Newcastle Elementary PTSA hosts unique student fundraisers

May 18, 2010

Rory Brown, a Newcastle Elementary School fourth-grader (front), prepares to send a ball down the lane at the PTSA social at Lucky Strike in Bellevue April 25. Meanwhile, from left, Newcastle fourth-graders Adam Morrison, Mason Vold and Shaan Luthra, and second-graders Drew Blik and Ryker Vold strike a pose for the camera. By Tim Pfarr

The Newcastle Elementary School PTSA hosted two unique, back-to-back fundraisers the weekend of April 24 and 25 — a recycling drive at Lake Boren Park and a social at the Lucky Strike bowling alley at Lincoln Square in Bellevue. Read more

Local seventh-grader wins national award

May 13, 2010

NEW — 3:47 p.m. May 13, 2010

Madison Bristol, an Issaquah Middle School seventh-grader is the recipient of a National Award of Merit from the Parents, Teachers and Students Association.

Madison won the award by participating in the organization’s nationwide Reflections competition.

It is an annual competition that asks students to submit art entries in six categories — visual arts, photography, literature, music composition, film/video and dance choreography — based on a theme. This year’s theme was “Beauty is…”

She entered her performance, called “Imagine,” in the dance/choreography category.

Grand Ridge growing green thumbs with new garden

May 11, 2010

Renee DeTolla, a third-grade teacher at Grand Ridge Elementary School, shows her students how to properly plant cabbages, part of the school’s Earth Week celebration. By Chantelle Lusebrink

Teachers at Grand Ridge Elementary School are finding students are coming in from recess dirtier and dirtier.

Read more

Gold Stars

May 11, 2010

Girl Scout Troop 50614

Girls from Girl Scout Troop 50614 from Sunny Hills Elementary School served dinner to residents of Tent City 4 prior to their departure.

The girls served up barbecued pulled pork, baked potatoes and other homemade goodies. The girls also donated several staple items, like butter, cheese sticks and yogurt, and a special box of Girl Scout cookies.

Matt DeLuca and Carly Worden

Congratulations to Skyline High School’s Matt DeLuca and Carly Worden, both seniors, for making the Top Ten list in King FM and the Ten Grands’ Young Artist Awards.

Matt made the cut for his marimba performance and Carly made the cut for her accomplished piano playing and composition skills. The two will perform at the Ten Grands Benefit Concert at Benaroya Hall on May 21.

Maple Hills Elementary School student council

The school’s student council celebrated Earth Day by making puppets of endangered animals and performing a song called “Ghost Bat in a Gum Tree,” which was recorded to help students better understand environmental issues around the world and celebrate Earth Day.

Grand Ridge Elementary School

The school’s students raised $2,460 for Haitian disaster relief efforts by reading.

The fundraiser, Helping Haiti One Page at a Time, asked students to gather pledges they could collect after completing pages of reading, writing, math and science assignments. The school’s PTSA sponsored the fundraiser, created by fifth-grade teacher Jenise Clausen.

Students donated the check to the American Red Cross on March 2.

Gold Stars highlights accomplishments — big or small — by Issaquah students. Send a few sentences and the student’s name, age, grade, school, good deed and a photograph, if possible, to clusebrink@isspress.com.

School district contract negotiations begin

April 13, 2010

Issaquah School District and union officials are rolling up their sleeves and coming to the bargaining table as four employee groups’ contracts expire this summer.

Contracts for teachers, bus drivers, secretaries and educational assistants expire Aug. 31.

Public employees in the state are required to join unions and bargain for wages, hours and conditions of employment.

District and union officials started meetings even as the final state budget and potential cuts to education are in flux. They are also taking a different approach to negotiations this year.

The Issaquah Education Association “has met with the district for three all-day sessions,” President Neva Luke wrote in an e-mail. “Both sides have worked very hard to get negotiations off to a good start.”

For instance, district and Issaquah Education Association officials — the teachers’ union — participated in interest-based bargaining training with officials from the Public Employment Relations Commission, according to the district’s Web site.

The training included negotiation methods that asked each side to bring interests to the table, rather than positions, and work toward collaborative solutions. The training also included brainstorming and consensus decision-making.

To help write the contract, teams come to a solution on an interest or issue they enter into a tentative agreement. The collection of tentative agreements makes up the final contract. However, the final contract must still be approved by the teachers’ membership and the Issaquah School Board before becoming official. Read more

Walkin’ in the rain

October 27, 2009

Cascade Ridge Elementary School students and their families walk laps in the rain around the school Oct. 16 during the annual PTA walkathon fundraiser, which brought in $46,000 to afford outside expert seminars for children, classroom grants and teacher stipends. By Greg Farrar

Cascade Ridge Elementary School students and their families walk laps in the rain around the school Oct. 16 during the annual PTA walkathon fundraiser, which brought in $46,000 to afford outside expert seminars for children, classroom grants and teacher stipends. By Greg Farrar

Cascade Ridge Elementary School families broke out the galoshes and rain gear to raise money for their school Oct. 16.

The school’s walkathon, their largest fundraiser, took place on the rainiest day so far this month. But that didn’t stop the families from walking or running a few laps while jamming to the school’s teacher band, The Hee Haw Band, and a deejay.

“It’s fun,” said Ethan Wolfe, a fourth-grader who ran 11 laps. “I like to walk around the school.”

The fundraiser brought in more than $46,000 for the school’s Parents, Teachers and Students Association, which helps bridge the funding gap between state funding and what is necessary for a 21st century education, said Cathia Geller, a walkathon team member.

For instance, money from the event will help pay for seminars with outside experts in math, science, art and music to teach the children, she said. It also pays classroom grants and teacher stipends. Read more

Meet your school board candidates

October 11, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 11, 2009

Local Parents, Teachers and Students Associations are hosting a community forum and a community meeting with Issaquah School Board candidates Oct. 12 and 13.

Wright Noel and Marnie Maraldo are running for the Director District No. 2 position on school board.

The first event is a forum, held by the districtwide PTSA council, at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

Read more

Two vie for school board seat in Nov. 3 election

September 29, 2009

Two candidates — Marnie Maraldo and Wright Noel — are running for Issaquah School Board Director District No. 2.

It is the first time in 16 years the seat has been open; longtime board member Connie Fletcher isn’t seeking re-election.

The candidates are largely new to districtwide service, but both are active at their children’s schools and in the greater community. Read more

Education advocate loses battle with cancer

September 29, 2009

Kathy Linderman, a former educator and Issaquah Education Association president, died Sept. 26. Read more

Teachers use the latest technology

August 18, 2009

Fourth-grade students at Sunset Elementary School listen as the Brazilian students at The Quero Ser (I Want to Be…) School describe their day. Student teacher Annie Cowgill (right) holds the microphone. By Chantelle Lusebrink

Fourth-grade students at Sunset Elementary School listen as the Brazilian students at The Quero Ser (I Want to Be…) School describe their day. Student teacher Annie Cowgill (right) holds the microphone. By Chantelle Lusebrink

Today’s classrooms are brimming with high-tech gadgets for teachers to make academic lessons come alive and for students to explore the world around them without leaving their seats.

Building to harness technology

Issaquah, thanks to its “tech-savvy” residents, has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to investing in new technological equipment and ideas that help students achieve more, said Colleen Dixon, executive director of technology for the Issaquah School District. Read more

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