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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Students find joy and meaning in volunteering

February 21, 2014

For Taylor Woo, a particular memory stands out from her time working at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Woo, a Liberty High School junior, serves as a volunteer patient care liaison at the hospital, one of the largest in the Northwest. One day, she was asked to speak with an 8-year-old boy who’d been in a car accident with his parents and younger sister.

The boy was responsive, but his sister lay in coma in an adjacent bed.

Above, left, Taylor Woo, a junior at Liberty High School, helps a visitor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Top right, Issaquah High School senior Robin Lustig volunteers with organizations like Friends of Youth, the Issaquah Community Network and the Drug Free Community Coalition. Above, right, Skyline High School senior Jonathan Yee helps fellow students through the school’s Key Club and Link Crew, and also works with Treehouse, an organization that supports foster children.

Taylor Woo, a junior at Liberty High School, helps a visitor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“You can hear the heart monitor just beeping to her heart, and it was so hard to see,” Woo said. “It was sad how he couldn’t really comprehend what was happening with his parents.

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District may close alternative high school for one year

February 18, 2014

Tiger Mountain students would go to the nearest high school

The Issaquah School District is considering a plan to close Tiger Mountain Community High School for one year while the school is moved to a different location, and then reopen the alternative school with a revamped educational model.

Issaquah Superintendent Ron Thiele spoke about the plan with school board members at a work study session prior to the board’s Feb. 12 meeting. The audience included about two dozen Tiger Mountain staff members, parents and students.

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Issaquah school levies passing comfortably

February 18, 2014

Three Issaquah School District levy proposals appear to be well on their way to passing, according to early elections results.

King County Elections numbers from Feb. 14 showed Issaquah’s three measures were way above the 50-percent mark needed for approval.

The district’s four-year, $198 million maintenance and operations levy was passing with 69 percent approval. The measure, labeled as renewal of the current M&O levy, pays for teacher salaries and classroom-related costs not covered by the state.

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Beaver Lake teacher dies after fight with cancer

February 11, 2014

Chuck Lee, a math teacher and basketball coach at Beaver Lake Middle School, died Feb. 6 after a 10-year battle with cancer.

Chuck Lee

Chuck Lee

Lee had worked in the Issaquah School District since 1990, including the past 13 years at Beaver Lake. Previously, he had taught at Sunset and Issaquah Valley elementary schools, and at Skyline High School.

Counselors have been available to meet with Beaver Lake students during lunch periods to help them work through any grief, Principal Stacy Cho said via email.


Issaquah City Councilman Tola Marts is named Elected Official of the Week

February 11, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 11, 2014

The Sound Cities Association named Issaquah City Councilman Tola Marts the Elected Official of the Week.

The decision was announced Feb. 10 in a press release from the organization, which represents 36 cities in King County. It credited Marts’ leadership, vision and commitment to making a difference in people’s lives, locally and around the world.

Tola Marts

Tola Marts

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Schools won’t revise homework policies

February 4, 2014

After an 18-month process that included many discussions with parents, teachers and students, the Issaquah School District has decided not to make any changes to existing policies and procedures about homework.

Superintendent Ron Thiele announced the decision at the Issaquah School Board’s Jan. 29 meeting. While no changes are coming, Thiele said the process sparked an important discussion throughout the district, and administrators reserve the right to make changes when they are deemed necessary.

Thiele also admitted the decision may not satisfy everyone.

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Students can save time, money in Issaquah tech prep program

February 4, 2014

The Issaquah School District is pushing awareness of a program that allows students to earn dual high school and college credits, saving time and money.

Tech Prep allows students to earn credits through Bellevue College, Cascadia Community College, the Lake Washington Institute of Technology and Shoreline Community College.

Students enroll in classes through the colleges, but take them through their high schools. They are required to register on the Tech Prep website, pay a $46 consortium fee and if they complete the course with a “B” grade or higher, they can register for credit online.

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School officials review survey results prior to contract negotiations

January 17, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 17, 2014

Issaquah School District administrators and members of its teachers’ union bargaining team met Jan. 9 to discuss the results of a community values survey.

The survey, conducted during the fall by the Issaquah PTSA Council, sought to gain information from district parents, students and teachers. The council conducted similar surveys prior to the last two rounds of contract negotiations between the district and the teachers’ union, the Issaquah Education Association.

The current IEA contract runs through Aug. 31. In 2010, negotiations began in March and a new four-year deal was ratified in June.

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Special-education programs draw from district M&O levy dollars

January 14, 2014

Like her fellow administrators around the Issaquah School District, Michelle Caponigro is concerned about providing resources for her special-education students.

By Greg Farrar Michelle Caponigro, Pine Lake Middle School principal, visits a computer lab classroom Jan. 10 while giving a tour of the school.

By Greg Farrar
Michelle Caponigro, Pine Lake Middle School principal, visits a computer lab classroom Jan. 10 while giving a tour of the school.

For Caponigro, the principal at Pine Lake Middle School, that means having teachers in two learning resource centers — an LRC I class for students with specific learning disabilities who spend much of their day in a general classroom setting and an LRC II class for students with “significant challenges” who are more difficult to manage.

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