Issaquah schools to start late Tuesday due to slushy roads

December 18, 2012

NEW — 6:30 a.m. Dec. 18, 2012

Issaquah School District campuses plan to open two hours later than usual Tuesday, as district administrators responded to slushy conditions throughout the area.

The snow route travel conditions mean the district cancelled several programs at all Issaquah schools, such as before-school activities, including school-age care, Headstart, morning and afternoon preschool, morning and afternoon kindergarten, and out-of-district routes. The district said full-day kindergarten starts two hour late.

Other programs continue as regularly scheduled. Changes to field trips and after-school activities get determined by each school. Check with schools for decisions about field trips and after-school activities.

The district is also operating school buses on snow routes, and some bus stops should shift. Check the district’s emergency transportation brochure for more information.

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Local leaders respond to Connecticut school massacre

December 14, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012

Issaquah School District and King County leaders urged action in the hours after a school shooting in Connecticut claimed 27 lives, including 20 children.

Officials sought to reassure parents about campus safety and offer advice about how parents can talk to children about the tragedy.

“On behalf of the Issaquah School District, our hearts go out to community of Newtown, Conn., and especially to the staff, students and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a message emailed to district parents Friday afternoon. “It’s difficult to comprehend the motivation for the horrific attack that took place this morning.

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Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10:40 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Wednesday night as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

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Issaquah School Board is set to vote on Liberty High School schedule

December 11, 2012

Students, staff and parents of Liberty High School could know soon whether their daily schedule will change. The Issaquah School Board is expected to vote on the issue at its 7 p.m. Dec. 12 regular meeting.

Since 1995, the school has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. However, in order to establish a common, districtwide high school schedule, and to give Liberty students more time to study core subjects, district officials are considering changing Liberty’s timetable.

During the Nov. 28 school board meeting, Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recommended switching the school to a six-period schedule, which is what Issaquah and Skyline high schools both use.

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Superintendent recommends six-period schedule for Liberty High School

December 4, 2012

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recommends Liberty High School switch to a six-period schedule.

During the 1990s, many schools across the nation began using an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. And in the fall of 1995, Liberty became one of those schools.

Seventeen years later, that could change. In order to establish a common, districtwide high school schedule, and to give Liberty students more time to study core subjects, the Issaquah School District is considering changing Liberty’s timetable.

Rasmussen made his recommendation to the Issaquah School Board during a work study session Nov. 28. The main reason, he said, is because the current block schedule gives Liberty students 127 hours per class each year, where Issaquah High School has 161 hours and Skyline High School has 165.

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Boundary change shifts 175 students from Grand Ridge to Clark

December 4, 2012

When the first day of school comes next fall, 175 students who had gone to Grand Ridge Elementary School will say “hello” to Clark Elementary School.

The move was announced Nov. 19 as part of a boundary shift that will help alleviate overcrowding at Grand Ridge. Additionally, all kindergartners will go to Challenger and Endeavour elementary schools.

Located in the continually expanding Issaquah Highlands, Grand Ridge has the capacity for about 600 students, according to Jake Kuper, CFO for the Issaquah School District. With the use of portable classrooms, the capacity jumps to 800.

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Boundary decision shifts 175 students from Grand Ridge to Clark

November 29, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

When the first day of school comes next fall, 175 students will bid farewell to Grand Ridge Elementary School and say hello to Clark Elementary School.

The move was announced Nov. 19 as part of a boundary shift that will help alleviate crowding at Grand Ridge. Along with the change, all Grand Ridge kindergartners will be housed next year at Challenger and Endeavour elementary schools.

Located in the continually expanding Issaquah Highlands, Grand Ridge has the capacity for about 600 students, according to Jake Kuper, chief financial officer for the Issaquah School District. With the use of portable classrooms, the capacity jumps to 800.

Right now, the school has 879 full-time students and, without the boundary shift, would have 987 full-time students next year. The changes bring that attendance number to 730 for next year.

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Superintendent recommends six-period schedule for Liberty High School

November 28, 2012

NEW — 9:15 p.m. Nov. 28, 2012

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recommended Wednesday for Liberty High School to switch to a six-period schedule.

For nearly two decades, the school has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. However, in order to establish a common, districtwide high school schedule, and to give Liberty students more time to study core subjects, the Issaquah School District is considering changing Liberty’s timetable.

Rasmussen made his recommendation to the Issaquah School Board during a work study session. The main reason, he said, is because the existing block schedule gives Liberty students 127 hours per class each year, where Issaquah High School has 161 hours and Skyline High School has 165.

“What I am saying is: I don’t want lower standards for a group of our students. I don’t want them to be short-changed,” Rasmussen said.

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Issaquah School District named to AP honor roll

November 27, 2012

Issaquah School District was named by the College Board to its third annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll Nov. 13 for simultaneously increasing access to AP work while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.

“AP classes are part of our overall goal of challenging all students with rigorous coursework that prepares them for college and other post-secondary opportunities,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a statement. “To be included on the AP Honor Roll, therefore, is great news: More students are participating and succeeding.”

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Issaquah School Board to decide Liberty High School schedule

November 20, 2012

As the 17-year-old block schedule at Liberty High School faces a possible ax at a Dec. 12 Issaquah School Board meeting, people on both sides of the issue are not taking the looming decision lightly.

That includes the school board, which plans a policy change to ensure that it has the final say. Typically, it is up to the superintendent to set schedules, but the board is making sure it will have to approve any change.

“When it comes down to it, it’s an important aspect of our schools and as important as other things that we have said we want the board to have a role in,” board President Brian Deagle said in a phone interview.

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