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School Board Meeting Updates: March 26, 2021

Posted on March 26, 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 an official record or meeting minutes. Rather, it is 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.

Education Update

Superintendent Thiele shared an update on the status of remote and in-person hybrid education across the district, with a focus on Spring 2021. Some highlights include:

  • Welcoming back hundreds of 4th and 5th graders to our schools this week. For photos from Sunny Hills Elementary, see our most recent Facebook post here.
  • The ISD has a confirmed date of April 15 for 6-12 grade students to begin hybrid in-person learning, using a concurrent livestreaming model.
  • High school graduations for IHS, Liberty, and Skyline will occur at T-Mobile park on Friday, June 11 in-person!
  • Increasing numbers of students have been accessing in-person supports such as students in transitional housing and those at risk of not graduating this June.
  • The ISD vaccination clinic has been extremely successful. For a look into how it's going, please check out this video on YouTube!
  • Governor Inslee announced that the school health and safety protocols related to physical distancing in K-12 will change to follow CDC guidance released on March 19, reducing social distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet.

Naming Elementary 16 and Middle School 6

Planning Principals Erin McKee and Tera Coyle presented potential name choices for the ISD's new Middle School and Elementary School during the March 11 meeting, sharing five names for each school. The Board unanimously voted on March 25 to select the following names:

Monitoring Report EL-14 Instructional Program

Superintendent Thiele and Executive Director Mellish presented the Board with additions to their Instructional Programs report, specifically citing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board unanimously voted to approve the final report of EL-14, which you can view here.

Monitoring Report E-3 Civic Engagement

The administration presented the interpretations and evidence for E-3 Civic Engagement, summarizing that students will live as responsible citizens of society on both a global and local scale. After discussion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the final report of E-3, which you can view here.

Board Policy EL-2 Treatment of People and EL-12 Learning Environment, Treatment of Students

The Board conducted a "second read" to review proposed policy revisions to EL-2 Treatment of People and EL-12 Learning Environment/Treatment of Students with a focus on ensuring the communication of Board values is intentionally shared in both documents. Action is anticipated during the April 22 board meeting.

If you as a community or staff member have any input on policy EL-12 please share your thoughts and comments with the board via emailClick here to view proposed EL-12, Learning Environment.

Legislative Matters

Directors Gallinger and Maraldo discussed updates on Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funds. Specifically, they addressed the ongoing inequities between district funding driven by ties to Title dollars (federal poverty line based) as opposed to overall enrollment.

Information about ESSER II funding, as shared by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, can be found here.

Works in Progress

Superintendent Thiele provided a brief status report on various projects and activities in the District. Some highlights include:

  • Washington State financial audit is nearly complete and looks to be another clean year.
  • Facility rentals of indoor spaces is another step of “phasing toward normal”.
  • Anticipation of enrollment drop of 1,200 to 1,800 students in the coming year which will mean a reduction in force, re: district staffing.

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.