Challenger Elementary E-news

March 4, 2020

Upcoming Dates

  • March 4: Junior Coach Meeting 1:30
  • March 5: Student Council Meeting 3:40-4:25
  • March 6: PTA Challenger Book Swap
  • March 8: Day Light Savings Spring Forward
  • March 9: BLMS 5th Grade Parent Night
  • March10: PTA Meeting 7pm-8pm
  • March 11: BLMS 5th Grade Orientation

A reminder to check the Issaquah School District website for the latest updates regarding recent health concerns:

To highlight a few points from the website:

All district events, including those that are school-based, continue to be occurring as scheduled. The district continues to monitor all current and updated information from the Washington State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the OSPI website, among others. If there is updated/breaking information, it will be posted on the district website.

Regarding school work requests, in the event that you opt to keep your child/ren at home, the current practice in place remains the same as for all pre-arranged absences: please access your child’s teacher’s website, read daily, utilize the online math resources available to you (Zearn and Eureka) and when your child returns to school, curriculum-based papers that have been distributed during their absence will be available. It should be noted that in-class instruction and learning cannot be replicated at home so there will be components of daily learning from the classroom that cannot be accessed due to the collaborative nature of a classroom-based program. Parents do not need to fill out a pre-arranged absence form. Student absences will need to be reported daily to be excused via our attendance line 425-837-7550 or

We, at Challenger, as well as other ISD schools will continue to update our families as we receive new information.


Jennifer Kessler


Challenger Elementary School

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!

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.



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:

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.

PTA Information

Challenger PTA General Meeting!!

Tuesday, 3/10 at 7pm in the Challenger Library.

Hope to see you there!

Please join us for the Challenger PTA Golden Acorn Reception

Friday, March 27th at 3:40pm in the MPR

Join us for beverages and treats as we announce this

year's Golden Acorn and Outstanding Educator winners

Reading Makes You COLORFUL!!!!

Eager Reader has begun, are you logging your minutes?

Eager Reader is off to a great start! We already have over 300 students registered and logging minutes for their chance to become Royal Readers! Keep up the great work Challenger students!

Our first of 4 weekly raffle drawings will take place Friday. All students registered for Eager Reader will be entered in a drawing to win a gift certificate for a FREE shaved ice from Candy Mache. There will be a winner in each class!

If you haven’t already registered for Eager Reader please visit the Challenger PTA website for more information and to get your student registered for this fun event!

Challenger PTA Night at the Mariners May 2nd at 6:10pm!!

The Seattle Mariners are extending a discount ticket offer to the students, parents and staff of our school!

Tickets are $15 each and must be ordered by Apr. 3rd. Please visit the Challenger PTA website ( for more

information and to order your tickets.

District Information

Coronavirus Information - Letter from the Superintendent March 2, 2020

Dear ISD Community,

As you are likely aware, new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were confirmed in King County over the weekend. We want to assure you that the Issaquah School District is prepared and has an emergency response plan in place. Please note that there are no confirmed cases of the disease in the Issaquah School District.

Public Health of Seattle and King County is not advising cancellation of events, field trips, or school closures at this time. However, we are closely monitoring the health and attendance of our students and staff and preparing for any potential disruptions to school operations in an effort to minimize the spread of the disease. We are also taking extra precautions to disinfect surfaces in our schools per recommended health department protocols.

Should we be required to close a school or cancel events in the future, we will notify the community via email, District and school E-News, and posts on our websites and social media.

What if my child misses several days of school due to illness? What if I want to keep my child home as a precaution?

As with the flu or other illness resulting in an extended absence, should your child become ill you can contact the school to excuse the absence. Teachers will work with students and families to make up the coursework according to our attendance policies and procedures. Please be assured that as a parent or legal guardian, you have the right to excuse your student’s absence on any given day. If you decide to keep your child home as a precaution, please contact your school's attendance office.

When to seek medical evaluation and advice

While the number of cases is increasing, the vast majority of the illnesses around the world are mild, with fever and cough. If you or a family member has symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular medical provider. Public Health recommends not going to the emergency room unless there is a critical need. Public Health also recommends seeking medical advice if you are over the age of 60 and have an underlying medical condition.

How to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses, including COVID-19, spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughing or sneezing. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it. The same good health habits that prevent other viruses like the flu, also prevent the spread of COVID-19 and decrease the risk of getting sick:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand), then throw tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep students home if they are running a temperature or they report not feeling well or appear weak or ill.
  • Consult your health care provider if you or your child has health conditions that put you at increased risk.

Our Cleaning Protocols

Custodians are following procedures for cleaning and disinfecting with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectant with a claim for human coronaviruses. Our custodians are trained to use disinfectants in a safe and effective manner, and to clean up potentially infectious materials. Typically, this means daily sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often:

  • Door handles, crash bars, and doorknobs
  • Entry windows
  • Office counters and surfaces
  • Handrails
  • Sinks and drinking fountains
  • Dispensers
  • Anything else that is handled frequently by multiple people

Inclusivity and Behavior Expectations

We are aware of reports that some of our Asian students have been targeted and discriminated against in connection to COVID-19. This is unacceptable and contrary to our values of racial equity and social justice. In the Issaquah School District, we are committed to welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools, and we do not tolerate hate speech or acts of discrimination. Help us prevent discrimination or stigmatization by sharing accurate information. COVID-19 infection is not connected to any race, ethnicity, or nationality. Misinformation about coronavirus disease 2019 can create fear and hostility that harms people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. Public Health Seattle & King County has provided resources to address and prevent discrimination.

Wearing Masks

Public health agencies currently do not recommend that people wear masks when they are in public. This is because the immediate health risk to the general public in Washington is currently low. Additionally, scientists are not sure whether wearing a mask in public actually keeps healthy people from getting sick. It’s most important for people who are sick to wear a mask in a healthcare setting (such as a waiting room) to avoid exposing other people when they cough or sneeze.

In some parts of the world, mask use is customary. People wear masks often for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution, as a courtesy to others when they have the common cold, and for other cultural and even social reasons. Please do not assume that someone wearing a mask has COVID-19.

Stay Informed

This is a rapidly evolving situation. The District continues to follow the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health Seattle & King County in our response to COVID -19, including decisions to close schools and whether students or staff would need to be quarantined. As soon as new information becomes available, we will let you know. For the most up to date information, visit the Public Health Seattle & King County website and sign up for email alerts from their agency.

We all have a role to play in keeping students, staff, and families healthy and safe. You can help by staying informed, practicing good hygiene, and staying home or keeping children home if they have been running a fever or are exhibiting signs of a fever. For information, links, and additional resources including how to stay healthy visit our health notices webpage.

Want resources to share with your children?

Here’s an informative graphic resource from NPR:

We know families, staff, and students are worried. We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our school communities safe.


Ron Thiele


Video: Pilot Lunch Program Introduces More School Meals Made From Scratch

In the coming months, students at four ISD elementary schools will more meals made from scratch by their schools’ nutrition staff on their school lunch trays. The District’s Food Service Department will launch a “scratch cooking” pilot program at Clark, Issaquah Valley, Sunny Hills and Sunset elementary schools this spring. Beginning March 11, each of those schools will start providing seven new scratch-cooked meals. Food Service staff from the schools gathered February 18 to test out the recipes and prepare to serve them to students. Watch a video of that test-run on the ISD YouTube channel.

After testing the new recipes at the four elementary schools, the Food Service Department plans to make them available at all elementary schools next school year, and then at secondary schools.

The Food Service Department plans every meal to provide the nutrition students need, according to National School Lunch Program standards. The goal of this program is to further increase the quality and value of meals by reducing processed foods and replacing them with more wholesome and local ingredients to offer more freshly made options.

The 2020 Census: It’s important. It’s easy. It’s safe.

This spring you will be asked to perform an important task: Fill out the census. The Census: It’s important. It’s easy. It’s safe.

The U.S. Constitution requires a count of the United States’ population every 10 years. The goal is to count every resident. Collecting accurate information on everyone who lives in Washington is important to the future of our state, ensuring we receive our fair share of federal dollars for vital community programs. In 2016 alone, Washington received $16.7 billion in federal assistance, based on data collected during the 2010 census.

The census also determines the number of representatives each state has in Congress, which can make a difference when it comes to issues important to Washingtonians. Beginning in March 2020, all households will receive a mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau asking them to take the census online or by phone. Each household will be asked to provide details about people who reside in the household “most of the time” as of April 1, 2020, the official “Census Day.”

What do you need to do? Complete the short and easy form online. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can use one at a library or at a location in your community clearly identified Census Questionnaire Assistance Center.

Also, we know that infants and young children are the most under counted people. Your kids count, so make sure to count them when you fill out the census form in Spring 2020!

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.

Dyslexia Family Engagement Forum

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 Thursday, March 5 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at 5150 220th AVE SE. Issaquah. The purpose of the forum is to facilitate two-way communication, collaboration, and shared learning related to supporting students with dyslexia. Additional forums will be held on April 2 and May 21. Families are welcome to attend one or all of the meetings.

Kindergarten Registration for 2020-2021 School Year Begins Online 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. 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.

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.

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.