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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Editorial — School begins with need for volunteers

August 26, 2014

On Tuesday, parents across the Issaquah School District will walk their children to the school bus or to school for the start of a new school year.

Finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee.

But wait, your school needs you. The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.

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Guest Column — Great schools, great communities and you

August 26, 2014

Issaquah schools are great — there’s no doubt about it. Our district is consistently ranked as one of the top in the state and our students’ test scores are among the best in the nation. Ask any real estate agent and he or she will regale you with tales of parents who relocated just so their kids can get an Issaquah education.

What is less apparent is how our schools continue to be world-class centers for learning. Much credit goes to our teaching staff and fiscally savvy administration. An equal measure belongs to the community — parents, residents and businesses who donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation, join our PTSAs and volunteer in our schools.

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Issaquah School District introduces Atomic Learning

August 26, 2014

The Issaquah School District invites Issaquah parents and students to use a new resource for learning technology tools called Atomic Learning.

The district’s subscription includes nearly 50,000 step-by-step tutorials on common software, workshops and projects on topics such as blogging and Internet safety.

Atomic Learning can be used by parents and their children at home. Contact your school for its Atomic Learning account information.


High School Class Officers 2014-2015

August 26, 2014

Failing-school letters to go out

August 19, 2014

School districts include retort

Because most Washington school districts don’t have 100 percent of their students passing state math and reading tests, the federal No Child Left Behind law says the districts must send letters to families explaining why.

But the districts don’t have to like it, and 28 school superintendents have jointly written a second letter they will send along with the first, explaining why they think their schools are doing much better than the No Child letters make it seem.

“Some of our state’s and districts’ most successful and highly recognized schools are now being labeled ‘failing’ by an antiquated law that most educators and elected officials — as well as the U.S. Department of Education — acknowledge isn’t working,” the cover letter states.

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Editorial — The kids are (probably) all right

August 19, 2014

Sometime soon, some area parents will get a pair of letters. One is a federally mandated notice informing them their child’s school is failing. The other, likely included in the same envelope, will tell them not to worry about what the first letter says — things are just fine.

The mixed message will undoubtedly confuse some.

Here we are: 2014 was the year that every child in America was supposed to be at grade level standard in math and reading, according to the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The idea was well-meaning, but obviously flawed. While pretty much everyone agrees the law needs revisions, revisions mean Congress needs to get involved. Since Congress can barely agree on the color of the sky, it’s unlikely to see revisions any time soon.

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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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Take Issaquah School District online sports survey by Friday

August 13, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 13, 2014

The Issaquah School District is asking students about their interest in school athletic programs.

The answers will help with future planning of such programs. Responses to the online survey are completely confidential.

Take the survey here. It must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 15.

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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