June 21, 2011
After 47 days of fundraising at McDonald’s and Zeeks Pizza, and in various school parking lots, the Issaquah Schools Foundation and the Issaquah PTSA Council have raised enough money for a new elementary school science curriculum this fall.
The current elementary school science curriculum, last updated in 2003, does not meet state standards.
The fundraising campaign began April 29, the day after the foundation’s annual luncheon. There, foundation community representative Leigh Stokes explained that the district had initially set money aside for the curriculum update, but after the Legislature cut $1.45 million from the district’s budget midyear, the district could no longer afford the curriculum update on its own.
The district committed $700,000 to the elementary school science update, and the foundation and PTSAs partnered to raise the remaining $500,000.
Recently, district administrators negotiated with the curricula vendors and bargained for a better price. Originally, the update was supposed to cost $1.2 million, but after the negotiation, the price tag dropped to $1.1 million. The district is also saving money by developing a specific curriculum of its own, which has a price tag of $50,000.
June 21, 2011
Businessman evolves from milkshake maestro to burger king
The menu is different, but the golden arches — global emblem for billions and billions served — remain the same.
In 1971, a 16-year-old Alan Finkelstein started work at a McDonald’s restaurant at Seattle’s University Village, earning less than $2 per hour. The early days included stints minding the milkshake machine — a more complicated task in the pre-electronics era, because orders had to be tracked on paper tickets.
Nowadays, Finkelstein is responsible for a lot more than milkshakes. The longtime Sammamish Plateau resident and entrepreneur owns McDonald’s restaurants in Kent, Maple Valley, Sammamish and the busy-as-a-beehive eatery along Northwest Gilman Boulevard in Issaquah.
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 3, 2011
From archeological digs to building a garden, rope courses to hiking, adventure awaits Issaquah campers this summer.
Club Connection, for kindergarten through fifth grades, is held at four locations, including Apollo, Discovery, Endeavour and Sunset elementary schools. !MPACT, for grades six through eight, is held at Beaver Lake and Pacific Cascade middle schools.
Issaquah School District Day Camps are from June 20 to Aug. 19. The camps cost $40 per day, with a three-day minimum per week. All camps provide multiple field trips, on-site learning activities, simple and extensive crafts, cooperative games, physical challenges, team-building exercises and access to enrichment specialists from various fields.
Registration ends May 6. Download a form at http://connect.issaquah.wednet.edu. Go to “District,” at the top menu and click on “Before and After School Enrichment.”
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.
April 5, 2011
Children’s poet Kenn Nesbitt will give a free show at 6:30 p.m. April 14 at Discovery Elementary School, 2300 228th Ave. S.E. Nesbitt will provide a family evening of poetry, jokes and fun.
March 15, 2011
They had read the books over and over. They had quizzed each other. They had triumphed at their schools’ Global Reading Challenge, landing them a spot at the Issaquah School District’s competition at the Issaquah Library.
In a room overflowing with about 60 parents, teachers and friends, 42 fourth- and fifth-grade students sat raptly listening as librarians quizzed them about books.
Parent Toni Nankova said her daughter Daniela Nankova absorbed the books like a sponge does water.
“After she was done reading, she would say, “Mom, this book is really good. You have to read it,” Toni Nankova said. “And then she would quiz me on it. If I got it wrong, she’d say, ‘You have to go back and read it.’”
Students began preparing for the challenge in October. Each group had seven people and 10 books to read, with some students reading a few books and others reading the whole stack.
First, they competed against other groups at their school. The winning teams from Creekside, Discovery, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Maple Hills and Sunset elementary schools trooped to the Issaquah Library on March 2 to duke it out with their friends and rivals.
February 22, 2011
Kathy Connally remembers sitting at her classroom desk, looking out the window at the students playing during recess, when the earth started shaking 10 years ago.
Her Discovery Elementary School second-grade students were in music class with a teacher who was eighth months pregnant.
“My first through was, ‘Oh my gosh, my kids are out in a portable at music where there are no desks,’” Connally said.
She took cover under her desk, and then ran to the portable, where “My students were all safe and sound. They had stopped, dropped and covered.”
The entire school headed away from the building toward the field, where teachers released students if their parents had come to collect them, and then released the rest at the regular bell time.
“One of my students came back and said, ‘Was that a drill or was that for real?’” Connally said.
At Liberty High School, the earthquake happened during lunch, when some upperclassmen were off campus eating at restaurants. After the quake, students reported to their first period class on football field where teaches took attendance.
February 1, 2011
Whether depositing four quarters or a $30 check, Endeavour Elementary School students are saving for their futures through school banking. Read more
February 1, 2011
Visitors had to be careful not to step on any teeth as they stepped into Lori Moorman’s kindergarten class Jan. 19. They didn’t find any real teeth on the floor, but many of the about 50 students in the Discovery Elementary School K-Kids club spent time after school on projects that included drawing posters with big smiles on them.
Students from kindergarten through fifth grade buzzed around the room, stringing beads, composing pages for booklets, and drawing signs and posters for the club’s service project. One of six or so projects the club conducts throughout the year, this one benefited Sammamish-based nonprofit organizations International Smile Power and Kids Without Borders.
“The most rewarding thing you can do is have kids that want to give back to the community,” said Janna Redman, fifth-grade teacher and K-Kids staff adviser.