Issaquah School District students, athletes get $176,000 boost

December 11, 2012

The Issaquah School District approved more than 176,000 worth of donations during its Nov. 28 meeting.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation donated $88,597.55 to support various programs in the district.

From that, $12,500 is for the Middle School After School Homework program while another $7,500 is for similar high school programs. As well, $35,600 is for Science Tech; $25,000 goes to Humanities Plus; $3,500 is earmarked for Financial Literacy and Targeted Academic Interventions gets $3,797.55.

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Activity buses offer ride home for students staying late

December 4, 2012

Angelique Cilliers, Simona Snapkauskaite and Joe McLendon (from left) climb aboard an extended day activity bus at Pine Lake Middle School. By Lillian O’Rorke

Monday through Thursday at about 4 p.m., long after class has let out, 10 yellow school buses chug along area roads, helping middle school students with extracurricular activities get home.

“This is a bad time of the day for parents to pick their kids up,” said Don Crook, who drives one of the two late buses at Pine Lake Middle School. “For all the kids that stay after, whether it’s for chess club or track … the activities buses provide them a means to get back to home or at least close to it.”

Extended Day Activity buses, which are better known unofficially as activity buses, operate at all five of the Issaquah School District’s middle schools.

Director of Transportation Jo Porter estimates that about 250 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders ride the buses. They stay after school, she said, for sports, clubs or just extra study time in the library. And of course, as activities change with the seasons, so do ridership numbers.

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Tiger Mountain Community High School students seek funding for teen-centric library

November 13, 2012

John Green, author of ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ is a favorite among teen readers at Tiger Mountain Community High School. By Lillian O’Rorke

Four years ago, most students at Tiger Mountain Community High School were not interested in picking up a book. Now, the school’s small library has trouble keeping students from exceeding their check-out limit.

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Issaquah Schools Foundation benefit adds Ford charity, ‘American Idol’ glitz

November 13, 2012

Evergreen Ford plans to combine “American Idol” and automobiles to benefit the Issaquah Schools Foundation at a Nov. 15 fundraiser.

The local Ford dealership named the foundation as the beneficiary in the nationwide Go Further with Ford promotion. For each attendee 18 and older at the dealership showroom, Evergreen Ford plans to donate $20 to the foundation, up to a total of $1,000.

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Issaquah Schools Foundation launches fund for arts

November 6, 2012

When the Skyline High School Orchestra started this year, it was short nine cellos. The arsenal for Issaquah Middle School band for years included a baritone saxophone from 1925. Instead of being in a museum, it was played until its metal decayed beyond repair.

“They’re all over the district, of course — instruments that have either been around a long time or have seen rough decades. It’s been an ongoing problem for a long time,” said Doug Longman who teaches orchestra at Skyline and Issaquah high schools. “We are not even providing all the instruments that kids are playing.”

Larger instruments — like cellos, tubas and bass clarinets — are hard for students to carry back and forth from home, where they practice, to school, where they take band or orchestra classes. They’re also expensive to rent, if they can be rented at all. To help students in their musical endeavor, the ideal solution is for those larger instruments to be provided in class. But that is easier said than done.

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Guest Column

November 6, 2012

Go ‘All in for Kids’ to help students succeed

You have no doubt heard about the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s All in for Kids Annual Fund Campaign. Since August, we have reminded the community of our annual fundraiser via postcards, emails, letters, honk and waves, a billboard and even a Battle of the Fans promotion at the Issaquah vs. Skyline football game.

Why so much energy exerted to encourage the community to go “all in”? Because the revenue generated during the campaign is used to do amazing things for our students and schools. It can help transform struggling students into confident learners, equip teachers with skills to reach and engage students of all learning styles, create interest in critical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects by connecting classroom learning to real life applications, and expand students capacity for innovation and creativity through support of music and arts programs.

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All in For Kids raises money for Issaquah schools

October 30, 2012

Sightings of enthusiastic moms and children in bright red wigs means the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s All in for Kids Annual Fund Campaign is in full swing.

The campaign, which raises money to support ongoing foundation programs, began in August and will conclude next month with high school students calling district parents the nights of Nov. 13 and 15.

Among the programs supported by All in for Kids are after-school homework labs and open library programs at middle and high schools, special-needs and highly capable program grants, the Academic Enrichment Grant program for teachers, targeted academic intervention programs at all levels and the eighth-grade Financial Literacy Curriculum.

Learn more about the Issaquah Schools Foundation and donate at or by calling 391-8557.

Issaquah schools receive $150,085 in donations

October 16, 2012

Programs and classrooms in the Issaquah School District got a $150,000 boost last month in the form of donations.

The various gifts were approved by the school board during its regular meetings Sept. 12 and 26.

The first allotment, $90,750 was approved Sept. 12 and included a $56,250 check from the Issaquah Schools Foundation. The money is set to be divided among four district programs — $12,750 for financial literacy, $18,000 for high school robotics, $7,500 for middle school robotics and $18,000 for pre-K summer school.

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Issaquah Schools Foundation to screen ‘Race to Nowhere’

October 15, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 15, 2012

The public can attend the education documentary “Race to Nowhere” at the Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

“Race to Nowhere” is the initial entry in the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s 2012-13 Community Conversations series. The film starts at 7 p.m. at the high school theater, 700 Second Ave. S.E.

Filmmaker Vicki Abeles turned a lens on the achievement-obssessed culture and pressure to perform in America’s schools, and explores the price students pay for the ensuing “race to nowhere.” Attendees can also share reactions to the film during a post-screening discussion.

Admission to the event is free, but organizers ask for attendees to bring a goodwill donation of a box of NutriGrain bars in support of the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Basic Students Needs Fund.

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Issaquah History Museums dishes up historic desserts for 40th anniversary

October 9, 2012

To celebrate a major milestone, Issaquah History Museums organizers ordered cake — enough cake to stock a bakery.

The museums, founded in 1972 as the Issaquah Historical Society, marks 40 years Oct. 13 and to celebrate, staffers enlisted organizations and volunteers to create the cakes, but rather than the from-the-box Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines confections, bakers agreed to follow recipes lifted from Issaquah’s past.

The community celebration offers participants a chance to sample the cakes, learn about the museums’ history, dance and listen to local musicians perform. Bakers agreed to make a pair of cakes — a cake for eating at the event and another cake for a silent auction.

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