Safety and Security
Safety is the number one priority for Issaquah District Schools. The District and each school has a comprehensive crisis management plan in place not only to prevent a crisis, but also to prepare, respond, and recover from one should it occur. Please note: to avoid the exploitation of our safety plans by those who would cause harm or damage, we do not make these documents available to the public.
- By law, all of our schools are required to conduct at least one drill a month and must practice three basic functional responses: shelter-in-place, lockdown, and evacuation. Schools also conduct at least one earthquake drill each year. These regular drills are meant to make systematic responses second nature for staff and students.
- Evacuation routes and procedures for lockdowns and other emergencies are posted in every classroom.
- The District's protocol for an active shooter scenario is called Run-Hide-Fight. In the elementary schools, this is Run-Hide-Protect as we explain that a teacher may have to physically protect the students. Run-Hide-Fight is considered a best practice by local law enforcement who worked with the ISD to bring this protocol to our schools.
- Emergency Drills are also conducted on our school buses. See Bus Safety and Preparedness Drills 6605P1
Please review the district's Safety Regulation 3432P for additional information.
A school lockdown is most often a precautionary measure initiated to keep students safe while law enforcement officials and staff conduct an investigation of a reported threat. A lockdown is not necessarily an indication that students are in harm’s way.
The top priority for school staff during a lockdown, or any emergency situation, is to keep students safe and implement our safety protocols. While we understand that waiting for specific information is difficult, to avoid interfering with investigations, the District does not immediately release specific information about the reasons for a lockdown.
The District is committed to providing accurate information. Often, it takes time to gather and confirm facts with law enforcement officials and school personnel during an active investigation. We will always do our best to communicate accurate information as soon as we can.
We recognize that during a lockdown, misinformation often spreads quickly through social media or in media reports. Please double-check the source of any claim and be skeptical of reports coming from non-district sources.
To help school staff and law enforcement do their work, please do not call or go to the school during a lockdown unless asked to do so.
Please, do not text or call your student’s cell phone during a lockdown. Cell phone use could distract a student from hearing or following staff directions, and, in the event of an active threat, could give away your student’s location.
We understand that these incidents are stressful. Thank you for your patience and your help as we follow our protocols and work to keep all students and staff safe.
Circumstances may occur at the school that require parents to pick up their students in a formalized, controlled release. The process of controlled release is called a reunification and may be necessary due to weather, a power outage, hazmat, or if a crisis occurs at the school. The Standard Reunification Process is a protocol that makes this process more predictable and less chaotic for all involved.
As a parent, you can assist us by not coming to the school to pick your child up. Traffic caused by parents trying to come to the school may impede our process of getting your child to safety. Also, make sure your emergency contact information is up to date at each school and be sure to bring government issued ID with you as we will not release a student to a person not listed on the emergency contact form.
Send an anonymous tip to tell District safety staff about threats, bullying, drugs, weapons, concerns about student well-being, and any other safety problem.
To ensure we have up to date emergency information for your student(s), please log in to Skyward/Family Access and verify your family's contact information. Should any updates be needed, please contact your school's registrar directly.
Topics on this page
- Emergency Preparedness Drills
- About School Lockdowns
- Family Reunification Procedures
- Physical and Environmental Safety and Security
- District Safety Advisory Committee
- Social Emotional Safety and Mental Health, Counseling Support
- Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation
- ISD School Board Safety Resolution
- Issaquah Sportsmen's Club
- 伊萨夸学区学校安全保障 - Chinese
- 이사콰 학구의 학생 안전 및 보안 - Korean
- Seguridad escolar del Distrito Escolar de Issaquah - Spanish
Contact Director of Safety and Security, Dave Montalvo
Vestibule Entry Systems
The Issaquah School District is in the process of incorporating a vestibule entry system that allows staff to "buzz in" parents, volunteers, and guests. This is being built into all of our remodeled schools, planned new schools, and we are currently in the process of retrofitting all other schools with this system. Ten schools were completed at the start of the 2017-18 school year and another 11 are planned to be completed in the spring and summer of 2018. The three remaining buildings will have vestibules built in during their remodel/addition projects so that every school will be updated to the new standard.
The District Safety Advisory Committee meets quarterly to discuss, review, and implement safety and emergency preparedness procedures and initiatives. The committee is comprised of local law enforcement and first responders, school resources officers (SROs), school security personnel, representatives from food service, transportation, and building maintenance departments, school principals and assistant principals, and parents, as well as district office administrators and representatives from our counseling and school crisis response teams.
The Issaquah School District continues to build on its culture of kindness and strong commitment to supporting our students through its Positive Behavior and Social-Emotional Support (PBSES) framework. This framework uses evidence-based practices and offers multiple levels of support to serve all of our students both academically and socially. We have invested in PBSES because research shows that when a school climate is positive and predictable, students feel safer, have better academic performance, and make better behavior choices.
The Issaquah School District has been leading the way in addressing the importance of social emotional learning of students for the past several years. In 2014, we contracted with Swedish Hospital to add mental health counselors in our high schools and in 2015-2016, we added Student Support Coaches at each of our elementary and middle schools. These Student Support Coaches are now providing direct in-classroom support as we implement the PBSES framework. Plan are underway to work with Swedish Hospital to bring in additional mental health counselors for our middle schools and some elementary schools who have populations of students who require extra support.
Our vision for PBSES is to promote respect, positive relationships, and predictable, proactive learning environments so that students can lead socially and emotionally safe and healthy lives. Our guiding goals for PBSES are the following:
- Students and staff understand and are mindful of their own social/emotional functioning.
- Staff demonstrate flexibility and empathy as they respond to individual student needs.
- Staff implement explicit strategies for establishing, maintaining and restoring relationships.
- Staff provide a progressive response to problem behaviors through structured Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions.
- Students experience a reduction in unhealthy externalizing and internalizing behaviors.
Our work caught the attention of Governor Jay Inslee and his wife, who visited Grand Ridge Elementary School in 2016 to talk with staff and observe PBSES in action in a classroom. We were honored to offer Governor Inslee an opportunity to experience first-hand how PBSES is benefiting both students and teachers by improving the school and the classroom learning environment here in the Issaquah School District.
Please also visit our Counseling Services Page for more information on student support and mental health services.
The Issaquah School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students that is free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. In order to ensure respect and prevent harm, it is a violation of District Regulation 3207 for a student to be harassed, intimidated, or bullied by others in the school community, at school sponsored events, or when such actions create a substantial disruption to the educational process. Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Regulation 3207P
Please visit our Bullying Resources and Reporting Page for more information.
The Issaquah School District Board of Directors unanimously passed a School Safety resolution on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 acknowledging the impact of gun violence in schools, both in terms of loss of life and its detrimental impact on the learning environment. The resolution puts forth a strong call to action on the part of the United States Congress and Washington State Legislature to assist schools by taking concrete steps to address gun violence, including assistance for schools with social emotional and mental health interventions for at risk students.
The board further reaffirmed its commitment to continually reviewing and improving safety plans, emergency preparedness plans, and infrastructure. Two student representatives from Skyline High School offered thoughtful input on the draft resolution that was incorporated into the final resolution.
Speaking on behalf of the board, ISD School Board President, Anne Moore stated that, “Through this resolution, the Board recognizes that the safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance and changes must be made at both the national and local level to prevent gun violence. Our final resolution had the benefit of our student board members’ voices, which helped us create a stronger declaration to support students by including peer-to-peer student engagement and additional updates to our infrastructure.”
Over the years, the Issaquah School District has responded to inquiries regarding the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club and its proximity to several of our schools. With the recent school shootings in the news, security concerns are in the forefront in people's minds bringing forward the issue of the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club and its location near our schools again.
The Issaquah School District has no legal authority to manage or control the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club's lawful use of its private property. Federal, state, and local laws do not prohibit the location of a shooting range near a school. King County, as the permitting jurisdiction and licensing entity, has final authority over the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club location and operation. The Club has been in operation since 1937 and re-licensed by King County in the 1990s. Concerned citizens may make a request of King County to review the Club's operations at this site.