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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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 http://bit.ly/1lb7n0c.

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.

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.

Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »