Men attempt to lure Discovery Elementary student into truck

February 8, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 8, 2012

Unknown men tried to lure a local fifth-grader into a truck about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, Issaquah School District officials said.

The student was walking home from Discovery Elementary when a truck approached him on Southeast 20th Street just west of 228th Avenue Southeast on the Sammamish Plateau, said Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.

Two men inside the truck reportedly waved to the student, pulled the vehicle over and then allegedly motioned for the student to come closer, Niegowski said in a press release.

When the student walked away, the truck reportedly began to follow. When the student pulled out a cellphone, the truck drove away. The student immediately returned to school and informed staff members, according to Niegowski.

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Skyline cheerleaders sickened after Everett competition

February 7, 2012

NEW — 8:35 p.m. Feb. 7, 2012

Skyline High School cheerleaders brought home a championship at a recent competition held in Everett.

They also may have brought back an as-yet-unidentified health problem.

State health officials say they are investigating a possible intestinal illness among attendees at a cheerleading competition held at Everett’s Comcast Arena on Feb. 4. Symptoms began to appear Feb. 5 and 6. They include vomiting and diarrhea, according to a state press release.

Skyline cheerleaders began reporting symptoms the evening of Feb. 5, said Sara Niegowski, Issaquah School District executive director of communications, in an email. In total, eight cheerleaders have been out sick, Niegowski added. The Skyline ill also include Principal Lisa Hechtman and one assistant coach. Hechtman attended the cheerleading event, Niegowski said.

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Issaquah School District does not seek waiver for snow days

January 31, 2012

During the recent snowstorm, schools throughout the area were closed for the better part of a week and Gov. Chris Gregoire declared a state of emergency.

Because of that declared emergency, school districts have the option of going to the state and asking for a waiver that allows them not to make up the days missed due to weather.

In the case of the Issaquah School District, no waiver will be sought, according to Sara Niegowski, district director of communications. That may change if further classroom days are lost to weather conditions.

“We strongly believe in at least 180 school days for students,” Niegowski said in a press release.

The district will seek a waiver for high school seniors who, with the snow days, would fall one day short of the required days needed for graduation.

Students in the Snoqualmie Valley Public Schools missed four days, according to Carolyn Malcolm, district public information coordinator. She said no decision yet has been made as to whether or not the district will seek snow-related waivers from the state.

For the current school year, the district’s last day of instruction was to have been June 11, which happens to be a Monday. The school year logically could be extended to Friday, June 15, Malcolm said.

According to Malcolm, waiving days is not as easy as it sounds. Districts still need to make up instruction hours even if school days are waived, she said.

Snow blankets region, but officials report few headaches — so far

January 17, 2012

Snow blanketed Issaquah and the Puget Sound region Jan. 15 and 16, as officials and residents prepared for more challenging conditions in the days ahead.

The potential for more snow — plus flooding as the snow melted — reminded emergency planners to gird for harsh La Niña conditions, albeit later in the season than expected.

“It’s going to be pretty messy in the next couple of days,” said Johnny Burg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle. “People should just pay attention to the forecast.”

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Issaquah High School student experiences strong allergic reaction to kiwi at school

January 17, 2012

A school official said the Issaquah School District is following the rules in the aftermath of an incident in which a student had a strong reaction to kiwi in the Issaquah High School cafeteria.

“I can confirm an incident did happen this week,” said Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.

According to Niegowski, the student called her parents and a family member eventually administered an Epinephrine pen to the girl. Niegowski declined to give any details on the girl’s present condition and would not say whether or not she had returned to school Jan. 13.

Niegowski did not release the name of the student, but that name has been reported as Rhiannon Jensen, 17.

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Issaquah High School student experiences strong allergic reaction to kiwi at school

January 13, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Jan. 13, 2012

A school official said the district is following the rules in the aftermath of an incident in which a student had a strong reaction to kiwi in the Issaquah High School cafeteria.

“I can confirm an incident did happen this week,” said Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.

According to Niegowski, the student called her parents and a family member eventually administered an Epinephrine pen to the girl. Niegowski declined to give any details on the girl’s present condition and would not say whether or not she had returned to school on Jan. 13.

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Echo Glen students pass donations on to Toys for Tots

January 3, 2012

Every year before Christmas, during an otherwise routine staff meeting, Issaquah School District administrators and principals pass the proverbial hat for the residents of the Echo Glen Children’s Center.

While Echo Glen is part of the Issaquah district, the facility is one of the state’s juvenile detention facilities. The money donated by Issaquah school leaders usually goes into purchasing games for the residents, providing them with something to do during the Christmas break.

“It’s a really tough time for our kids,” Echo Glen Principal Michael Williams said.

“When school is out of session, the incarcerated children face a lot of downtime and so the games make a lot of difference during the holiday season,” said Sara Niegowski, executive director of communications for the district.

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5,000 Days Project documentary follows students from kindergarten to high school

January 3, 2012

Nicki Cox, now 12, shows off her basketball skills in a still taken from video shot of her in the fourth grade. Contributed

“I wanted to do something that was more like time-lapse photography,” professional videographer/director Richard Stevenson said.

Locally, the project began as an attempt by administrators to gauge how students progress personally or emotionally over time, said Sara Niegowski, executive director of communications for the Issaquah School District. There are plenty of records of academic performance, Niegowski noted.

“But are students healthy, happy?” she asked.

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Issaquah School District to pilot teacher evaluation process

December 13, 2011

In fall 2013, every Washington public school will implement a state-mandated system to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals.

According to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the vast majority of districts in the state do not use a research-based instructional framework to guide teacher evaluations. The Issaquah School District is an exception and district officials decided they wanted to be a part of any coming changes.

“We decided we wanted to be on the forefront of that,” said Sara Niegowski, executive director of communications for the district.

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Submit artwork for Issaquah School District student calendar

December 13, 2011

Thanks to a partnership with Issaquah’s Kellstrom Publishing, every family and staff member in the Issaquah School District will once again receive a free print copy of the Student Art Calendar in the 2012-13 school year.

In the past, the calendars have proven very popular, according to Sara Niegowski, Issaquah School District executive director of communications.

Every current student in the district is invited to submit artwork to fill the pages. The deadline is April 6.

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