April 8, 2014
Tiger Mountain school rethink can work
The Issaquah School Board is planning some big changes for Tiger Mountain Community High School. Some of these changes are necessary, but the disruption of the community is not.
Tiger Mountain has about 100 students who would generally be considered “at risk.” The school tries to reach these students with nontraditional methods in an attempt to keep them engaged.
The attempt isn’t working as well as it should. The school’s graduation rate of 37 percent shows this. Whatever methods district officials are attempting are actually reaching only a fraction of the students.
April 4, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. April 4, 2014
Freshman State Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-5th District, Issaquah) was named the new ranking Republican on the House Education Committee March 31.
The announcement came after Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31st District, Enumclaw) resigned her committee position.
Magendanz moved up from the committee’s assistant ranking Republican, a position he has held since he was sworn in as a legislator.
April 1, 2014
The Issaquah School Board is considering a new policy pertaining to school closures, which could have an impact on the proposal to shut down Tiger Mountain Community High School.
At its March 26 meeting, the board conducted the first reading of a policy that aims to clarify the process for closing a school, including the steps the superintendent must take and the timeline for soliciting public input.
The board could adopt the new policy at its April 23 meeting.
April 1, 2014
I’ve been working for this newspaper for 10 months, so it seems high time I got around to introducing myself.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a big fan of reporters who write about themselves, even in opinion pieces. My job is to tell your stories, not my own. But hey, most people are a little curious about the guy hanging around the school board meetings and the high-school football games, so I’m happy to oblige.
I grew up in Spokane and matriculated to the fine institution of Washington State University to get my journalism degree. Basically, it’s the only school I ever wanted to attend because half my family did as well. My dad, aunt and uncle all earned pharmacy degrees in Pullman. For three years, I lived in the same dormitory my grandfather did in the 1940s.
March 18, 2014
Last month’s news that Tiger Mountain Community High School could be closed has sparked sadness, anger and shock among students and parents at the Issaquah School District’s alternative high school.
The Issaquah School Board began publicly discussing a possible closure Feb. 12, and droves of Tiger Mountain community members showed up for that meeting. Several people returned to speak to the board at its March 12 meeting.
Neil Schmidt, who graduated from Tiger Mountain last year, said he was “dumbfounded” and “appalled” the district would consider closing the school, which has provided a nontraditional learning environment for high-school students since 1991. The school currently has an enrollment of about 100.
February 21, 2014
May 30, 1911, was a special occasion for Issaquah resident Mabel Ek.
So special, in fact, that the moment called for a new outfit. Ek arrived at Issaquah’s Baptist Church, near what is now the Darigold plant, wearing a new dress, knitted gloves and shoes specially ordered from Oregon.
City residents, of which there were only 500 at the time, arrived in droves to honor Ek and her classmates Mary and Olive Gibson.
After all, the three were about to make history, representing the very first graduating class of Issaquah High School.
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.
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.
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.
November 24, 2013
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 24, 2013
The Issaquah School Board was one of 15 entities in the state named as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association on Nov. 18.
It’s the fifth consecutive year Issaquah has earned the Board of Distinction honor. Issaquah’s board is comprised of Brian Deagle, Marnie Maraldo, Alison Meryweather, Anne Moore and Suzanne Weaver.
The other school boards that earned distinctions were Anacortes, Auburn, Ferndale, Franklin Pierce, Kent, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Port Angeles, Pullman, South Kitsap, Sunnyside, Tumwater, University Place and Vancouver.