Public hearings begin for possible school closure

September 16, 2014

The Issaquah School Board has yet to set a date for when it will consider closing Tiger Mountain Community High School, but it began a public comment period last week that brought dozens of impassioned people out in defense of the alternative school.

The first public hearing regarding the possible closure of Tiger Mountain was held Sept. 10 and generated comments from students, parents and teachers. The public comment period was scheduled to last 50 minutes, but went nearly an hour longer as more than a dozen people spoke about the issue, the vast majority supporting ideas to keep it open.

In June, Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele presented a plan to close the school for the 2015-16 year and re-open it the following year under a different educational model. District officials point to the school’s declining enrollment, low test scores and low graduation rates as reasons to close.

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Give your input on Tiger Mountain school closure at Sept. 17 meeting

September 15, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 15, 2014

Community members wishing to give input to the Issaquah School Board regarding the proposed closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School are invited to attend one of two public hearings.

The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, prior to the regular school board meeting, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The hearings will be in the Issaquah School District board room, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Learn more about the proposed closure here.

Public invited to Common Core town hall Sept. 15

September 12, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 12, 2014

Parents, teachers, activists and anyone interested in discussing or learning more about the growing controversy surrounding Common Core are invited to a public forum about the standards.

The forum is at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 at Pacific Cascade Middle School, 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

Hear from legislators, educators, activists and policy experts on both sides of the issue of Common Core Standards. Questions from the media and the audience will be answered.

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Teens in Issaquah, Sammamish will wear T-shirts Sept. 10 to support suicide prevention

September 9, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 9, 2014

Teenagers in Issaquah and Sammamish will wear special T-shirts to school Sept. 10 as part of National Suicide Prevention Day efforts.

Nick Pringle, a youth pastor at Pine Lake Covenant Church, is spearheading local awareness efforts. He said the last two years have been the hardest of his eight-year ministry career, with many area teens committing suicide.

Five teens in Issaquah, Sammamish and Snoqualmie took their own lives during the past school year. And 2013 was considered the most violent year for teen suicides in King County in the past five years, with the number rising from three to 11.

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Give your input on Tiger Mountain school closure at Sept. 10 meeting

September 7, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 7, 2014

Community members wishing to give input to the Issaquah School Board regarding the proposed closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School are invited to attend one of two public hearings.

The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, prior to the regular school board meeting, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The hearings will be in the Issaquah School District board room, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Learn more about the proposed closure here.

Food, football add appeal to All in for Kids fundraiser

September 2, 2014

The Issaquah Schools Foundation is partnering with area businesses for its All in for Kids annual fund campaign Sept. 5-10.

Funds will support advancing academic achievement, support struggling students, promote professional development and connect students to their futures.

Sept. 5 — Battle of the Fans in the Stands — Issaquah vs. Skyline football game, Issaquah High School, 7:30 p.m.
It’s the district’s rivalry game of the year. Dress in school colors and feed the jar with $1 or $5 contributions in support of your favorite team upon entrance. All who donate receive a Battle of the Fans gift. The winning side will win the coveted Battle of the Fans trophy for their school and bragging rights for a year.

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Issaquah School District finishes school projects, delays others

August 26, 2014

Staff members, parents and students at Apollo and Issaquah Valley elementary schools have been waiting years for their buildings to be refurbished, and their wishes will be granted when school starts Sept. 3.

By Greg Farrar A lighted reader board has been put up at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

By Greg Farrar
A lighted reader board has been put up at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

The two elementary schools were major pieces of a $219 million bond measure that Issaquah School District voters approved in April 2012. Issaquah Valley and Apollo received about $6.6 million each for similar modernization projects that focused on creating additional classroom spaces, improving building security and upgrading existing spaces for a continued influx of new students.

The district is expecting to add 350 students in the 2014-15 year, and projections released last year showed the school system could grow by more than 2,800 students over the next 30 years.

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Issaquah schools get creative to bolster ‘culture of kindness’ ideals

August 26, 2014

Kym Clayton has a child who struggles with social skills and speech delays, and in her quest to find help, she stumbled across an idea from a suburban school in Pennsylvania.

By Neil Pierson In June, Sunny Hills Elementary School received its new Buddy Bench, a place for students to confront their emotions and make new friends. Pictured in the front row are Sunny Hills student Evan Baker, and Beaver Lake students Alejandro Calderon and Jade Griffiths. In the back row are Beaver Lake teacher Patrick Ford, Sunny Hills Principal Leslie Lederman and Sunny Hills PTSA President Kym Clayton.

By Neil Pierson
In June, Sunny Hills Elementary School received its new Buddy Bench, a place for students to confront their emotions and make new friends. Pictured in the front row are Sunny Hills student Evan Baker, and Beaver Lake students Alejandro Calderon and Jade Griffiths. In the back row are Beaver Lake teacher Patrick Ford, Sunny Hills Principal Leslie Lederman and Sunny Hills PTSA President Kym Clayton.

Christian Bucks, a student at Roundtown Elementary School in York, Pa., invented a simple but effective way of helping children who were feeling sad or lonely. His Buddy Bench concept — a bench where kids can sit when they’re in need of a friend — has spread like wildfire in less than a year, reaching schools around the world.

Clayton believed the Buddy Bench might be a useful tool at Sunny Hills Elementary School, where she was PTSA president during the 2013-14 school year.

But simply going to a local hardware store and building a bench wasn’t what she had in mind.

“I think it would be really neat to be full circle, that kids are building this bench for other kids,” she explained. Read more

Guest Column — Great schools, great communities and you

August 26, 2014

Issaquah schools are great — there’s no doubt about it. Our district is consistently ranked as one of the top in the state and our students’ test scores are among the best in the nation. Ask any real estate agent and he or she will regale you with tales of parents who relocated just so their kids can get an Issaquah education.

What is less apparent is how our schools continue to be world-class centers for learning. Much credit goes to our teaching staff and fiscally savvy administration. An equal measure belongs to the community — parents, residents and businesses who donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation, join our PTSAs and volunteer in our schools.

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Issaquah School District introduces Atomic Learning

August 26, 2014

The Issaquah School District invites Issaquah parents and students to use a new resource for learning technology tools called Atomic Learning.

The district’s subscription includes nearly 50,000 step-by-step tutorials on common software, workshops and projects on topics such as blogging and Internet safety.

Atomic Learning can be used by parents and their children at home. Contact your school for its Atomic Learning account information.

 

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