Issaquah School Board honored as WSSDA board of distinction for fifth year

November 24, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 24, 2013

The Issaquah School Board was one of 15 entities in the state named as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association on Nov. 18.

It’s the fifth consecutive year Issaquah has earned the Board of Distinction honor. Issaquah’s board is comprised of Brian Deagle, Marnie Maraldo, Alison Meryweather, Anne Moore and Suzanne Weaver.

The other school boards that earned distinctions were Anacortes, Auburn, Ferndale, Franklin Pierce, Kent, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Port Angeles, Pullman, South Kitsap, Sunnyside, Tumwater, University Place and Vancouver.

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Issaquah School Board seeks applicants for vacancy

January 22, 2013

A seat on the Issaquah School Board is up for grabs.

Board member Chad Magendanz left the position when he resigned Jan. 9 in order to start his new job in the state Legislature.

The remaining four board members have 90 days to appoint a new representative from Issaquah’s fourth district, from the Issaquah Highlands through the downtown corridor south to Tiger Mountain and Mirrormont.

All voting-aged residents of that area are invited to apply for the position by 4 p.m. Feb. 14. The new member would need to serve the remainder of Magendanz’s term, through November 2013.

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Issaquah School District superintendent to retire in June

January 15, 2013

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen intends to retire June 30 after leading the Issaquah School District for six years.

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Issaquah School District superintendent to retire

January 9, 2013

NEW — 10:10 p.m. Jan. 9, 2013

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen intends to retire June 30 after leading the Issaquah School District for almost six years.

Steve Rasmussen

Steve Rasmussen

The superintendent announced the decision Wednesday night to the Issaquah School Board.

“I have been lucky in life and have been able to do what I chose to do and that is being a teacher,” Rasmussen said to the board after the board accepted his resignation by a unanimous vote of the board. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with you.”

Rasmussen’s retirement caps off a 40-year career in public education in Washington that has included teaching, coaching and leading three school districts.

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Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 18, 2012

Steve Rasmussen

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Dec. 12 as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

“I think we have something at Liberty, that is evidenced by the groundswell of feedback from the community, that says this is very valuable to us,” board President Brian Deagle said. “I don’t know how to measure it. We haven’t been measuring it, yet it’s been proposed that we get rid of it.”

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Brian Deagle to remain Issaquah School Board president

December 18, 2012

Brian Deagle

Brian Deagle will remain president of the Issaquah School Board after receiving an unanimous vote from fellow board members Dec. 12 to keep the position throughout 2013.

As per district policy, the board is required to elect a new president each year. Superintendent Steve Rasmussen opened the floor for nominations and Deagle was quickly nominated without contest.

This is a the second time this year the board has unanimously voted for Deagle for board president. The first came Aug. 22, when then-board President Chad Magendanz stepped down because of his bid for a seat in the Legislature.

Magendanz has since won the election and is transitioning to his new role as the state representative for the 5th Legislative District. His last school board meeting will be Jan. 9.

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Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10:40 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Wednesday night as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

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Superintendent recommends six-period schedule for Liberty High School

December 4, 2012

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recommends Liberty High School switch to a six-period schedule.

During the 1990s, many schools across the nation began using an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. And in the fall of 1995, Liberty became one of those schools.

Seventeen years later, that could change. In order to establish a common, districtwide high school schedule, and to give Liberty students more time to study core subjects, the Issaquah School District is considering changing Liberty’s timetable.

Rasmussen made his recommendation to the Issaquah School Board during a work study session Nov. 28. The main reason, he said, is because the current block schedule gives Liberty students 127 hours per class each year, where Issaquah High School has 161 hours and Skyline High School has 165.

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Superintendent recommends six-period schedule for Liberty High School

November 28, 2012

NEW — 9:15 p.m. Nov. 28, 2012

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recommended Wednesday for Liberty High School to switch to a six-period schedule.

For nearly two decades, the school has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. However, in order to establish a common, districtwide high school schedule, and to give Liberty students more time to study core subjects, the Issaquah School District is considering changing Liberty’s timetable.

Rasmussen made his recommendation to the Issaquah School Board during a work study session. The main reason, he said, is because the existing block schedule gives Liberty students 127 hours per class each year, where Issaquah High School has 161 hours and Skyline High School has 165.

“What I am saying is: I don’t want lower standards for a group of our students. I don’t want them to be short-changed,” Rasmussen said.

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Issaquah School Board to decide Liberty High School schedule

November 20, 2012

As the 17-year-old block schedule at Liberty High School faces a possible ax at a Dec. 12 Issaquah School Board meeting, people on both sides of the issue are not taking the looming decision lightly.

That includes the school board, which plans a policy change to ensure that it has the final say. Typically, it is up to the superintendent to set schedules, but the board is making sure it will have to approve any change.

“When it comes down to it, it’s an important aspect of our schools and as important as other things that we have said we want the board to have a role in,” board President Brian Deagle said in a phone interview.

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