Issaquah School District to offer free preschool classes

January 17, 2012

The Issaquah School District is offering a chance for parents of preschool-aged children to enroll their youngsters in Early Childhood Education classes at no cost to the families.

The district is looking for typically developing youngsters to be part of Early Education classes that serve children with special needs at Apollo, Discovery and Sunset elementary schools.

Each classroom may have up to 12 children with special needs along with three typically developing peers – who will pay no cost to participate in the preschool program. Research shows that such combined learning opportunities benefit both special-needs and typically developing children. Students must be at least 3 years old by April 15 to participate.

Any interested parent can pick up an application and get more information at the main offices of any of the three elementary schools involved. Applications are due Feb. 10; peer volunteer screening is scheduled for Feb. 15.

Book about 1962 World’s Fair resurrects memories for local teacher, expo’s 9 millionth visitor

January 10, 2012

 Paula Jones, fifth-grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School, holds the sign she still has from Oct. 14, 1962, when the 6-year-old Paula Dahl set a Century 21 Exposition milestone near the end of the Seattle World’s Fair. By Greg Farrar 

The future envisioned in 1962 resembled something lifted from “The Jetsons” — space-age cool, conveniences galore and optimism as boundless as the cosmos.

April marks 50 years since the Century 21 Exposition opened on the Seattle Center grounds, brought the vision to life and transformed the region.

Paula Becker and Alan Stein, staff historians for HistoryLink.org, collected memories from the fair in the book “The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy” — a comprehensive account of Century 21. The authors plan to lead a discussion about the book and present a slideshow of fair images Jan. 17 at the Issaquah Library.

Seattle civic leaders intended to use the fair to stimulate the economy and create a cultural and social hub in Seattle Center.

“Seattle certainly wouldn’t be what it is today” if the fair did not happen, Becker said.

The authors also produced a book about the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition — a seminal moment in Seattle history and the inaugural world’s fair hosted in the city.

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Local students cast ballots in statewide mock election

November 15, 2011

Though most students in primary and secondary schools do not meet the minimum voting age, the under-18 crowd still participated in the November election — sort of.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed invited students in kindergarten to 12th grade to participate in the 2011 State Mock Election, a state-sponsored educational effort designed to establish voter participation later in life.

In the Issaquah School District, classes at Sunset and Sunny Hills elementary schools, Pine Lake Middle School and Issaquah High School joined the mock election. The librarian at Sunset Elementary even handed out “I Voted” stickers to students.

Older students voted for the same statewide measures as adults in the real election. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade received more age-appropriate measures.

Issaquah School District students endorsed the liquor privatization measure, Initiative 1183, 58 percent to 42 percent. Local students also backed the tolling measure, Initiative 1125, 60 percent to 40 percent, and the long-term care measure, Initiative 1163, 71 percent to 29 percent.

Statewide, 13,901 students participated in the process.

Issaquah School District students join statewide mock election

November 3, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 3, 2011

Though most students in primary and secondary schools do not meet the minimum voting age, the under-18 crowd can still participate in the November election — sort of.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed invited students in kindergarten to 12th grade to participate in the 2011 State Mock Election, a state-sponsored educational effort designed to establish voter participation later in life.

In the Issaquah School District, classes at Sunset and Sunny Hills elementary schools, Pine Lake Middle School and Issaquah High School joined the mock election. The librarian at Sunset Elementary even has a roll of “I Voted” stickers to hand out to students.

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FISH stewardship salvages Salmon in the Classroom

September 27, 2011

Under a plan hatched after state support for the Salmon in the Classroom program dissolved, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is serving as the coordinator for more than 100 schools involved in the popular program.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife used to administer the program, but after state lawmakers drained Salmon in the Classroom dollars last year, a grassroots effort formed to salvage it.

FISH is in the midst of a fundraising effort to facilitate Salmon in the Classroom. The nonprofit organization needs to raise $10,000 for the effort to succeed.

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District students score above state average on Washington math tests

September 27, 2011

As Issaquah School District students headed back to class Aug. 30, state education officials were releasing the first results of a newly required math test.

The state also put out final numbers on which schools were able, or not able, to meet annual improvement goals set out by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Last spring, Washington students in algebra and geometry classes took a state test immediately at the end of their course work. The system is known as “end of course,” or “EOC” testing. It replaced the standardized math test students formerly took near the end of the school year.

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Born on Sept. 11, 2001

September 20, 2011

History is intertwined for Issaquah girl and 9/11 attacks

Larisa Tutkur, 10, a Sunset Elementary School fourth-grader, holds a book featuring the Brooklyn Bridge — a route many people used to escape Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001 — the same day she was born. By Greg Farrar

Larisa Tutkur and a tragedy share a moment in history — Sept. 11, 2001, was Larisa’s birthday.

The bright and outgoing girl learned about the connection after she turned 6, and her parents explained the catastrophe.

“When I first found out, we did talk about it,” she said. “Then, after a few years, we just looked at it as my birthday and nothing else. We didn’t want to talk about it because it’s a really, really sad day.”

Larisa is among the 13,238 babies born in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and the only such child in the almost 17,000-student Issaquah School District.

The fourth-grader at Sunset Elementary School turned 10 on a day many people spent reflecting on a tragedy from a decade ago.

Larisa’s parents, Maida and Omer Tutkur, resettled in Washington from war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina months before the 9/11 attacks.

Maida Tutkur, then six months pregnant, landed in the United States on June 28, 2001, not long after her husband settled on the Eastside.

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King County honors 11 ‘green’ Issaquah district schools

June 16, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. June 16, 2011

Thanks to the “green” conservation work of staff and students, King County Green Schools Program is honoring 11 schools in the Issaquah School District.

In total, the county will honor 77 schools across the country, including the 11 schools in Issaquah.

The three-level Green Schools Program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and signs and website tools to schools. In addition to the Green Schools Program, King County provides an elementary school assembly program, classroom workshops and support for student “green” teams.

The program has saved schools and the district money from successful waste reduction and recycling programs and reducing energy and water use.

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Kindergartner buddies celebrate Mother’s Day

May 10, 2011

Sunset Elementary School fifth-grader Claire Imai-Takemura helps her kindergarten buddy, Ella Rosenkrans, decorate a flower vase with tissue paper. By Laura Geggel

Mothers of Sunset Elementary School kindergartners were floored by crafts at the Mother’s Day Tea, May 5.

The presents — tissue flowers in decorated vases, placemats covered in flowers and colorful picture frames — were made under the supervision of the kindergartners’ fifth-grade buddies.

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Adventures await at school district’s summer camp

May 3, 2011

From archeological digs to building a garden, rope courses to hiking, adventure awaits Issaquah campers this summer.

Club Connection, for kindergarten through fifth grades, is held at four locations, including Apollo, Discovery, Endeavour and Sunset elementary schools. !MPACT, for grades six through eight, is held at Beaver Lake and Pacific Cascade middle schools.

Issaquah School District Day Camps are from June 20 to Aug. 19. The camps cost $40 per day, with a three-day minimum per week. All camps provide multiple field trips, on-site learning activities, simple and extensive crafts, cooperative games, physical challenges, team-building exercises and access to enrichment specialists from various fields.

Registration ends May 6. Download a form at http://connect.issaquah.wednet.edu. Go to “District,” at the top menu and click on “Before and After School Enrichment.”

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