High School Grading and Athletics Update

High School Grading

As a result of our ongoing school closures and remote learning model, our teaching staff have been working particularly hard and in brand new ways to support kids in their learning and in passing classes. We know that despite these efforts, many of our students and families have faced obstacles and struggles this fall some of which have impacted students’ abilities to engage in and complete their schoolwork.

To honor these very real challenges, our teaching and counseling staff have worked with students and families to support their personal and academic needs. Teachers have made efforts to support student's academic success and have made accommodations or academic contracts appropriate for their course. While we want these efforts to be successful and for our students to earn all the credits in which they are enrolled, we know this may not be possible for every student. To that end, any student who is not passing at semester will be issued an NC or No Credit on their transcript. This NC has no impact to student GPAs.

A student may choose to or need to recover that credit from a course marked NC if it is required for graduation. We offer several ways for a student to recover credit including but not limited to: in-building credit recovery classes, retaking a class, online learning options through our online learning department, summer school classes, Running Start classes and some exams that could be used to earn “mastery credit.” Please see your guidance counselor or your administrator for more information.

Thank you to all our families for the hard work you have put in to support your students during this challenging time. We appreciate you!

Department of High School Education
Issaquah School District

High School Athletics Update - WIAA’s Most Recent Guidance

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has issued guidance that has Season 1 starting on February 1. However, this new schedule does not account for what districts and leagues are to do if they are still in Phase 1 of the Governor's recently announced Roadmap to Recovery plan. WIAA is quite understandably struggling to make a plan that works for a state with dramatically different population size, infection rates and hospitalization rates.

We are in the Puget Sound region and still in Phase 1 of the recovery plan. There are four criteria that must be met to get into and remain in Phase 2. We are not there yet.

To go from Phase 1 to Phase 2, regions must meet all four metrics:

  1. Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population (decrease greater than 10 percent)
  2. Decreasing trend in two-week rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population (decrease greater than 10 percent)
  3. Intensive Care Unit occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90 percent
  4. COVID-19 test positivity rate of less than 10 percent

To remain in Phase 2, regions must meet at least three metrics:

  1. Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population
  2. Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100,000 population
  3. Intensive Care Unit occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90 percent
  4. COVID-19 test positivity rate of less than 10 percent

The Governor’s guidance on athletics lays out criteria under which those regions in Phase 1 and those in Phase 2 (including K-12 groups) can engage in various indoor or outdoor activities, depending on whether the sport is considered high risk or low risk. See the chart on page five of this document for full details on this athletic guidance.

What does this mean for high school athletics?

  • Conditioning pods can continue as we are currently doing them until the day before the first season begins.
  • The WIAA released additional information on January 12 to assist schools in determining what activities may be offered in Phase 1 and Phase 2.
  • Only low-risk sports, when conducted outdoors, may hold competitions in Phase 1. All other sports cannot start competitions until we are in Phase 2. We may consider intra-district competitions for low and moderate risk indoor sports at that time, as well as intra-district competitions for low, moderate and high risk outdoor sports at that time.
We do not know when we will meet the four criteria to get into Phase 2. Here is the planning work we are doing in the meantime:
  • In order to plan for the next best steps to take, we will continue to meet with our high school athletic directors regularly, as well as our KingCo League colleagues.
  • We plan to start by updating our current practice plans to meet the new guidance and communicating those updates to our coaches.
  • Thus far, the KingCo League athletic directors have agreed and voted on a draft schedule that would start Season 1 on March 1; the KingCo Board of Directors will review this proposal this week and solicit input from their various district leadership teams. This plan shortens seasons to five weeks, but provides us more time to get into Phase 2. This plan is subject to change as conditions change.
  • We may be able to structure some intra-league competitions, but we will have to be very confident that we can staff this work with officials and others, maintain student and staff safety, maintain our ability to conduct contact tracing in the event it becomes necessary, and more.
  • We are working with our Human Resources Department to post and hire any needed staff, maintain the integrity of our hiring process, and fulfill our legal and regulatory obligations if we get to move ahead with a Season 1.

Thank you to the ISD athletic directors, coaches and student athletes who have so diligently learned and followed our safety protocols for the past month. The conscientiousness you all have demonstrated has been the reason we get to continue our conditioning uninterrupted.

We will continue to plan for the day our metrics qualify us for Phase 2.

Warm regards,
Department of High School Education