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.
August 21, 2012
New school year begins amid cycle of change and improvement
Every student enters a new school year ready for learning, surprises, challenges and successes — and, even after 24 years as a superintendent, it’s exactly the same for me! Our schools open Sept. 4, and — just like the state of education in general — we in the Issaquah School District are in a constant cycle of change and improvement. For instance, this school year we will adopt new curriculum including K-5 reading/literacy, middle school Humanities Plus, and high school world language, precalculus and calculus.
But the materials are just the foundation: Our educators will put in hours of professional development to prepare. Another significant change is our work piloting the new teacher/principal evaluation system for the state; we want to be on the forefront of continuing to support all of our professionals to do their very best work!
July 17, 2012
To the tune of $203,787, the Issaquah School Board approved several changes to the construction at Maywood Middle School and Liberty High School at the board’s brief July 11 meeting.
Twenty-five changes were made to Maywood’s modernization bill, adding $130,881 to the school’s previous $13.7 million contract.
The most expensive of those additions was $25,045 to add partition walls between two sets of rooms. Another $32,476 was earmarked for the demolition of various existing structures. Vinyl end closures for telescoping bleachers rang in at $4,940 and additional drywall work added $4,706 to the bill.
However, not everything on the change order list upped the cost. One item amounted to a $1,039 credit for waste piping revisions.
The $72,906 increase to the bill for phase one at Liberty covers 11 changes to the school’s addition and modernization plan. The two largest items on the list are $19,719 to redesign the underground plumbing and $19,054 to switch the fire alarm panel.
Other charges include $2,147 for drinking fountain plumbing and $3,088 to install electronic latches on the interior theater doors.
Liberty’s original contract was set at $14.2 million and has since increased by more than a half-million by various change orders, including the latest one.
View the complete change order lists at www.issaquah.wednet.edu. Under the “school board” tab, select “Agendas and minutes,” and then click on “7-11-2012.” The seventh and eighth items on the consent agenda include links to PDF files of the Maywood and Liberty change orders.
June 26, 2012
Issaquah’s students are pretty well-behaved, according to a report released this month by the school district.
The annual discipline report for the 2010-2011 school year was finished June 6 and presented to the Issaquah School Board at its June 20 meeting. Broken into two parts, behavior and weapons, the report shows that fewer than 2 percent of the district’s student body was suspended or expelled last year.
That rate is down a quarter of a percent from the 2009-2010 academic year. The annual report only looks at suspensions and expulsions. More minor infractions, including times that students are sent to the principal’s office or put in detention, are not included.
May 15, 2012
Issaquah School District officials are wasting no time when it comes to putting their recently approved $219 million bond into action.
The school board reviewed a preliminary schedule of projects and timeline for school construction and other district upgrades at its May 9 meeting. Some projects could begin as soon as July and other smaller projects extend through the end of 2019.
“Somebody has to be first and somebody has to be last,” said Jacob Kuper, chief operations officer for the district.
Phase 2 construction of Liberty High School and Phase 2 at Maywood Middle School are first in line with finishes projected by the end of 2013. At the caboose of the tentative timeline of the larger projects is the reconstruction of Sunny Hills Elementary School, which wouldn’t finish until December 2018.
May 10, 2012
NEW — 3:30 p.m. May 10, 2012
As the next major step to align each of the three high schools schedules in the Issaquah School District, administrators encourage parents and students to become involved with the Liberty High School Schedule Committee that will be formed this month.
Applications are due to Kathy Schroeder in Liberty’s main office by May 18, and parents of Maywood Middle School and Liberty students are especially encouraged to apply.
The school will continue with the same eight-period schedule for the 2012-13 school year. Issaquah and Skyline high schools have a six-period daily schedule in place, while Liberty has eight.
April 3, 2012
The primary decorations were orange construction cones and yellow caution tape. Winners were described in terms keeping with that theme, such as construction tools or architects. One winner from the Issaquah School District PTSA Council was described as “the construction glue” that holds the council together.
Gathered in the commons of Pacific Cascade Middle School, the Issaquah PTSA Council held its annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremony March 27.
Not counting the several winners from the districtwide PTSA council, the night honored approximately 75 winners from 23 PTSA units, said Becky Lawrence, vice-president of elementary schools for the PTSA council. A committee of PTSA leaders from each school picked the winners from their individual schools, Lawrence added. As you might expect, criteria included what PTSA members have done for their schools, but also the district and their involvement in the community as a whole.
April 3, 2012
Even as voters begin to mull a $219 capital bond package that will be on a special April ballot, work funded by a 2006 voter-approved bond continues around the Issaquah School District.
Some of the bigger ongoing projects include work at Maywood Middle, Briarwood Elementary and Liberty High schools.
March 27, 2012
There are a couple of themes that come up over and over as backers and school officials talk about the prospect of placing artificial turf on the fields of each of the five Issaquah School District middle schools.
The upcoming bond package also would provide the middle schools with rubberized outdoor running tracks if voters decide to approve the $219 million capital improvement plan.
District officials hope to install the turf and tracks at a cost of $1.5 million per school, not counting fields that could go in at a transplanted Issaquah Middle School.
The IMS fields would be added after the school is rebuilt; associated costs are not specifically spelled out in the district’s bond package.
October 18, 2011
Swedish/Issaquah hosts local schools for robotics demonstration
The surgeon of the future is clad in gray plastic and operates using a quartet of spindly arms.
The brain in the surgeon of the future — a robot named for a legendary inventor — is a flesh-and-blood physician at the controls. The surgeon guides the robot amid procedures and, like a scene lifted from a sci-fi flick, guide tool-tipped arms to cut infinitesimal incisions and perform tasks inside the confines of a human body.