District may close alternative high school for one year

February 18, 2014

Tiger Mountain students would go to the nearest high school

The Issaquah School District is considering a plan to close Tiger Mountain Community High School for one year while the school is moved to a different location, and then reopen the alternative school with a revamped educational model.

Issaquah Superintendent Ron Thiele spoke about the plan with school board members at a work study session prior to the board’s Feb. 12 meeting. The audience included about two dozen Tiger Mountain staff members, parents and students.

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Middle school land annexed to Issaquah

December 24, 2013

Less than 6 acres that encompasses Issaquah Middle School was annexed into the city by the City Council during its Dec. 16 meeting.

In a short presentation by city Long Range Planning Manager Trish Heinonen, she said school officials wanted the annexation because the school is about to undergo a massive restoration and officials want to do so under city regulations.

Upgrades of the school facilities are planned for 2014 through 2015. The proposed improvements include remodeling and expanding the existing school to become the new Clark Elementary School and Tiger Mountain Community High School.

The council held a public hearing the same night as the vote. No one stood in support of or against the annexation.


Schools plan future around expected growth

December 17, 2013

Officials are hoping to break ground on the new Issaquah Middle School next summer, and the replacement building will look much different than what was first envisioned.

The city of Issaquah’s 30-year plan for its central business district is expected to add more than 7,700 residential units, and it’s forcing the Issaquah School District to think more about long-term impacts to its facilities.

Steve Crawford, the district’s director of capital projects, told school board members Dec. 11 that if downtown Issaquah grows as projected in the Central Issaquah Plan in the next three decades, it would add an estimated 2,850 students to the school district’s enrollment. That represents a 15 percent increase over the district’s current population of 18,400 students.

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Squak Valley Players present ‘Under the Hulder’s Spell’

November 19, 2013

The Squak Valley Players invite the entire community to Issaquah Middle School’s latest production, “Under the Hulder’s Spell.”

Performances are at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. Nov. 23. The school is at 400 Second Ave. S.E.

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Slippery slopes are paved with good intentions

October 22, 2013

One has to sympathize with Allen Anderson for what transpired Oct. 10.

The longtime custodian at Issaquah High School has regularly worn a camouflage-printed jacket and carried an umbrella into work. But this particular day, someone mistook his signature look for that of a mysterious gunman.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

The high school and other nearby schools went into lockdown. When Anderson realized it was he who had caused the confusion, he told school administrators who advised him to turn himself in to the police surrounding the school.

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Teens receive young filmmaker award

June 4, 2013

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Matt Wells and Chase Helgeson

The film “Laser Rabbit” and Issaquah Middle School eighth-graders Matt Wells and Chase Helgeson received the Michael J. Rima youth-filmmaker award in the 2013 3-Minute Masterpiece digital film contest, presented by The Seattle Times and the Seattle International Film Festival.

The film features Helgeson and Flash the Rabbit, along with Wells. The story begins with a cute white rabbit arriving by UPS, but things take a dangerous turn when the rabbit reveals supernatural powers.

“Laser Rabbit” was shown at a public screening of the 11 3-Minute Masterpiece contest winners May 18 at the SIFF at Uptown Cinema. Another screening of “Laser Rabbit” was held May 27 at SIFF as part of FutureWave Shorts, a program showcasing a selection of the best films from the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the largest youth film festival in the world.

Watch “Laser Rabbit” at www.issaquahpress.com. You can also see “Laser Rabbit” and other Matt Wells video creations at his YouTube channel, AngryFlash.

Refinancing saves school district $2 million

April 30, 2013

Taking advantage of recent low interest rates, the Issaquah School District saved more than $2 million April 24 when it refinanced 21.17 million of bonds originally sold in 2004.

The district also sold $55 million worth of new bonds that day.

Seattle-Northwest Securities assisted in the sale. Refinancing more than $21 million of old bonds meant the interest rate went down from 5.25 percent to 1.27 percent, meaning that about $2 million will be saved over the next six years.

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Carnivore studies teach lessons in real-life science at Issaquah Middle School

February 19, 2013

There are more than two dozen territorial carnivores that call the Issaquah area home, and for the past four months the sixth-grade life science students at Issaquah Middle School have been leading their own investigations into these wild neighbors.

Since the end of September, the students have been learning about the local critters, ranging from raccoons and skunks to coyotes and bears, and developing scientific studies to find out how the animals use resources in the Issaquah community to meet their needs. The children teamed with staff from the Woodland Park Zoo and Western Wildlife to put the scientific method to use — asking questions, doing background research, forming and testing hypotheses, analyzing data and reporting their conclusions.

“I think it was interesting, because there was a lot to talk about since we have a lot of carnivores living in the area,” Engu Fontama said.

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Special Olympics tourney is set for Feb. 10

February 5, 2013

The Issaquah Community Center will host the 2013 Special Olympics King County Regional basketball tournament beginning with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. Feb. 10.

Games tip off at 8:30 a.m., with matches taking place at the Issaquah Community Center, Issaquah High School, Issaquah Middle School and Clark Elementary School.

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Issaquah man develops sudoku-inspired game to teach math skills

January 22, 2013

Victor Zou (right), the creator of Sukugo, poses with his wife and business partner Lucy Lu and a Sukugo game board, in their Issaquah home. Sukugo is a family-friendly board game that can help develop a child’s math skills, Zou said. By Christina Corrales-Toy

Issaquah resident Victor Zou first tried sudoku on a long bus ride while headed for a company retreat. He was intrigued by the numbered logic puzzle, but put off by the solitary and bland nature of the game. Sudoku, he said, could be so much more.

So, Zou set out to create a product that could be the centerpiece of family game night and challenge kids and adults alike to use both sides of their brains. The result is Sukugo, a versatile and colorful sudoku board game that develops users’ logic and reasoning.

“Our left brain is really good at math, numbers and logical reasoning, but our right brain is more about color and creative thinking, so I wanted to combine these two together to really make an enjoyable game,” he said.

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