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3119 - Enrollment at Gibson Ek

Vision and Objectives

With the design and implementation of Gibson Ek High School, the ISD intends to accomplish two broad objectives: (1) create personalized programs to provide those students not thriving in existing schools with a vibrant learning community that prepares them for success after high school; and (2) to introduce into its portfolio of schools an innovative and adaptive design accessible to all interested students.

The Board’s vision is to have in place a fair and equitable admissions process that serves these objectives in tandem rather than creating tension between them.

Monitoring of the admissions Regulations and procedures will be through the Executive Director of High Schools and Gibson Ek High School leadership. Procedures supporting this Regulations will be reviewed and revised annually by the school’s leadership team in collaboration with the Executive Director of High Schools. The District will periodically review the school’s enrollment and available related information to ensure that the procedures are effectively serving the Regulations, objectives, and vision. The intent of the Regulations is for the enrollment to be managed through the outreach and recruitment process rather than as a pre-determined admissions allotment.

Gibson Ek’s communication and outreach efforts will strive for diversity in the student body and staff. Through these outreach efforts, Gibson Ek will strive to promote applications from across student demographics in terms of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, ability, and socio-economics.

Students attending Gibson Ek should be comfortable with the school model and willing to engage their learning in new ways. Attendance, grades, behavior, IEPs or 504s will not be a barrier for accepting eligible students.

Gibson Ek High School will provide a supportive, innovative, and personalized approach to learning allowing students to grow and mature at a pace that is appropriate for them. Teachers work closely with students to provide the right balance of challenge and support to help students thrive. Although Gibson Ek provides an approach to learning based on the individual student, students are expected to engage in the school’s program and community. Students at Gibson Ek must be willing and able to take ownership of their learning as well as attend internships. Students and parents must consider the following when looking to enroll at Gibson Ek High School. Gibson Ek students will engage in a school where they:

  • Work closely with an advisor who provides guidance and support as students engage in school and develop Learning Plans
  • Reach beyond school to establish and attend internships and real world experiences 2 days per week
  • Engage in rigorous project work both independently and collaboratively
  • Find inspiration to lead their own learning while being immersed in an innovative and collaborative school environment
  • Have initiation and organizational skills necessary to pursue independent project work
  • Embrace technology for personalization and new challenges
  • Contribute to a kind, positive, and respectful school culture
  • Invest in and commit to deeper learning as an integral part of the school
  • Learn how to learn, think critically, and solve complex problems
  • Gain the confidence to push themselves and develop positive beliefs about themselves as learners
  • Develop the maturity to communicate with adults in the workplace as well as at school
  • Develop the courage and skills to explore their interests, passions, and talents

Eligibility to Apply

Gibson Ek High School is open to students who reside in the Issaquah School District. Families must have established residency in the District by the Gibson Ek application deadline in order to be eligible for participation in the choice school lottery. With certain restrictions, state law makes children of full-time District employees eligible to attend District schools where the employee works. The children of school District employees who reside outside of the District boundary are eligible for enrollment in District schools and are therefore eligible to participate in the Gibson Ek open enrollment application and lottery.

Gibson Ek will accept applications from current 8th grade students during the open application session as stated on Gibson Ek’s website. All eligible 8th grade students who submit an open application by the application deadline will be considered on an equal basis. Eligible students will be selected for admission for the following school year through a lottery process. After the open enrollment period, applications may be considered in the order received after any students on a wait list from the initial open enrollment period

Application process

Availability of space in the school will be determined by the Chief Financial Officer or designee, using the program capacity of the school and projected enrollment. The number of spaces available for choice enrollment for Gibson Ek will be published by the Chief Financial Officer or designee.

Students must apply to be considered for enrollment. Gibson Ek will hold informational sessions for prospective students and families annually in the winter. Attendance at informational sessions is strongly recommended but not required. Applications are available online at and applications can be submitted through the online application, emailed, or sent through certified mail addressed to the school site. Applications not received, incomplete or late will not be accepted unless there are openings at the school after the lottery process.

No in-district student may be denied admission to the school on the basis of prior academic performance, attendance, or behavioral issues. (This does not apply to students under current suspension or expulsion. Such applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lottery Process

Applications are collected through the online submission process, through email, or by certified mail. Annually, Gibson Ek will submit a list of prospective students to the District office, and annually a random number generator will be used to assign each student a lottery number. As in all District lottery processes, each student must enter the lottery as an individual and each student will receive an individual lottery number. There is no guarantee that twin/multiple siblings will both/all receive admittance into a choice school. Lottery numbers expire annually and will not carry forward into the next school year.

Names will be drawn and documented in order, creating an enrollment list and a wait list. The wait list will be comprised of those students who applied but were not selected, listed in the order that such students were identified via the lottery. If students do not accept admittance to Gibson Ek by the confirmation deadline, then the wait list will be used to determine the next student eligible for enrollment.

Notification/Selection Process

At the conclusion of the acceptance process, notification of placement status will be sent via email to all applicants. Notification will not be provided in person or via telephone. Students must confirm their acceptance with Gibson Ek by email or certified mail to the school site 2 weeks after they are notified of acceptance. “Wait list” students will be contacted by Gibson Ek if space becomes available. Until accepted, students must remain enrolled in their resident school. It is the District’s intent that students attending Gibson Ek High School shall remain at Gibson Ek through their high school career. However, the District may change or modify this intent based upon the needs of all schools in the District.

Students with Identified Disabilities

Gibson Ek is open to all students. Gibson Ek will implement the IEP or Section 504 Plan for any enrolled student with a disability and will not condition a disabled student’s admission on the student waiving their need for special education or related services. However, Gibson Ek is not required to fundamentally alter the nature of its program to meet the needs of a disabled student. For example, Gibson Ek provides students with on campus education 3 days each week and internship experiences 2 days per week. If a disabled student, even with the provision of special education, related services, and/or accommodations, is unable to appropriately participate in an internship experience or requires on campus education more than 3 days each week, Gibson Ek may not be an appropriate program for the student.

If a student with an IEP or 504 Plan becomes eligible for attendance at Gibson Ek through the lottery process, the student’s IEP or 504 team must determine that the student may be appropriately served at Gibson Ek prior to the student’s admission into Gibson Ek. All decisions must be made by the student’s IEP or 504 team in accordance with federal and state law, and District procedures.

Withdrawal Process

Students withdrawing from Gibson Ek must do so no later than the 15th day of the school year. Thereafter, students will not be able to withdraw except under special circumstances as determined and approved by the Superintendent or designee.



Last Revised:


Cross References:


  • RCW 28A.225.215 Enrollment of children without legal residences
  • RCW 28A.225.330 Enrolling Students from other Districts — Requests for information and permanent records
  • WAC 392-121-106 Definitions — enrolled student
  • WAC 392-121-108 Enrollment exclusions
  • WAC 392-121-122 Definitions — Enrolled and full-time equivalent students
  • WAC 392-121-182 Alternative learning experience requirements