King County honors 11 ‘green’ Issaquah district schools

June 16, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. June 16, 2011

Thanks to the “green” conservation work of staff and students, King County Green Schools Program is honoring 11 schools in the Issaquah School District.

In total, the county will honor 77 schools across the country, including the 11 schools in Issaquah.

The three-level Green Schools Program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and signs and website tools to schools. In addition to the Green Schools Program, King County provides an elementary school assembly program, classroom workshops and support for student “green” teams.

The program has saved schools and the district money from successful waste reduction and recycling programs and reducing energy and water use.

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Art project lays roadmap to career options

May 17, 2011

Benjamin Eskonazi, a third-grader at Cougar Ridge Elementary School, weaves an upholstery for a chair made out of paper with art show coordinator Sari Israel. By Laura Geggel

Drawings of girls at the beach, apples half in shadow and rainbows stretching over green fields decorated the annual art show at Cougar Ridge Elementary School on May 5.

About 100 students participated in the show, and they came with their families and friends, completing a scavenger hunt about the show and answering questions, such as finding a painted mermaid and naming the type of paint art teacher Cyndi Moring used in her piece.

Students also dove into hands-on projects. They folded origami cranes for Japan and folded long strips of paper together into mat, creating a colorful upholstery for a chair Moring has since stationed in the art room.

“It looks really cool,” Moring said. “The kids really love it and they can’t believe they can sit on it.”

Fifth-grader Katherine Lin painted a watercolor picture of an autumn branch with red, yellow and orange leaves.

“I like autumn. It’s my favorite season, because it’s really pretty outside and it’s still warm out,” Lin said. “And we’re not bored all of the time because we have school.”

Her classmate, fifth-grader Sam Lee, drew an abstract post-modern piece with charcoal and pastels. He draws “because I want to do auto mechanics and design. My mom said if I wanted to do that, I should start drawing now.”

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Top volunteers honored at Golden Acorn Awards

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.

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Supporting your child’s social development

March 29, 2011

Parents are invited to a free parenting lecture about “Friends and Frienemies: The Love/Hate Relationships that Form Our Youth” from 7-8:30 p.m. April 26 at Cougar Ridge Elementary School, 4630 167th Ave. S.E., Bellevue.

Laura Doerflinger, mental health therapist and executive director of the Parent Education Group, will discuss how parents can encourage the best social experiences for their children.

Gold Star

March 15, 2011

Students collect 7,500 crayons

Cougar Ridge Elementary School students

The students at Cougar Ridge Elementary School have collected 7,500 crayons for the patients at Seattle Children’s.

By working with parent advisers Kavita Hegde and Jennifer Goldberg, students used goal-setting strategies, marking skills and leadership talents to put together the crayon drive. Their business acumen paid off, with the students collecting the 7,500 crayons in less than a month, from Jan. 19 to Feb. 28.

Children’s uses more than 100,000 crayons each year. Efforts like those made by the Cougar Ridge Student Council help the hospital offset the cost of purchasing crayons and allow those funds to be used for more immediate needs, such as uncompensated care.

Issaquah teachers earn national certification

January 11, 2011

After hundreds of hours of self-reflection, videotaping their classes and studying for subject tests, 31 teachers in the Issaquah School District have earned their National Board Certification.

This brings the total number of district board certified teachers to 81. Read more

Cougar Ridge celebrates cultures and diversity

December 14, 2010

Preschool student Emma Dickinson (right) applies a glop of glue to her asymmetrical Korean fan project as her sister first-grader Jessica works on her own. By Laura Geggel

The golden Chinese lion tossed its head left and right as the drummers carried a beat, heralding in the fourth biennial Festival of Cultures Nov. 19 at Cougar Ridge Elementary School.

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Girl Scouts host open houses

September 7, 2010

Local Girl Scout troops are hosting informational meetings or open houses. Learn more by calling 641-1126. Middle and high school troops are welcoming new girls as well. All events are from 7-8 p.m.

Information meetings (all take place in school multipurpose rooms)

-Newcastle Elementary — Sept. 23

-Clark and Issaquah Valley elementary — Sept. 27, Clark multipurpose room

-Apollo Elementary — Sept. 28

-Cougar Ridge and Sunset elementary — Sept. 29, Cougar Ridge multipurpose room

-Briarwood and Maple Hills elementary — Sept. 30, Briarwood multipurpose room Read more

District hires new Cascade Ridge Elementary School principal

May 6, 2010

NEW — 2:45 p.m. May 6, 2010

Issaquah School District officials announced Thursday that they had hired a new principal for Cascade Ridge Elementary School.

Natalie Fowler, a program assistant for Cougar Ridge and Newcastle elementary schools, will begin in July. She is also a gifted teacher at Apollo Elementary School.

Cascade Ridge Principal Colleen Shields announced her resignation earlier this spring after her husband was relocated to California.

Fowler has worked in the district for six years at the three schools. She came to the district after relocating from the Austin, Texas, area, where she worked as a teacher for two years.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in textiles and apparel from the University of Texas at Austin, and holds a post-baccalaureate degree in education from UT as well.

In her six years with the district, Fowler went back to school to earn her master’s degree in education and educational leadership certification from City University in 2009.

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Teachers receive schools foundation grants

April 20, 2010

Issaquah School District educators have received grants to help students achieve big ideas next year.

Issaquah Schools Foundation officials released more than $73,000 in Academic Enrichment Grants to more than 30 educators March 18.

The funding helps bolster programs in classes throughout the district, amid a year when district officials aren’t sure whether state cutbacks will affect their budget.

“School district resources are in short supply for even the basics like new curriculum, much less the extras that help learning really come alive for students,” foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan wrote in an e-mail. “In addition to supporting teachers looking for those enriched learning opportunities for their students, these grants seed innovative programs that often become districtwide initiatives.”

There are two types of grants foundation officials give out, the Kateri Brow Big Idea/Biggest Need Grant and the Classroom Enrichment Grant. Both enable teachers to fulfill educational goals in classrooms throughout the district.

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