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Issaquah Highlands School Spotlight: April 2021

School Spotlight

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.

Academic Support
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.

For more information about ISF, please visit our website at See details on our annual Nourish Every Mind event on April 29 in the Spring issue of Connections.

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

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 Questions? Email Lisa Echert at

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 Questions? Email The IHS Boosters Club awards senior scholarships every spring, valued at $1,000, to selected IHS graduating seniors. Applications are available online at Email entries to 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 Email Betsy Grant at 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 for more information and to register.

Tracie Jones is an Issaquah Highlands resident.