EP&O renewal levy would not increase total local school tax rates
How would taxes be impacted by the ISD EP&O renewal levy? The District is asking voters to authorize a levy of $49.85 million in 2021 and $54 million in 2022. This is about $6.7 million less than we are legally authorized to collect. This will allow us to maintain our current programs while remaining fiscally responsible and sensitive to the overall tax rate. Because previous bond debt is ending and because we’ve planned conservatively, the estimated total local school tax rate will go down from $3.46 to $3.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value in the first year and to $3.30 in the second year.
Did you know that Washington state law provides property tax exemptions and deferrals for senior citizens and people who are disabled who meet income requirements? If you think you or someone you know might qualify, check out www.kingcounty.gov/depts/assessor/TaxRelief for more information and to apply. For more information on the renewal levy, visit the district website.
Due to space constraints, Grand Ridge Kindergarteners will attend school at either Challenger or Endeavour Elementary schools. The building assignment is based on your property address and will be made by our district transportation department.
Letter Writing Week is here! During the week of February 10th-14th students will participate in a school-wide letter exchange organized by the second graders. Everybody gets to write and receive letters, and the second graders will be the “Grand Ridge Postal Service”. Parents are encouraged to send mail to their children by properly addressing envelopes and placing letters in one of the blue mailboxes located at the end of wings or outside the office. Please see the example below for addressing the envelopes. Happy letter writing!
Family Engineering night is Wednesday, February 12th from 6:00-8:00pm. It is a chance to have interactive STEM experiences and enjoy learning TOGETHER. The hands on activities promote the engineering process, scientific thinking, and an opportunity to learn and play as a family. Go to the Grand Ridge PTSA website (grandridgeptsa.org) to sign up to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!
Highly capable testing for second grade students will be on January 17, 22-24, and continue March 10 through March 13. Students who are identified as “most highly capable” will be invited to enter either SAGE or MERLIN in the 2020-21 school year. Second grade students attending private or home-based schools are invited to participate. Contact your neighborhood school for more information about how to participate. More information about the Issaquah School District Highly Capable Program and testing for second grade students is available on the Highly Capable Issaquah School District webpage.
3rd - 5th Grade Smarter Balanced Testing Dates
Family Trips During Assessment Windows
As we have done in the past, family trips taken during assessment windows will be marked as Unexcused. This is because the data collected during these assessments informs our practice and supports your child's learning. Naturally, our preference is for families to travel during vacation periods outlined by the ISD. If your family needs to travel outside of those windows, please be aware of two things:
Absences during assessment windows are marked as unexcused
Per State Law:
5 or more unexcused absences in a month require a letter and a petition to be filled with the courts.
10 or more unexcused absences in a year require a letter and a petition to be filed with the courts.
Things to note:
Any absence is marked unexcused if you do not call prior to the absence.
A child arriving 2 hours or more after the start of the day is not a tardy. At that point, it is considered an absence.
Pre-Arranged absence forms are posted on our website. They are due to the office at least one week BEFORE the first day of the absence. Forms received out side of that window may not be received in time for processing and could result in an unexcused absence.
Pre-Arranged Absence Request forms may not be completed retroactively.
5th Grade Camp Parent Meeting
Wednesday, Jan. 29th
6:30-7:30 Grand Ridge Commons
5th Grade Camp
Mon-Wed April 27-29th
La Casita is the February Dining for Kids partner. Join us Wednesday, February 5th and La Casita will donate a portion of your bill to Issaquah Schools Foundation. These funds go to programs and resources for Issaquah School District students, including food & snack support during the school day. More info: http://isfdn.org/dining-for-kids/
Art Docents Needed! Are you creative? Do you love art and working with students? You should attend our free Art Docent training for Issaquah School District students! January and February classes are scheduled, including painted landscapes, drawing the face, Frida Kahlo portraits, painting with wool, and more! Get more info and register here: http://isfdn.org/our-purpose/promoting-professional-development/art-docent/
Mark your calendars for Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Annual Fundraiser and Celebration: Nourish Every Mind 2020.
Nourish Every Mind 2020:
Luncheon - Friday, May 8th, Breakfast - Tuesday, May 19th
Both Events Held at Eastridge Church, Issaquah
Online Auction – April 24-May 4, 2020
More info: http://isfdn.org/nourish-every-mind/
Open Enrollment Begins February 1
Per ISD Regulation 3131 regarding In-District Student Transfers, students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) may apply to transfer to any District school other than their neighborhood school during open enrollment through the month of February for the following school year. For complete information on the open enrollment process, including applications, please click here.
For Our ELL Families
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.
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.
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 www.issaquahwa.gov/register or 425-837-3300.
STEMPOSIUM: SAVE THE DATE
WHAT: Showcase of STEM learning hosted by teachers and students from the Issaquah School District. Teachers and students through interactive booths and demonstrations share how they learn STEM skills and knowledge through classroom projects, afterschool clubs, and student competitions. In addition to teacher/student booths, there will be various STEM related industries invited to share their work in the area of STEM.
WHEN: February 13, 2020 - 5:30-7:30 pm.
WHERE: Issaquah High School Commons – 700 2ndAvenue SE, Issaquah 98027
Everyone is welcome to attend! More information and event program can be found here.
Issaquah City Council Approves Designation and Zoning for Schools at Providence Heights
The Issaquah City Council voted 5-2 at its January 21, 2020 regular meeting to approve land designation and zoning at Providence Heights as Community Facilities CF-F. We are thankful to the City Council and look forward to working with our municipal partners, the residents of Providence Point, and other neighboring communities to mitigate the impact as much as possible as we build these much needed schools. For additional information, including next steps, please click here.
Coronavirus – Cold and Flu Season – When to Keep Your Child Home
You have likely seen in the news or on social media that Washington State has had one confirmed case of coronavirus. We know this kind of news is worrisome to families and in this case, many of the early symptoms may appear much like the flu, causing much concern.
The District has an emergency response plan and protocols in place for health risks that we will enact if needed. The Washington State Health Department is generally the lead agency in health crisis situations and will provide direction to school districts. While it is a serious illness, at this time the Washington State Health Department considers it a low risk to the public.
Flu season is also here! We respectfully ask that if your child is sick, please keep them at home. If you're not sure whether or not to keep your child home, please check your child’s symptoms with this handy chart. Ways to protect yourself and your family from colds and flu are to ensure everyone has a flu shot, wash hands thoroughly, drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest and stay home when ill. We have information in multiple languages about how to stop the spread of germs and the flu on our website at https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/health.
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.
January 29......6:30 - 7:30 5th Grade Camp Parent Meeting - Grand Ridge Commons
January 30.....PTSA Meeting - Emergency Preparedness
January 31......1:40PM, Grizzly Guys, 2nd recesses
February 3.....Online Kindergarten enrollment opens
February 5.....6:00 - 7:00PM Parent Only Kindergarten Information Night, Grand Ridge Commons
February 6.....6:00PM, 5th Grade Concert
February 7.....Popcorn Friday
February 10-14....Letter Writing Week
February 12...After School Movie - Ramona and Beezus
February 12....6:00 - 8:00, Family Engineering Night, Grand Ridge Commons
February 17-21....Mid-Winter Break
February 24....Nomination Deadline for PTSA Awards
February 27......6:00PM Book Swap