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.
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.
August 26, 2014
Kym Clayton has a child who struggles with social skills and speech delays, and in her quest to find help, she stumbled across an idea from a suburban school in Pennsylvania.
Christian Bucks, a student at Roundtown Elementary School in York, Pa., invented a simple but effective way of helping children who were feeling sad or lonely. His Buddy Bench concept — a bench where kids can sit when they’re in need of a friend — has spread like wildfire in less than a year, reaching schools around the world.
Clayton believed the Buddy Bench might be a useful tool at Sunny Hills Elementary School, where she was PTSA president during the 2013-14 school year.
But simply going to a local hardware store and building a bench wasn’t what she had in mind.
“I think it would be really neat to be full circle, that kids are building this bench for other kids,” she explained. Read more
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.
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.
July 1, 2014
Tera Coyle, who has served as principal at Discovery Elementary School since 2008, will become principal at Creekside Elementary School starting in the 2014-15 school year.
Robin Earl announced her resignation June 10.
Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele announced Coyle’s appointment in a June 18 email to Creekside families.
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.
June 29, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. June 29, 2014
Middle-school and high-school students in the Issaquah School District will spend more time in the classroom in the 2014-15 year, after the school board approved a change at its June 11 meeting.
State law mandates an increase in instructional time for the 2015-16 year, but Issaquah will implement the switch a year earlier.
To meet the requirement of 1,080 instructional hours, middle school and high school students will get out of class 45 minutes later on Wednesdays next year.
June 8, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. June 8, 2014
Newcastle Elementary School Principal Marla Newton announced May 30 that she is leaving at the end of the school year.
Newton has accepted a position in the Federal Way School District.
May 20, 2014
Last month’s U.S. Department of Education decision to revoke Washington state’s No Child Left Behind waiver is starting to filter down to school districts and individual buildings.
At the Issaquah School Board’s May 14 meeting, officials discussed the loss of the waiver, which was officially announced April 24. Washington had been one of 43 states with the waiver, allowing it to deviate from NCLB, a nationwide accountability system for public schools that has been in place since 2001.
April 27, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. April 27, 2014
Corinne DeRosa, Issaquah Middle School’s principal since 2004, will leave at the end of the 2013-14 school year to take a central administrative position with the Issaquah School District.
DeRosa has been at Issaquah Middle School since 2001, when she was the assistant principal under then-Principal Ron Thiele, now the Issaquah superintendent.