Challenger Elementary E-news

February 5th 2020

Upcoming Dates

  • February 7: Comet Coin School Celebration - Pajama Day!
  • February 12: PTA After School Movie
  • February 17-21: NO SCHOOL Mid Winter Break
  • February 28: Spirit Day - School Mascot Day
  • February 28: PTA Membership Goal Met - Ms. Kessler becomes a Sundae

Challenger School Hours

Mon, Tue, Thur, & Fri




If your child rides the bus please remember you need to be at the bus stop by the time the bus arrives otherwise they will be brought to the school.

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5th Grade Parent Night at Beaver Lake Middle School

Please join us for Fifth Grade Parent Night at 6:30 PM on Monday, March 9 for an evening designed to provide parents with information about the middle school program and transition activities. Please mark your calendars. Your students will have an orientation at Beaver Lake Middle School on Wednesday, March 11, during the school day. We look forward to meeting you and our newest Bulldogs!



Will your student be participating in the ISD sport programs offered at middle school? If so, mark your calendar and schedule their sports physical during the summer after June 1. Students entering 6th grade that plan to play sports are required to have a physical dated after June 1. A physical date in June, July or August is valid for the entire school year.

If you normally schedule your child’s physical around their birthday, we suggest you consider postponing until summer. Fifth grade students planning to play ISD sports who get their physical prior to June 1 will be required to get a second physical at parent expense. For more information on middle school sports and the required physical form check out the ISD Middle School Sports webpage at or call the middle school office. The office team will answer all your questions.

Attendance Email

Please use our attendance email which is used exclusively for attendance related emails.

Please send all Attendance communication to:


NO SCHOOL February 17-21 for Mid Winter Break

VOICE Mentors Needed for students in grades K-5

Are you interested in making an immediate impact on a student at Challenger? Perhaps you have a high school student in need of volunteer work? We have the perfect opportunity for you…become a VOICE mentor at Challenger Elementary!

What is a VOICE mentor?

A VOICE mentor is an adult (or high school student) who has a passion for working with students. They commit to being available one hour/week throughout the school year to meet with their mentee. Students and mentors do activities together based upon interests and student needs.

How do I become a VOICE mentor? There are 2 easy steps:

1. Complete the Issaquah School District Volunteer Application (including background check).

2. Apply to be a mentor through Issaquah School District via the following link:

If you have any questions, please contact

Challenger Elementary Dean of Students,

Brandy Falk.

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PTA Information

2020 Golden Acorn & Outstanding Educator

Help us Recognize Challenger’s Outstanding Volunteers and Educators!!

The Golden Acorn Award is awarded to PTA volunteers who go above and beyond in their service to a school community.

The Outstanding Educator Award: is awarded to a teacher or staff member who makes significant contributions that enhance the education of students.

Nomination forms are available in the office or online at:

**Please note that previous recipients are not eligible for nomination, check the plaques in the atrium for names or online for a list of prior recipients**

Please return the forms to the PTA lock box no later than Friday, February 7th, 2020

Recipients will be announced at the short ceremony on Friday, March 27th at 3:50pm in the MPR. Please join us in celebrating our fabulous volunteers and educators.
Please contact Debbie Orosco: Kendra Campbell at or Amy Senior: with any questions.

Early Release After School Movie Featuring:

"The Lego Batman Movie"

Wednesday, February 12th 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Challenger MPR

Price $10 (includes two nut free snacks and a water)

Sign up here

5th grade parents will be chaperoning this event and all proceeds benefit 5th grade end of year activities.

More information can be found on the Challenger PTA website.


Our next box top turn in deadline in February 21st, so please continue to turn in box tops. Collection sheets can be found on the PTA board just inside the main school doors. Or, just put them into a Ziploc bag with the name of your child’s teacher on the bag. For your convenience, there is a collection box in the office.

The class that turns in the most box tops by the deadline will be awarded coupons for a free doughnut at Legendary Doughnuts. So, start saving your box tops today! Also, keep scanning those digital box tops as well!

Please contact Kelsey Fierst at with any questions.

Festival of Cultures a HUGE Success!

Thank you to our amazing Challenger community for helping to make the Festival of Cultures a HUGE success! Special thanks to our wonderful hosts - we would not have a Festival without them:

The Reuter Family, Katrin Benders, The Boyd Family, The Espinola Family, The Declines Family, The Clemente Family, The Roberts and Dyson Families, The Orr Family, The Rincon and Moraes Families, Fang Chen and Linda Sun, The Segura Family, The Trindev and Kilimov Families, The Tong Family, The Jevremovic Family, Shino Coffman and Asako Vorhees, Sudha Raman and The Senior Family

Also, many thanks to the Challenger staff, families, volunteers and amazingly talented performers.

If you would like to be a host next year, please email Amy Senior:

Challenger PTA thanks our amazing volunteers who put on the Festival of Cultures. It was an amazing event, and our chair and volunteers put in many hours to make it so successful. Please thank them if you see them!!

Amy Senior, Sudha Karthik, and Challenger staff: Julianna McDowell


District Information

Remember to Vote and Return Your Ballot - ISD Levy Renewal

We’ve got just a few days left to vote in the 2020 levy election. Return your ballot by mail or in a ballot drop box by next Tuesday, February 11.

To see what’s funded by this levy, check out this short video that highlights some of the many important programs and services funded by levies, including mental health counselors, school security, extra-curricular activities and many more. While you’re at it, you can check out all of our videos about the important things funded by the levy.

Coronavirus Update – Guidance from Public Health Seattle and King County

While the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States is still considered to be low, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all travelers from China, including school students, staff, and volunteers arriving in the U.S. AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 pm stay at home away from others and monitor their health for 14 days. If you get a fever or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others. Call your doctor or healthcare provider to tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel.

There is no recommendation for people showing no symptoms arriving before this time to restrict their activities. All travelers from China who arrived BEFORE February 2, 2020 at 2pm can continue to attend school.

The normal precautions during cold and flu season to prevent the spread of germs apply.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with those who are sick
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover cough or sneeze with tissue, throw tissue in trash, wash hands immediately
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched object and surfaces

You can find more about conronavirus at the links below or call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press the # key.

Science Technology Magnet Program Informational Meetings February 27, March 5, and March 9

Families of current third grade students: Are you interested in enrolling your student in ISD’s Science Technology Magnet Program? The Issaquah School District offers this program at three elementary school sites serving 4th and 5th grade students. Each magnet serves 50+ students in a two-year program. Each program covers all standard 4/5 district adopted curriculum with an added emphasis on science and technology. Grade specific math instruction is provided.

Families interested in participating in the enrollment lottery must attend a mandatory informational meeting, unless they have had a student previously enrolled in the program. Informational meetings will be held at Cascade Ridge on Thursday, February 27th, at Briarwood on Thursday, March 5th and at Clark on Monday March 9th. All meetings are scheduled for 6:00 to 7:00 PM.

Kindergarten Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year Begins Online Starting February 3.

The window to register your child for kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year begins February 3, and must be completed by March 6. Students who are turning 5 years old by August 31, 2020, are eligible for enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please visit the ISD New Student Enrollment website to begin enrollment February 3. The link will be live at that time. Once the online portion is complete, you will be required to visit your neighborhood school to pick up additional forms that must be completed in order to finish the enrollment process.

Additional Kindergarten information available at this link.

Dyslexia Family Engagement Forum - February 6

Families interested in connecting with the Issaquah School District regarding support for students with dyslexia are invited to a community forum hosted at the Administration Building at 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The purpose of the forum is to facilitate two-way communication, collaboration, and shared learning related to supporting students with dyslexia. Two additional forums will be held on March 5 and May 21. Families are welcome to attend one, two, or all three meetings. The February 6 session will include active listening opportunities and time for families to share their stories, interests, and learnings with ISD staff.

Have you heard?

STEMposium is coming February 13!

Students and families throughout the district are invited to attend.

Sponsored by the Issaquah Schools Foundation, STEMposium brings together students from across the district to share through interactive booths and demonstrations howthey learn STEM skills and knowledge during classroom projects, afterschool clubs, and student competitions. In addition to teacher/student booths, there will be various STEM related industries sharing their work in the area of STEM.

Please join us for the 3rd annual STEMposium.

February 13, 2020 - 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Issaquah High School Commons

More information and event program can be found here.

National School Counseling Week is February 3-7!

National School Counseling Week is our opportunity to honor and celebrate the unique contribution of counselors in our schools! Counselors are integral members of our learning community who work with students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, post-secondary options, and social/emotional skills. They help students identify their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents and set healthy, realistic, and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Counselors work in partnership with parents as they face the challenges of raising children in today’s world and collaborate with educators to create an environment in which students can realize their potential. During National School Counseling Week, our Counseling Specialists will be visiting schools and taking photos and videos that illustrate special themes for each day of the celebration, including Lend a Helping Hand, Offer Encouragement, Show Appreciation, and Be the Change in the World. You can follow the fun on social media with the hashtag #NSCW2020. Be sure to thank your school counselor for all they do to support our students, families, and staff every day!

The annual ELPA21 assessment is an online assessment given between February 3- March 27 to all students who qualify for English language development (ELD) services.The ELPA21 summative assessment measures students' English language proficiency in reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Results from this test determine which students are eligible to continue receiving ELD services.

Please contact your student’s ELL teacher with questions regarding specific dates for testing.

The annual Father-Daughter Valentine Dance is once again coming to the Issaquah Community Center on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

Grades K – 2, 4:00-6:00pm

Grades 3 – 5, 7:00-9:00pm

$29 per adult; $24 for Issaquah Residents; $45 at the door

Register with Issaquah Parks & Recreation at or 425-837-3300.

Weather Make Up Days and Future School Calendars

Our snow and ice event last week has resurfaced requests from the community to build weather make up days into our school calendars. In an effort to enable students, families, and staff to plan, we make every effort to post calendars three years in advance. As a reminder, our school calendars are developed and adopted as part of the bargaining process with the Issaquah Education Association (IEA) who represent our certificated staff. As we shared with the community last spring, while the current 2019-2020 school year calendar was established in 2017, because of the weather experience last year and because calendars for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years were not established, the District would explore opportunities to build in more weather make up options for future calendars.

To that end, District staff members negotiate with IEA’s leadership and gather input from the other labor organizations regarding calendar refinements. As part of negotiations, we shared with IEA the results of the community survey we conducted last spring asking for input on preferences. It is important to note that while 81.8% of survey respondents stated that they want built-in make up days, there was no clear majority favoring options to refine the calendar by starting the school year before Labor Day or making changes to winter, mid-winter, or spring break. While a majority of parent responders did favor taking time from teacher professional development and prep time on Wednesdays, it would take four Wednesdays to recoup one snow day. In order for us to insert weather make up days, we need to adjust one or several of those factors or extend the school year; all of which have competing desires. See survey here.

We do make every effort to use all options available to us, including application for waiving the school day if we have met the state minimum for instructional time. Meanwhile, calendar negotiations are in process now, and we expect to bring 2021-22 and 2022-23 calendar proposals to the school board for approval at the February 13, 2020 regular meeting. We will announce the approved future calendars through our usual communications channels, like E-News and websites, when the process is complete.

Legal Notices

Please read the important safety, health, and equal-rights notices that are posted online on our Legal Notices page. You will find information about asbestos, nondiscrimination, pest management, possession of firearms, sexual harassment, Title IX, and more.