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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Bear on campus puts Issaquah Valley Elementary into lockdown

October 10, 2012

Bears roam on the Issaquah Valley Elementary School campus Wednesday. By Jake Kuper, Issaquah School District

NEW — 4 p.m. Oct. 10, 2012

A bear and three cubs paid a surprise visit Wednesday to Issaquah Valley Elementary School, prompting administrators to put the building into lockdown.

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Students needed to star in ‘The Sound of Music’

September 11, 2012

Students from Clark, Sunset, Issaquah Valley and Grand Ridge elementary schools, as well as those who attend Pacific Cascade and Issaquah middle schools, are invited to audition for the upcoming production of “The Sound of Music.”

The musical, being produced by Issaquah High School, is looking to fill five Von Trapp children roles with students from feeder schools.

Auditions for younger children are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the choir room at Issaquah High and should last one to two hours. High school student auditions will be at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and could take more than three hours.

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Issaquah History Museums unveils oral history treasure trove

August 28, 2012

For decades, old cassette tapes sat squirreled away in the Issaquah History Museums’ expansive collection.

The cassettes, long relegated to gathering dust, contained oral histories from early residents and intimate details about a bygone era — Issaquah in the early 20th century, as a coal- and timber-fueled boom started to wane and decades before explosive growth transformed the area into subdivisions and shopping centers.

The cassettes in the oral history collection ranged in date from 1958 to 1993, but little information accompanied the tapes, so museum staffers and volunteers could only speculate about the contents.

Until now.

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Issaquah School Board tackles long to-do list

August 28, 2012

Over the course of two days the Issaquah School Board and several of the district’s administrative members met Aug. 21-22 for the Board Cabinet Retreat.

Marnie Maraldo

With participants shuffling between the library at Issaquah Valley Elementary School and a meeting space in the administration building, it wasn’t as glamorous as the name would suggest. Nor was it held in the resort town of Leavenworth, as is the choice of other school districts.

What it was, though, was 14 hours of discussion regarding everything from the new teacher/principal evaluation pilot program to scheduling to the importance of science and math, and the consumption of a whole lot of M&Ms.

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State gives Issaquah School District campuses ‘green’ thumbs up

July 31, 2012

Creekside Elementary School Principal Robin Earl discusses the then-new school building prior to its opening in 2010. Visible behind her are the high windows that help cut back on the use of electric lighting. File

Local schools are no stranger to environmental awards, but the Issaquah School District was pleasantly surprised July 23 when two of its schools were honored by the state for their “green” leadership.

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Summer school program preps young minds for kindergarten

July 24, 2012

Allison Rupert, Issaquah Valley Elementary School teacher, reads to a summer kindergarten prep class July 18. By Lillian Tucker

Several miniature hands shot up into the air as Allison Rupert read aloud, “On the first day of school I wondered, ‘What will I do today?’”

While most of the classrooms at Issaquah Valley Elementary School are quiet, Rupert and fellow teacher Jane Brammer are instructing a four-week pilot kindergarten readiness program through Aug. 3.

“A lot of them have never been to school. But the first day they were on board,” Rupert said. “Seeing the progress in just two weeks, they are going to be so ready in September. They will have confidence and it won’t be a scary place.”

Paid for by an $18,000 Academic Enrichment Grant from the Issaquah Schools Foundation, the Pre-K Summer School is a free program for children entering kindergarten who have not been to preschool, have English as a second language or have attended preschool but need extra attention.

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