Schools use visiting mentor to grow reading, writing skills

January 27, 2015

There are a lot of statistics for Issaquah School District educators to ponder as they work to improve reading and writing skills in their classrooms.

National research shows children are increasingly less interested in reading — particularly after age 13 — and that aversions to deep, sustained reading sessions are impacting their ability to succeed in college.

Penny Kittle has been studying literacy trends for many years. A high-school English teacher in North Conway, New Hampshire, she also mentors other teachers and travels the country as a literacy coach.

While much of Kittle’s knowledge is accessible online, Issaquah officials chose to bring it to their doorstep last week by having her visit several classrooms, and by speaking to parents Jan. 21 at Pacific Cascade Middle School. Read more

Officials still seek threatening letter writer at Pacific Cascade

January 13, 2015

Pine Lake Middle School receives bomb threat

There were no problems during the first week back in class for students at Pacific Cascade Middle School, said Principal Dana Bailey in an email to parents.

But the search goes on for whomever penned a letter threatening violence at the school, a letter that caused officials to close the building for three days in December just prior to winter vacation.

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Pacific Cascade students return with no leads on author of threating letter

January 6, 2015

The investigation into the author or authors of a threatening letter that closed Pacific Cascade Middle School for three days in December was continuing even as the school reopened Jan. 5.

By Greg Farrar Karin Weihe (left), Issaquah Police School Resource Officer, stands outside Pacific Cascade Middle School as parents leave after the morning meeting with school staff and law enforcement Jan. 5.

By Greg Farrar
Karin Weihe (left), Issaquah Police School Resource Officer, stands outside Pacific Cascade Middle School as parents leave after the morning meeting with school staff and law enforcement Jan. 5.

For students returning to the Issaquah district school after winter break, the day at Pacific Cascade started an hour later than usual to accommodate a meeting for parents that attracted between 250 and 300 people to the school gym.

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School threatened in letter will reopen after winter break

December 23, 2014

Issaquah School District officials were being largely quiet last week regarding the continuing investigation into a threatening letter found Dec. 17 outside a classroom at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

“We aren’t at liberty to talk about the specifics of an investigation while it is underway,” L. Michelle, district director of communications, said in an email.

“At this point, we haven’t identified a suspect,” she added Dec. 19.

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Two unarmed youths surrender to police after six-hour standoff

December 23, 2014

Two 17-year-old males face felony charges after surrendering to police Dec. 18 following a six-hour standoff.

By Greg Farrar From left, Issaquah Police detective Laura Asbell, a Renton sharpshooter, Issaquah Cmdr. Bob Porter, a Redmond police officer, Issaquah Cmdr. Stan Conrad, Issaquah Sgt. Paul Fairbanks and Issaquah Chief Scott Behrbaum confer on Northwest Dogwood Street at 10:45 a.m. Dec. 18 while two teens were barricaded in a home.

By Greg Farrar
From left, Issaquah Police detective Laura Asbell, a Renton sharpshooter, Issaquah Cmdr. Bob Porter, a Redmond police officer, Issaquah Cmdr. Stan Conrad, Issaquah Sgt. Paul Fairbanks and Issaquah Chief Scott Behrbaum confer on Northwest Dogwood Street at 10:45 a.m. Dec. 18 while two teens were barricaded in a home.

Police responded at about 5:45 a.m. to a domestic violence call at a home near Third Place Northwest and Northwest Dogwood Street, according to Cmdr. Stan Conrad. While police were speaking with other family members in the home, Conrad said the two youths locked themselves in a bedroom and refused to come out.

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Pacific Cascade Middle School remains closed Thursday while threat investigation continues

December 18, 2014

UPDATED — 3 p.m. Dec. 18, 2014

Pacific Cascade Middle School remained closed Thursday, Dec. 18 while authorities continue an investigation into the letter that threatened four teachers.

The Issaquah School District announced that “no new information has come to light,” therefore the decision was made to keep the school closed for the second straight day.

The school was abruptly closed Wednesday, after staff members found a typed note “threatening violence,” according to the Issaquah School District.

The note was left outside a teacher’s classroom and specifically threatened four Pacific Cascade staff members. Read more

Pacific Cascade Middle School is closed after teacher threats

December 17, 2014

UPDATED — 1:05 p.m. Dec. 17, 2014

Pacific Cascade Middle School is closed today because of a threat to four teachers.

The decision was made this morning, according to an email to parents.

“We have just learned this morning of a typed letter left outside a teacher’s classroom threatening violence against four PCMS staff members this Friday,” the email read. “The note also contains unspecified threats to do violence at lunch or during the school’s winter assembly on Friday and makes reference to having access to a gun.

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PCMS delayed after online threat

November 4, 2014

NEW — 9:25 p.m. Nov. 4, 2014

Out of “an abundance of caution,” the Issaquah School District delayed the start time of Pacific Cascade Middle School on Tuesday, due to an online threat.

The middle school, located at 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road, began two-hours late Nov. 4.

Late last night the school received a threat through email, according to a statement posted on the district’s Facebook page.

“We take threats very seriously and immediately called in local law enforcement to investigate,” the district said. “The King County Sheriff’s Office responded quickly, but the investigation wasn’t finished early enough this morning to allow school to start on time. Therefore, we made a decision to delay school by two hours.”

The investigation is now completed and officials say the situation is resolved and it is safe to hold school today.

“Please know we were acting out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of students and staff at PCMS,” the statement continued. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.”

Officials discuss controversial Common Core education

September 23, 2014

The Common Core State Standards, designed to create a consistent set of learning standards for K-12 students, are among the most contentious topics in public education these days.

Politicians, school administrators and public policy experts discussed various aspects of Common Core during a town hall-style meeting Sept. 15 at Pacific Cascade Middle School. About two dozen audience members participated and provided feedback to a seven-person speaking panel.

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Public invited to Common Core town hall Sept. 15

September 12, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 12, 2014

Parents, teachers, activists and anyone interested in discussing or learning more about the growing controversy surrounding Common Core are invited to a public forum about the standards.

The forum is at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 at Pacific Cascade Middle School, 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

Hear from legislators, educators, activists and policy experts on both sides of the issue of Common Core Standards. Questions from the media and the audience will be answered.

Read more

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