Advisory board tackles youth substance abuse

March 25, 2014

Although drug abuse is a widely discussed topic, few dig deeper into the underlying causes, the reasons why youths would start risking their health by using dangerous substances.

Today’s generation of teenagers are faced with unprecedented challenges on a daily basis: family conflicts, rigorous schoolwork, bullying, peer pressure and sky-high parental expectations, just to name a few.

Not knowing how to deal with and manage the stress and emotions that result from these issues often leave teenagers in a dangerous predicament.

Erika Kumar Skyline High School

Erika Kumar
Skyline High School

Viewing drugs or alcohol as the only way to cope with their distress, many young people practice this harmful behavior and put their lives at risk. Easy access to illegal substances and a lack of understanding of the effects drugs have on their developing bodies further push teens toward substance abuse.

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Tiger Mountain community speaks out on school’s possible closure

March 18, 2014

Last month’s news that Tiger Mountain Community High School could be closed has sparked sadness, anger and shock among students and parents at the Issaquah School District’s alternative high school.

The Issaquah School Board began publicly discussing a possible closure Feb. 12, and droves of Tiger Mountain community members showed up for that meeting. Several people returned to speak to the board at its March 12 meeting.

Neil Schmidt, who graduated from Tiger Mountain last year, said he was “dumbfounded” and “appalled” the district would consider closing the school, which has provided a nontraditional learning environment for high-school students since 1991. The school currently has an enrollment of about 100.

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Confluence Park community garden is ready for applications

March 11, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. March 11, 2014

Residents can grow their gardens in Issaquah’s newest park.

The city’s first attempt at managing a community garden has begun with 31 new vegetable beds in Confluence Park.

Offering 27 raised cedar beds and four Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible plots, the city welcomes citizens to apply to organically grow flowers and vegetables for this inaugural season, April 1 to Oct. 13. Cost is $75 per season.

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King County certifies Issaquah school levies

March 4, 2014

King County Elections has officially certified results for the three Issaquah School District levy measures that appeared on the Feb. 11 ballot.

On the certification date, Feb. 25, all three measures passed by wide margins. A four-year maintenance and operations levy received 69.27 percent support; a four-year capital projects and critical repairs levy got 70.31 percent support; and a one-year transportation levy passed with 70.89 percent support.

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Young musicians take their talents to big stage

March 4, 2014

Heliqiong Sun began playing the piano when she was 4. Ten years later, it’s the instrument she’s most proficient with.

But Sun, an eighth-grader at Beaver Lake Middle School, has some versatility. She picked up the violin three years ago, and has mastered it enough that she can be considered among the best violinists in the state for her age group.

Photos by Neil Pierson Named to the Washington Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra were (from left, during recent school rehearsals) Beaver Lake Middle School violinist Heliqiong Sun; Pacific Cascade Middle School seventh-grade trumpist Sarah Hall, trombonist Emily Ko, bass clarinetist Joshua Lee and eight-grade clarinetist Austin Denton.

Photos by Neil Pierson
Named to the Washington Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra were (from left, during recent school rehearsals) Beaver Lake Middle School violinist Heliqiong Sun.

She was among 58 middle-school students from the Issaquah School District selected for the Washington Music Educators Association’s Junior All-State groups. Students from across the state converged Feb. 15 in Yakima, and they spent several hours rehearsing before the three choirs, two bands and one orchestra took the stage that evening for their performances.

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School bus slides into ditch, sprained wrist is only reported injury

March 3, 2014

NEW — 11:15 a.m. March 3, 2014

An Issaquah School District bus slipped into a ditch the morning of March 3 at about 6:45 a.m.

There were 17 students on board, said Sgt. Tony Garza, of the Sammamish Police Department. He said firefighters on the scene thought one of the students might have had a sprained wrist, but that was the only reported injury.

That student’s father picked him up, while the rest of the students were put on a different bus.

Students are shepherded into a new bus after the one they were riding in slipped into a ditch. (Courtesy of Sammamish Police Department)

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Issaquah schools seek student art for calendars

February 28, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 28, 2014

Issaquah School District students are invited to submit their artwork for possible publication in the district’s 2014-15 student art calendar.

The calendar is distributed free of charge to every family and staff member in the district. All current students are eligible to submit up to three pieces.

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Klahanie votes against annexation; Issaquah approves the bag ban

February 25, 2014

Issaquah’s ban on plastic bags still stands, while a Klahanie-area annexation continues to fall short.

As of Feb. 21, 1,504, or 49.51 percent, of the residents in the Klahanie area voted in favor of the annexation and to take on the encumbered debt of Issaquah, while 1,534, or 50.49 percent, voted against it.

Although the measure needs 60 percent to pass with the new residents sharing the city’s indebtedness, the City Council can still choose to annex the area if the vote receives a simple majority. Under that scenario, the Klahanie area would not assume its share of the city’s current indebtedness.

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Students invited to join science-centered programs

February 25, 2014

The Issaquah School District is holding three meetings in March for families of third-grade students interested in joining the district’s science and technology magnet programs.

The programs typically serve more than 50 fourth- and fifth-grade students over a two-year period. The magnet program is located at Briarwood, Cascade Ridge and Clark elementary schools, but is open to other schools.

The magnet program covers the standard district-adopted fourth- and fifth-grade curriculum, with an emphasis on science and technology. Grade-specific math instruction is also provided.

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King County conservation program honors four Issaquah schools

February 24, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 24, 2014

Seven King County schools, including four from the Issaquah School District, were recognized this month by the county’s Green Schools Program for having successful conservation practices.

Students and staff at the seven schools embraced waste reduction, recycling and other conservation actions, program manager Dale Alekel said in a news release.

Three Issaquah elementary schools — Cascade Ridge, Challenger and Endeavour — were given Level 2 recognition for energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling practices.

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