ISF Driving Resources to Support All Students During the Pandemic
by Carolyn Kennedy, ISF Director of Programming, and Issaquah Highlands Resident
The Issaquah Schools Foundation’s (ISF) mission is to drive resources to help all students achieve the promise of their potential. What that looks like during a pandemic is a variation of traditional support with a focus on academic support during remote learning as well as supporting the mental health needs of students.
The foundation has historically funded and continues to fund academic support for students inside and outside the classroom. We are passionate about investing in resources that can adapt to individual student needs and increase access to literacy. During the 2020-2021 school year, the foundation donated $128,000 to support literacy. This support includes several software applications to help all students during remote learning, including online reading software. ISF also provided a grant to pilot “Learning Ally,” an online resource that includes audiobooks, particularly helpful to students who struggle with reading.
Social and Emotional Support
Our current circumstances are challenging for everyone, including our students, so we want to be sure we are supporting their social and emotional needs. Funded by the foundation at all five district middle schools, “Character Strong” curriculum offers a combination of social, emotional, and character development that is effective during remote learning as well as in the school building. “Character Strong” helps support a positive culture by teaching kindness, respect, selflessness, patience, humility, forgiveness, and honesty.
More School News
GRE Students Receive “Reflections” Honors
Grand Ridge Elementary (GRE) students submitted many wonderful art projects to the Issaquah School District-level competition. Congratulations to GRE students Linn De Booij, Aditi Kumar, and Chuan Li for advancing to the state competition and to Anika Iyer and Jade Soukhavong for earning Honorable Mention awards. View the full gallery of 2020-21 GRE “Reflections” submissions online at padlet.com/grandridgereflections/fdtncvgurar0e2jq.
Summer Counseling Opportunities for Middle/High School Students
The city of Issaquah’s 2021 Counselor in Training (CIT) applications are now available. The program is designed for teens entering grades 8-11 who are enthusiastic, responsible, hardworking, and love everything camp. Applications are due April 9. Applications and more information available online at issaquahwa.gov/1429/Counselor-in-Training. Questions? Email Lisa Echert at email@example.com.
IHS PTSA/Boosters Senior Scholarships
The Issaquah High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) awards multiple $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors who’ve displayed personal and academic growth throughout high school, for tech/vocational schools, community colleges, and universities. Applications are due April 12 via email. Information and forms are available online at issaquahhighptsa.org/Page/Programpages/SeniorScholarships. Questions? Email IHPTSAScholarships@gmail.com. The IHS Boosters Club awards senior scholarships every spring, valued at $1,000, to selected IHS graduating seniors. Applications are available online at ihsboosters.org/Page/Recognition/Sr%20Scholarship. Email entries to StudentAwards.IHSBoosters@gmail.com by April 24.
PTSA Council Special Education Webinar Series
The Issaquah Parent Teacher Association (PTSA) Council – Special Education Chair Betsy Grant created a series of short webinars, 10-15 minutes in length, where she asks the Issaquah School District Special Services staff a few community questions regarding special education. Watch the webinars online at issaquahptsa.org/programs/special-education. Email Betsy Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or if you have suggestions for future webinars.
KCLS Teen Improv Night
Join the King County Library System (KCLS) for Teen Improv Night. Play improv games on Zoom. Express yourself and hone spontaneous creative talents to be a better group member and listener. Laugh and try something different. No prior experience necessary. Events will be held on April 20 and May 18 at 6:30 p.m. Register before 10 a.m. on the day of the program to be sent the Zoom link. Visit the KLCS online calendar at kcls.bibliocommons.com/events/search/index for more information and to register.
Tracie Jones is an Issaquah Highlands resident.