May 31, 2011
Time was of the essence as students navigated their handmade robots underwater, doing their best to stop the oil spill and save the sea life from impending disaster.
May 24, 2011
Though far from complete, the 2012 Issaquah School District bond has something for all of the district’s 24 schools, making the work-in-process price $228.6 million.
The proposal also includes remodeled or expanded schools for Apollo, Clark, Issaquah Valley and Sunny Hills elementary schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.
The bond proposal suggests the district tear down Tiger Mountain and Clark, and move the students to a remodeled building where Issaquah Middle School is now. The two schools would be close, but not connected, Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele said, with the Tiger move costing about $3.9 million and the Clark move costing about $19.5 million.
In the meantime, the district would build a new, two-story Issaquah Middle School where Clark and Tiger are now; that would cost about $62.5 million.
“This is the biggest project on the bond,” Thiele said.
The proposed bond also shows several trends — switches from carpet to rubber flooring, three new artificial-turf fields and two rain shields for outdoor play areas.
May 24, 2011
Six contractors submitted bids for the Maywood Middle School addition and modernization; M.J. Takisaki Inc. was awarded the project.
The Seattle company gave the lowest base bid at $11.8 million in a range of base bids that went as high as $13.2 million.
After accepting the base bid, district staff members agreed to several more construction projects at the school, including a new elevator and fire alarm system, as well as new partitions and music storage rooms, bringing the bid to about $12.2 million. Finally, the district agreed to a Washington state sales tax of about $1 million, bringing the final bid to $13.2 million.
The Issaquah School Board approved the bid at its April 28 meeting. Maywood’s modernization and expansion is slated for completion by August 2012.
May 13, 2011
NEW — 3 p.m. May 13, 2011
Police arrested a 14-year-old Maywood Middle School student May 6 for bringing marijuana to school. Administrators also expelled the student, according to a King County Sheriff’s Office report.
Maywood Principal Jason Morse reported the student had been on campus with a student from Tiger Mountain Community High School. When administrators confronted them, the high school student became loud.
Morse took the Maywood student to his office and asked to search his backpack, because the student had brought marijuana to school in the past, according to the report.
Police arrived and searched the backpack, finding a glass jar of marijuana and rolling paper.
May 10, 2011
Low enrollment cited as reason for possible elimination
After 39 years of camaraderie, learning and accomplishment, the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is facing the chopping block.
Unless the program can bring enrollment up to 100 students by Oct. 1, the U.S. Navy has announced it will close the unit by fall 2012. This year, Issaquah High has 70 students enrolled in its Navy Junior ROTC.
April 26, 2011
Actress beats Asperger’s obstacles on high school stage
Budding actress Savannah Freese openly shares her experiences of living with Asperger’s syndrome and depression.
Like a star accepting an award, the 19-year-old is quick to thank her greatest supporters — her family and friends — and she pours accolades on Liberty High School’s drama program, the conduit of her success.
“I don’t know if I would have lived if it hadn’t been for drama,” Freese said.
As a child, she felt introverted and shy. Making friends was difficult, especially when her family moved from Buckley in rural King County to Texas and then to Issaquah as a young girl.
April 5, 2011
For every strong school, there are strong volunteers who organize cultural fairs, chaperone field trips, coordinate family fun nights, photocopy assignments and hold bank days for student deposits.
The Issaquah PTSA Council awarded 73 volunteers from 23 schools with Golden Acorn Awards at the 2011 Recognizing Our All-Stars reception March 29.
Boy Scout Troop Pack 636 started the function with a flag salute, and Issaquah PTSA Council President Janine Kotan welcomed the crowd.
The ceremony had a sports theme, with presenters dressed in their favorite sports garb and giving speeches about how volunteers had wowed their fans and hit home runs for their schools.
Jennifer Good, a parent volunteer at Challenger Elementary School, said she began volunteering to meet people and promote education. She organized an ice cream social at the beginning of the year, while Ruth Steck, another parent volunteer, regularly snaps photos of students for the Challenger yearbook.
Both women said they appreciated the Golden Acorn Awards, though, “You don’t do it to be recognized,” Good said.
March 30, 2011
NEW — 12:15 p.m. March 30, 2011
King County is honoring Grand Ridge Elementary School — plus teachers, a student, and a staff member from across the Issaquah School District — as Earth Heroes at School.
The annual honor highlights schools and people for contributions to environmental protection and student environmental education. The county Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ Solid Waste Division announced the 2011 honorees Wednesday.
“Winners of the Earth Heroes at School awards are a diverse group who share the common goal of making our world a better place,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements in environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation and other positive efforts.”
Grand Ridge Elementary recorded a 35-percent recycling rate last year.
March 22, 2011
The voter-approved $241.8 million construction bond from 2006 is in full swing, sending two-story buildings high into the sky and installing sewer systems deep into the ground.
Several schools across the Issaquah School District are receiving money for construction updates or remodels. Four projects are slated to begin construction June 20, after school gets out:
• Briarwood Elementary School will get a new building, slated for completion in fall 2012.
• Liberty High School will undergo a partial modernization and expansion, with most areas complete by August 2012, and final completion by spring 2013.
• Maywood Middle School will be modernized and expanded with new classrooms and science labs with completion in August 2012.
• Challenger Elementary School will be modernized with a relocated central office, improved heating and air controls and separate bus and car traffic areas.
March 22, 2011
In the past, high school students have needed to fulfill specific class requirements before taking higher-level courses.
Starting this fall, Issaquah School District administrators are changing those prerequisites to learning recommendations.
“We’re trying to increase access for students,” Executive Director of Secondary Education Patrick Murphy said. “We used to say, ‘You must have at least a B-minus to take this class.’ But what if I have a C-plus?”
Changing the prerequisites to learning recommendations has been a year and a half in the making. Throughout the year, Murphy meets with the principals from Issaquah, Liberty, Tiger Mountain Community and Skyline high schools. The group brainstorms ways it can increase access for students.
The access talks serve as an umbrella for several subjects, including how the district could increase student access to quality teachers, better activities and challenging courses.
This is not the first time the district has changed prerequisites to learning recommendations. Middle school students traditionally had to take a sixth-grade math placement test. If students performed poorly on the placement test, or if they missed the mark by a few points, they would be placed in the regular class.