Issaquah School District superintendent’s contract renewed

July 1, 2014

The Issaquah School Board voted unanimously June 26 to renew the contract of Superintendent Ron Thiele, who just completed his first year in the position.

State law requires school boards to review their superintendent’s contract on an annual basis prior to July 1. Issaquah board members cited several reasons for retaining Thiele, including his work to help the district pass three levy measures in February.

The board felt his leadership in that area and his leading the charge during that campaign was strong, board President Marnie Maraldo said.

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Issaquah schools will lengthen secondary students’ time in classrooms next year

June 29, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. June 29, 2014

Middle-school and high-school students in the Issaquah School District will spend more time in the classroom in the 2014-15 year, after the school board approved a change at its June 11 meeting.

State law mandates an increase in instructional time for the 2015-16 year, but Issaquah will implement the switch a year earlier.

To meet the requirement of 1,080 instructional hours, middle school and high school students will get out of class 45 minutes later on Wednesdays next year.

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Tentative agreement in place for teachers union

May 27, 2014

The Issaquah School District and Issaquah Education Association announced a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract May 23.

The IEA, which represents the district’s certificated teaching staff, will hold a contract ratification vote May 28. Bargaining teams from both the teachers union and the school district are recommending approval of the agreement.

The current contract is a four-year deal that expires Aug. 31. The parties have been negotiating a new agreement for the past few months.

In November, Issaquah teachers publicly aired some grievances with the school board, including the need to reduce working hours and class sizes. Many of the complaints stemmed from the state’s adoption of Common Core Standards to assess student progress.

Issaquah’s 35th Annual Community Awards

May 27, 2014

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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Issaquah teachers are critical of ‘unsustainable workloads’

November 26, 2013

New standards, longer work days are top complaints

Members of the Issaquah Education Association met with the Issaquah School Board for an hour last week, and much of the discussion centered on what the IEA president termed “unsustainable workloads” for teachers.

During a study session prior to the school board’s Nov. 13 meeting, the IEA — a union of more than 1,000 certificated teachers — spoke about the results of a bargaining survey conducted this fall. More than 70 percent of Issaquah’s teachers responded, and a few common complaints emerged.

Washington’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, along with a new evaluation system for teachers and principals, have led to increased workloads and a general sense of overwhelming stress among educators, IEA officials said.

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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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Issaquah Schools Foundation to screen ‘Race to Nowhere’

October 15, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 15, 2012

The public can attend the education documentary “Race to Nowhere” at the Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

“Race to Nowhere” is the initial entry in the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s 2012-13 Community Conversations series. The film starts at 7 p.m. at the high school theater, 700 Second Ave. S.E.

Filmmaker Vicki Abeles turned a lens on the achievement-obssessed culture and pressure to perform in America’s schools, and explores the price students pay for the ensuing “race to nowhere.” Attendees can also share reactions to the film during a post-screening discussion.

Admission to the event is free, but organizers ask for attendees to bring a goodwill donation of a box of NutriGrain bars in support of the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Basic Students Needs Fund.

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Press Editorial

August 21, 2012

Children win when community unites

There is nothing like a good challenge, especially in the name of a good cause. Issaquah’s two leading service clubs — Rotary and Kiwanis — challenged each other to see who would donate the most for the purchase of computer flash drives for students in need.

The club challenge was just a small part of a wonderful outpouring of support to fill 1,000 backpacks for kids registered with the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

Numerous groups got together to coordinate the drive. The PTSA Council and Issaquah Education Association kicked things off by gathering donations of gift cards that could be used to purchase school supplies.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank to provide backpacks, school supplies

July 17, 2012

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank is prepared to meet the school supply needs of up to 1,000 returning students this fall, about twice as many as last year.

Low-income families in need of backpacks and school supplies should sign up at the food bank, 179 First Ave. S.E. Students must be attending school in the Issaquah School District.

Refer families in need of backpacks to the food bank.

The backpacks and supplies are being donated by numerous individuals and businesses in the community, including Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, Issaquah Schools Foundation, SanMar, Issaquah Rotary Club, Office Depot, Issaquah Education Association and others.

Local PTAs collected $500 in gift card donations in June to support the bulk purchase of supplies.

Donations can be sent or dropped off at the food bank. Call 391-4123 for more information.

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