Issaquah Schools Foundation annual fund raising campaign begins Aug. 1

August 20, 2013

The Issaquah Schools Foundation’s All In for Kids Annual Fund Campaign, its fall fund drive, began Aug. 1. The fundraiser goes until Nov. 14, ending with a phoneathon as in previous years.

Once parents start to register their children for the upcoming school year, parents can donate to the campaign as part of the online process. The foundation will also put out flyers and letters to district families in the coming months.

“Parents and community members are still the driving force behind education,” Lynn Juniel, development director of the foundation, said.

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Issaquah School District registration opens online this month

August 1, 2013

NEW – 6 a.m. Aug. 1, 2013

For the first time, all Issaquah School District levels will be able to confirm enrollment status online this year.

The Enrollment Verification Process for elementary schools is Aug. 1-7, while Back to School Check-In and RSVP for middle and high schools, respectively, go live from Aug. 12-18.

Through the online portal, families will be able to confirm enrollment status, download and print necessary forms, sign up for PTSA, add money to a student’s lunch account, subscribe to the district E-news mailing list and donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation. Depending on the grade level, it may also be possible to pay fines and fees, or join boosters.

For more specific information, contact your child’s school. The district will post notice of registration and the instruction page when the processes go live.

New environmental stewardship program to benefit schools

May 28, 2013

Ninth-graders at three Issaquah School District high schools will soon benefit from a new environmental stewardship education program that culminates in a field trip and hands-on stewardship event, according to a press release from the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

About 180 students in the “Biodiversity and Lab Concepts” course will participate in the Environmental Stewardship Learning Opportunity program each year, with curriculum developed by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. Funding for the program will be made possible by an Issaquah Schools Foundation grant created by Port Blakely Companies and local businesses.

Port Blakely Companies, the parent company of Port Blakely Communities and developer of the Issaquah Highlands, created the grant in celebration of its 20 years of development activity in the highlands, where it has applied principles of environmental stewardship to every aspect of development, the release said.

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Luncheon benefits schools

May 28, 2013

Issaquah Schools Foundation raised more than $680,000 from this year’s annual Nourish Every Mind Benefit Luncheon.

More than 1,200 people attended the luncheon, according to an update on the foundation’s website.

The money will directly benefit students in all Issaquah schools. Get a visual tour of some of the projects that the Issaquah Schools Foundation supports at http://issaquahschoolsfoundation.org.

Living legacy

May 14, 2013

End of scholarships will not diminish the impact of teacher Ruth Roy

Death came too soon for Issaquah teacher Ruth Roy. The same thing might be said for the scholarship program created in her memory.

By Greg Farrar The final Ruth Roy Scholarship recipients (from left) Gargi Panatula, of Grand Ridge Elementary, Shiven Raina, of Apollo (in tree), Eric Hong, of Grand Ridge, Anjali Goel, of Cascade Ridge, Monsi Pingili, of Beaver Lake Middle School, meet Rob Roy at the school district administration building. Alex Zhang, of Endeavour, was not available.

By Greg Farrar
The final Ruth Roy Scholarship recipients (from left) Gargi Panatula, of Grand Ridge Elementary, Shiven Raina, of Apollo (in tree), Eric Hong, of Grand Ridge, Anjali Goel, of Cascade Ridge, Monsi Pingili, of Beaver Lake Middle School, meet Rob Roy at the school district administration building. Alex Zhang, of Endeavour, was not available.

The final six grants from the Ruth Roy Scholarship program established to inspire gifted middle school students were presented in March. In all, 23 scholarships were awarded in the seven years the Ruth Roy Scholarship program was operated through the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

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Schools foundation plans surprises for fundraiser luncheon

April 30, 2013

With an eye on arts funding and book rooms, the Issaquah Schools Foundation is preparing to host its annual Nourish Every Mind luncheon on May 9.

Development Director Lynn Juniel was eager to share information about the upcoming event, but did not want to show every card in the foundation’s hand. One tidbit she happily shared was the name of the host. After filling in at the last minute in 2012, KIRO news anchor Dave Ross will return as the master of ceremonies.

“He’s a great guy,” Juniel said. “He cares a lot about the arts and it’s great to have that connection with him.”

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Mother’s Day Dash honors victims of Boston bombings

April 30, 2013

Long before the Boston Marathon bombings happened, members of the Issaquah Schools Foundation came up with the idea of a Mother’s Day 5K run to benefit the foundation.

After the bombings, the foundation decided it wanted to honor the victims during the race, and decided to donate $1 from every entry to the One Fund.

“We did some research and felt like it was very fitting to honor the runners from the Boston Marathon,” Robin Callahan, executive director of the Issaquah Schools Foundation, said in a phone interview.

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Issaquah School levy committee to discuss 2014 in April

February 19, 2013

The 2014 special election season may be far off most people’s radar screens, but not the Issaquah School District’s.

A plan for the 2014 Levy Development Committee was laid out Feb. 13 during the regular school board meeting. The purpose of the committee, according to its charter, is to advise the superintendent as he prepares a recommendation for the school board to approve levy issues for either the February or April 2014 ballot.

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Issaquah School District superintendent to retire in June

January 15, 2013

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen intends to retire June 30 after leading the Issaquah School District for six years.

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City Council restores dollars for nonprofit organizations

December 11, 2012

By the numbers

Data from the most recent year available, 2011, illustrates how Issaquah ranks against other King County cities in per capita funding for human services.

Issaquah

  • Human services budget: $222,000
  • Funding formula: 1 percent of general fund
  • Per capita human services funding: $8.22

Bellevue

  • Human services budget: $2,792,312
  • Funding formula: inflation plus population growth
  • Per capita human services funding: $23.01

Bothell

  • Human services budget: $234,500
  • Funding formula: per capita
  • Per capita human services funding: $7

Kenmore

  • Human services budget: $289,000
  • Funding formula: 3 percent of estimated revenues
  • Per capita human services funding: $13.85

Kirkland

  • Human services budget: $571,880
  • Funding formula: per capita
  • Per capita human services funding: $11.52

Redmond

  • Human services budget: $664,235
  • Funding formula: per capita plus $74,500 per year in domestic violence funds
  • Per capita human services funding: $11.35

Sammamish

  • Human services budget: $176,000
  • Funding formula: no formula
  • Per capita human services funding: $4.29

Shoreline

  • Human services budget: $340,307
  • Funding formula: no formula
  • Per capita human services funding: $6.23

Woodinville

  • Human services budget: $66,501
  • Funding formula: no formula
  • Per capita human services funding: $5.86

Source: City of Issaquah

Representatives from a spectrum of organizations — nonprofit human services groups offering affordable housing, safe havens for domestic violence victims, assistance to struggling students and more — successfully lobbied City Council members Dec. 3 to stave off a $48,750 drop in funding for such programs.

The council agreed to allocate $280,750 in the $42 million general fund budget for human services grants, but only after a council committee pushed to increase the amount and local nonprofit organizations pleaded for the council not to eliminate $48,750 in funding.

Grants go to organizations such as Eastside Baby Corner, Friends of Youth and the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank to offer services to residents from Issaquah and the Issaquah School District.

In a 4-3 decision, council members agreed to increase the amount budgeted for human services by $48,750 from the $233,250 the council recommended in earlier budget deliberations. The additional dollars for human services grants comes from the municipal rainy day fund.

Councilwoman Eileen Barber initiated the process to restore the human services funding.

Then, before the split decision, representatives from local human services organizations — including Catholic Community Services, Issaquah Community Services and LifeWire — beseeched the council to restore funds for grants.

“At a time when I see the needs rising among our students, and I see the return on investment for cities in investing in students while they’re still in school, I think it’s a critical time for you to consider being able to support organizations, such as the schools foundation, in retaining our current funding,” Issaquah Schools Foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said.

Several referenced the Great Recession and the fragile economy recovery in pleas to the council.

“I believe that our nonprofits are still recovering from the recession,” Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank Executive Director Cori Kauk said. “Many of our local nonprofits haven’t rebounded yet and they still need your support. Now is really not a good time for cuts.”

Council President Tola Marts said the city did not intend to undercut human services organizations through the budget reduction.

“In a time when the state and the county are reducing funds — and I realize that puts even more strain on local budgets — I think the intent of the council when we did the budget was that we thought that was a strong position to take,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s been perceived as a Grinchian position.”

The council acts on recommendations from the municipal Human Services Commission. Overall, commissioners received 60 grant applications totaling $366,283 in requests for 2013.

Commission Chairwoman Maggie Baker, disappointed about the proposed reduction in funding, pored over data from the U.S. Census Bureau to better quantify the need in the community.

“I realized that with $47,000 less, we weren’t going to be able to do the right thing for our 1,365 Issaquah neighbors 65 and over who live with at least one disability that keeps them from completing an activity of daily living, such as eating, dressing or bathing,” she said.

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