May 17, 2011
Paperwork aside, getting a Parent-Teacher-Student Association up and running at a school can be tough work — work that just got a little easier thanks to Rajeev Goel.
Goel, the Cascade Ridge Elementary School PTA webmaster, has created a template for PTSA websites that can be individualized around the world. Using his company, Our School Pages, Goel plans to sell the websites for $120 per year, a fee that will cover the labor, server, storage and processing fees.
This is not the first school website created by Goel, a former Microsoft software developer. In 2009, he launched Our Science Fair, a site helping schools organize and launch science fairs. As of this spring, about 40 schools nationwide were using Our Science Fair to coordinate their events.
Goel launched the Cascade Ridge PTSA website in August, working out the kinks and adding new features throughout the year. After polishing his final product, he began selling the Our School Pages template website on April 29, allowing any school in the world a chance to purchase it and make it its own.
At the annual Washington PTA convention April 29 to May 1, 60 schools decided to try the website for a free, 30-day trial.
May 15, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. May 15, 2011
An apparent accounting glitch by King County led to two Issaquah School District schools being charged $115,000 worth of storm water fees from which they were supposed to be exempt.
On Monday, Sammamish City Council members will consider waiving the back charges, which were levied by the county on behalf of the city against Skyline High School and Cascade Ridge Elementary in 2009 and last year.
At a May 10 study session, the council appeared supportive of waiving the old fees. However, they were split on whether or not the city should continue to waive stormwater fees for schools, which contain large amounts of the impervious surface, such as paved areas, that create storm water headaches.
“It appears that a majority of communities in this part of the county are collecting fees (from public schools),” Deputy Mayor Tom Odell, who mentioned that he was not opposed to collecting the outstanding fees, said at the session. “We have identified the need for additional (storm water system development). Schools have a lot of impervious surfaces.”
April 6, 2011
NEW — 3 p.m. April 6, 2011
Cascade Ridge Elementary School student Jeremy Kim’s artwork might become a common site on restaurant tables and in the condiment aisle at grocery stores.
The third-grader is a finalist in the national Heinz Ketchup Creativity Contest — a chance for students in first through 12th grades to redesign the venerable Heinz Ketchup packaging.
People can vote for the design through Monday.
The top three entries in each grade appear online. The public then selects 12 winners, and Heinz picks the grand prize winner from the dozen.
April 5, 2011
For Cascade Ridge Elementary School’s annual science fair, fifth-grader Vikram Chennai wanted to know what materials would work best for an astronaut suit.
April 5, 2011
For every strong school, there are strong volunteers who organize cultural fairs, chaperone field trips, coordinate family fun nights, photocopy assignments and hold bank days for student deposits.
The Issaquah PTSA Council awarded 73 volunteers from 23 schools with Golden Acorn Awards at the 2011 Recognizing Our All-Stars reception March 29.
Boy Scout Troop Pack 636 started the function with a flag salute, and Issaquah PTSA Council President Janine Kotan welcomed the crowd.
The ceremony had a sports theme, with presenters dressed in their favorite sports garb and giving speeches about how volunteers had wowed their fans and hit home runs for their schools.
Jennifer Good, a parent volunteer at Challenger Elementary School, said she began volunteering to meet people and promote education. She organized an ice cream social at the beginning of the year, while Ruth Steck, another parent volunteer, regularly snaps photos of students for the Challenger yearbook.
Both women said they appreciated the Golden Acorn Awards, though, “You don’t do it to be recognized,” Good said.
March 30, 2011
NEW — 12:15 p.m. March 30, 2011
King County is honoring Grand Ridge Elementary School — plus teachers, a student, and a staff member from across the Issaquah School District — as Earth Heroes at School.
The annual honor highlights schools and people for contributions to environmental protection and student environmental education. The county Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ Solid Waste Division announced the 2011 honorees Wednesday.
“Winners of the Earth Heroes at School awards are a diverse group who share the common goal of making our world a better place,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements in environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation and other positive efforts.”
Grand Ridge Elementary recorded a 35-percent recycling rate last year.
February 1, 2011
If you recognize the love story that casts two evil stepsisters, a fairy godmother and an irresistible prince, then you will be familiar with the story of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s next production.
The timeless fairy tale “Cinderella” debuts at McCaw Hall Feb. 4 in time for Valentine’s Day. The excitement is brewing as three Issaquah children prepare for their parts in the highly anticipated show.
Anna Park, Chloe Chow and Vincent Bennett sat patiently in a studio among their fellow cast members in The Phelps Center waiting for rehearsal to begin Jan. 26, 10 days before opening night. Poised and elegant are not typical words used to describe children of their age, but these young dancers are as focused as they are talented.
“This production is much different than other ‘Cinderellas,’” Kent Stowell said to the rehearsal audience.
He choreographed the production based on the classic French fairy tale and is one of the founding artistic directors of the ballet company.
“It’s a classic story and it’s really fun,” said Anna, a ballerina from Challenger Elementary School. Anna has been dancing since age 5, and said she is “very excited” to be a part of this show.
Vincent, who also attends Challenger, is the youngest of the three Issaquah ballet stars and is in the third grade. He first became fascinated with the art form after watching “The Nutcracker” and has been dancing since he was 3, said his mom Aleksandra Bennett.
January 18, 2011
Lecture to educate parents about burns and scalds
Harborview Medical Center’s burn center outreach team will teach caregivers how to treat common burns and scalds at a free lecture from 9:15-10:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Cascade Ridge Elementary School, 2020 Trossachs Blvd. S.E., Sammamish.
Harborview nurses will identify the most common causes for burns and scalds, and discuss injury prevention in the kitchen and home, as well as teach participants how to treat burns. The speakers will identify injuries that require hospital treatment. Read more
January 4, 2011
State program is a casualty of deep budget cuts
The salmon — or, more specifically, delicate salmon eggs no larger than a pencil eraser — return to a Clark Elementary School classroom each year.
But fourth- and fifth-grade teacher Liza Rickey could face a change in the curriculum soon as the state Salmon in the Classroom program ends.
In the program, students raise salmon, learn about water quality and salmon habitat, and discover the relationship between Issaquah Creek and Puget Sound.
State legislators eliminated dollars for the program in a round of budget cuts during a Dec. 11 special session. The program is a casualty of cuts as state leaders face a $4 billion budget hole. Read more
October 19, 2010
Church group honored in D.C.
Good Samaritan Episcopal Church of Sammamish traveled to Washington, D.C., where eight of their acolytes, their vicar, the Rev. Dr. Suzi Robertson and other sponsors attended the 31st National Acolyte Festival.
Good Samaritan was recognized by the bishop of Washington, D.C., as having traveled the farthest distance to attend the annual festival. While in D.C., church members also toured monuments and government buildings.