Skip to Page Content Skip to search box and page translation tools

News details

School Board Updates: K-1 Students Begin In-Person Hybrid, New Elementary and Middle School Boundaries Accepted, 2021-22 Budget Development Approved

Posted on February 12, 2021

During Thursday night’s meeting of the Issaquah School Board the following topics were presented, discussed, and voted on. Please be advised that this newsletter is not official records or meeting minutes, rather a platform to help keep the community well informed of district happenings. To review official minutes from all board meetings, please visit our board meeting archive webpage.

Work Study – Review of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Attorney Charles Leitch shared how FERPA protects student records. During the pandemic and remote learning, FERPA has become increasingly complicated as educators are interacting daily with students in a digital format. To learn more about the law and its implications, view the ISD YouTube Channel.

Update on Grades K-3 Return to In-Person Hybrid Learning and Impact on Remote Learning

Superintendent Thiele, Assistant Superintendent Bongard, and Executive Director Mundell shared the success of over 1000 Kindergarten and 1st grade students beginning in-person hybrid learning. We cannot wait to welcome our 2nd and 3rd grade students on March 4th. Check out photos of students at Briarwood, Clark and Maple Hills Elementary Schools on our district Facebook page.

Superintendent Thiele also shared the impacts of returning almost half of our K-1 students to in-person learning in a physically distanced manner. As a result, the size of remote classes have increased and transitioned to asynchronous learning for specialists, such as Music, Physical Education, and reading support. CFO Kuper addressed these tradeoffs by explaining that with more choices offered to the community, there are more modifications to a traditional school schedule required. To learn more about these adjustments, visit the ISD YouTube Channel.

Update on Grades 4-12 Return to In-Person Hybrid Learning

Superintendent Thiele shared that we have a new agreement in place with our teachers of Early Childhood Education (ECE), LRC 2, and Academy for Community Transition (ACT) who will now have an expanded in-person day, beginning February 25th. Some of the priorities for further expansion include a return of 4th and 5th grade students, seniors at risk of not graduating, McKinney Vento students, implementing additional athletic pods, and the development of live streaming courses for secondary students.

High School Report Out on D’s and F’s

 Executive Director Hood presented and discussed data regarding secondary students receiving Ds and Fs, which are currently twice as much as usual. At the high school level, we are disproportionately seeing this amongst black students, English Language Learners, and those of lower socioeconomic status.

Boundary Review Committee’s Recommendation to the Superintendent

Superintendent Thiele accepted the recommendation for new elementary and middle school boundaries as presented by the Boundary Review Committee. The new boundaries will be in place for the 2021-22 school year. Students who will be changing schools starting fall 2021 will receive an E-news and letter home after we return from mid-winter break. These boundary changes are necessary due to the addition of Elementary 16 and Middle School 6, which are set to open this coming fall.

District Budget Development Guidelines for 2021-22

CFO Kuper shared the budget development guidelines for the coming year with multiple factors creating a decline occurring concurrently: reduction of enrollment, opening two new schools, and a downturn in the economy. The School Board made a motion and voted to approve the 2021-22 District Budget Development Guidelines as presented, making note of budget and labor reduction.

Works in Progress Update

Superintendent Thiele shared about the ongoing equity professional development that administrators are engaged in with the most recent speaker, Ashely McGirt, this past week during the All Administrator meeting. Furthermore, Superintendent Thiele recapped a conversation with Governor Inslee sharing the need for ongoing resources for public schools to address some of the long-term implications the pandemic is bound to have on budget, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and learning loss.

Finally, the board made a motion to add an additional special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 2nd at 5pm with a limited agenda.

District Communications

As a friendly reminder, the Issaquah School District will send official District communication using only the channels listed below:

Other Facebook accounts or groups, websites, or media channels are not operated or endorsed by the District.

You can view recordings of this and other past board meetings on the ISD YouTube channel. You can also see future meetings on this channel or via Zoom. Check the District website for more information on attending meetings, giving public comments, or reading the minutes of past meetings.