‘Magic of the Moment’ sparks creativity at Endeavour

November 20, 2012

Students and their families admire students’ works of art for the annual PTA Reflections competition. This year’s theme was ‘The Magic of the Moment.’ By Lillian O’Rorke

“Moments come and go in physical action/But stay in our brain/Never is there a time when moments aren’t happening/Sometimes they are sweet/Sometimes bitter.”

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PTA Reflections Contest contest deadline approaches

October 2, 2012

The annual PTA Reflections Contest is around the corner and this year’s theme is “The magic of a moment.”

Each year, the national and state PTA welcome students in preschool through 12th grade to take part in the cultural arts competition by creating art that supports a specific theme.

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U.S. attorney highlights online safety as students return to school

August 28, 2012

The top federal prosecutor in the region reminded parents Aug. 20 to keep children safe online, especially as students return to school.

Jenny Durkan, U.S. attorney for Western Washington and Issaquah native, sent information sheets to public and private elementary and middle schools in the region, so the material can be placed into students’ information packets or posted on school websites.

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Press Editorial

August 28, 2012

School begins with need for volunteers

Next Tuesday, parents across the Issaquah School District will walk their kids to the school bus or to school for the start of a new school year.

Ahhhh, finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee!

But wait, your school needs you! The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.

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Press Editorial

August 21, 2012

Children win when community unites

There is nothing like a good challenge, especially in the name of a good cause. Issaquah’s two leading service clubs — Rotary and Kiwanis — challenged each other to see who would donate the most for the purchase of computer flash drives for students in need.

The club challenge was just a small part of a wonderful outpouring of support to fill 1,000 backpacks for kids registered with the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

Numerous groups got together to coordinate the drive. The PTSA Council and Issaquah Education Association kicked things off by gathering donations of gift cards that could be used to purchase school supplies.

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Newcomer Patrick Sansing challenges for Issaquah School Board seat

October 18, 2011

Opposing Issaquah School Board member Brian Deagle on the November ballot, Sammamish resident Patrick Sansing insists local schools are not in bad shape.

Patrick Sansing

“I think we have good schools,” Sansing said. “But I think they are not good enough. I really think we can do better.”

District 3 covers the north end of the school district including parts of Klahanie and parts of the portion of Sammamish included in the Issaquah School District. Although board candidates run for a specific geographic seat, voters from across the district cast ballots for all Issaquah school board members. Members are elected to four-year terms.

Board members may request pay of $50 per meeting, but the current board has chosen not to accept that money, according to Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.

In terms of improving the schools, Sansing several times referred to officials needing to identify “the next big thing, the next big idea in education.” In many areas, Sansing believes a lack of ideas has led to a certain stagnation in the district.

For example, on 10th-grade, standardized-writing tests, Sansing said Issaquah district scores have remained high and very steady over the years.

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Issaquah Community Network elects new leaders

June 7, 2011

The Issaquah Community Network voted in three leaders at its annual election meeting May 16.

Cougar Ridge resident Judy Brewer was re-elected for a second term as chairwoman of the network. Brewer is a past president of the Issaquah PTSA Council and a recipient of the Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award. She has served as a member of the Issaquah Community Network board of directors for nearly 10 years.

Cougar Ridge resident Dianne Buggé was elected vice chairwoman. Buggé has actively participated in the Issaquah Middle School and Issaquah High School PTSAs.

Newcastle resident Jeff Michell was elected as secretary. Michell is a past chairman and treasurer of the network’s board of directors, and has served as a member of the board for 12 years.

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Mock crash teaches real lessons

May 31, 2011

Nathan Lane, Issaquah police officer, as the first emergency responder on the scene, checks on a student reenactor in the position of a passenger thrown through the windshield of a car and killed during a mock DUI accident. By Erik Bugge

On May 12, a mock crash was held for 11th- and 12th-graders at Issaquah High School. Eastside Fire & Rescue, lead by Ryan Anderson, with medical personnel, law enforcement agencies and students performed a realistic portrayal of an alcohol-related car accident and the likely response of emergency crews. Parts of the mock crash were graphic in nature due to the realistic portrayal of the impact to the human body when involved in a car accident.

This two-part event was an educational activity showing the dangers of driving, or being a passenger in a vehicle, when poor choices are made. The goal is to educate students about making the best possible decisions to keep them safe and protect their future.

Students first witnessed the mock crash that had student actors Jeff Crocker, Audrey DeLuca, Becky Rex, Hadyn Coxen, Kim Bussing, Jamie Lutz, Anthony McChesney, Josh Batzel, Skyler Kersten, Seth Margolies, Kellyn Alberg and Rebecca Allen.

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Elementary science curriculum plan moves forward

May 31, 2011

The public is invited to review the newly recommended elementary science curriculum, material approved by the Issaquah School District’s Instructional Materials Committee.

The current elementary science curriculum, last updated in 2003, does not meet state standards.

The recommended materials are available for public review during regular business hours through June 8 in the lobby of the district administration building, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Public comment forms are available. The Issaquah School Board will review any comments before voting on whether or not it will approve the curriculum.

District administrators are still searching for money to purchase the recommended curriculum. Administrators had planned to purchase the material with money from the district’s reserves, but they abandoned that idea after the state unexpectedly cut the district’s budget by $1.45 million this year.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation, the Issaquah PTSA Council and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to raise money for the Elementary Science Initiative. The initiative has already raised $298,000 of the $500,000 needed to buy the curriculum. Donate at www.issaquahscience.org.

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Parent launches websites for schools

May 17, 2011

Paperwork aside, getting a Parent-Teacher-Student Association up and running at a school can be tough work — work that just got a little easier thanks to Rajeev Goel.

Rajeev Goel

Goel, the Cascade Ridge Elementary School PTA webmaster, has created a template for PTSA websites that can be individualized around the world. Using his company, Our School Pages, Goel plans to sell the websites for $120 per year, a fee that will cover the labor, server, storage and processing fees.

This is not the first school website created by Goel, a former Microsoft software developer. In 2009, he launched Our Science Fair, a site helping schools organize and launch science fairs. As of this spring, about 40 schools nationwide were using Our Science Fair to coordinate their events.

Goel launched the Cascade Ridge PTSA website in August, working out the kinks and adding new features throughout the year. After polishing his final product, he began selling the Our School Pages template website on April 29, allowing any school in the world a chance to purchase it and make it its own.

At the annual Washington PTA convention April 29 to May 1, 60 schools decided to try the website for a free, 30-day trial.

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