Student musicians rank among top performers statewide

December 4, 2012

Dozens of local students are among the state’s top performers that have been chosen to participate in one of the Washington Music Educators Association’s 2013 All-State Honor or one of the National Association for Music Education’s All-Northwest performing groups.

The group of school musicians from throughout the state and region will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors. The All-State high school honor groups and the All-Northwest groups will meet in Portland, Ore., Feb. 14-17. Junior All-State groups, grades five through eight, will meet in Vancouver, Wash., on Feb. 16.

This year’s group includes students from all five of the district’s middle schools and all three of the district’s traditional high schools.

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Local schools receive $30,000 boost from community

October 23, 2012

Several area education programs got a helping hand Oct. 10 when the Issaquah School Board approved nearly $30,000 worth of donations.

The Associated Student Body Robotics Club at Skyline High School received $5,000 from David Levin through The Boeing Co.’s Gift Match Program. The Endeavour Elementary School PTSA donated $7,035.08 to help pay salaries for additional education assistants at its school while the Pacific Cascade Middle School PTSA gave $5,099,74 to be used for teacher mini grants.

Teachers at Newcastle Elementary School got $12,500 from the school’s PTSA to buy various supplies and materials. Most of that money is to be distributed by grade: kindergarten ($1,200); first grade ($1,600); second grade ($2,000); third grade ($1,600); fourth grade ($1,600); and fifth grade ($1,600).

Pacific Cascade students experience ancient Egypt at King Tut exhibit

October 9, 2012

Pacific Cascade Middle School sixth-graders check out a replica of Tutankhamun’s mummy at Pacific Science Center’s King Tut exhibit. By Lillian O’Rorke

Every year, students across the country study ancient civilizations, but how many of them get to experience one?

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Spurred by Skyline threat, absences jump 70 percent at other schools

September 25, 2012

Student attendance in the Issaquah School District tumbled Sept. 20, and absences spiked by 70 percent, as police investigated a shooting threat against Skyline High School.

District administrators decided late Sept. 19 to close Skyline the next day in response to the online threat and keep other campuses open. Staffers and students at other schools felt the ripples early.

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Spurred by Skyline threat, absences jump 70 percent at Issaquah schools

September 20, 2012

NEW — 6:15 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Student attendance in the Issaquah School District tumbled Thursday, and absences spiked by 70 percent, as police investigated a shooting threat against Skyline High School.

District administrators decided late Wednesday to close Skyline on Thursday and keep other campuses open. Staffers and students at other schools felt the ripples early.

Districtwide, absences increased at 18 of 25 schools Thursday, although not every instance is attributable to the Skyline threat.

Officials counted 1,158 students absent Thursday, up from 680 a week earlier, Sept. 13, according to a comparison of attendance data. The district serves about 17,000 students from Preston to Newcastle, and from Sammamish to Renton.

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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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Report: Little violence, drugs among Issaquah School District students

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.

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Preliminary timeline is in place for school, fields construction

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.

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Issaquah School Board is unhappy about King County’s school site decisions

May 8, 2012

Members of the Issaquah School Board were unhappy to hear last week that a district-owned 80-acre property is most likely unusable.

“We own the land. If the county wants to condemn it then they can pay us and we’ll go find something else,” board member Brian Deagle said.

The board got the bad news at its April 26 meeting, when it received an update about the recent recommendations of the King County School Siting Task Force.

In his presentation to the board, Steve Crawford, director of capital projects for the Issaquah School District, explained that one of the recommendations is for Issaquah to basically give up the nearly 80 acres of land it owns on Southeast May Valley Road. The $1.4 million property, which sits between Squak Mountain to the north and the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill to the south, is outside of King County’s urban growth boundary.

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Issaquah PTSA honors outstanding volunteers at Golden Acorn Awards

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.

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