Student Mock Election asks for future voters’ opinions

October 25, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Oct. 25, 2012

The minimum age to vote is 18, but the hurdle did not stop students throughout the Issaquah School District from casting ballots in the tight races for president and governor.

Educators on local campuses organized mock elections or joined the annual Student Mock Election overseen by the state elections office to educate students about the importance of participation in the political process.

Students at Issaquah and Tiger Mountain Community high schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Creekside, Endeavour and Sunny Hills elementary schools cast ballots in ersatz elections or plan to do so by the actual Election Day, Nov. 6.

Teachers involved in the mock elections said the exercise is about more than determining whether students support Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna for governor.

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Local schools receive $30,000 boost from community

October 23, 2012

Several area education programs got a helping hand Oct. 10 when the Issaquah School Board approved nearly $30,000 worth of donations.

The Associated Student Body Robotics Club at Skyline High School received $5,000 from David Levin through The Boeing Co.’s Gift Match Program. The Endeavour Elementary School PTSA donated $7,035.08 to help pay salaries for additional education assistants at its school while the Pacific Cascade Middle School PTSA gave $5,099,74 to be used for teacher mini grants.

Teachers at Newcastle Elementary School got $12,500 from the school’s PTSA to buy various supplies and materials. Most of that money is to be distributed by grade: kindergarten ($1,200); first grade ($1,600); second grade ($2,000); third grade ($1,600); fourth grade ($1,600); and fifth grade ($1,600).

Endeavour Elementary School student earns top national math score

May 29, 2012

Kyle Reese

Kyle Reese, a student at Endeavour Elementary School, is a math champion.

The fourth-grade student was one of a handful of children across the country who scored 100 percent on a nationwide test. For his perfect score on last month’s test, Kyle was awarded first place in both Washington and the nation at a May 18 ceremony in Kirkland.

“We’re starting a trophy room for him,” Kyle’s father Dennis Reese said. “He is an exceptional kid.”

Kyle and 1,512 other fourth-graders took the test, Math Kangaroo, March 15.

Each year, Math Kangaroo administers a test for students in grades one through 12. Participation in the competition is voluntary and costs $20. Next year’s test is set for March 21.

Learn more at www.mathkangaroo.org.


Issaquah School Board is unhappy about King County’s school site decisions

May 8, 2012

Members of the Issaquah School Board were unhappy to hear last week that a district-owned 80-acre property is most likely unusable.

“We own the land. If the county wants to condemn it then they can pay us and we’ll go find something else,” board member Brian Deagle said.

The board got the bad news at its April 26 meeting, when it received an update about the recent recommendations of the King County School Siting Task Force.

In his presentation to the board, Steve Crawford, director of capital projects for the Issaquah School District, explained that one of the recommendations is for Issaquah to basically give up the nearly 80 acres of land it owns on Southeast May Valley Road. The $1.4 million property, which sits between Squak Mountain to the north and the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill to the south, is outside of King County’s urban growth boundary.

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Exploring the wonders of the universe at schools’ science fairs

April 3, 2012

Exploding soda, solar systems and floating eggs add to experience

Aiden Sparks (right) looks over his battery-powered fan and light project at the Endeavour Elementary School science fair with friend Aiden Hong. By Tom Corrigan

Which type of popcorn maker pops the tastiest corn the fastest?

What happens when various items are placed into a microwave?

Will an egg float in salt water or fresh water?

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Issaquah PTSA honors outstanding volunteers at Golden Acorn Awards

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.

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Smaller maintenance projects form big part of school bond

March 20, 2012

As voters get closer to deciding whether to OK a $219 million bond issue to benefit the Issaquah School District, big projects such as the rebuilding of the so-called corridor schools are getting plenty of attention.

The corridor schools are Issaquah Middle, Clark Elementary and Tiger Mountain High schools, all which will end up largely rebuilt and in new locations if the bond sale is approved.

Still, a significant portion of the proceeds from the bond sale would go toward more seemingly mundane items, such as rebuilding playfields and replacing fire alarm panels. The proposed project list includes dozens of maintenance and upkeep items at schools around the district.

“We have an obligation to protect roughly $1.2 billion in assets,” Jake Kuper, district chief of finances and operations, said referring to the estimated value of the district’s 28 total buildings, including 24 schools.

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City, schools use county grant to reduce student lunch waste

January 17, 2012

“We were really trying to get people to look at the waste stream differently,” said Mary Joe de Beck, resource conservation coordinator for the city of Issaquah.

In November, for national America Recycles Day, the city used a small King County grant to bring the idea of reduce, reuse and recycle to the front lines of five schools in the Issaquah School District.

Those five schools house some 2,650 students and spent several weeks gearing up for America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

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Issaquah School District campuses host Veterans Day events

November 1, 2011

Several local schools have planned to honor current military personnel and other veterans just in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

At 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9, Clark Elementary School will open its doors to present and past military members and their families, said Heather Maloney, president of the Clark PTA.

Maloney said local veterans from the area, including from local VFW posts and the Providence Point retirement community, had been invited.

The school also had contacted the Issaquah High School Navy Junior ROTC program about providing a color guard.

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Education opportunities grow in student gardens

August 23, 2011

Sunny Hills Elementary School first-grader Digant Dash (left) plants flower bulbs in the school’s first-grade garden with fourth-graders Derek Chao and Spencer Bernsten. By Jane Ulrich

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.

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