaning, and disinfecting any affected spaces or particular surfaces, or ultimately, the need to close a classroom, wing, area, or facility in the District.

Communication regarding a confirmed case of COVID-19 is determined by the answers the affected person provides and the guidance offered by PHSKC and DOH. The reach of the communication is determined by the situation and intended to provide information to targeted individuals, staff, leaders, and families.

Information is shared so that individuals may make decisions knowledgably given the nature of the social pandemic we are experiencing. As a result, there may be a broad notice required, such as when we need to shut down a facility, or a narrow notice, such as when there is limited traffic in a building during a summer term. We will provide notice via our traditional vehicles, depending on the situation: By email or eNews or by the a recorded robocall. It is important that your contact information is current and accurate in our system and that families sign up for the District and school eNews. We intend to communicate as broadly as necessary to contribute to slow or prevent any spread of the novel coronavirus.

Childcare

The Issaquah School District will be providing childcare for K-5 students on a limited basis during remote learning. Childcare will take place at elementary schools and be limited to 40 participants per site.

  • Due to the limited number of students and staff, social distancing and heath protocols can be adhered to by students and staff. This is significantly different than providing educational services to hundreds of students at a time as would be the case in a normal school day.
  • While the ISD will start the year with a fully remote teaching and learning model, the district wants to serve those families who need childcare and are comfortable with their students attending our program.
  • The School Aged Care Program has been operating under COVID-19 conditions for 6 months and staff have been able to learn and adapt to the ever changing health guidelines and conditions.
  • The School aged Care program will not provide teaching or tutoring, but will provide access to technology so students can access their classes throughout the day.

For more information, please visit www.bascisd.com

Facilities

We have implemented a cleaning and disinfecting procedure in our facilities and buses that follows DOH, CDC, and ISSA best practices along with the Cleaning for Healthier Schools - Infection Control Handbook.

  • Our Indoor Environmental Quality team has distributed a “Share the Air” poster reminding building occupants that only District approved cleaning supplies should be used in schools and District buildings and no scented products such as air fresheners should be used.
  • Physical barriers may be installed, or other areas used, where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations are available throughout schools and District buildings.
  • All schools and District buildings’ HVAC control systems have been updated to allow for more fresh air and ventilation to occur.
  • HVAC system filters are being updated from MERV-8 filters to MERV-13 filters where possible. This will allow for smaller airborne particles to be captured before entering an occupied space.

Food and Nutrition

The District is providing 5 days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches free of charge to all children 18 years of age and younger. The meal kits may be picked up at several schools around the district on Monday evenings from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

See all pickup times and locations here.

Secondary students returning to in-person instruction will be able to access lunch free of charge from the kitchen during the lunch period.

Meal distribution information can be found on the meal services during remote learning webpage.

Information about community food resources can be found at our Food and Clothing Services page.

Remote Learning

Yes. Please see your school for school supply lists.

Throughout the summer, support staff and teachers have been planning, training and preparing to open school in a whole new way. Our teams have been applying their expertise in teaching and learning to modify learning goals and translate our existing curriculum into a virtual learning environment.

We are building from our existing curriculum and professional practices. School will feel more familiar than the emergency learning of the spring. Though the way we deliver the instruction will change, we will continue to blend high expectations, differentiation, and social-emotional and academic supports to engage students in learning. We will have a routine schedule with all the hallmarks of a quality education, from direct instruction to guided practice and independent application. We will encourage a learning community where there is authentic opportunity to engage student-to-teacher and student-to-student.

As we enter this school year, watch for communications from your students' teachers about how they are structuring and supporting learning.

You may email or call the Tech Department with your request at isdstudenttechhelp@issaquah.wednet.edu or 425-837-6371.

Your school will be communicating to you about how to get started with school. Please watch for your school communications including information such as elementary meet-the-teacher events and instructions on how to start your first day of school.

Secondary students (grade 6-12) will attend their classes following our published school schedules by logging into Canvas. The portal is linked at every school website on the left-hand side just under Family and Student Access.

Location of Canvas login link on school homepages

In Canvas, students can visit their courses (found on the left side once logged in). For example, they will attend the class scheduled as their first period at the time corresponding to first period by clicking on the tile with that course name. Once there, students should follow the teacher's instruction.

Please see our Canvas tutorials to learn more about how to do this. Students may also attend outside regular school hours by accessing their Canvas courses the same way and viewing or participating in recorded modules, submitting assignments and following any directions left by the teacher.

During the first several days of school, teachers will be walking students through how online learning will work. Students don't need to be experts from the start — and neither do parents. This is new to everyone. Just as we teach students the routines and expectations to students during in-person instruction, we will teach students the routines and expectations of school in remote learning. This will include how to use the learning management system (LMS), digital tools, how to join live-streamed classes and access learning resources. We will teach them how to do their independent work, so they can have a sense of ownership of their learning and build strong learning habits.

We will continue to build our resources for helping parents learn how school will work as well. Through online guides and videos and live events such as curriculum nights, parents will be able to learn how remote learning works.

You can also learn more about our Learning Management Systems tools for Elementary students and Secondary students.

The amount of time students spend in live instruction through Zoom and/or Teams will vary. Students at all levels will engage in live learning multiple times daily in small or whole-class groups.

At the elementary level there will be daily reading, writing and math lessons supported by live whole-class or small group learning as well as a daily live class meeting. Students will also have either live social studies or science lessons most days and live specialists classes scheduled throughout the week.

At the middle and high school levels, each class session will include live instruction for each scheduled period.

Though some live sessions may be for longer whole-class activities, often live sessions will be shorter (often 5-20 minutes at a time), focused, and interspersed with independent learning activities, instructional videos and use of interactive software.

Students should plan on spending a full day of learning. Per state guidance, we are planning 1,665 minutes of virtual class each week. Virtual class includes live instruction, structured independent learning activities, collaborative learning and pre-recorded video lessons.

Short answer

ISD will provide a modified version of our regular school program using our Learning Management Systems (LMS) to create a virtual classroom. Teachers will provide daily, direct instruction adapting the instructional practices used in the classroom to promote a learning community, inquiry, discourse and practice. Students will experience whole class, small group and individual learning activities. Some learning will be live, synchronous learning while other activities will happen asynchronously. Teachers will be available to answer questions at various time during the school week.

Long answer

ISD will provide a modified version of our regular school program including:

  • Using a modified ISD curriculum including the full range of academic content and services
  • Developing a classroom community
  • Continuing counseling services, positive and proactive behavior supports and social-emotional learning

 Teachers will use the following tools to run a virtual classroom:

  • Our Learning Management System (LMS): Canvas for middle and high school and the use of Seesaw, Teams and Clever in the elementary
  • Use of Teams and Zoom to provide live teacher-to-student and student-to-student interaction
  • Distributing our textbooks, workbooks, novels and other curricular materials so students have access to our full ISD curriculum
  • Use of digital learning tools to supplement our curriculum and allow for more interactive learning online

 Teachers will teach using a combination of the following instructional strategies:

  • Live online instruction to provide direct, engaging instruction aligned our best practices, including whole class, small group instruction
  • Recorded instructional videos
  • Use of digital learning tools and offline learning activities
  • Opportunities through live-streaming to ask questions and engage in discussion
  • Use of live online learning for students to collaborate and engage with their peers

Teachers will communicate with parents using their learning management system and email.

This year we have had time to plan for remote learning. Improvements include:

  • Established common expectations for direct and engaging teaching. All staff are committed to translating our curriculum and instructional practices to the remote learning environment.
  • We are providing teachers a modified scope and sequence for each course.
  • We have identified essential learnings that maintain high expectations.
  • Teachers will facilitate learning through our learning management system (LMS).
  • Staff have engaged in professional development for remote learning and remote  instructional practice throughout the spring and summer. Professional development will be provided throughout the school year in support of continuous learning.
  • We have selected additional digital tools to supplement our curriculum.
  • We have added new assessment tools to help monitor learning.

When a teacher conducts a live class, the new learning portion of the lesson will be recorded and posted for students to view.

We fully expect there will be technical glitches and challenges. We know that some will thrive in this new environment, and some will find remote learning to be difficult. We will be monitoring student engagement. As needed, we will make adjustments and support students and families who have difficulty engaging in remote learning.

If you find that you are having difficulty accessing remote learning your teachers, school counselors and admin staff are available to help.

Please join your teacher in communication. Watch for communications from the teacher, and reach out to the teacher if something isn't working in your student's class.

For technical issues with District technology, students and families can call our tech support line at 425-837-6371.

We will be adding directions for support with our learning management system on our Digital Resources for Students page soon.

Students and families may access their teacher in the following ways:

  • Via email (every student is issued an ISD student email and Office 365 account)
  • Via the LMS. Our Learning Management Systems have built-in ways to contact the teacher
  • Phone/voice message: Teachers will have either their ISD phone or will provide another phone contact in their course information
  • Office Hours: Teachers will be available at times during the week for phone or video conferencing
  • By appointment: Teachers will be available for phone or video appointments

Sample schedules for all schools are posted on our Sample Schedules page. Teachers will maintain a calendar within the learning management system of synchronous activities and due dates that will be updated at least weekly, providing time in advance for families to plan.

Issaquah School District, like others nationwide, is grappling with many recent events in our community as we plan for the 2020-1 school year. We know that we must consider these realities in our re-engagement plans: the layered impact of school closures; COVID-19; economic crisis, and significant racial inequities exacerbated by the pandemic and amplified by the nationwide mobilization for racial justice reflected in the Black Lives Matter movement.

We acknowledge that many members of our community have been greatly impacted by one or more of these factors. Possibly every person is dealing with some level of loss, grief, or trauma. Our District has long been committed to social emotional learning (SEL) because it increases student engagement, academic achievement, and wellness for all students. The importance of social emotional learning for students as part of our planning for this fall has been a consistent message we’ve received from the summer work groups, community surveys, our certificated and classified staff, and the school board.

As we embark on remote learning and ask students to engage in new learning this school year, we must build trust, create safe and equitable environments that honor the lived experiences of all members of the school community, nurture authentic student-teacher relationships, and provide opportunities for skill building to increase emotional resilience and tools for self-management. We must also intentionally build and maintain connections between students and their peers.

The prominent placement of SEL lessons in each of the L.I.V.E. schedules reflects our current practices, the importance of SEL to a variety of stakeholders, and allows us to address any additional supports needed as a result of the remote format and other current events.

SEL lessons will be prominently featured in online learning schedules for all students. They will be based on the Washington State K-12 SEL Standards adopted by the State Legislature in January 2020. More information about how the lessons will look at each level and building will come from your students’ school.

Yes, we are developing a regular schedule for distributing textbooks, workbooks, novels and readers, materials, and equipment essential for delivering our curriculum.

Yes. Art supplies will be distributed as part of our curriculum.