Class of 2014 earns high ACT scores

November 11, 2014

American College Testing College Readiness exam scores released recently show Washington’s 12th-grade students from the class of 2014 achieving the seventh-highest composite score in the nation.

In the Issaquah School District, students showed an even higher level of college preparedness. The district’s composite score of 26.6 is 3.6 points higher than Washington state’s 23 and 5.6 points higher than the nation’s 21.

Additionally, Issaquah district seniors have consistently scored two to three points higher than the state on the exam for the past five years.

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Friends of Youth to host Rise and Thrive Breakfast in Issaquah

November 6, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 6, 2014

Group to raise funds for counseling, prevention services

As the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting rocked communities across the state, Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele sent a message to parents.

In it, Thiele expressed his condolences to the victim’s families and provided insight into how the district prepares for the rare possibility of a local school shooting.

He mentioned active-shooter trainings for staff and students, improving situational awareness and the need for mental health services.

“Last year, we began a partnership with Swedish Hospital to provide mental health counseling in our high schools,” Thiele wrote. “Additionally, we work with Friends of Youth to provide mental health and drug and alcohol counseling.”

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School board pushes back Tiger Mountain closure to 2016

October 28, 2014

Tiger Mountain Community High School will close after the 2015-16 school year, a plan that deviates slightly from the one proposed by the Issaquah School District’s superintendent.

Superintendent Ron Thiele had recommended the closure of Tiger Mountain at the end of the current year, but the Issaquah School Board voted 5-0 at its Oct. 22 meeting to delay the closure by a year and remove a gap in alternative education for district students.

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School board holds study session about Tiger Mountain’s future

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.

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Public hearings begin for possible school closure

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.

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To the Editor

September 16, 2014

Tiger Mountain

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.

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Issaquah School District finishes school projects, delays others

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.

By Greg Farrar A lighted reader board has been put up at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

By Greg Farrar
A lighted reader board has been put up at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

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.

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Issaquah schools get creative to bolster ‘culture of kindness’ ideals

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.

By Neil Pierson In June, Sunny Hills Elementary School received its new Buddy Bench, a place for students to confront their emotions and make new friends. Pictured in the front row are Sunny Hills student Evan Baker, and Beaver Lake students Alejandro Calderon and Jade Griffiths. In the back row are Beaver Lake teacher Patrick Ford, Sunny Hills Principal Leslie Lederman and Sunny Hills PTSA President Kym Clayton.

By Neil Pierson
In June, Sunny Hills Elementary School received its new Buddy Bench, a place for students to confront their emotions and make new friends. Pictured in the front row are Sunny Hills student Evan Baker, and Beaver Lake students Alejandro Calderon and Jade Griffiths. In the back row are Beaver Lake teacher Patrick Ford, Sunny Hills Principal Leslie Lederman and Sunny Hills PTSA President Kym Clayton.

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

Issaquah schools budget set to receive slight boost

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.

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Issaquah schools superintendent receives 2.5 percent salary boost

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.

 

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