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.
November 12, 2013
A week after the Nov. 5 general election, challenger Lisa Callan has widened her lead and won a seat on the Issaquah School Board.
Numbers posted to the King County Elections’ website Nov. 8 show Callan with 9,141 votes, nearly 600 more than incumbent board member Alison Meryweather.
Callan’s vote total represents 51.52 percent of the total ballots counted. While there may be a few thousand ballots left to count, Callan’s lead has grown since initial results were reported. Her lead is also well above the threshold of 0.5 percent that would trigger a mandatory recount.
November 12, 2013
Prior to the Issaquah School Board’s Oct. 30 meeting, the five-member board and Superintendent Ron Thiele met with four state lawmakers to discuss how public schools were impacted by this year’s legislative session.
The board had about 90 minutes to speak with Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48th District), Rep. Tana Senn (D-41st), Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5th) and Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-5th), a former Issaquah School Board president.
Board member Anne Moore said the group “had a great conversation” surrounding several issues, including school finances resulting from the state budget; the new Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced assessment tests that students will deal with next year; and the end in 2018 of a levy lid lift allowing districts to request more voter-approved dollars.
October 22, 2013
Policy and training divided the two Issaquah School District school board candidates at an Oct. 17 candidate forum.
Appointed board member Allison Meryweather is attempting to win her first election for the position against Lisa Callan, who also applied for the board appointment earlier this year.
“I discovered first hand the lack of funding our state provides our schools,” Meryweather said about her time on the board and volunteering in classrooms. “It’s not just about funding. It’s also about how we strategically invest those dollars.”
Callan said she believed her leadership roles in The Boeing Co. and a long history involved in the educational system qualifies her for the board position.
October 22, 2013
Lisa Callan for school board seat
Issaquah School District voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices for school board director seat 4. Both Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan applied for the vacancy last spring when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.
The school board members struggled with the appointment, first split evenly between the two women. Eventually, Meryweather got the appointment.
Meryweather does have more lobbying experience and her confidence and knowledge makes her a leader in that arena. But community comes first.
October 15, 2013
Issaquah School Board candidate Lisa Callan didn’t follow Washington’s public disclosure laws regarding her campaign’s finances, a complaint filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission alleges.
Callan, who is facing incumbent Alison Meryweather in the Nov. 5 general election, has been filing reports of cash contributions since her campaign officially began in May. However, she hadn’t filed a single expense report until Oct. 10, a day after the PDC notified her through the mail of the complaint.
Janet Suppes, a budget analyst with the Bellevue School District and longtime public education advocate, filed the complaint with the PDC on Sept. 18.
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.
August 27, 2013
There were some conclusive patterns that came out of monthslong research into the homework practices of Issaquah School District students.
Results of the district’s homework survey were presented to the Issaquah School Board on Aug. 14. The eight-question survey was offered online in June to students, parents and teachers; it came on the heels of site-based homework meetings throughout the spring at 15 of the district’s 24 schools.
August 20, 2013
Early school levy decision welcome
We appreciate early decision making by the Issaquah School Board in regard to its 2014 school levy and bond package.
The board approved its request that will go to voters in February on June 26, although exact numbers could vary slightly before being confirmed this fall, after state funding is considered.
With the citizen task force research done and needs identified, there was no reason to delay the school board vote. It’s always a good thing to get the facts out there early, as voters will need the seven months lead time to get their head around the numbers.