Issaquah School Board delays bond ballot question

October 4, 2011

Officials also shuffle project priorities

After roughly four hours of discussion, the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to place a revamped $219 million capital improvement bond package before voters.

But in a decision that came earlier in the course of their regular Sept. 28 meeting, the board voted unanimously to mount the levy in April instead of February as previously planned.

The issue will appear on ballots for an April 17 election. In 2014, voters also may decide a capital improvement levy — not a bond issue — to pay for some items removed from the original proposal for the 2012 bond question.

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King County Elections to host candidate workshops

May 10, 2011

The race for City Council seats launched in February, but people interested in running for seats on the council or the Issaquah School Board do not need to file for the race until June.

In the meantime, potential candidates can attend workshops to learn the basics of running for office. King County Elections is hosting complimentary workshops May 12 and 14.

Participants can discuss important information related to filing for office in King County. The sessions are open to candidates, campaign managers and community members.

Organizers plan to discuss the filing process, submitting information for the countywide voters’ pamphlet, voter lists and data management, campaign sign regulations and basic public-disclosure information.

In addition to the local races, the ballot includes countywide races for assessor and elections director. Candidates must file to run in Issaquah and other races by June 10.

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Congressman, school board discuss education law

March 29, 2011

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert listens to school board members discuss the No Child Left Behind law March 25. By Laura Geggel

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and school board members from six different districts, including the Issaquah School District, met March 25 to discuss the problems swirling around the No Child Left Behind federal law.

In Washington, no school district larger than 6,100 students is meeting standards required by No Child Left Behind, Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz said.

“This is an issue that I’ve heard over and over and we just can’t seem to make any progress on it,” said Reichert, a federal representative for the 8th Congressional District, an area including Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside and South King County cities through rural Pierce County.

During the meeting, Reichert, R-Auburn, and the school board members agreed that No Child Left Behind needs reform.

No Child Left Behind uses data from standardized test scores in reading and math. In Washington, the tests are called the Measurement of Student Progress, for grades three through eight, and the High School Proficiency Exam, for sophomores.

If a school fails to meet standard in one of the 37 subgroups, it is listed as failing. Schools receiving federal Title I funds for low-income students that do not meet AYP must notify their parents and could face sanctions. For instance, depending on how many years a school has missed AYP, it must give students the option of moving to another school within the district and paying for their transportation.

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Issaquah School Board receives distinction award

December 14, 2010

For the second consecutive year, the Issaquah School Board has received a Board of Distinction award from the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

The board, including Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and members Jan Woldseth Colbrese, Brian Deagle, Suzanne Weaver, Chad Magendanz, Marnie Maraldo, learned about the honor at the annual WSSDA conference Nov. 17-20 in Spokane, where school board members from the state’s 295 school districts met to share ideas.

To apply, boards had to answer several questions, including those about their work to improve student learning and the board’s accountability to the community. Read more

School board renews superintendent’s contract

July 6, 2010

At its June 23 meeting, the Issaquah School Board unanimously agreed to renew the contract of Superintendent Steve Rasmussen.

Board members said they were very pleased with the progress Rasmussen has made as superintendent this past year.

Steve Rasmussen

“I want to commend you on creating a culture for our teachers to grow,” board member Marnie Maraldo said. “By placing student achievement as highest priority and helping teachers to be instructional leaders, we are saying that we want our teachers to be the best they can be.”

Board member Suzanne Weaver praised the district’s financial positioning.

“We are very pleased with where the district is financially,” she said. “We were able to anticipate the increase in the levy lid, which helped us not only in maintaining class sizes, but we didn’t have to eliminate any teacher positions this year.”

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Issaquah School Board approves contract for educational assistants

June 29, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 29, 2010

The Issaquah School Board approved a three-year contract for school district educational assistants last week.

Educational assistants’ union representatives reached a tentative agreement with district officials May 27. The union’s membership met June 15 and approved the contract. Board members approved the labor pact June 23.

“This was a very brief bargaining in that both parties were interested in generating a settlement,” the district’s Director of Employee Relations Milton Ellis wrote in an e-mail. “The parties met on three occasions to reach a contract settlement.”

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More than 1,200 seniors receive diplomas this week

June 8, 2010

Congratulations to the 1,240 high school graduates of the class of 2010.

Each of the district’s four high schools — Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline and Tiger Mountain Community high schools — as well as the district’s community-based Transition Program for special-needs students will have commencement celebrations during the next week.

Here’s what you need to know about each, in the order they happen.

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School, library levies lead in election results

February 16, 2010

Dr. Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, shares a high-five with Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications, the moment after election night returns are posted showing a wide margin of passage for three levy issues. By Greg Farrar

Celebration was in the air as Issaquah School District officials gathered to welcome election results Feb. 9.

The celebration continued Feb. 12 with the results released at 3:25 p.m. showing district ballot measures leading with 65 percent for a maintenance and operations levy, 64 percent for a transportation levy and 65 percent for a technology and repairs levy.

Once the election is certified, taxpayers will pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

Levy supporters gathered on election night to await early results. As the numbers appeared on the King County Elections Web site just after 8 p.m. Feb. 9, sighs of relief, high fives and victory cries erupted from partygoers.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen thanked voters for their support.

“This campaign was a community effort and took an army of volunteers stepping up because they know it is the right thing to do for our community,” he said. “Schools are the cornerstones for thriving and wonderful communities to live in. I think this bodes well for our community because they know the value and importance of education.”

The levy measures will supplement the district budget with more than $214 million by 2014. Read more

Issaquah school levies, King County library measure lead in latest election results

February 10, 2010

UPDATED — 3:17 p.m. Feb. 12, 2010

Celebration was in the air as Issaquah School District officials gathered to welcome election results Tuesday.

The celebration continued Thursday with the results released at 4:30 p.m. showing district ballot measures leading with 65 percent for a maintenance and operations levy, 63 percent for a transportation levy and 65 percent for a technology and repairs levy.

If the measures pass as expected, taxpayers would pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

Levy supporters gathered Tuesday night to await early results. As the numbers appeared on the King County Elections Web site just after 8 p.m., sighs of relief, high fives and victory cries erupted from partygoers.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen thanked voters for their support.

“This campaign was a community effort and took an army of volunteers stepping up because they know it is the right thing to do for our community,” he said. “Schools are the cornerstones for thriving and wonderful communities to live in. I think this bodes well for our community because they know the value and importance of education.”

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City, schools elections attracted only 50 percent of voters

December 1, 2009

With few contested races on the ballot, about half of Issaquah city and school district voters cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election, final King County Elections results released last week show. Read more

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