Keep it together until summer

May 20, 2014

NEW — 12:18 p.m. May 20, 2014

As always, the school year has miraculously flown by. A mere four and half weeks remain until the beginning of summer break.

It is particularly common for students to slack off around this time of year, which is entirely understandable. The sunshine calls you outdoors and, in the heat, an ice cream run never sounds better. Plans for summer distract you, and it has become exceedingly challenging to concentrate on your work.

Seniors especially have difficulty focusing, with prom and graduation fast approaching. Besides, they’ve already completed the college application process, so why keep up the grades?

Erika Kumar Skyline High School

Erika Kumar
Skyline High School

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Let’s Talk About It

February 25, 2014

Homework: What does Finland do that we don’t?

Students, how many times in the past week have you complained about your workload? What if I told you that this workload might be detrimental?

This is not the opinion of a mere high school senior frustrated by the amount of homework assigned by teachers. In fact, recent studies show the United States is consistently outscored in terms of academic ability by countries such as Finland, with radical differences in their educational systems, including — you guessed it — significantly less homework.

By Helen Wang Skyline High School

By Helen Wang
Skyline High School

So, how are their students so successful? There are many explanations, one of which is that they have more free time. I know I speak for many when I say that having 30 minutes of homework a day, rather than three hours, would make me feel less stressed. Instead of drowning in pointless papers, we would be able to do more things that we truly cared about.

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Schools won’t revise homework policies

February 4, 2014

After an 18-month process that included many discussions with parents, teachers and students, the Issaquah School District has decided not to make any changes to existing policies and procedures about homework.

Superintendent Ron Thiele announced the decision at the Issaquah School Board’s Jan. 29 meeting. While no changes are coming, Thiele said the process sparked an important discussion throughout the district, and administrators reserve the right to make changes when they are deemed necessary.

Thiele also admitted the decision may not satisfy everyone.

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School officials review survey results prior to contract negotiations

January 17, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 17, 2014

Issaquah School District administrators and members of its teachers’ union bargaining team met Jan. 9 to discuss the results of a community values survey.

The survey, conducted during the fall by the Issaquah PTSA Council, sought to gain information from district parents, students and teachers. The council conducted similar surveys prior to the last two rounds of contract negotiations between the district and the teachers’ union, the Issaquah Education Association.

The current IEA contract runs through Aug. 31. In 2010, negotiations began in March and a new four-year deal was ratified in June.

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Alison Meryweather, Lisa Callan vie for Issaquah School Board seat

October 1, 2013

Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan are familiar with each other, having been finalists for the Issaquah School Board’s vacant position earlier this year.

Meryweather was appointed to the Position 4 post — left open by Chad Magendanz’s move to the state House of Representatives — in March. But Meryweather will have to impress voters to keep the job, and Callan will challenge her again on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The Position 4 seat covers the southeast region of the district. Although candidates run for a specific geographic seat, voters districtwide cast ballots for all Issaquah School Board members. Members are elected to four-year terms.

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Survey: Students, parents have homework issues

August 27, 2013

There were some conclusive patterns that came out of monthslong research into the homework practices of Issaquah School District students.

Results of the district’s homework survey were presented to the Issaquah School Board on Aug. 14. The eight-question survey was offered online in June to students, parents and teachers; it came on the heels of site-based homework meetings throughout the spring at 15 of the district’s 24 schools.

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