August, 2023

 

Dear International School Families,

On behalf of the International School staff, we are very excited to begin another school year!  We remain committed to our mission of affirming and inspiring each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world. We hope that this summer provided some time for refreshment and we are looking forward to seeing all of our students very soon. We value our sense of “community” within the school and are excited about the annual process of enhancing this strength and we look forward to creating opportunities to strengthen engagement.

Another way we build connections is through support of our PTSA, parents, and community. Below is a message from our PTSA about ways to get involved. This year, we have many opportunities for family members to volunteer and to be involved in the school. We strongly encourage everyone to join our PTSA and to be part of the larger conversation with the school community.

This communication provides some broad information about getting ready for school as well as some action steps families need to take before school begins. As we approach the start of school, more specific information will be sent out.

We hope you enjoy these final weeks of summer and look forward to seeing all of you in the coming days.

Respectfully,

 

Russell White (Principal) & Irina Kourilenko (Assistant Principal)

 

Staff Changes

While we still have a few positions to fill, we do want to welcome some new staff to the International School Community:

  • Irina Kourilenko (Assistant Principal)
  • Stacy Kunst (Science)
  • Matt Hong (Computer Science)
  • Adreanne Gingras (Paraeducator)
  • Linas Daniel (School Psychologist)
  • Prabina Dahal (Nurse)

 

Back to Business Day

We will be holding our Back to Business day on Thursday, August 24.  In order to maximize efficiency and minimize crowds, families and students are invited to arrive at the following times:

  • 7:30-9:30    Families with last names A-G
  • 9:30-11:30  Families with last names H-O
  • 12:30-2:30    Families with last names P-Z

The following services will be provided at Back to Business:

  • School photos
  • Orca card distribution
  • Laptop distribution for Grade 9 only in Library (students will need time to log into their account at school before taking the computer home)
  • Locker assignment for grades 6-8
  • PTSA sign-up
  • King County Library Systems (KCLS) card requests
  • Learn how to set up Nutrition Services accounts
  • Learn how to pay for fees in TouchBase
  • Learn how to check student class schedules in StudentVue
  • Learn how to update student information in FinalForms
  • Pick up parking permits
  • Information about Drama auditions

We recognize that some students and families will not be able to join us for Back to Business day and that is fine—this day is not required.  Students who are unable to attend should access their class schedule in StudentVue prior to the first day of school.   For grades 6-8, the schedule will include their locker number and combination.  The school photo make-up day is September 27 during the school day.  Laptops for 9th graders will be distributed in the first days of school.  Orca cards can be requested in the main office throughout the year.

 

FinalForms (action required for all families)

FinalForms is an on-line platform that allows you to enter information required for students to attend field trips, after-school activities, and participate in extracurricular activities.  For International students, this also includes full participation in the PE program, Focus Week, High School Retreat, and 6th Grade Retreat. As a result, this is required for all families.

Parents/Guardians and students need to update their information each school year.  If you have not already done so, please sit down together as a family to complete your FinalForms documents before the first day of school.

 

Online Student Data Verification (action required for all families)

Families can update student information through the online student verification process beginning August 23, 2023.   Synergy ParentVue provides parents and guardians the ability to view the student assignments, grades and attendance. When logging on to update student information in August, a prompt will remind parents/guardians to acknowledge the yearly attendance agreement. Make sure to update your email address and the language you prefer to receive messages. Information is HERE.

 

Fees

We continue with the reduction in fees for classes in order to ensure that all classes are accessible for every student. However, some fees may apply for your student. The easiest way to pay class/school fees is online.  Fees for families that may be paid will include:

  • Music classes may have some fees that will vary for students
  • High School Retreat (students in grades 9 – 12)
  • Yearbook order (optional—see below for more information)
  • ASB membership (required for some and strongly encouraged for all—these funds provide the basis for all clubs and social activities at the school for students. All students who participate in a club or school activity MUST have an ASB card.)
  • Parking passes (see below for more information)

 

ASB

ASB cards are available for the 2023-24 school year. ASB membership gives students access to participate in ASB clubs and supports school wide events such as assemblies, socials and retreats. You can purchase your ASB card online. Students who participate in clubs, Robotics, Drama, and middle school sports are required to have an ASB card to participate. ASB cards also provide reduced entrance fees to school activities throughout the year. Thank you for your support!

 

Yearbooks and Senior Grad Ads

International’s 2022-23 yearbook will be available for purchase online beginning August 24 for $50. Seniors: Purchase your grad ad ($40 full page, $30 half page) no later than Sept 8 and submit the ad by 11/14.  Senior portrait, baby picture, and senior thank you are due 9/26. Specific details will follow.

 

Free and Reduced Lunches / Fee Waivers

International School families may be eligible for free and/or reduced lunches. Additionally, families might also be eligible to have other school fees reduced or waived. To access this, families need to complete and submit an application for Free and Reduced Meals through Nutrition Services to be eligible for either free or reduced fees. Families must check the Fee Waiver box when submitting these forms. This application is available at the district’s website and is expected to be available the week of August 14.

 

Student Parking

If you submitted your parking application in June of 20223 and received a confirmation approval, you can pick up your pass at Back to Business Day. You can pay online here. If you got your license over the summer and would like to submit an application, a message with a link will go out the first week of school via TEAMS and Email. Applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis.

 

Transportation

Students at International School typically have transportation options provided by both the district (“yellow buses”) and King County Metro (“ORCA cards”). Bus route information will be available on the district transportation page in the middle of August. Parents are encouraged to enroll for the district’s bus tracking program. For families new to International School, please note that the school buses depart International School at the end of 7th period and before Tutorial. Information on routes is available at the BSD Back to School page (Step 4).

 

High School Retreat

This year’s high school retreat for students in grades 9 – 12 will take place September 12 – 13 at Warm Beach Camp. This overnight camp is an opportunity to build the foundation of a strong and caring community for the year ahead. We also honor our commitment to a globally-focused education. This year we will focus on Africa. More information may be found HERE.

Steps to take include the following:

  • Complete FinalForms for the 2023 – 24 school year.
  • Pay the retreat fee of $125 through the online portal. Scholarships are available. Contact our high school counselor (Colleen Courtney) at [email protected] for more information about scholarships.
  • Parent chaperones are still needed!! We need to have parent chaperones assisting throughout the day and overnight in the cabins. If you are interested and available, please reach out to Abi Horsfall at [email protected].

The High School Retreat is replacing regularly-schedule classes for these two days. If your student has a conflict that prohibits them from attending, we can set up a supervised study space at school as an alternative. If your student will not be able to attend, please contact Abi Horsfall as soon as possible.

 

PTSA

Greetings from your International School PTSA! The ISPTSA is preparing for a great school year and planning events both in person and virtual. Joining the ISPTSA supports our community in many ways, but most important to remember: Every student’s success is supported by PTSA.

  • Become a PTSA member and become a part of a community that values International School.  Parents, guardians, teachers, staff and students can become a part of this community.   Join or renew at isptsa.org
  • ISPTSA has opportunities if you would like to get more involved and support IS.  We have a complete board this year and various committees under each VP.  Our committees give people an opportunity to try new things.  Visit ISPTSA.org
  • Find us on Facebook! Stay connected with the IS Community and the BSD community through one of the Facebook groups. Share ideas and ask questions. Keep up-to-date on school, district, and community events and information.

 

The Monday Messenger is our weekly International School PTSA e-newsletter. Arriving in email inboxes most Monday mornings during the school year, this newsletter provides school news, upcoming events, PTSA activities as well as district and community information of interest to families.  If you are a new family to International School or if you are not currently receiving the Monday Messenger, click here to subscribe today! Learn more about International School’s active PTSA organization by visiting https://isptsa.org/.

Let’s continue International School’s tradition of working together to give our students the best education and school experience!

  

Parent Volunteers

One of the things that makes International School exceptional is the level of support we get from our family volunteers, especially when it comes to volunteering in the main office.  We count on daily volunteers to keep things running smoothly throughout the year.

Thank you to those who have stepped up already to volunteer.  We greatly appreciate all you do for IS. We still have some weekly or biweekly time slots available for office volunteers.  If you are interested in contributing 2-3 hours a week as an office volunteer, please contact Mary Pyrah (Office Manager): [email protected].

 

Upcoming Dates

  • College Boot Camp for Seniors (August 14 – 18)
  • Back to Business Day (August 24)
  • First Day of School – special schedule with all 7 classes (September 5)
  • Drama auditions for fall play (September 7, 4:00 – 7:00 PM)
  • 6th Grade Retreat (September 8)
  • High School Retreat (September 12 – 13, all school day and overnight)
  • 12th Grade Parent Night (September 21, 6:30 PM IS Library)
  • Middle School Social (September 22, 7:00 – 8:30 PM)
  • Picture Retakes (September 27)

 

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.