loading Skip to Main Content

Did You Know?


  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation was founded in 1987 by John & Maureen Shaw and had 8 board members.  At the time, the district consisted of approximately 7000 students.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation’s first fundraiser netted $25,000 in pledges.  Over 160 volunteers manned the phones over a 5-day period and collected from more than 700 donors through the “School-a-Thon” calling campaign.
  • Money from the 1988 Phone-a-Thon was earmarked for new reference materials, especially maps and globes for the revised social studies program that was implemented in all grades int eh fall of 1989.
  • To keep up with the growing needs of the district, the Issaquah Schools Foundation began a new fundraiser in 1998… a luncheon originally titled “Kick-off for Kids” now our annual Nourish Every Mind event.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation supports the district that covers 110 square miles across the 5 cities of: Issaquah, Sammamish, Newcastle, Bellevue & Renton.  It funds programs at all 26 schools in the district and enriches the lives of close to 20,000 students.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation has 8 student trustees on its’ board (2 from each high school) providing valuable insight on our work from the student perspective.


  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation’s earliest efforts were in providing grants for teachers. The Foundation believes that innovation is essential and provides funds to explore and implement new ideas in the classroom. Foundation grants transform these ideas into programs and solutions that can ultimately be implemented across the district, multiplying the benefits to students for years to come. 
  • Through our grant program, the Foundation has funded ukuleles at many of the elementary schools, giving 5th graders an opportunity to learn a string instrument.
  • Through our grant program, the Foundation provided the initial funding for a guitar making class at Liberty High School.
  • Through our grant program, the Foundation provided the initial funding needed for a radio station at Issaquah High School.
  • The Foundation has funded many flexible seating options around the district including wobble stools, standing desks, and desk cycles, giving students an opportunity to have options during the day allowing many to better focus.
  • The Foundation funded B-Bots, Blue Bots and other intro to robotics, basic coding, and computer science exploration for our youngest learners.


  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation funded leveled reading rooms for each elementary school along with reading A-Z software offering online leveled reading opportunities.  Not all students read at the same level and these resources give teachers the ability to teach each student at their own level. 
  • Reading is a Foundation for learning, and therefore we have a steadfast support for literacy needs in our district. The Issaquah Schools Foundation donates books to every school library each year… and in FY21, donated 648 books allowing for more diverse options for all students.
  • Support for literacy is important, and in FY21, the Foundation supported the pilot of Learning Ally, an online reading software that includes audio books particularly helpful to students who may struggle with reading.
  • Books are a popular item for Foundation grant requests every year and the Foundation has donated over $350,000 on literacy support materials via our grant opportunities over the past 34 years.
  • In FY21, the Foundation funded $25,000 in books at the elementary level, specifically geared toward giving students exposure to a wide variety of authors and topics from varied cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.


  • The Foundation loves to support innovative ideas.  The TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) program is a great example.  The idea for computer science professionals to teach CS at the high school was brought to the Issaquah Schools Foundation which funded a pilot of the program at Issaquah High.  The program caught on and grew tremendously! TEALS is now run by Microsoft Philanthropies serving 10,000 students at 455 high schools in the US and British Columbia.  It’s a great example of what can happen when we support a new idea and let it take shape. 
  • The Foundation funded graphing calculators for the high schools so that students who can't afford one can check out one from the school.  We want to make sure each student has the tools they need to succeed!
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation helps to fund the robotics programs at each of the secondary schools.
  • The Foundation supports STEMposium, a district-wide event showcasing how to gain STEM skills and knowledge through exhibits from STEM related industries, classroom projects, after school clubs, and student competitions.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation supports STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) Club funding to each high school to further enrich clubs and classes that provide opportunities for students in STEM related fields including Rocketry, Environmental Science, Video Production, Forensics, and Engineering.
  • The Foundation provides funding for the Highly Capable and Science Tech programs providing support for materials and teacher training for these specialty programs.


  • The Voice Mentor program which supports over 400 students in our district with a 1 on 1 mentor was started by the Issaquah Schools Foundation in 2004 with 12 mentors serving 15 students.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation partners with the district and Influence the Choice to collect data and share results from the semi-annual Healthy Youth Survey giving us insight into where kids need social/emotional support.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation provides support for student intervention services, including funding for counselors at every school to get training and materials on suicide prevention.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation has provided the funding for Character Strong curriculum at each middle school, providing a combination of social, emotional, and character development. Character Strong helps support a positive culture by teaching kindness, respect, selflessness, patience, humility, forgiveness, and honesty.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation funded the founding of the WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) program at the middle schools giving students leadership opportunities and teaching them how to make all students feel welcome in their school.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation provides funding for expert speakers and films that help students, staff, and families understand the stressors facing youth today – including topics on anxiety, the effects of social media, and discussion on safe boundaries and consent.


  • The Issaquah Scholars program, which supports struggling students on their transition from middle school to high school was started by the Issaquah Schools Foundation.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation funds academic support in the buildings by funding teacher time after school to help students with schoolwork.
  • Via our Student Academic Grant program, the Issaquah Schools Foundation provided funding for 100 students to receive outside tutoring to help support their academic needs during 2021.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation provides opportunities for high school juniors and seniors to earn Impact scholarships for continuing education after high school graduation.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation provides funding for testing scholarships including exams such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or World Language.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation partners with the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce for the Great Careers Conference, which introduces students to secondary education options including careers they can pursue through certificated, apprenticeship, or two-year degree programs. 
  • In FY21 the Issaquah Schools Foundation funded $15,000 for dyslexia training for teachers in our district.


  • Via our Tools4School program, the Issaquah Schools Foundation provides 1000 backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need each year.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation provides food support to each building in the district so that students who may not have enough food at home don’t have to go to class hungry.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation supports the district’s nurses fund which provides basic needs for families who need financial support.
  • To help support students and their families, in FY21 the Issaquah Schools Foundation donated 500 $25 grocery gift cards to be given out to families with school-age children.  The Foundation values our great partnership with the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, which, along with the gift cards provided by the Foundation, will included fresh produce, cheese, and bread to help with food support for families.


  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation has a dedicated fine arts fund that was started in 2013 and has provided over $600,000 in funding to the arts programs in our secondary schools. 
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation funded art lesson plans for art docents designed around a scaffold of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.


  • The ISD is a National Board Accomplished district because over 20% of our staff have National Board Certification.  This is important professional development and obtaining national board certification is a program that was originally funded by the Issaquah Schools Foundation.
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation provides funding for professional development opportunities for teachers including CTE (Career & Technical Education) training, Dyslexia training, STEM development, and special education certificates.
  • The Foundation has funded amazing trainers such as Matt Glover who has given the district staff many hours of information on helping students with writing and he continues to help the district to this day.


  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation runs the Cultural Bridges program that helps build relationships between families from diverse cultures and languages, the ISD, and the broader Issaquah community through outreach, events, mentoring, translation services, and a magazine printed in 7 languages. 
  • The Issaquah Schools Foundation is the largest single contributor to ParentWiser, a partnership with the PTA to provide local and national knows experts to share the latest information on effective parenting.

Fueling Success for Every Student, Every School