Liberty High School construction costs rise by $138,000

February 5, 2013

The Issaquah School Board approved an increase of $138,328 to Liberty High School’s construction bill Jan. 9.

Most of the 13 items that accounted for the increase range between $1,000 and $6,000, including $4,668 to restore power to the parking lot lighting, $3,599 to reconnect cold water in the boiler room and $2,031 to demolish greenhouses that were not originally shown on the drawings. The change order also include two big ticket items — $77,207 for electrical conduit additions to provide power to the stadium expansion in Phase 3, and $21,596 to add an ADA bridge to the temporary locker rooms.

The increase, which includes $12,000 in taxes, brings Liberty’s construction bill total to $19,989,583.

Board adjusts Liberty High School graduation requirements

January 29, 2013

Students who start at Liberty High School next year will need to earn more credits to graduate.

The Issaquah School Board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to increase graduation requirements at the school from 28 credits to 29.5 credits, beginning with the class of 2017.

The plan is designed to better align Liberty with the other schools and take advantage of Liberty’s eight-period schedule, Issaquah School District Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele said.

Thiele, along with administrative staff members Emilie Hard and Michelle Trifunovic and Liberty Principal Josh Almy, studied the idea of making Liberty students earn more credits.

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Sunny Hills Elementary School receives donation for books

January 29, 2013

The Issaquah School Board approved a $5,000 donation from the Sunny Hills Elementary PTA on Jan. 23.

The money is for “Just Right” books for classroom libraries. The books are part of a leveled reading method that determines how well individual students within the same classroom read and then matches them to books that are challenging enough for them to make progress.

Endeavour Elementary School, programs garner gifts

January 29, 2013

Endeavour Elementary School and educational programs in the Issaquah School District received more than $120,000 in donations during a Jan. 9 Issaquah School Board meeting.

Endeavour PTSA gave $24,647.98 to the school, with $10,000 of that earmarked for buying reading book sets for a new book room. The remaining money is to replace the building’s sound system equipment.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation donated $96,606 to programs in the district, including $4,000 for Career & Technical Education; $12,500 for Financial Literacy; $2,600 for the PSAT; $19,000 for TEALS; $26,000 for VOICE; $6,231 for English Language Learners; $7,475 for All in for Kids; $18,000 for National Board Certificate Training; and $800 for Robotics/STEM at Issaquah High School.

Issaquah School Board seeks applicants for vacancy

January 22, 2013

A seat on the Issaquah School Board is up for grabs.

Board member Chad Magendanz left the position when he resigned Jan. 9 in order to start his new job in the state Legislature.

The remaining four board members have 90 days to appoint a new representative from Issaquah’s fourth district, from the Issaquah Highlands through the downtown corridor south to Tiger Mountain and Mirrormont.

All voting-aged residents of that area are invited to apply for the position by 4 p.m. Feb. 14. The new member would need to serve the remainder of Magendanz’s term, through November 2013.

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State Rep. Chad Magendanz gets to work in Olympia

January 22, 2013

State Rep. Chad Magendanz, a former Issaquah School Board member, took the oath of office Jan. 14 to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Magendanz, a freshman Republican and 17-year resident in the district, succeeded longtime former state Rep. Glenn Anderson in the House of Representatives seat.

Magendanz is the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee, and also serves on the House Higher Education and House Technology & Economic Development committees.

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Issaquah School District superintendent to retire in June

January 15, 2013

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen intends to retire June 30 after leading the Issaquah School District for six years.

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Legislators’ priorities reflect education, transportation needs

January 15, 2013

Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.

Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.

In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.

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Chad Magendanz starts role as state representative

January 15, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013

State Rep. Chad Magendanz, a former Issaquah School Board member, took the oath of office Monday to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Magendanz, a freshman Republican and 17-year resident in the district, succeeded longtime former state Rep. Glenn Anderson in the House of Representatives seat.

Magendanz is the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee, and also serves on the House Higher Education and House Technology & Economic Development committees.

“It is an honor to be trusted to represent the people of the 5th Legislative District,” Magendanz said in a statement. “Having been involved in education reforms for several years, I am looking forward to continuing the education reform and funding discussion in my exciting new role.”

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Issaquah School District superintendent to retire

January 9, 2013

NEW — 10:10 p.m. Jan. 9, 2013

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen intends to retire June 30 after leading the Issaquah School District for almost six years.

Steve Rasmussen

Steve Rasmussen

The superintendent announced the decision Wednesday night to the Issaquah School Board.

“I have been lucky in life and have been able to do what I chose to do and that is being a teacher,” Rasmussen said to the board after the board accepted his resignation by a unanimous vote of the board. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with you.”

Rasmussen’s retirement caps off a 40-year career in public education in Washington that has included teaching, coaching and leading three school districts.

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