Issaquah High Counseling Newsletter

Fall 2020 Update

"Back To School" for the 2020-2021 School Year!

Each quarter, the counseling office sends out a newsletter focused on academics, college and career readiness, and social and emotional support. We aim to provide information on community resources, upcoming events for families, and ways the counseling department can help support you in these three important areas. We look forward to working with you this year!

For a translated version of this newsletter, please click here.


Make sure you are signed up for E-News here for all of the latest information!

Meeting With Your Counselor

Hello Issaquah Students! Welcome to the start of the 2020-2021 school year! Even though we are not able to schedule in-person student appointments, we wanted to make sure that all students are aware that you can still access your counselor for individual appointments during this remote time! As a reminder we meet with students for a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, frustrations with friends, family challenges, career exploration, college support, class planning, and more. Please email your counselor and they will help set up a time to meet with you. We have a variety of options on how to meet with students and we will work with you to set up the best option. If you do not wish to make an appointment, please know that we do have weekly drop-in's via Zoom during NEST (Friday’s from 1:30-2:50). You can find the Zoom links for NEST drop-ins on our Canvas Course!

From, Your Issaquah Counselors

Alan Waite |A-Ci|

Emily Combellick |Cj-Ham|

Christian McKone |Han-La|

Jennifer Martinson |Lb-Ol|

Amber Claussen |Om-Sta|

Jennifer Schwarz |Ste-Z|

Updates by Grade Level

  • In the next two weeks, the Counseling Office will be releasing our College Applications 101 presentation on the Counseling Website. This will cover information on types of applications, tips and tricks for applying, how to order your transcript, and much more! Make sure you browse our Counseling Website as well as the College and Career Center website for endless resources and information!
  • If you still need to take the SAT or ACT for your post-high school plans, you should sign up ASAP for a test this fall. If you’re unsure of the requirements, check the website of the colleges/universities you’re planning to apply to – some have waived this requirement due to COVID-19, but always best to check with the schools directly. Visit the ACT website and the College Board website for the SAT for more info!
  • Here are some helpful resources from the Washington Student Achievement Council about the transition from HS to post HS: For Students ; For Parents


  • The Junior Milestones document is for the 2020-2021 school year will be updated by the end of September in the 11th grade section of the counseling website. This document highlights information that is helpful for college and career planning.


  • The Sophomore Milestones document is for the 2020-2021 school year will be updated by the end of September in the 10th grade section of the counseling website. This document highlights information that is helpful for college and career planning.


  • Keep your eye out for a welcome to IHS presentation from the Counseling office coming soon. This will provide freshmen with the beginning knowledge and skills they need to reach their high school goals and begin preparing for their future.
  • Consider joining a club or interest group! This can be the best way to feel connected to IHS and a way to make new friends! A full list of after school activities can be found here.

Academic Achievement

Issaquah High Virtual Education Schedule

Big picture

Schedule Changes

For the last couple of weeks, the counselors have been working hard on fixing schedules and accommodating all scheduling requests. We appreciate all of your patience during this incredibly busy time! As we wrap up the last of the requests, please remember to follow the schedule change process.

Material Distribution Make-Ups

Did you miss your time slot for material pick-up at IHS? Check out your make-up time slot by LAST NAME!

Upon arrival, rather than walking up to the doors - we ask that the student or parent call 425-837-6010 OR if you have a smart phone and the line is busy or ringing forever with high volume you can also EMAIL with the following information:

  • Student name - as written in Skyward
  • Student grade
  • If any textbooks are online but you also want a hard copy - say "yes, include optional textbooks please"
  • If you need a calculator, say "I need a calculator"
  • Your t-shirt size for free recognition shirts from ASB
  • If you are in Orchestra, include your instrument so we know what sheet music to grab for you
  • The phone number to reach you if there are questions

After you have called or emailed, about 10 minutes later, please come to the front doors masked and wait until a staff member brings your items outside and calls your name. The items will already be checked out to you indoors and wil just be passed to you quickly to take and go.

Canvas Support

Username: Same as the student network/computer username. Typically, this is the first four letters of the last name, first three letters of the first name and last two numbers of the graduation year. For example, John Smith who graduates in 2022 would have the username SmitJoh22.

Passwords: The 7-digit student ID number followed by ISD (in capital letters). Example: 1234567ISD

Canvas login: smitjon22

Canvas password: 0890151ISD

Canvas Support

Canvas log in issues or password reset:

Tech Support

A student/family tech support hotline has been set up. The hotline will be staffed from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm each day(Mon – Fri). The phone number is: 425-837-6371. IT staff members will be able to help with school computer login problems and MS365 login issues.

Back to School Frequently Asked Questions

Event for New Families

Are you new to Issaquah High and the public school system? Be sure to keep your eyes pealed for the PTSA-sponsored "Ask the Academic Advisor" night in the last couple weeks of October. IHS counselors will present information about graduation requirements, the grading system, homework help options, and more. They will also be available for a live Q&A via Zoom. If you like programs such as this one, please consider joining IHS PTSA.

Free Homework Help

College and Career Readiness

Ordering Transcripts

Issaquah School District partners with Parchment for ALL transcript services. Parchment is a secure service that allows you to place and track orders online, accessible 24/7. To place an order visit

  • Unofficial and Official transcripts can be ordered. Unofficial copies can be emailed to your email account and will arrive as a PDF. We recommend this as a first step to review your information before paying for an official copy.
  • Official transcripts will be sent directly to the admissions office or location of your choice.
  • Costs vary based on method of delivery and destination (ex: overnight express/overseas mailing). Official Transcripts must be paid for by credit card when you order, and you will be able to see the exact costs for each order prior to submitting payment. accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover & American Express.
  • Parchment is not automatic. An IHS staff must process each request. You must allow 2 school days for processing for all transcripts, regardless of how they will be sent (electronically or via mail). This is critical to keep in mind in preparation ahead of application deadlines, especially around weekends, school holidays, and winter months where inclement weather can result in school closures.

College and Career Center

Here at IHS, we are lucky to have a college and career center that is available for our students on a regular basis. They provide a variety of services including career exploration, college planning, college and military representative visits, catalogs and information, field trips, scholarship information, employment, volunteer, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities. They are also available for resume and interview help, as well as coordinate dual credit WANIC, CTE dual credit, summer enrichment programs, and the high school and beyond plan.

Student Drop-Ins:

Students can drop in via Zoom on Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 3:00PM - 3:30 PM to ask questions regarding post-high school plans, WANIC, dual credit, and other topics. Zoom Meeting Details: Meeting ID: 91642603590

Parent and Student Appointments (beginning 9/28):

Students and Parents, can sign up for a 30-minute appointment with a College & Career Specialist via SignUpGenius. Due to Covid-19, all scheduled appointments will be conducted over ZOOM. Students must have a parent/guardian attend all virtual scheduled appointments. Click HERE to schedule an appointment.

Virtual College Visits

College Visits will be held virtually every Wednesday. College Visits are for Issaquah HS students only and will be conducted on the IHS College & Career Center ZOOM account.
Colleges are in the process of signing up for a time slot, so it is important to frequently check the College Visit Calendar for updates. Meeting link and details can be found in the Event Details here. Most visits will be recorded and the event details will be updated to include the link to the recording/materials within 48 hours of the event.

Helpful College Application Tips from the College and Career Center!

Social and Emotional Support

Self-Care During COVID-19

It is normal to feel anxious, sad, confused, lonely, fearful, or angry during this time. The Mayo Clinic released some self-care suggestions during the pandemic.

Physical Health:

  • Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
  • Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Take deep breaths and stretch often.
  • Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or ignoring public health recommendations.
  • Spend time outside, such as going for a walk in the park, but follow social distancing guidelines.

Mental Health:

  • Set and maintain a routine at home.
  • Focus on things you can control.
  • Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Consider a regular check-in schedule to give you something to look forward to.
  • Focus your thoughts on the present and things to be grateful for today.
  • Listen to music or read books.
  • Consume reliable news sources that report facts, and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.
  • Lean on your personal beliefs and faith for support.
  • Look for ways to help your community, such as blood donations, checking on older people in your neighborhood, or donating supplies or money to local organizations.
  • Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community.

School Based Mental Health Counselor

The Issaquah School District partners with Swedish to provide a teen mental health counselor here at Issaquah High School. Our current counselor, Sara Torelli, is entering her third year here with us and has been an amazing asset to our counseling team. She is with us full time and at this point, is able to meet with any student via phone or zoom. To contact her about appointments, email her at

Remote Learning Tips and Tricks

1. Stay Organized

2. Stay Engaged

3. Manage your Environment

4. Ask for Help

5. Take Care of Yourself

Click here for the full article by Manchester University!

Parenteen Connect

As kids enter into their teenaged years, it can be a difficult time for both parents and teens. This is a great online resource focused on helping parents and teens connect on difficult issues. It is based on input from teens, parents, and experts, and addresses topics such as communication, independence, and screen time. Check out their website here.

Issaquah Resource Directory

Below is a directory of resources in the Issaquah community. It has contact information for agencies offering support for many needs, including homelessness, childcare, counseling, employment, legal, and medical services. See the attachment below for a full list of resources available.

Contact Us

Counselor Alpha Assignments:

Alan Waite: A-Ci

Emily Combellick: Cj-Ham

Christian McKone: Han-La

Jen Martinson: Lb-Ol

Amber Claussen: Om-Sta

Jen Schwarz: Ste-Z