School board holds study session about Tiger Mountain’s future

September 30, 2014

After months of discussion, questions and public criticism, the Issaquah School Board is still trying to decide the long-term fate of Tiger Mountain Community High School.

The board met with several district administrators Sept. 24 in a roundtable-format study session. Much of the two-hour meeting was spent addressing concerns about what happens to students if the district’s plan to close the alternative school next year is approved.

The board held two public hearings on the matter earlier in September, but a timeline for making a decision hasn’t been announced.

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Officials discuss controversial Common Core education

September 23, 2014

The Common Core State Standards, designed to create a consistent set of learning standards for K-12 students, are among the most contentious topics in public education these days.

Politicians, school administrators and public policy experts discussed various aspects of Common Core during a town hall-style meeting Sept. 15 at Pacific Cascade Middle School. About two dozen audience members participated and provided feedback to a seven-person speaking panel.

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Public hearings begin for possible school closure

September 16, 2014

The Issaquah School Board has yet to set a date for when it will consider closing Tiger Mountain Community High School, but it began a public comment period last week that brought dozens of impassioned people out in defense of the alternative school.

The first public hearing regarding the possible closure of Tiger Mountain was held Sept. 10 and generated comments from students, parents and teachers. The public comment period was scheduled to last 50 minutes, but went nearly an hour longer as more than a dozen people spoke about the issue, the vast majority supporting ideas to keep it open.

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Give your input on Tiger Mountain school closure at Sept. 17 meeting

September 15, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 15, 2014

Community members wishing to give input to the Issaquah School Board regarding the proposed closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School are invited to attend one of two public hearings.

The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, prior to the regular school board meeting, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The hearings will be in the Issaquah School District board room, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Learn more about the proposed closure here.

Give your input on Tiger Mountain school closure at Sept. 10 meeting

September 7, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 7, 2014

Community members wishing to give input to the Issaquah School Board regarding the proposed closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School are invited to attend one of two public hearings.

The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, prior to the regular school board meeting, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The hearings will be in the Issaquah School District board room, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Learn more about the proposed closure here.

Issaquah School District finishes school projects, delays others

August 26, 2014

Staff members, parents and students at Apollo and Issaquah Valley elementary schools have been waiting years for their buildings to be refurbished, and their wishes will be granted when school starts Sept. 3.

By Greg Farrar A lighted reader board has been put up at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

By Greg Farrar
A lighted reader board has been put up at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

The two elementary schools were major pieces of a $219 million bond measure that Issaquah School District voters approved in April 2012. Issaquah Valley and Apollo received about $6.6 million each for similar modernization projects that focused on creating additional classroom spaces, improving building security and upgrading existing spaces for a continued influx of new students.

The district is expecting to add 350 students in the 2014-15 year, and projections released last year showed the school system could grow by more than 2,800 students over the next 30 years.

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Issaquah schools budget set to receive slight boost

August 19, 2014

The Issaquah School District will receive an additional $5.4 million from the state government, which equates to revenue growth of less than 1 percent in the 2014-15 school year.

Public school districts and the state Legislature continue to battle over the McCleary decision of 2012, which said lawmakers weren’t fully funding basic education costs and called for them to rectify the situation.

The state increased funding by about $1 billion for its 2013-15 biennial budget, but that isn’t quite cutting it when it comes to meeting the requirements of the McCleary decision, school officials said.

“Though a billion dollars sounds like a lot, when you split it over two years and divide it by 295 school districts, you see it translates to a rather minute increase in the proportion of state revenue,” said Jake Kuper, the Issaquah district’s chief of finance and operations.

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Issaquah schools superintendent receives 2.5 percent salary boost

August 2, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 2, 2014

The Issaquah School Board recently renewed the contract of Superintendent Ron Thiele and gave him a raise of 2.5 percent.

Thiele, who took over as head of the Issaquah School District in July 2013, will make $235,750 in the coming year. That’s up from $230,000 last year. The new contract was approved at the board’s June 26 meeting.

Board members cited several reasons for renewing Thiele’s contract, including his work to pass three levy measures in February, and helping to negotiate a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the local teachers union.

 

Four candidates face off in 5th District primary

July 8, 2014

Voters will have four choices for state representative in the 5th Legislative District primary Aug. 5.

The two candidates who receive the most votes will run in the Nov. 4 general election.

Incumbent Republican Chad Magendanz will run again. He touts his expertise on educational issues and his willingness to reach across the aisle as reasons for residents to re-elect him.

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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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