Public hearings begin for possible school closure

September 16, 2014

The Issaquah School Board has yet to set a date for when it will consider closing Tiger Mountain Community High School, but it began a public comment period last week that brought dozens of impassioned people out in defense of the alternative school.

The first public hearing regarding the possible closure of Tiger Mountain was held Sept. 10 and generated comments from students, parents and teachers. The public comment period was scheduled to last 50 minutes, but went nearly an hour longer as more than a dozen people spoke about the issue, the vast majority supporting ideas to keep it open.

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To the Editor

September 16, 2014

Tiger Mountain

Closing the school will help the numbers, not the students

Closing Tiger Mountain Community High School during renovations and not creating a temporary home for the school would be a very grievous mistake. The students currently enrolled at Tiger Mountain are there because the conventional high school experience is detrimental to their learning experience. Sending them to a regular high school for even a year will cause them great suffering and hardship.

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Give your input on Tiger Mountain school closure at Sept. 17 meeting

September 15, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 15, 2014

Community members wishing to give input to the Issaquah School Board regarding the proposed closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School are invited to attend one of two public hearings.

The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, prior to the regular school board meeting, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The hearings will be in the Issaquah School District board room, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Learn more about the proposed closure here.

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Give your input on Tiger Mountain school closure at Sept. 10 meeting

September 7, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 7, 2014

Community members wishing to give input to the Issaquah School Board regarding the proposed closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School are invited to attend one of two public hearings.

The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, prior to the regular school board meeting, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The hearings will be in the Issaquah School District board room, 565 N.W. Holly St.

Learn more about the proposed closure here.

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Superintendent presents formal plan to close Tiger Mountain Community High School

July 1, 2014

Superintendent presents formal plan to close school permanently

The Issaquah School District has started a 90-day process that could result in the permanent closure of Tiger Mountain Community High School.

Superintendent Ron Thiele presented his rationale for the closure at the Issaquah School Board’s June 26 meeting. Several Tiger Mountain students and parents were in attendance, and some provided their reasons for keeping the alternative school open.

The idea to close Tiger Mountain first began circulating in February, and the board adopted an official school closure policy in April.

District administrators have cited the school’s declining enrollment numbers, low test scores and low attendance figures as factors behind the closure plan.

They’ve been working to design a new alternative high school, which would open in a new location, and likely under a different name, at the start of the 2016-17 school year.

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Congratulations, Tiger Mountain Community High School grads

June 24, 2014

Tiger Mountain Community High School celebrated its class of 2014 on June 16.

At right, teacher Lane Helgeson tells student Cassie Fowler that he won’t need her services after she completes cosmetology school.

Teacher Lane Helgeson tells student Cassie Fowler that he won’t need her services after she completes cosmetology school.

Above, Gregory Mathiesen shows how this self-proclaimed redneck pronounces America. He has joined the Army and will be heading to boot camp in the fall.  At right, teacher Lane Helgeson tells student Cassie Fowler that he won’t need her services after she completes cosmetology school.

Gregory Mathiesen shows how this self-proclaimed redneck pronounces America. He has joined the Army and will be heading to boot camp in the fall.

Photos by Michael Johnson The members of the Tiger Mountain Community High School class of 2014 throw their caps into the air after the ceremonies.

Photos by Michael Johnson
The members of the Tiger Mountain Community High School class of 2014 throw their caps into the air after the ceremonies.

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Letters

May 6, 2014

Tiger Mountain

Librarian hopes school will continue for years to come

My personal experience with Tiger Mountain Community High School was limited to about an hour and a half on Dec. 7, 1992.

I was at that time the young adult librarian at the Issaquah Library, and I visited the school to present a program to a group of young parents.

I didn’t know what would be of interest, but I took along cloth books, board books, books about making toys or clothes or baby food — everything I could think of.

In my entire career as a librarian, I’ve never addressed such an interested, even rapt, audience! Those students were so keen to see the materials I’d brought. They loved the hand puppets (which at that time were for circulation), and some decided then and there to convert the stuffed toys they were scheduled to make into hand puppets instead. Their teacher agreed to help them with the project.

I was able to give every parent a copy of “Goodnight Moon,” (and incidentally, I’d really had to work to persuade the library administration to let me have those books for that particular audience).

The teenagers were happy to show me their lovely babies after the program, and to tell me how they were caring for them — only 15 or 16 years old, but devoted caregivers.

I’ve often thought of those students and their children, children who would now be much older than their parents were in 1992. I do hope their lives turned out happily. I’m sure that attending Tiger Mountain Community High School helped a lot in that respect, and that the school will continue to assist all its students for years to come.

Marnie Webb

Issaquah

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Editorial

April 8, 2014

Tiger Mountain school rethink can work

The Issaquah School Board is planning some big changes for Tiger Mountain Community High School. Some of these changes are necessary, but the disruption of the community is not.

Tiger Mountain has about 100 students who would generally be considered “at risk.” The school tries to reach these students with nontraditional methods in an attempt to keep them engaged.

The attempt isn’t working as well as it should. The school’s graduation rate of 37 percent shows this. Whatever methods district officials are attempting are actually reaching only a fraction of the students.

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Board eyes new closure policy for Issaquah schools

April 1, 2014

The Issaquah School Board is considering a new policy pertaining to school closures, which could have an impact on the proposal to shut down Tiger Mountain Community High School.

At its March 26 meeting, the board conducted the first reading of a policy that aims to clarify the process for closing a school, including the steps the superintendent must take and the timeline for soliciting public input.

The board could adopt the new policy at its April 23 meeting.

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Tiger Mountain community speaks out on school’s possible closure

March 18, 2014

Last month’s news that Tiger Mountain Community High School could be closed has sparked sadness, anger and shock among students and parents at the Issaquah School District’s alternative high school.

The Issaquah School Board began publicly discussing a possible closure Feb. 12, and droves of Tiger Mountain community members showed up for that meeting. Several people returned to speak to the board at its March 12 meeting.

Neil Schmidt, who graduated from Tiger Mountain last year, said he was “dumbfounded” and “appalled” the district would consider closing the school, which has provided a nontraditional learning environment for high-school students since 1991. The school currently has an enrollment of about 100.

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