Students use video games to learn problem-solving skills

September 4, 2012

Video games at school sounds like the dream of many teenagers, but for many in the Issaquah School District designing and having them in the classroom became a reality last year.

Through a partnership between the district and Microsoft, students taking “Introduction to Computer Science” last spring at Skyline, Issaquah and Liberty high schools got to design, program and ultimately play video games, all in the name of learning. And starting this year, the course will also be offered at Tiger Mountain Community High School.

For Kevin Houghton, math and engineering teacher at Issaquah High, this was the first time video games made an appearance on his syllabi.

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Issaquah police reactivate speed cameras near schools as students return

August 28, 2012

Issaquah police plan to reactivate speed-enforcement cameras near Issaquah High School and other campuses Sept. 4, as students return to schools along Second Avenue Southeast.

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Issaquah School District back-to-school essentials

August 21, 2012

First day back

The first day of school is set for Sept. 4. For the bell times for your school, go to your school’s website or

Basic stats

The Issaquah School District has more than 17,500 students and covers a 110-square mile area. The district includes 15 elementary schools, five middle schools and three comprehensive high schools. There is also the alternative Tiger Mountain Community High School and the Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie. The latter is part of the district but is Washington state’s juvenile detention facility.

District website

The main district web address is Look on the right side of the main page for links important for any given month. For example, “August Links” include “School bell times for 2012” and “Annual verification of elementary enrollment.” Look on the left side of the district’s Web page for links to coming events.

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Issaquah School District schools welcome new principals

July 10, 2012

The Issaquah School District is welcoming several new faces this month.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recently announced the arrival of three new principals. Starting July 1, Michael Schiehser took over at Tiger Mountain Community High School, Tod Wood started at Clark Elementary School and Stacy Cho took the helm at Beaver Lake Middle School.

Schiehser began his career teaching high school science in Southern California and is a national board certified teacher. He joined the Mercer Island School District in 2005 as an associate principal at Mercer Island High School.

He has also served as the director of instruction and assessment and secondary learning support, before moving to his current position as director of teaching and learning, which includes the responsibility of serving as the primary instructional leader at Mercer Island High School.

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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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