Report: Little violence, drugs among Issaquah School District students

June 26, 2012

Issaquah’s students are pretty well-behaved, according to a report released this month by the school district.

The annual discipline report for the 2010-2011 school year was finished June 6 and presented to the Issaquah School Board at its June 20 meeting. Broken into two parts, behavior and weapons, the report shows that fewer than 2 percent of the district’s student body was suspended or expelled last year.

That rate is down a quarter of a percent from the 2009-2010 academic year. The annual report only looks at suspensions and expulsions. More minor infractions, including times that students are sent to the principal’s office or put in detention, are not included.

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Issaquah School District graduations / June 2012

June 19, 2012

Issaquah School Board debates high school graduation requirements

June 12, 2012

In an area like the Eastside, where science and technology put food on many families’ tables, the Issaquah School Board is debating whether students are studying enough science.

Some board members say the district should adopt tougher standards while others are concerned about putting unnecessary pressure on some students.

During two rounds of discussions, the board has considered requiring all students to take three years of science, instead of the state-mandated two years.

“We need to start with whether we think the minimum bar we have is sufficient or if we should raise the bar for everyone,” said board member Brian Deagle at a May 9 work session. “I’m in the camp that we should raise the bar on what it means to earn, in Issaquah, a high school diploma.”

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City Council outlines Issaquah goals for 2013

June 5, 2012

City Council members agreed to study options for the aging Issaquah Skate Park to turn it from a bastion for drug use into a community asset, boost economic development efforts in the city and conduct another study about the future of Klahanie.

Other priorities included a plan to televise council budget deliberations, hire a lobbyist to advocate for Issaquah in Olympia, and develop a comprehensive policy related to bicyclists and pedestrians.

The council, alongside representatives from municipal departments, gathered in a YWCA Family Village at Issaquah conference room June 2 to formulate the list.

In the rare Saturday meeting, council members trimmed a long list into priorities for 2013. Though the council conducted the heavy lifting at the retreat, the process is not yet done.

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Who’s News

June 5, 2012

Issaquah Women’s Club  awards scholarships

The Issaquah Women’s Club has awarded $1,000 Follow Your Dream scholarships to Audrey Johnson and Ngozi Monu.

The Issaquah Women’s Club awards the scholarships to graduating senior high school girls from the Issaquah School District who wish to pursue their college education or vocational training as they follow their dreams for the future.

Johnson, from Tiger Mountain Community High School, has been accepted to and will attend the Northwest College of Art and Design. She will pursue her interest in graphic design and photography.

Monu, from Issaquah High School, has been accepted to and will attend the University of Washington. She will pursue her interest in human resource management.

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Preliminary timeline is in place for school, fields construction

May 15, 2012

Issaquah School District officials are wasting no time when it comes to putting their recently approved $219 million bond into action.

The school board reviewed a preliminary schedule of projects and timeline for school construction and other district upgrades at its May 9 meeting. Some projects could begin as soon as July and other smaller projects extend through the end of 2019.

“Somebody has to be first and somebody has to be last,” said Jacob Kuper, chief operations officer for the district.

Phase 2 construction of Liberty High School and Phase 2 at Maywood Middle School are first in line with finishes projected by the end of 2013. At the caboose of the tentative timeline of the larger projects is the reconstruction of Sunny Hills Elementary School, which wouldn’t finish until December 2018.

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Off the Press

May 8, 2012

Friends care enough to say don’t drink and drive

Greg Farrar Press photographer

You young people who are now high school seniors were newborn babies when I started working here at The Press, so there’s obviously the implication that I’ve taken pictures of a lot of you throughout your 12 years of classroom activities here in the Issaquah School District.

You might remember those times, and in fact your parents might have saved the clippings! You’ve been one of the great pleasures of my job.

In just about a month, you’ll be graduating from Skyline, Issaquah, Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools. I expect to see you at Safeco Field or the Tiger Mountain campus for your commencement. Congratulations to all of you!

The important thing is that you all live long and happy lives afterward, so if you’ll read along for a minute, I’d like to talk about that Liberty High School DUI demonstration that ran in the paper last week.

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Growth is focus as City Council, Issaquah School Board meet

May 1, 2012

City and Issaquah School District leaders pledged coordination and cooperation as the city outlines a bold plan to add thousands of residences in the decades ahead.

Chad Magendanz

Discussion about the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 — and possible changes to the school district, such as redrawing boundaries for schools to accommodate population shifts, dominated the annual joint meeting April 24.

City Council and Issaquah School Board members, plus Mayor Ava Frisinger and Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and other officials, gathered at Mandarin Garden a week after school district voters approved a $219 million bond to fuel a school construction boom. The planned projects include major changes for schools in downtown Issaquah.

The groups, seated beneath red lanterns and arranged around lazy Susans, sipped tea and nibbled on fried rice and roast pork as discussion unfolded about long-term development plans. (The city hosted the meal and spent $311.24 on food and beverages.)

“Both organizations have gone from fast-growing organizations to more stable, mature organizations with different sets of issues,” Council President Tola Marts said. “So, now the challenge is how do we manage the remaining growth that we have?”

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The Beat is seeking teenage writers, photographers

May 1, 2012

The Beat is looking for writers and photographers for the coming school year.

The page — written by teens, for teens and about teens — takes the place of the Schools page the fourth week of the month.

“We’re looking for people to write for the newspaper and our Facebook page, help with fundraising, and take photographs for the newspaper and our websites,” said Kathleen R. Merrill, managing editor of The Press and The Beat.

“We meet once per month to learn about journalism, brainstorm ideas, plan the coming paper and our online coverage, and attend events to raise funds and awareness about our group,” she said. “We also have a lot of fun.”

Participants can be from Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline, Tiger Mountain Community and Eastside Catholic high schools. Freshmen and sophomores are especially encouraged to apply.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, email editor@isspress.com for an application. Completed applications are due May 7.

Voters easily approve $219 million school bond

April 24, 2012

Issaquah School District voters overwhelmingly approved a $219 million bond to fund construction and renovation projects on campuses across the district.

In the April 17 special election, 70 percent of voters — encompassing more than 15,000 yes votes of out more than 22,000 ballots cast — approved the measure. (The measure needed to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a minimum turnout of 12,229 voters.)

Despite the passage of the bond, local homeowners will pay less in property taxes to the schools than they do now because a previous bond issue is set to expire this year.

The retirement of the earlier bond will drop the local tax rate from $4.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $4.05. Passage of the new bond would put the rate at $4.42.

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