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Issaquah Scholars (Start Strong)

A female student works at her laptop.

A strong transition into ninth grade sets a foundation for high school success. For students who lack confidence as they leave middle school, the Issaquah Scholars program (formally known as Start Strong) is an opportunity to enter high school with new assurance.

“I’d been struggling through middle school, and I really wanted to change that,” says Issaquah High School student Ethan Juday.

“Issaquah Scholars gave me that opportunity and showed me what I can do better.”

In the summer before their freshman year, Issaquah Scholar students meet to learn study skills and become familiar with the high school curriculum and culture. Issaquah Scholars provides a network of support that benefits students throughout their education. The program continues throughout the students’ career in high school with ongoing mentoring and college field trips to build relationships and connections to life after high school.

The results are remarkable. Among recent Issaquah Scholar participants, 98 percent have improved grades since middle school, 80 percent have improved attendance and 40 percent have a GPA above 3.0.

To kick off the 2016 -2017 school year, Liberty HS, Issaquah HS and Skyline HS hosted a Foundation-funded summer preparation program where the Issaquah Scholars  students came together to prepare for the school year. The program emphasized relationship building, school readiness, and goal setting. One student's grandmother and mother took a moment to share their experience:

"My granddaughter, Amy*, participated recently in the Issaquah Scholars program and thoroughly enjoyed it.  She made some new friends, loved the teachers and really enjoyed going to Central Washington University.  I think it made her feel special. On the first day of school she was happy (not her usual anxious self) and jumped out of the car to join her friends. We really credit your program.  

We so appreciate Amy being invited to join Issaquah Scholars and will work hard to keep her motivated.  Thank you so much for this opportunity!"

- ISD Issaquah Scholars Family 

*Student name changed for privacy reasons


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