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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.