Education opportunities grow in student gardens

August 23, 2011

Sunny Hills Elementary School first-grader Digant Dash (left) plants flower bulbs in the school’s first-grade garden with fourth-graders Derek Chao and Spencer Bernsten. By Jane Ulrich

Inch by inch, row by row, students are planting lettuce, herbs and broccoli in their school gardens.

This fall, teachers are transforming gardens into outdoor classrooms as students pick up trowels and learn about drip irrigation systems.

Dozens of schools incorporate gardening into their curriculum or have gardening clubs, including Apollo, Cascade Ridge, Challenger, Clark, Creekside, Discovery, Endeavour, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Maple Hills and Sunny Hills elementary schools; Issaquah and Pine Lake middle schools; and Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.

“I think the outdoors is just a natural place that kids want to be,” Sunny Hills fourth-grade teacher Jane Ulrich said.

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Math students calculate the best way to success

June 7, 2011

The Beaver Lake Middle School math team poses with awards after the 2011 Washington State Math Championship May 7 in Blaine. By Dennis Rogers

Eighth-grader Tommy Lin does not care if people call him a nerd because he likes math.

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Issaquah School District considers $228 million bond

May 24, 2011

Though far from complete, the 2012 Issaquah School District bond has something for all of the district’s 24 schools, making the work-in-process price $228.6 million.

The proposal also includes remodeled or expanded schools for Apollo, Clark, Issaquah Valley and Sunny Hills elementary schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.

The bond proposal suggests the district tear down Tiger Mountain and Clark, and move the students to a remodeled building where Issaquah Middle School is now. The two schools would be close, but not connected, Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele said, with the Tiger move costing about $3.9 million and the Clark move costing about $19.5 million.

In the meantime, the district would build a new, two-story Issaquah Middle School where Clark and Tiger are now; that would cost about $62.5 million.

“This is the biggest project on the bond,” Thiele said.

The proposed bond also shows several trends — switches from carpet to rubber flooring, three new artificial-turf fields and two rain shields for outdoor play areas.

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Cookies bring in cash for schools

May 10, 2011

The Issaquah Schools Foundation has given so much to culinary teacher Gail Oseran, she has decided to pay it forward with stacks of cookies.

More than 100 students at Pine Lake Middle School — including Maia Nguyen (left), Molly Monroe, Megan Sparling, Joey Rosauer, Sean Curtis, Jeff Al-azzawe, Spencer Harrison and Krishna Puvvada — baked cookies to sell at the Issaquah Schools Foundation benefit luncheon. The students raised $2,400 for the foundation. By Laura Geggel

Snickerdoodles, coconut almond toffee chew bars, chocolate biscotti — you name it, her students have baked it.

For the past five years, Oseran’s students have made cookies and other treats for the Issaquah Schools Foundation benefit luncheon. Parent volunteers mix and match the cookies into containers — mini cookie jars for guests at the luncheon willing to pay $20.

This year, students baked enough cookies for 120 cookie jars, raising $2,400 for the foundation.

Oseran tells her students their contribution is a mitzvah — a Hebrew word meaning “a good deed.”

“It was fun baking and it’s going to a good cause,” said sixth-grader Megan Sparling, who baked a batch of sugar cookies with her friend.

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Class teaches parents about cyber safety

April 19, 2011

A free class sponsored by the Pine Lake Middle School PTSA invites parents of pre-teens and teens to learn about cyber safety at 7 p.m. April 21 at the school, 3200 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.

Top volunteers honored at Golden Acorn Awards

April 5, 2011

For every strong school, there are strong volunteers who organize cultural fairs, chaperone field trips, coordinate family fun nights, photocopy assignments and hold bank days for student deposits.

The Issaquah PTSA Council awarded 73 volunteers from 23 schools with Golden Acorn Awards at the 2011 Recognizing Our All-Stars reception March 29.

Boy Scout Troop Pack 636 started the function with a flag salute, and Issaquah PTSA Council President Janine Kotan welcomed the crowd.

The ceremony had a sports theme, with presenters dressed in their favorite sports garb and giving speeches about how volunteers had wowed their fans and hit home runs for their schools.

Jennifer Good, a parent volunteer at Challenger Elementary School, said she began volunteering to meet people and promote education. She organized an ice cream social at the beginning of the year, while Ruth Steck, another parent volunteer, regularly snaps photos of students for the Challenger yearbook.

Both women said they appreciated the Golden Acorn Awards, though, “You don’t do it to be recognized,” Good said.

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County honors Issaquah district schools as Earth Heroes

March 30, 2011

NEW — 12:15 p.m. March 30, 2011

King County is honoring Grand Ridge Elementary School — plus teachers, a student, and a staff member from across the Issaquah School District — as Earth Heroes at School.

The annual honor highlights schools and people for contributions to environmental protection and student environmental education. The county Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ Solid Waste Division announced the 2011 honorees Wednesday.

“Winners of the Earth Heroes at School awards are a diverse group who share the common goal of making our world a better place,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements in environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation and other positive efforts.”

Grand Ridge Elementary recorded a 35-percent recycling rate last year.

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Missing Klahanie girl found dead after search

March 8, 2011

A King County Sheriff’s Office detective found the body of a missing 12-year-old Klahanie girl on March 6. Investigators said the death was noncriminal in nature.

The girl, a seventh-grade student at Pacific Cascade Middle School, went missing March 2. A concerned friend of the girl called the sheriff’s office shortly before 6 p.m. that day, reporting that the girl had sent suicidal text messages and mentioned suicide on Facebook, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The sheriff’s office had received reports about the girl within the past two months. The family had called the sheriff’s office Jan. 17, saying the teen was missing and that she was a chronic runaway. She returned home the next day, Jan. 18.

After receiving the concerned call March 2, the sheriff’s office checked the area, including Pine Lake Park, but could not find the girl. When the sheriff’s office contacted the girl’s parents, “they did not believe the girl was actually suicidal, although she was not at home,” the release said.

Her parents reported her missing the next day, March 3, when she did not return home.

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Missing Klahanie girl found dead after search

March 7, 2011

NEW — 9 p.m. March 7, 2011

A King County Sheriff’s Office detective found the body of a missing 12-year-old Klahanie girl Sunday. Investigators said the death was noncriminal in nature.

The girl, a seventh-grade student at Pacific Cascade Middle School, went missing March 2. A concerned friend of the girl called the sheriff’s office shortly before 6 p.m. that day, reporting that the girl had sent suicidal text messages and mentioned suicide on Facebook, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The sheriff’s office had received reports about the girl within the past two months. The family had called the sheriff’s office Jan. 17, saying the teen was missing and that she was a chronic runaway. She returned home the next day, Jan. 18.

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District: Pacific Cascade Middle School student dies

March 7, 2011

NEW — 11:20 a.m. March 7, 2011

Issaquah School District administrators announced Monday morning the death of a seventh-grade girl.

The girl attended Pine Lake Middle School as a sixth-grader and Pacific Cascade Middle School as a seventh-grade student.

The principals at each school e-mailed parents, telling them each school would offer extra counseling.

In her e-mail, Pacific Cascade Principal Dana Bailey asked the community to respect the “privacy of the family, and we understand at this point that the memorial services will be private.”

Both Bailey and Pine Lake Principal Roy Adler asked parents and guardians to be aware of how their children were handling the news of the passing of their classmate.

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