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.
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.
September 16, 2014
Closing the school will help the numbers, not the students
Closing Tiger Mountain Community High School during renovations and not creating a temporary home for the school would be a very grievous mistake. The students currently enrolled at Tiger Mountain are there because the conventional high school experience is detrimental to their learning experience. Sending them to a regular high school for even a year will cause them great suffering and hardship.
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.