Year-round Useful Links

Acronyms & School Jargon

IHS E-News Archive

Whom Do I Contact?

ISD 2020-21 School Calendar

IHS Yearbook Submissions

Latest IHS Counseling Newsletter (Fall 2020)

Fall 2020 IHS College and Career Center Newsletter and Current Blog 

11-minute overview of the College and Career Center website 

Issaquah School District - Accessing Information in Multiple Languages

PTSA Presidents' Newsletter (English) (Español)

Canvas Support for Students and Parents


Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome!  Everyone is brand new to IHS at some point!  Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).  Do you have a suggestion for another question?  If so, email


1) I'm a parent/guardian of a 9th grader or transfer student.  What should I do?  Give me the short version.


2) How do I find out information?  

The school's main source of communication is its weekly E-News.  You are not automatically included.  To get on the list, sign up HERE and mark Issaquah High and Issaquah School District.  Older E-news can be found HERE

Follow PTSA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Attend PTSA events such as New to IHS Night (August), New Family Ambassadors Program's socials (year-round), and Ask an Academic Advisor Night (October).  Come ask the principal questions at the PTSA monthly general meetings, listed on our calendar.

Students can follow IHS ASB's instagram.


3) Is there anything for new families? 

The PTSA has a program called the New Family Ambassadors.  This pairs up an old-timer with a newcomer, so they can have someone to ask questions.  There are social activities year-round.  While this is geared towards new-to-the-area parents and guardians, anyone is welcome (including old-timers) as long as they are willing to make new friends.  


4) I keep hearing about PTSA, Boosters, ASB, and ISF.  What's the difference?  

In a nutshell, PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) deals with things that affect student learning, Boosters (parents) fundraise for extra-curricular clubs and sports, ASB (Associated Student Body) is the student-run organization that oversees clubs and school dances, and ISF (Issaquah Schools Foundation) funds district-wide programs.  See a flier with more details HERE


5) Talking about jargon, what exactly is Nest and Eagle Crew? 

Since eagles are the mascot, Nest is the nurturing time on Friday afternoons where students can get extra help from teachers or counselors.  Eagle Crew is a group of juniors and seniors who act as mentors for 9th graders and plan freshmen activities.  View this list of acronyms and jargon.


6) How do I sign up for sports? 

Contact the coach and attend Sports Night.  More info HERE under IHS Athletics.  View Registration Info HERE.  You will need to have a physical and have the physician sign off on a document you bring.


7) How do I find out about clubs?  

The school hosts a club fair in mid-October during Nest.  Most clubs have a weekly meeting during the school year.  View the Club's Page HERE and the specific 2020-21 club list HERE.  The 2020 Club Fair video can be found found HERE

To participate, students must purchase an ASB card HERE or with the bookkeeper at IHS. Any student needing financial assistance should talk to the Attendance Secretary, Lisa Hollingsworth.


8) Are any clubs particularly noteworthy at IHS? 

In no particular order, these clubs do well at the regional and/or national level. 

DECA (Business club), Robotics, Sports MedicineEvergreen Orchestra (audition only), Mix It Up, In Harmony, and Hi Tones (audition-only, acapella singing groups)


9) How do I find a staff member (e.g. the Attendance Secretary)?

The school's staff members are listed HERE or you can search the ISD Directory HERE.  You might have to use a shorter word search (e.g. "Attendance" instead of "Attendance Secretary").  


10) Are community service hours required to graduate? 

No, but there is an optional PTSA honor cord that may be worn at graduation for students that document 100+ hours of volunteering (from the end of 8th grade until May 1 of the senior year).  More info HERE.  Submit hours HERE 


11) What is the difference between Running Start and AP Courses?

Running Start is a program for juniors and seniors where they can take classes off-campus (e.g. Bellevue College).  There is an info session in the spring of the sophomore year for students.  The advantage is getting college credit with minimal fees.  The disadvantage is that you have to provide your own transportation.  Also, Bellevue College's credits may not be recognized by private colleges outside of Washington State.  On the other hand, AP (Advanced Placement) courses are college-level courses at IHS that have national exams and are recognized at all colleges.  Expect a college-level course to go twice as fast as a regular high school course.  More info can be found on the Counseling website.


12) What is the difference between the College & Career Center and IHS Counseling


While they overlap slightly, the two IHS departments function differently.  Both have extensive websites that should be explored.

You are assigned to an IHS Counselor based on the student's last name.  They can help with academic questions, course selection, mental health, or IEP/504 Plans.  Your counselor also writes the school's recommendation letter to colleges (allow 10 school days) and sends transcripts.

The IHS College & Career Center organizes visits from college admission officers, tracks the High School and Beyond Plan (required for graduation), posts scholarships and internships, and serves as a resource to parents and students.  They have a mini-library full of college-related books that you can check out.  View an 11-minute overview of the CCC website HERE.

Students and/or parents may make appointments with both IHS departments.


13) What are the graduation requirements?

Click HERE and go to the bottom of the page in the purple section.  You will see class years and a "Grad Planning Sheet."


14) How do I see grades or know how many credits have been completed?  

Google "Issaquah Family Access" or click HERE.   Parents would log into Family Access while students would use Student Access.  Explanations on how to use Family Access can be found HERE.


15) How do I find out what courses are available? 

Google "IHS Course Catalog" or click HERE.


16) What are some of the main school events?

Homecoming (Sept/Oct), Winterfest (Dec), Swingin' in Vienna (Feb), TOLO Dance (April), Senior Prom (June), Senior Farewell (June), and Senior All-Night Grad Party (June).  Major school events are often on the PTSA calendar on the home page.


17) How do students get in the yearbook? 

The yearbook is a class headed by Ellen Jarvinsen at IHS.  Due to COVID-19, submissions are all online (as opposed to non-COVID years where yearbook students interview other students at school during class time).  The easiest reminder is to follow the IHS Yearbook Instagram page ( which will advertise what they are looking for.  More info HERE on specific quotes and photos needed. 


18) How do I purchase a yearbook, an ASB card, or anything else?

Google "Issaquah touchbase" or click HERE.  During non-COVID times, you can physically go to the school and see the Bookkeeper.


19) How do I fund my student's lunch account (non-COVID times)?

Use My School Bucks .  More info on the school district site HERE. 

Here are some questions/answers from the "Virtual Coffee with the Principal" (Nov. 5, 2020), sponsored by the New Family Ambassadors.    If you still have questions, the principal attends every PTSA General Membership Meeting and answers questions submitted via chat.


1) Is there any change of having in-person sports and activities before in-person school openings?

We're trying to get kids back in small groups.  Clubs and sports are not under the teacher union. 

2) Will there be any modifications to grades, especially for students who struggle with online learning?

Teachers have already modified the classes/curriculum as much as they can.  They are looking at how to best support those students that aren't doing well.  There will be survey coming out soon.

3) Can teachers require kids to have their cameras on?


4) There are a lot of acronyms in communications.  Can you define more?

Thanks for the feedback.  Erin Connolly and Andrea McCormick send out the E-News and have attempted to define more acronyms.  Will give staff feedback as well.

From chat:  PTSA has an acronyms sheet at

5) Do they have options for kids to join clubs without using Instagram?

Yes, kids can join clubs without Instagram.  Andrea will give feedback to Jordan Frost, ASB Director.

From chat: Jordan Frost/ASB puts things out in YouTube, Instagram, Canvas, and now E-News.

Ed. note: Clubs can be found at including a link to club days/times at

6) Senior events?  Are we starting to plan for the possibility there won't be graduation at Safeco field?

If graduation is not allowed at Safeco field for large groups, Andrea is prepared to have a socially-distant event at IHS stadium for the 550 seniors so they can walk across a stage and received their diplomas, even if this means she stands outside for the course of two days.

7) Do you know if colleges will be doing anything different when they look at transcripts for this year?

Colleges are blacking out last spring's grades and recalculating GPA's.  Also, usually only "core" classes make the GPA for college.  CTE, electives, etc. are taken out of the GPA. 

8) I would like to understand the college application process.  What do 9th graders need to focus on? 10th graders?  11th graders?  Seniors?

IHS Counseling and the IHS College and Career Center give specific information to each grade.  During non-COVID years, this would be a gathering in the auditorium with all the 9th graders (and so on).  It is forming differently this year.  You can also make an appointment with the College & Career Center (CCC)

Ed. note: 

IHS Counseling has suggestions per class year on the bottom half of their main webpage at

IHS College and Career Center has flyers for specific grade levels.

You can make an appointment with Karen Stevens of CCC at .

IH PTSA also has a College and Career Planning button on their website (left-side menu)with recordings about college info.

9) So 9th graders should make an appointment with the College and Career Center sometime this year?

The department is understaffed due to a hiring freeze and this is the busiest season with college applications.  They may ask freshmen parents to wait for an appointment or send an email with questions instead.

Ed. note: PTSA is hosting Karen Stevens from the College and Career Center on Nov. 17 @ 6PM.  Event is posted on PTSA's front page . 

10) Could teachers be encouraged to post every test and assignment in Canvas?  Assignments in external systems and those without due dates do not show up in the "to-do" list.

It's a two-step process between Canvas and Family Access and so not all the info can be entered in Canvas.  Grades are not official until Skyward.  Each teacher is using Canvas differently.

11) If a new student from out of district transfers to IHS after middle school, how are their HS level course credits transferred? If they have a different grading system in middle school for those courses  how are they mapped to IHS grading system?

Students need to first work with the school they came from to obtain a high school transcript for those courses.  If that isn't feasible, they can ask their counselor for options but it isn't guaranteed that you can transfer a high school class credit that was earned at a middle school outside of our district.

12) If a parent has already talked with a teacher about concerns (homework load, not marking attendance), what is the next step?

Definitely talk with the teacher first.  That's a district policy.  Please don't skip the teacher --- they feel in trouble when you go above them.  If the answers are not satisfactory, then you have an assigned assistant principal (by last name) that you can ask for help.

Ed. note:  The assistant principals are listed on

13) Is independent PE still happening during COVID?

Yes!  IHS Counseling has a whole page dedicated to PE options. 

Ed. note: PE link is .

Applying for PE credit is at

14) Is online PE though APEX considered as outside PE? 

Ed. note: There is a FAQ on the IHS Counseling website which includes link for PE. 

15) When should students take their language test?

Ed. note:  Students read through a FAQ found  and then email Zach Myers at to set up a test.  Students should be already fluent or near fluent to take a world language test and get credit for it.

16) Do you think they are anticipating having to be remote also next year?

Andrea's son's pediatrician thinks so!  But she does not know what will happen next fall.

17) How often are these coffee with the principal?

From chat: New Family Ambassadors does this once a year. The principal comes to every PTSA general meeting and answers questions for about 20 minutes.  The next PTSA general meeting is Nov. 13 (a week from Friday). Andrea usually speaks at 10 am.

18) What's the timing for opening the new high school?

The current plan is that the new high school (near Providence Point) will open the fall of 2023.

19) How are school boundaries affected?

Since the new high school has been pushed back a year, the high school boundaries will not be discussed this go-around.  Boundaries are being discussed for the elementary and middle schools.

From chat:  Each school can have 1 parent rep even if the school won't be affected by the redistricting.  Info from IMS E-News

20) What volunteer opportunities are there during COVID?

There is a graduation honor cord from the PTSA for those who volunteer for 100 hours.  The documentation is online.  Honor Society also requires volunteer hours.

From chat: ASB has a survey link to match volunteers with opportunities (!)

Ed. note:  The PTSA's volunteer page( has info on reporting online hours (


Did you miss "New to IHS" Night (Aug. 27. 2020)?  

Not to worry!  You can still watch the 20-minute pre-recorded video (with students Q & A and club slides) 

Thank you to everyone who joined our live Zoom sessions!

Did you miss "Ask an Academic Advisor" Night (Oct. 21, 2020)?

You can still view the PowerPoints and videos HERE (including Spanish/Chinese captions).    This was geared towards those unfamiliar with the U.S. school system or public high schools in the Issaquah School District.

After a brief introduction, IHS counselors showed a pre-recorded presentation and then stayed for a live Q&A session.  Chinese and Spanish breakout rooms were available.


Useful Start-of-the-Year Links

PTSA Presidents' August Blog

Principal McCormick's Video on Remote Learning

Canvas HelpCanvas in a Different LanguageGuide to Canvas for Parents & Guardians

Digital Tools Login Info

Remote Learning Bell Schedule 

Cultural Bridges Family Guide