April 3, 2012
The primary decorations were orange construction cones and yellow caution tape. Winners were described in terms keeping with that theme, such as construction tools or architects. One winner from the Issaquah School District PTSA Council was described as “the construction glue” that holds the council together.
Gathered in the commons of Pacific Cascade Middle School, the Issaquah PTSA Council held its annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremony March 27.
Not counting the several winners from the districtwide PTSA council, the night honored approximately 75 winners from 23 PTSA units, said Becky Lawrence, vice-president of elementary schools for the PTSA council. A committee of PTSA leaders from each school picked the winners from their individual schools, Lawrence added. As you might expect, criteria included what PTSA members have done for their schools, but also the district and their involvement in the community as a whole.
March 6, 2012
Voting by mail in the weeks leading up to April 17, roughly 58,000 registered voters in the Issaquah School District will have the chance to decide whether the schools can sell $219 million in bonds to pay for major renovation and maintenance projects throughout the district.
February 7, 2012
The American table had a bag of food from McDonald’s and a Dorothy doll straight out of the movie version of “The Wizard of Oz.”
A Mexican table featured ethnic toys, including a Spanish Monopoly game. The Japanese table had a lot of visitors, perhaps all wanting to try what turned out to be some surprisingly tasty Spam sushi.
November 15, 2011
If it weren’t for the “Marvin Redpost” series, a bunch of fourth-grade boys at Discovery Elementary School might not be so into reading this school year.
And if it weren’t for a staff member’s vision and nearly $30,000 from the PTA, the school might not even have that book series by Louis Sachar in its selection. Discovery opened its new literacy room this fall. It’s a “re-purposed” former art room and storage space that now offers nearly 1,000 different book sets at varying reading levels for the entire school population. The point is to expand options for teachers as they work with students, each of whom has a different focus or need in their reading development, teachers and staff members said. The school is on the leading edge of the Issaquah School District’s efforts to overhaul its reading curriculum.
“Now it’s become more purposeful,” said Chelsea Dziedzic, literacy support coach for Discovery and Challenger elementary schools. “Discovery and district teachers realized one-size-fits-all does not work and doesn’t foster a love of reading.”
September 27, 2011
As Issaquah School District students headed back to class Aug. 30, state education officials were releasing the first results of a newly required math test.
The state also put out final numbers on which schools were able, or not able, to meet annual improvement goals set out by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Last spring, Washington students in algebra and geometry classes took a state test immediately at the end of their course work. The system is known as “end of course,” or “EOC” testing. It replaced the standardized math test students formerly took near the end of the school year.
September 13, 2011
In any number of ways, the class of 2001 was a special one for Skyline High School.
In terms of sports accomplishments, Spartans of that vintage helped win the girls state softball championship in 1999. The football team took the state title in 2000 and just missed doing it again the following year.
Still, probably most importantly, the graduates represented the first class to attend Skyline for all four of their years in high school.
“I think it’s worth remembering, worth commemorating,” said Kim Best, a member of the class of ’01 and one of the principal organizers of the school’s first 10-year reunion.
August 23, 2011
Inch by inch, row by row, students are planting lettuce, herbs and broccoli in their school gardens.
This fall, teachers are transforming gardens into outdoor classrooms as students pick up trowels and learn about drip irrigation systems.
Dozens of schools incorporate gardening into their curriculum or have gardening clubs, including Apollo, Cascade Ridge, Challenger, Clark, Creekside, Discovery, Endeavour, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Maple Hills and Sunny Hills elementary schools; Issaquah and Pine Lake middle schools; and Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.
“I think the outdoors is just a natural place that kids want to be,” Sunny Hills fourth-grade teacher Jane Ulrich said.
August 23, 2011
In February 2006, Issaquah School District voters approved a $241.8 million bond issue to fund new construction and renovations around the district.
The schools are following the plan laid out to voters with one exception, according to information on the district website.
In early 2007, the district acted to redirect construction dollars originally earmarked to fund construction of a new middle school, the district’s fifth. Because of changed enrollment and other factors, officials decided, rather than build a new school, they would convert the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus into a full-blown middle school beginning in fall 2010. As a result, the Issaquah and Skyline high school campuses were revamped to include space for new freshmen.
Funded by that 2006 bond issue, here are some of the projects still under way in the district.
“The biggies are all down on the south end this year,” said Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.
• Planners slated Maywood Middle School in Renton for a modernization and expansion project. According to the latest construction update from the district this month, Maywood’s old administration/commons area and counseling offices are gone, with construction of replacement facilities under way. Demolition of the parking lots and sidewalks are nearing completion with rebuilding scheduled to have already started. Grading of new parking areas has begun.
May 31, 2011
Challenger students raise $1,309 in relief funds for Japan
Challenger Elementary School students leant a hand and raised some dough for the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.
The Student Council collected $1,309 for UNICEF, while hundreds of students wrote encouraging notes on paper hands during school April 22. The notes will be sent to children in Japan as part of the school’s Give a Helping Hand campaign for Japan.
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.