Federal waiver loss could affect schools

May 20, 2014

Last month’s U.S. Department of Education decision to revoke Washington state’s No Child Left Behind waiver is starting to filter down to school districts and individual buildings.

At the Issaquah School Board’s May 14 meeting, officials discussed the loss of the waiver, which was officially announced April 24. Washington had been one of 43 states with the waiver, allowing it to deviate from NCLB, a nationwide accountability system for public schools that has been in place since 2001.

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Issaquah educators receive grants

May 13, 2014

The East-King School Retirees’ Association recently presented grants to a pair of Issaquah School District teachers.

Jane Brammer, a kindergarten teacher at Issaquah Valley Elementary School, will receive money to purchase “Reading Like a Writer” mentor texts for her classroom.

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Go all-in for Issaquah Valley Elementary School at poker tournament

May 9, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. May 9, 2014

Have fun and play poker for a great cause at a Issaquah Valley Elementary School PTA fundraiser May 10.

Purchase a seat for $50 in a no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament. Half of the buy-in goes to the school’s PTA. The other half goes to the prize pool. There will also be a few other great prizes up for grabs.

The fundraiser is at the Lake Sammamish Elks Lodge No. 1843, 765 Rainier Blvd. N., behind the Issaquah Darigold.

Check-in/buy-in is at 5 p.m. with happy hour and food. An optional poker lesson is at 5:30 p.m. and cards are in the air at 6 p.m.

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Local schools could lose budget flexibility

April 29, 2014

The Issaquah School District is likely to lose some flexibility in budgeting next year.

State officials announced April 24 that Washington would lose a waiver it has been receiving from the federal government which allowed the state flexibility under portions of the No Child Left Behind law.

Under the law, 100 percent of students need to be at their grade level standard in both reading and math by this year. For the past few years, the federal government has granted more than 40 states waivers from the requirement.

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Schools honor top volunteers

April 8, 2014

Issaquah School District Golden Acorn and Outstanding Advocate Awards were recognized at a reception at Swedish/Issaquah on March 25.

Golden Acorns are presented, by a local PTA unit or council, to volunteers in recognition of their dedication and service to children and youths.

Since the beginning of the program, more than 44,000 Golden Acorns have been presented to volunteers throughout Washington state. A contribution in the name of the recipient(s) is made by the honoring PTA to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program. From these contributions, WSPTA is able to provide grants to freshman students entering post-secondary education.

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Schools plan future around expected growth

December 17, 2013

Officials are hoping to break ground on the new Issaquah Middle School next summer, and the replacement building will look much different than what was first envisioned.

The city of Issaquah’s 30-year plan for its central business district is expected to add more than 7,700 residential units, and it’s forcing the Issaquah School District to think more about long-term impacts to its facilities.

Steve Crawford, the district’s director of capital projects, told school board members Dec. 11 that if downtown Issaquah grows as projected in the Central Issaquah Plan in the next three decades, it would add an estimated 2,850 students to the school district’s enrollment. That represents a 15 percent increase over the district’s current population of 18,400 students.

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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.

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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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