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.


Community news roundup — schools, high school, college, dean’s lists, scholarships

August 26, 2014

National Merit Scholarship

Five local high school seniors are among its collegiate-sponsored winners for the 2014 scholarship program of the National Merit Scholarship Corp.:

  • Catherine Ball, Issaquah High School, is pursuing a degree in computer programming at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.
  • Grant Vaska, Issaquah High School, will attend Washington University in St. Louis, Minn.
  • Kathleen Park, of Sammamish, will pursue a degree in communications at Wheaton College near Chicago.
  • Shanchen Pu, of Sammamish, will pursue a degree in medicine at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
  • Nikila Vinugopal, of Sammamish, will pursue a career in dance at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

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Failing-school letters to go out

August 19, 2014

School districts include retort

Because most Washington school districts don’t have 100 percent of their students passing state math and reading tests, the federal No Child Left Behind law says the districts must send letters to families explaining why.

But the districts don’t have to like it, and 28 school superintendents have jointly written a second letter they will send along with the first, explaining why they think their schools are doing much better than the No Child letters make it seem.

“Some of our state’s and districts’ most successful and highly recognized schools are now being labeled ‘failing’ by an antiquated law that most educators and elected officials — as well as the U.S. Department of Education — acknowledge isn’t working,” the cover letter states.

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Issaquah schools budget set to receive slight boost

August 19, 2014

The Issaquah School District will receive an additional $5.4 million from the state government, which equates to revenue growth of less than 1 percent in the 2014-15 school year.

Public school districts and the state Legislature continue to battle over the McCleary decision of 2012, which said lawmakers weren’t fully funding basic education costs and called for them to rectify the situation.

The state increased funding by about $1 billion for its 2013-15 biennial budget, but that isn’t quite cutting it when it comes to meeting the requirements of the McCleary decision, school officials said.

“Though a billion dollars sounds like a lot, when you split it over two years and divide it by 295 school districts, you see it translates to a rather minute increase in the proportion of state revenue,” said Jake Kuper, the Issaquah district’s chief of finance and operations.

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Newcastle Elementary School principal to speak at chamber lunch

August 5, 2014

Newcastle Elementary School parents and students can meet the school’s new principal, Richard Mellish, at the Aug. 13 Newcastle Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Mellish comes to Newcastle from the Mercer Island School District, where he served as principal of West Mercer Elementary School.

He replaces outgoing Principal Marla Newton, who left at the end of the school year to take a job as a principal at a Federal Way School District elementary school.

The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. Aug. 13 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. The cost is $20 for chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. RSVP for the luncheon at

Issaquah Chemistry Club wins competition

July 22, 2014

The Issaquah High School Chemistry Club took first place in the “Imagine Tomorrow” competition.

The club created a portable shower kit intended for use in countries that lack proper hygiene. It utilizes a filter system that reuses water from the shower that is cleaned before each use.

Contributed Issaquah High School Chemistry Club members (from left) Anne Robertson, Cassidy Crickmore, Amanda Levenson and Ben Barnett won first place in two categories in the Imagine Tomorrow competition.

Issaquah High School Chemistry Club members (from left) Anne Robertson, Cassidy Crickmore, Amanda Levenson and Ben Barnett won first place in two categories in the Imagine Tomorrow competition.

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Washington Scholars program honors seniors

July 15, 2014

Five Issaquah School District seniors have been recognized by the Washington Scholars program.

The Washington Scholars award represents the highest meritorious honor conferred by the state’s education and government leaders on the most exemplary (top 1 percent) graduating high school seniors across the state, recognizing excellence in academic achievement, leadership and community service.

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Reflection — The Beat has been a great ride

July 8, 2014

My first impression of The Beat came from Iman Baghai. He did not inspire confidence.

For those who may not know him, Iman is a great guy, a loud, friendly goofball with a sneeze that sounds like a distressed piglet. At first glance, though, he doesn’t seem like he would make a good editor of a news page; he seems disorganized and scatterbrained, and as a freshman listening to his recruitment talk, I remember being very skeptical about the kind of page this guy would run.

Jacob Brunette Issaquah         High School

Jacob Brunette
High School

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Reflection — The Beat helped me grow

July 8, 2014

Taking a look at the past year, I find myself looking at The Beat as one of the best decisions I have made.

The Beat helped me grow as a writer, and brought me closer to my school since I always had to stay updated on school events.

Azan Sarosh Liberty         High School

Azan Sarosh
High School

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Reflection — Thanks to everyone for support

July 8, 2014

It’s hard to believe my first year on The Beat is coming to an end.

I have had the privilege of meeting and working with talented, determined and dedicated young writers who have inspired and taught me so much. As the youngest member of the team, I’ve enjoyed my quiet niche as I learned the ropes from my seniors.

Erika Kumar Skyline High School

Erika Kumar
Skyline High School

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