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.”

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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Mostly Americana Concert sounds at Issaquah High

April 5, 2011

The community is invited to the sixth annual Mostly Americana Concert at 7 p.m. April 16 at Issaquah High School, 700 Second Ave. S.E.

Dessert comes with the ticket, costing $16.50 online at www.seatyourself.biz/issaquah and $20 at the door. Veterans are free and will be honored during the program.

The show includes entertainment from hundreds of performers, including the Issaquah High choir and musicians from Pacific Cascade Middle School, Issaquah Middle School and Sunset Elementary School, as well as special guest choir Breath of Aire.

Salmon in the Classroom reaches crossroads

March 29, 2011

Clark Elementary School students (from left) Callie Mejia, 10, Hannah Halstead, 10, Jackson Rubin, 10, and Caelan Varner, 11, take turns feeding the coho salmon fry growing in the science room aquarium. By Greg Farrar

Questions remain about start-up costs, permits

For a Clark Elementary School class, raising coho salmon from eggs no larger than a BB pellet to miniscule fish is part lesson, part ritual.

Students traipse down the hallway from class to the aquarium in a science room in the morning, again at lunchtime and before the last bell rings in the afternoon. Using a small spatula, students scoop salmon food — a coarse substance similar to dirt in color and texture — into the aquarium.

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Resisting raising children who feel entitled

March 29, 2011

How should parents manage children who automatically think they should have every new electronic game? What are strategies to tame their desire for instant gratification and feelings of entitlement? How can parents teach responsibility and accountability?

The community is invited to see noted author and parent educator Jan Faull talk about raising responsible children from 7-8:30 p.m. April 18 at Sunset Elementary School, 4229 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., Bellevue. The PTSA-sponsored event is free and no registration is required.

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