Hoax prompts lockdown at downtown Issaquah schools

January 9, 2013

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Jan. 9, 2013

School administrators put Issaquah High and Tiger Mountain Community High schools into lockdown Wednesday, and Clark Elementary and Issaquah Middle schools into modified lockdown, after a student made a false report about a threat.

The hoax led police presence at Issaquah High as administrators and investigators attempted to determine the credibility of the information.

In a lockdown, students remain inside classrooms with the doors locked. The modified lockdown at Clark Elementary and Issaquah Middle meant students had to stay inside school buildings.

The lockdown at Issaquah High and Tiger Mountain Community High lasted for a few minutes.

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Student musicians rank among top performers statewide

December 4, 2012

Dozens of local students are among the state’s top performers that have been chosen to participate in one of the Washington Music Educators Association’s 2013 All-State Honor or one of the National Association for Music Education’s All-Northwest performing groups.

The group of school musicians from throughout the state and region will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors. The All-State high school honor groups and the All-Northwest groups will meet in Portland, Ore., Feb. 14-17. Junior All-State groups, grades five through eight, will meet in Vancouver, Wash., on Feb. 16.

This year’s group includes students from all five of the district’s middle schools and all three of the district’s traditional high schools.

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Who’s News

November 20, 2012

Nicholas Co

Boy Scout Nicholas Co earns Eagle rank

Nicholas Co recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

His Eagle Scout service project was repurposing an unusable space at Issaquah Middle School, contributing nearly 100 hours of service to his community.

Co is the student body president of Issaquah High School, an active member of National Honor Society and he runs as a member of the cross-country and track teams. He is a passionate volunteer of King County Search and Rescue, and was recognized as last year’s Top 5 Youth Responder.

Co plans to study engineering after graduating in June.

Issaquah Schools Foundation launches fund for arts

November 6, 2012

When the Skyline High School Orchestra started this year, it was short nine cellos. The arsenal for Issaquah Middle School band for years included a baritone saxophone from 1925. Instead of being in a museum, it was played until its metal decayed beyond repair.

“They’re all over the district, of course — instruments that have either been around a long time or have seen rough decades. It’s been an ongoing problem for a long time,” said Doug Longman who teaches orchestra at Skyline and Issaquah high schools. “We are not even providing all the instruments that kids are playing.”

Larger instruments — like cellos, tubas and bass clarinets — are hard for students to carry back and forth from home, where they practice, to school, where they take band or orchestra classes. They’re also expensive to rent, if they can be rented at all. To help students in their musical endeavor, the ideal solution is for those larger instruments to be provided in class. But that is easier said than done.

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Issaquah students cast ballots in mock elections

October 30, 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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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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Seattle Seahawks honor Issaquah School District teachers

October 23, 2012

Lane Helgeson, Liz Villa and Kelly Kosier (from left), a Renton teacher, were honored as Heroes in the Classroom at the Oct. 14 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Contributed

The Seattle Seahawks, in partnership with Symetra Financial Corp., honored Issaquah Middle School’s Liz Villa and Tiger Mountain Community High School’s Lane Helgeson as Heroes in the Classroom this month.

The duo is among 24 teachers across the Puget Sound area being honored for educational excellence during the 2012 NFL season.

Winners are recognized in front of their students at surprise in-school presentations and receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies.

In addition, Villa and Helgeson were recognized in an on-field presentation at the Oct. 14 game when the Seahawks beat the New England Patriots.

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Issaquah Middle School student to study at Bolshoi Ballet Academy

October 16, 2012

Chloe Heninger, 13, (front) performs in Emerald Ballet Theatre’s performance of ‘Les Sylphides’ in June. Courtesy of Heninger Fotographik http://heningerfoto.com

Viktoria Titova knew from the start.

Titova, the artistic director of the Emerald Ballet Theatre in Bellevue, knew she had someone special in Chloe Heninger, a 6-year-old from Preston.

The year was 2005, and Titova had been Chloe’s teacher for less than a year. In the middle of a lesson, the CD player quit.

Chloe wouldn’t.

The music would not start.

Chloe could not wait to.

“I was struggling with the music,” Titova remembers. “She was 6 years old. The dancers are usually like, ‘OK, let me know when you are ready.’”

Not Chloe. She did not move from her pose. She did not even blink, Titova said, until the music was ready.

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Skyline High School closes for day due to online shooting threat

September 25, 2012

King County Sheriff Steve Strachan speaks during a news conference Sept. 20 at Sammamish City Hall, across the street from the Skyline High School campus. By Greg Farrar

Skyline High School closed Sept. 20, after a still-unidentified online bulletin board user threatened to unleash a Columbine-style attack and shoot students on campus.

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Investigation into Skyline threat continues as attendance drops elsewhere

September 20, 2012

UPDATED — 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Police continue to investigate a shooting threat against students at Skyline High School, as attendance at other Issaquah School District campuses — particularly Sammamish Plateau schools near Skyline — declined Thursday.

District administrators announced a decision late Wednesday to close Skyline after a threat made online targeted the school for a mass shooting. The district kept all other schools open.

Skyline also canceled all extracurricular activities and school athletics events scheduled for Thursday.

Sammamish Police Administrative Sgt. Jessica Sullivan said police continue to follow several leads on the identity of the user behind the threat posted Wednesday on the online bulletin board 4chan. Investigators have not yet been able to determine if the user is a Skyline student.

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