Issaquah teachers are critical of ‘unsustainable workloads’

November 26, 2013

New standards, longer work days are top complaints

Members of the Issaquah Education Association met with the Issaquah School Board for an hour last week, and much of the discussion centered on what the IEA president termed “unsustainable workloads” for teachers.

During a study session prior to the school board’s Nov. 13 meeting, the IEA — a union of more than 1,000 certificated teachers — spoke about the results of a bargaining survey conducted this fall. More than 70 percent of Issaquah’s teachers responded, and a few common complaints emerged.

Washington’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, along with a new evaluation system for teachers and principals, have led to increased workloads and a general sense of overwhelming stress among educators, IEA officials said.

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Community Church finds temporary home

September 10, 2013

The Community Church of Issaquah, the city’s longest-established church, has been without a home since February.

After 45 years on Mountain Park Boulevard Southwest, Community Church of Issaquah sold the building to the Living Hope Bible Church.

While exploring locations for a permanent home, the congregation is temporarily worshiping at 1:30 p.m. Sundays at Issaquah Christian Church, 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road, while maintaining an office at 85 N.W. Alder Place, in downtown Issaquah.

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Issaquah Valley Elementary School declares lockdown

March 14, 2013

NEW — 5:19 p.m. March 14, 2013

Police received a report March 14 about a woman holding two rifles walking down Newport Way near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

In response, the school issued a lockdown at about 12:10 p.m., until authorities investigated.

Cmdr. Stan Conrad, with the Issaquah Police Department, said an officer was dispatched to the area but failed to find anyone matching the woman’s description. This afternoon, a sergeant was in the process of interviewing the individual who alerted police.

The school lifted the lockdown a half-hour later, at about 12:40 p.m.

New student assessments tested at elementary school

March 5, 2013

Issaquah Valley Elementary School has volunteered to be one of 162 schools in Washington participating in the pilot test of the new Smarter Balanced assessments.

The pilot test, expected to involve more than 1 million students across the country in grades three through 11, is being conducted in several states through late May.

Aligned to the new national evidence-based, rigorous Common Core State Standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, the assessment system is designed to measure student progress toward college and career readiness.

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Issaquah Valley Elementary School is honored

February 26, 2013

For the second year in a row, Issaquah Valley Elementary School has received recognition for dramatic increases in reading and math for 2012. Only 96 other schools in Washington earned the award.

To earn School of Distinction status, schools must be performing at least at the state average in each grade level measured in their school (third through eighth grades, and 10th grade) on reading and math assessments as measured in the spring 2012 Measures of Student Progress and High School Proficiency exams. Schools meeting the requirement were then evaluated on combined reading and math improvement over the past five years. The top 5 percent of the elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools and alternative schools are designated as Schools of Distinction.

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County seeks proposals for youth sports facilities

February 7, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2013

Local youth sports organizations can apply for King County grants to build or upgrade recreation facilities.

The county Youth Sports Facilities Grants Program provides matching grant funds from $5,000 to $75,000. Past grant recipients include playgrounds and athletic fields, including the Issaquah Little League’s Dodd Fields near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

Other local grant recipients in the Issaquah area include city-run Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and county-run Duthie Hill Park in Sammamish.

Overall, officials awarded $12 million through the program in the past 20 years.

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Issaquah milestones from 2012 reflect challenges, changes

December 25, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig June 26 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.

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Walmart invites Issaquah students to ‘Shop with a Cop’

December 18, 2012

First grader Cyrus Comia, 7, one of 10 Issaquah Valley Elementary School students on the ‘Shop with a Cop’ outing, takes toys to a cart as Issaquah Police Sgt. Jeff Johnson helps keep him on his gift-card budget. Comia also bought some socks for his grandmother. By Greg Farrar

In what was a scene straight out of a schoolyard ballfield, 10 officers from the Issaquah and Bellevue police departments stood in a line just waiting to get picked.

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Big Lots opens, donates to Issaquah school

November 13, 2012

Big Lots is opening at Pickering Place, and the closeout retailer is donating $2,500 to Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots opened in the space last occupied by Leathers Gallery, a local furniture store. Leathers moved to a space across the parking lot, and Big Lots renovated the former furniture store.

Big Lots plans to donate to the school during the store’s ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Nov. 16.

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Encounter at Issaquah school offers bear safety reminder

October 16, 2012

Mike Pernack spotted a black bear cub in Squak Mountain’s Big Bear Court neighborhood Oct. 4. By Mike Pernack

Issaquah Valley Elementary School administrators briefly put the campus into lockdown Oct. 3 after surprise guests ambled onto school grounds.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, plus Mishka, a Karelian bear dog, responded to the downtown Issaquah school, but arrived after a female bear and trio of cubs dashed across campus.

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