Board approves $149 million schools budget

September 3, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink
A quorum of Issaquah School Board members unanimously approved a $149.6 million budget Aug. 26.
Board member Chad Magendanz was not at the meeting.
“The state, country and world, the global economy, had a melt down a year ago,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said while presenting the final budget recommendation. “Throughout the year, it caused a challenge, but I can tell you all that all of us, the board, staff and community, we’re up to the challenge of tackling this dilemma.”
District officials, facing a $7.3 million in lost state revenue, made several cuts to their budget. They slashed expenditures from $152 million last year to just over $149 million this year.
“In the process of squeezing the budget and tightening in different areas, it is not without hurt. We are 40 to 45 teachers less than we had last year at this time,” Rasmussen said. “The impact on the buildings, staff and parents will be felt, but we have done everything in our power to minimize that.
“We are still going to have quality teachers teaching in front of our kids, quality materials and quality facilities for the students to use.”
District officials made $2.2 million in offsetting reductions, meaning reductions in noncertificated staff, like grounds maintenance and secretarial positions. Those reductions were about 22 full-time positions, said Jacob Kuper, district chief of finance and operations.
District officials also increased class sizes, by one student, in all classes kindergarten through 12th grade, saving another $1.8 million, he said.
Class size changes,              kindergarten through fifth grade:
Grade           2008-09    2009-10
Kindergarten   18.7       20
First 20 21
Second 20 21
Third               22.5 23
Fourth             23.2 25
Fifth                24.6 24
The impact to secondary classes is harder to calculate because of scheduling variables, but those classes increased by one student as well, Kuper said.
Class ratios for all grade levels won’t be known until final student enrollment counts are in. Those are due Oct. 1, he said.
The increase in class sizes has reduced the district’s teaching force of 1,097 by roughly 35 to 40 full-time positions, but the actual number also won’t be known until those final enrollment counts are in, he said.
At the board meeting, Kuper said enrollment projections, which provide the district money with every new child enrolled, are on target.
The enrollment projections are within three children under projection, he said.
“So, by Oct.1, we should be above projection and see moderate growth,” he added.
In addition, state legislators suspended full contributions to the state’s pension system for the next year, saving the district $2.2 million.
The remainder of the cuts will come from the district’s reserve fund.
“This was the first reduction we’ve had in quite some time and this was ‘the easy year,’ although it really wasn’t,” Kuper said. “There are a lot of different strategies, and things will be more difficult following this fiscal year, in my opinion.”
If cuts come in years ahead, reductions could come directly from the classroom and student programs, because they are already lean, district officials have said.
In years past, district officials have eliminated bus service to students within a mile of schools and started charging athletic participation fees, areas many districts are just now beginning to touch, Kuper said. In addition, Issaquah has one of the lowest administrative overhead costs in King County, he said.
In the end, the district’s budget does balance and maintains a reserve funding balance between 3 percent and 5 percent of the district’s total budget, as school board policies require.
It also reserves funding for the operation of a new elementary school, Kuper said.
The district’s capital budget for the year is $138.2 million. That money will fund new construction projects, like the Issaquah High School and Briarwood Elementary School rebuilds.
“We as a public school system can’t put forward a budget that is borrowed or in the red. We always have to balance,” Rasmussen said. “I feel very confident that we have done what we have to, to ensure an adequate ending fund balance and a reserve balance.”
A quorum of Issaquah School Board members unanimously approved a $149.6 million budget Aug. 26.
Board member Chad Magendanz was not at the meeting.
Read more

Water leak destroys one of two gym floors at YMCA

September 3, 2009

By Tim Pfarr
Although a water leak destroyed one of the Coal Creek YMCA gymnasium’s floors in early August, the facility has seen considerable success in its first few weeks of operation.
“It has been a great month and we are working now to balance out some classes that are popular,” said Michele Petitti, director of development.
The facility opened for charter members Aug. 7 and for regular members Aug. 12.
Petitti said the facility has about 1,600 members and hopes to reach 2,800 members by the end of the year.
“We expect September to be a big sign-up month with summer over and folks getting back into their regular schedules,” she said.
Although the facility is officially open, it will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 12 in conjunction with Newcastle Days. The facility will have an open house from noon – 5 p.m. for its grand opening, and the day will be filled with numerous activities, including sample classes and cooking demonstrations.
The gym is still out of commission, but Petitti said the new floor would be installed in time for the YMCA’s grand opening.
Judy Smith, associate executive director of the facility, would not comment on the cost to repair the floor.
Beginning Sept. 2, the facility will offer a program known as After the Bell for middle school students. The program will cost $200 per month for YMCA members and $250 per month for nonmembers, and it will provide transportation from McKnight, Tyee, St. Madeline and Maywood middle schools.
The program will run Monday through Friday from the end of the school day until 6 p.m.
For a complete list of the Coal Creek YMCA’s programs and activities, visit the facility’s Web site at www.seattleymca.org/coalcreek.

Although a water leak destroyed one of the Coal Creek YMCA gymnasium’s floors in early August, the facility has seen considerable success in its first few weeks of operation. Read more

School districts fail to meet federal progress standards

September 3, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink
Despite above average test scores on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exam, neither the Renton nor the Issaquah School Districts made federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards this year.
For districts and schools who don’t make federal standards with test scores, sanctions begin to kick in if the school accepts federal money.
Why WASL still matters
Although district students will take the new state Measurements of Student Progress for third through eighth grades and the High School Proficiency Exam this year, the WASL is still a measure of student progress last year.
AYP and WASL scores determine how much federal funding districts receive each year and where they have to spend it.
Issaquah and Renton students made gains in some of their WASL scores last year.
“Some skills were up, some skills were down and some pretty much stayed the same,” said Sharon Manion, director of assessment for the district.
Issaquah’s sixth-grade math scores saw a significant jump to 79.5 percent of students passing, up from 68.9 percent last year. However, 10th-grade scores fell with the biggest drop in math. Only 72.5 percent of students passed this year’s exams versus 80.1 percent the year before.
Renton’s eighth-grade math scores fell from 46.4 percent of students passing in 2008 to only 38.9 percent passing this year.
Renton’s 10th grade reading scores improved from 74.6 percent passing last year, to 81.1 percent passing this year. Student writing and science scores also improved, but math scores fell about 2 percent.
How AYP works
Students take the WASL to ensure they and their schools are meeting federal requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002.
The federal government measures school and district progress by calculating the students’ scores by demographic, income and developmental need for what is called Adequate Yearly Progress.
Schools must meet AYP in 37 categories and districts must meet it in 111. Missing one category means missing AYP. If a school or district doesn’t make AYP in the same categories for a second year, school improvement sanctions go into effect.
The sanctions only apply if a school or district accepts federal Title I money, which helps low-achieving students.
Both districts receive Title I funding, but not all schools do. As of the 2009-10 school year, no high school and no middle school in Issaquah will receive Title I funding. Renton middle schools do, making them subject to sanctions, said Randy Matheson, district director of communications.
Of Issaquah’s 23 schools, 10 did not make AYP last year, including Maywood Middle School. But Liberty High School, which didn’t make AYP last year, did this year.
In Renton, 21 of the district’s 25 schools and programs didn’t make AYP last year.
Calling for reform
With increasing standards and the need to meet the 2014 deadline of getting all students — despite their individual needs — to pass the test, it will become harder for districts and schools to meet AYP.
Federal sanctions for schools that haven’t made AYP for two years in a row in the same category include granting transfer requests to students to go to other schools and forcing districts to use Title I money to allocate funding for those students’ transportation instead of in the classroom.
“It is an impact on every district of only 8 percent of those funds,” Matheson said. “But it is really in the double digit percent to do the things No Child Left Behind or AYP mandate us to do administratively. It is not a good or cost effective way to run a district.”
District officials in Issaquah pulled federal Title I funds from middle school budgets, so as to keep as much funding in each school as possible, said Sara Niegowski, district communications director.
“We don’t think the best use of those funds is to pull those dollars from the classroom to administrative areas, like transportation,” she said.
District elementary schools will receive the Title I funds and district officials will use state funding, that doesn’t come with the AYP sanctions, to back fill middle school budgets.
Renton school officials haven’t removed Title I funding because “We haven’t considered that as an option or had the conversation yet,” Matheson said.
Letters regarding school choice sanctions were sent to families whose children attend the seven elementary schools that didn’t make AYP. They can apply to move to one of two elementary schools that did.
Middle and high school students can’t move because none of the district’s middle or high schools made AYP this year.
In addition, district officials are navigating through Step 2 federal sanction, which includes developing a student achievement plan with state and national educational professionals, Matheson said.
Because the federal law is so punitive to districts, many educators throughout the state and nation are calling for reform.
“While a terrific indicator of those areas that we must improve in our system,” Issaquah School District’s Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said, “AYP has some significant flaws that create a no-win situation for schools and students.”
Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

Despite above average test scores on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exam, neither the Renton nor the Issaquah School Districts made federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards this year.

For districts and schools who don’t make federal standards with test scores, sanctions begin to kick in if the school accepts federal money. Read more

Local resident takes on breast cancer walk in Seattle

September 3, 2009

By Hunter Deiglmeier
Sixty miles of walking, enjoying time with friends and family, remembering the lives of those who have died and fighting for a cure is what Newcastle resident Shauna Cour will be accomplishing Sept. 11-13.
The Breast Cancer 3 Day is held in 15 cities throughout the United States. Participants walk an average of 20 miles per day while raising money for Susan G. Komen for The Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.
Cour, along with her team, Girlfriends on a Mission, which includes Ania Murphy, Janice Curl and Kassandra Mitchell, all from Newcastle, and Angie Green and Stephanie Pickering, will walk in the Breast Cancer 3 Day in Seattle.
This will be Cour’s second 3 Day, and she is eager to continue walking for a cure.
“It is definitely a life-changing experience and I cannot wait to take part in it again this year,” she said. “I first heard about the 3 Day a number of years ago when one of my friends was working at the event. I was instantly intrigued by the idea of a huge group of people coming together to make a difference in the world.
“Then, two years ago, when my stepmom (at the time) did the walk with a good friend of hers that is a 25-year survivor, I realized that if she could do it, I certainly had no excuse not to.”
This year, the Breast Cancer 3 Day event will raise funds for critical breast cancer research, education and community health programs, with the ultimate desire to help eradicate a disease that threatens and all too often takes too many lives of women around the world. Participants in the 3 Day have to raise a minimum of $2,300; 85 percent of the proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen for The Cure and 15 percent will go to the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer fund.
“My mom is an eight-year survivor of breast cancer, which definitely sparked my interest in participating,” Cour said. “However, I was really driven by the need to fight this disease before it was too late.
“I wanted to walk because I could, not because I felt I had to,” she added. “It also seemed like a great opportunity to bring lots of women I love together for the weekend for a great cause.”
People really need to train before the event, Cour said.
“The biggest training tip is to get the right shoes and socks, and make sure you get your feet doctored up to prevent blisters. The majority of the injuries over the 3 Day have to do with blisters and dehydration,” she said. “This event is not about racing to the finish or beating the clock. It is about thousands of people coming together to fight back and beat breast cancer.
“There were many women twice my age and not physically fit, yet perfectly capable of walking 60 miles, because it was for the memory of someone they love,” she added. “Willpower gets you a long way. Everyone is capable of so much more than they give themselves credit for.”
The Breast Cancer 3 Day has really impacted Cour’s life. Instead of simply walking and laughing with friends, the walk caused her to realize the true importance of fighting for a cure, she said.
“I did not have any idea how much three days would impact my life last year when I signed up for this. I was just looking forward to hanging out with my girlfriends and family for three days and doing good for the world at the same time,” she explained. “The moment in which I was overwhelmed last year came when I entered what is called the Remembrance Tent.
“The inside perimeter of this tent is lined with pictures of walkers from previous years doing exactly as I had been doing all day — walking the path, laughing with friends, eating lunch by the lake, etc. Next to each picture was a caption that would read something like this:
Mary Williamson
3 Day Walker Seattle 2007
Registered Seattle 3 Day Walker 2008
Died of breast cancer April 2008
“Here were women walking because they could, in many cases not even aware of the bomb waiting to destroy their future and now they have passed,” Cour added. “There also is a smaller tent within the larger one that is for walkers to write notes about those who have lost their battle with breast cancer. All over the tent are the most heartbreaking messages, ‘I miss you Mommy,’ ‘I would walk a million miles for you Mom,’ etc.”
Donate to the cause by going to www.the3day.org. Click on “Donate” and then “Search for a participant” for your donation to go to Cour’s team.

Sixty miles of walking, enjoying time with friends and family, remembering the lives of those who have died and fighting for a cure is what Newcastle resident Shauna Cour will be accomplishing Sept. 11-13.

The Breast Cancer 3 Day is held in 15 cities throughout the United States. Participants walk an average of 20 miles per day while raising money for Susan G. Komen for The Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Read more

Peggy Conley: Not your typical cashier

September 3, 2009

By Tim Pfarr
Customers at Newcastle Fruit and Produce may not realize it, but the smiling woman behind the cash register used to be a professional athlete. Her name is Peggy Conley, and for 15 years she traveled the world doing what she loved: golfing.
Conley was born in Seattle, but moved to Spokane with her family when she was 5. When she was 11, she joined her father on a trip to the Indian Canyon Golf Course, and her father let her hit a ball.
“I was instantly hooked,” she said.
For the next several years, Conley spent her summers hanging around the golf course, and she eventually began playing competitively, traveling the country and winning tournaments. She attended the University of Washington and played on the golf team, where she became the first female in the school’s history to receive an athletic scholarship: one payment of $500.
Conley graduated in 1972 with a degree in ceramic sculpting and became a teacher at Overlake School in Redmond. Golf took a back seat in her life from 1972-1975, as she was busy with teaching.
She said she enjoyed teaching and loved the children she worked with, but she eventually compared how much she earned to how much professional golfers earned.
“I was making $7,000 a year, and they were making that in one week,” she said.
So, Conley began golfing again, and saving money. In 1976, she quit her job with $2,500 in her pocket and returned to Spokane to sharpen her skills.
One month later, she attended the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour’s qualifying event — what golfers refer to as “Q School.”
Although Conley described the experience of qualifying as “absolute hell,” she made the cut and earned her LPGA tour card. She had become a professional golfer.
The competition was stiff on the LPGA tour, and Conley remembers playing horribly in her first event. The pressure was high, since she needed to play well to make it through the preliminary round of each event.
“If you don’t play well for two days, you’re essentially fired for the week,” she said.
However, she worked her way to the top of the pack, finishing second behind Nancy Lopez at the Sunstar Classic in Los Angeles in the late 1970s.
But things would take a turn in 1980, when Conley developed carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause numbness, tingling and pain in your wrist, and was forced to undergo reconstructive surgery. She returned to professional golf just five months later, but she did not perform well enough, and she was stripped of her LPGA tour card.
Conley would return to Q school again, but would not make the cut.
For the next two years, she took part in mini tours — essentially the minor leagues of golf — and in May 1984, after advice from her old friend Mickey Walker, Conley crossed the Atlantic to participate in the European Tour. She only intended to stay for two months, but ended up staying nine years.
“It’s a kinder, gentler tour,” Conley said. “I went to Europe and was like, ‘This is golf.’”
Now, reflecting on her experiences in Europe, she says losing her LPGA tour card was the best thing that ever happened to her, because she was far happier in Europe despite taking a massive pay cut.
On the European tour, Conley heated up quickly, winning her second tournament: the Ulster Volkswagen Classic. In 1986, she won the Portuguese Open and placed second in the British Open.
However, while driving in Savona, Italy, in 1991, Conley came around a hairpin turn to find another car speeding toward her in the wrong lane. The vehicles collided head-on, and although Conley did not break any bones, she suffered a concussion and whiplash that would severely disrupt her golf game. The other driver — a golf journalist — suffered a broken hand.
Conley attempted to golf again on the European tour, but her injuries from the accident proved to be too much. Her career as a professional golfer was officially over.
After her injury, she spent two years riding a motorcycle across Europe before returning to the U.S. Upon her return, she began teaching golf in Arizona. In 2000, she returned to the Pacific Northwest, taking a job teaching at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish. In 2004, she came to The Golf Club at Newcastle, where she works today.
Now, Conley also works at Newcastle Fruit and Produce, ringing up customers with a smile. She said she took the job because she wanted to try something totally different than she had in the past, and so she could walk to work.
“It’s not hard to get up in the morning,” she said.
Her coworkers make working at the fruit stand a joy, she said, and the passion the owners have for the business trickles down to her.
“It’s an honor to work there,” she said.

Customers at Newcastle Fruit and Produce may not realize it, but the smiling woman behind the cash register used to be a professional athlete. Her name is Peggy Conley, and for 15 years she traveled the world doing what she loved: golfing. Read more

Technology puts students ahead of the learning curve

September 3, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink
Today’s classrooms are brimming with high-tech gadgets for teachers to make academic lessons come alive and for students to explore the world around them without leaving their seats.
Building to harness technology
Renton and Issaquah, thanks to “tech-savvy” residents, has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to investing in new technological equipment and ideas that help students achieve more, said Colleen Dixon, executive director of technology for the Issaquah School District.
In fact, Issaquah residents were among the first to fund a technology levy in 1988.
Renton followed suit with a $17 million technology bond in 1992, passed another in 2002 and passed a 2008 technology levy, said Brooke Trisler, Renton School District’s director of instructional technology.
“The only reason we can do what we do is because of this community,” Dixon said.
From the ground up, new and renovated Renton and Issaquah schools are built with the latest technology. Wireless and regular Internet connections fill spaces between walls, along with other essentials, like plumbing, heating and electrical wiring.
Digital revolution in the classroom
Nearly every classroom in Issaquah is outfitted with a document camera, teaching laptop station, ceiling-mounted projector, sound system and an active board, with funding from recent levies, the schools’ Parents and Teachers Associations and the Issaquah Schools Foundation.
Similarly, every classroom in Renton is equipped with a presentation station for teachers, including a laptop, video projector, document camera, presentation screen, DVD and VHS player, and speakers.
In Renton, a hot commodity is Computers On Wheels, mobile computer labs with laptops, a wireless hotspot and printer, Trisler said.
“I love seeing them pull in the mobile computer labs,” she said. “It’s like opening the doors and windows to the classroom and getting students out of their locale and into the bigger world.”
In Renton, school officials have also subscribed to Discovery Education Streaming, an online database for teachers to supplement their lessons with high-quality film footage.
Training
It takes more than just machines and hyperlinks to drive today’s students to show how technology can enhance education. It takes a teacher to give technology a purpose.
Moore said he is young enough to have sat on the cusp of the digital revolution and was fortunate to have it as part of his education.
Many others were past their formative years when words like personalized computer and Internet began circulating.
While neither district forces teachers to use technology, they are paid or get free software and materials for their classroom with funding from the community.
“It isn’t, ‘This is a computer and this is how you use it,’” Trisler said. “It’s working with teachers one on one or in a small group to take what they know and integrate it into their lesson plans.”
To date, thousands of employees have participated in Renton and Issaquah’s training sessions which vary from large to small groups, online or specialized training sessions.
A shifting future
As district officials look into the ever-changing technological future, it is hard to prepare for what may come just five years down the road.
In Renton, district officials are piloting interactive white boards and working to install high-speed fiber optic cables at all schools, Trisler said.
In Issaquah, parents and district officials recently peered into the future while planning for this year’s technology levy, which voters will approve or reject in February, Dixon said. Though it was difficult, they did their best to gauge what students and employees will need.
“It changes from day to day, year to year,” she said. “We can only imagine what may become possible in the future. It is very exciting.”
Many Issaquah School District elementary schools have a computer lab, like this one at Grand Ridge Elementary School, stocked with well-equipped PCs.  By Adam Eschbach

Many Issaquah School District elementary schools have a computer lab, like this one at Grand Ridge Elementary School, stocked with well-equipped PCs. By Adam Eschbach

Today’s classrooms are brimming with high-tech gadgets for teachers to make academic lessons come alive and for students to explore the world around them without leaving their seats. Read more

State cuts free immunizations

September 3, 2009

By Laura Geggel
Parents, get your wallets and insurance cards out: Washington state is scaling back on free vaccinations for minors.
In July, Washington stopped using state funds to provide free vaccines for the human papillomavirus. Come May 2010, the state will stop subsidizing all childhood vaccinations, including measles, mumps and rubella, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis B and the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine.
By cutting its Universal Vaccine Program, the state will save $48.5 million over the next two years.
The program began in 1990, when the state began providing free vaccinations for children under 19. In 1994, the federal government provided additional funds through the Vaccines for Children program.
The federal program will continue to provide Washington with immunization funds for minors, allotting the state $160 million for the next two years. Until the program is phased out in May, the state will spend another $20 million.
The state will use federal money to continue providing immunizations for low-income children. Children under 19 who are enrolled in the state Medicaid program, have no insurance, are underinsured or are American Indians or Alaska Natives can qualify for publicly purchased immunizations. Also included in the program are children enrolled in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Basic Health or other in free or low-cost state health plans.
Many parents were unaware of the program, because it operated behind the scenes, said Michele Roberts, health promotion and communication manager at the state’s Department of Health. Now, families with private insurance should make sure their policy covers childhood immunizations.
“Everybody should expect to be asked, ‘Do you have private insurance that covers vaccines?’” Roberts said.
Families with private insurance plans might see higher premiums, co-pays or out-of-pocket costs. For example, the human papillomavirus vaccine costs about $130 for one dose, and the vaccine requires three.
“That’s one of the reasons we’re at where we’re at, is the basic series of childhood vaccines used to be fairly inexpensive, around $15 per dose,” Roberts said. “Recently, they’ve become very expensive at $80 to $120 per dose.”
Families whose children are not covered by insurance and who cannot afford to pay can contact the Department of Social and Health Services or another healthcare authority. A good resource is the Family Health Hotline, a statewide information line that can help people learn whether they qualify for children’s health insurance. Call 800-322-2588 toll-free.
Another resource is www.parenthelp123.org, a Web site run by WithinReach, a nonprofit organization helping Washington state families apply for health and food programs and locate resources in their communities.
Sara Niegowski, spokeswoman for the Issaquah School District, said because all students are required to receive specific immunizations, district officials would try to help families in need find proper coverage.
“Our bigger concern would be families that have lost their health insurance, because family members have lost their jobs and no longer have coverage. As a school district, all we can do here is provide families with information about the resources we know that may be available to them and we will continue to do this,” Niegowski said. “We still have to comply with the requirements in the WAC (Washington Administrative Code) or have a signed parent waiver for the immunizations.”
Renton School District Director of Health Services Susan Lander said the immunization cuts would “seriously impact our students.” Many Renton School District students have already seen health care impediments with the closing of several public health clinics.
“Honestly, I don’t know what our families will do,” Landers said.
If needed, the school district will work with families on a case-by-case basis, especially if that family faces a language barrier.
“Renton School District has been working closely with the local public health offices so that our children can access vaccines,” Landers said.
One thing is certain — vaccinating children can help stop the spreading of disease.
“Vaccinating children is one of the best things parents can do to keep their children healthy,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a press release. “The key to disease prevention is to make sure children have continued access to vaccine — that’s our goal as we work through this change with our partners.”

Parents, get your wallets and insurance cards out: Washington state is scaling back on free vaccinations for minors.

In July, Washington stopped using state funds to provide free vaccines for the human papillomavirus. Come May 2010, the state will stop subsidizing all childhood vaccinations, including measles, mumps and rubella, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis B and the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine. Read more

Follow a half century of back-to-school fashion

September 3, 2009

By Kathleen R. Merrill
Ahh, school clothes. They’re likely as confusing and agonizing to shop for now as they were 50 years ago, and all of the years in between.
You want something cool. Your parents want something affordable. And you can almost never agree on what to buy.
Fashions have changed over the years, and school clothes are no exception. We’ve gone from one crazy hairstyle to the next and one fashion fad to another.
Go ahead and walk down memory lane here: penny loafers, poodle skirts, saddle shoes, skinny ties, wide ties, long collars, button-down collars, cardigans, argyle sweaters, turtle neck sweaters, plaid pants, plaid jackets, mohair shirts, pointed-toed shoes, skinny jeans, leggings, bell bottoms, baggy pants, gauchos, stirrup pants, mini skirts, micro minis, long skirts, pencil skirts, satin, velour, corduroy, wool, terry cloth, pleather, skinny belts, wide belts, shoulder pads, neon colors, spaghetti straps, tube tops, platforms, moccasins, high top sneakers. You can likely quickly think of 10 things of your own to add.
Some local residents recently recalled their high school fashions.
In the late 1940s, girls wore skirts, sweaters, saddle shoes or loafers to Salinas High School in Salinas, Calif., according to Issaquah resident Carol Baumann, a very young 77-year-old who has lived here since 1986. Girls never wore jeans or shorts to school then.
Michele Forkner, code compliance officer for the city of Issaquah,, was in high school from 1967-1971, the height of the hippie phase, at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, Calif., in the Bay Area.
“We couldn’t wear pants until 1970 and then it couldn’t be jeans,” she said. “My older sister and I traded clothes thinking we were wearing something new, but we went to the same high school!
“I tried to dress nice, because I was a cheerleader and going steady with the captain of the football team. Typical high school ‘Barbie and Ken’ story.”
The Rev. Don Burnett, pastor at Evergreen Community Church, graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1972.
“That was the era of bell bottoms, afros, tie dye. I tended to go toward the preppy edge of life,” he wrote in an e-mail. “The picture that is attached to this e-mail is typical of the window-pane plaids and broad ties that were common for graduation shots.”
Later in the 1970s, growing up in Los Angeles, we all had to look like ‘The Brady Bunch’ kids or the Partridge family, Issaquah resident Bryan Weinstein recalled.
“I was in high school 1978-1980,” he said. “Skin-tight Calvin Klein white pants with an Izod Lacoste (alligator) pink shirt was really, really cool, along with Sperry topsiders (no socks). It was called ‘the preppy’ look. Now, I wear plaid.”
When asked if he had photos, he replied, “Thankfully, no.”
Maybe it’s just as well.

Ahh, school clothes. They’re likely as confusing and agonizing to shop for now as they were 50 years ago, and all of the years in between.

You want something cool. Your parents want something affordable. And you can almost never agree on what to buy. Read more

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

September 3, 2009

Newcastle Days returns Sept. 12-13 Read more

CALENDAR

September 3, 2009

Events
The Newcastle Massage Envy offers special prices on one-hour massage sessions Sept. 15, with $10 from every massage benefiting the Puget Sound affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in support of the fight against breast cancer. Schedule a massage by calling 957-7979, signing up in person at 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. or going to www.massageenvy.com.
The Beit Tikvah Messianic Congregation will celebrate Rosh Hashanah at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at 7935 136th Ave. S.E. They will blow the shofar (ram’s horn) to usher in the Jewish New Year. This is a prophetic festival that looks to the return of Yeshua (Jesus) with a blast of the trumpet. Call 793-3000.
Youth
An Apollo Girl Scout information meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Newcastle Elementary School multipurpose room, 8400 136th Ave. S.E. Call 228-4338 or e-mail raelynn6@hotmail.com.
A Newcastle Girl Scout information meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Newcastle Elementary School multipurpose room.  E-mail SUM_k-3_SU444@comcast.net.
The following events take place at the Lake Heights Family YMCA, 12635 S.E. 56th St. Get more information by calling 644-8417 or going to www.lakeheightsymca.org.
q Home school Gym and Swim, for ages 5-17, is from 2-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, Sept. 8 – Nov. 20.
q Basketball clinic for children ages 6-12 and youths ages 13-17. The clinic includes four sessions through Nov. 22.
q Kids Gym, an interactive class for ages 3-5, offers a variety of group games, including an obstacle course and tumbling exercises. Courses are from 11:15 a.m. – noon Wednesdays, Sept. 8 – Nov. 20.
q The Washington Black Belt Academy is offering Taekwondo classes for everyone Sept. 1 – Oct. 22; from 4:30-5:15 p.m. Tuesdays for 5- through 8-year-olds; from 5:15-6 p.m. Tuesdays for 9- through 12-year-olds; from 4:30-5:15 p.m. Thursdays for children 13 and older; and from 5:15-6 p.m. Thursdays for families.
q Preschool Sports — T-Ball is from 10-10:30 a.m. or 10:30-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays or from 5-5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for 3- through 4-year-olds; and from 5:30-6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for 5- through 6-year-olds.
q Mini-Leaguers Outdoor Soccer, for ages 3-6, is from 9:30-10:30 a.m. or from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Sept. 12 – Oct. 24. Children learn FUNdamentals, make new friends and participate in a game. Volunteer coaches are needed for each team, and parents/chaperones are encouraged to participate along side their child.
q Youth Flag Football, for ages 7-10, is from 5:15-6:15 Thursdays and Fridays for practice with games on Saturdays, Sept. 10 – Oct. 24. Adult volunteer coaches are needed for each team, and parent/chaperones are encouraged to attend practices and games.
q Kids University is an after-school program that offers children ages 5-12 the opportunity to take classes with a specific focus, such as tutoring, creative writing, storytelling, geography and foreign languages. The schedule is from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Lake Heights Family YMCA for St. Madeleine Sophie School students and from 3-6:30 p.m. at Hazelwood Elementary School for everyone else. The before- and after-school program is from 6:30 a.m. until school starts and from 3-6:30 p.m. at the YMCA. Call 644-8417 or go to www.lakeheightsymca.org for fees.
Clubs
Freethinkers United Network, Newcastle Chapter, meets at 7 p.m. every other Saturday in a Newcastle home environment. Freethinkers, humanists, agnostics and atheists welcome. There will be open discussion of wide-ranging topics of general group interest. Seating is limited, so call 206-228-7925.
The Society of Artists for Newcastle, an art organization, is seeking new members. Call 271-5822.
MOMS Club of Renton meets for play dates at parks and other locations. New activities are planned daily. This nonprofit, nonreligious organization provides daytime support for moms and their families. Call 260-3079.
Bridge players are wanted, evening or daytime. Games take place at various homes in the Hazelwood area. Call 255-0895.
Newcastle Rotary Club meets at 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15550 Six Penny Lane. Call 206-947-5741 or go to www.newcastlerotary.us.
Newcastle Historical Society meets at 4 p.m. the first Thursday at City Hall, 13020 S.E. 72nd Place. Call 226-4238.
An international dinner, sponsored by Bahai Faith of Newcastle, is at 6:30 p.m. the third Friday. Call 430-8047.
Drinking Liberally, an informal progressive social group that discusses politics, meets at 7 p.m. the first and Third Thursday of the month at Angelo’s Restaurant, 1830 130th Ave. N.E., Bellevue. Go to www.drinkingliberally.org.
Eastside Mothers & More, a social network for mothers, meets from 7-9 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in the North Room at East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 S.E. 32nd St., Bellevue (not church affiliated).
Hill’N Dale Garden Club, meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month September through June at the Newport Way Library, 14250 S.E. Newport Way. Call 255-9705.
Seniors
Lake Heights Family YMCA Seniors Program has drop-in time Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the YMCA, 12635 S.E. 56th St. in Newport Hills. Have lunch, socialize and have fun. Call 644-8417.
Library events
The following events are at the Newport Way Library, 14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue, unless otherwise noted. To register, call 747-2390.
q “Microsoft Word Level 2,” for adults, 9 a.m. Sept. 5
q “Microsoft Excel Level 1,” for adults, 9:15 a.m. Sept. 14
q Talk Time for adults, 10 a.m. Sept. 14, 21 & 28
q Newport Way Library Association meeting, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14
q Tiny Tales Story Time, for ages 24 months and younger with adult, 10:30 a.m. Sept. 15
q Teen volunteer informational meeting, 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15
q Family Story Time, for ages 5 and younger with an adult, 10:30 am. Sept 16
q Study Hall, for teens, children and families, 3 p.m. Sept. 21, 22 & 29
q Pajama Story Time, for all ages, 7 p.m. Sept. 23 & 30
q Study Zone, get homework help from qualified tutors in math and other subjects, 3 p.m. Sept. 24
q Newport Way Book Group discusses “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21
q “Internet Level 2” for adults, 7 p.m. Set. 24
Health
Angel Care Breast Cancer Foundation-trained survivors offer free emotional support to the newly diagnosed, enhancing emotional recovery while going through treatments. Go to www.angelcarefoundation.org.
Volunteers
Would you like to earn community service hours or spend some time outdoors with a bunch of fun folks this summer? Newcastle Community Events needs help with:
q Information table greeting
q Distributing flyers
q Taking event photos/videos
q Handing out trinkets
q Playing games
q Decorating
If interested, e-mail Jules Maas at julesm@ci.newcastle.wa.us.
Eastside Bluebills, a Boeing retiree volunteer organization that provides opportunities to help others in need and assist charitable and nonprofit organizations, meets from 10 a.m. – noon the third Wednesday at the Bellevue Regional Library. Call 235-3847.
King County Library System’s Words on Wheels program needs volunteers to select and deliver library materials to homebound patrons. Training is provided. A one-year commitment is required. Volunteers must be at least 18, have their own transportation and be able to pass a Washington State Patrol background check. Call 369-3235.
Places to go
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, on Lakemont Boulevard Southeast, is a 3,000-acre park with more than 30 miles of trails and the site of the 1880s coalmines. Go to www.metrokc.gov/parks.

Events

The Newcastle Massage Envy offers special prices on one-hour massage sessions Sept. 15, with $10 from every massage benefiting the Puget Sound affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in support of the fight against breast cancer. Schedule a massage by calling 957-7979, signing up in person at 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. or going to www.massageenvy.com.

The Beit Tikvah Messianic Congregation will celebrate Rosh Hashanah at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at 7935 136th Ave. S.E. They will blow the shofar (ram’s horn) to usher in the Jewish New Year. This is a prophetic festival that looks to the return of Yeshua (Jesus) with a blast of the trumpet. Call 793-3000.

Youth

An Apollo Girl Scout information meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Newcastle Elementary School multipurpose room, 8400 136th Ave. S.E. Call 228-4338 or e-mail raelynn6@hotmail.com.

A Newcastle Girl Scout information meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Newcastle Elementary School multipurpose room.  E-mail SUM_k-3_SU444@comcast.net.

The following events take place at the Lake Heights Family YMCA, 12635 S.E. 56th St. Get more information by calling 644-8417 or going to www.lakeheightsymca.org.

  • Home school Gym and Swim, for ages 5-17, is from 2-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, Sept. 8 – Nov. 20.
  • Basketball clinic for children ages 6-12 and youths ages 13-17. The clinic includes four sessions through Nov. 22.
  • Kids Gym, an interactive class for ages 3-5, offers a variety of group games, including an obstacle course and tumbling exercises. Courses are from 11:15 a.m. – noon Wednesdays, Sept. 8 – Nov. 20.
  • The Washington Black Belt Academy is offering Taekwondo classes for everyone Sept. 1 – Oct. 22; from 4:30-5:15 p.m. Tuesdays for 5- through 8-year-olds; from 5:15-6 p.m. Tuesdays for 9- through 12-year-olds; from 4:30-5:15 p.m. Thursdays for children 13 and older; and from 5:15-6 p.m. Thursdays for families.
  • Preschool Sports — T-Ball is from 10-10:30 a.m. or 10:30-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays or from 5-5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for 3- through 4-year-olds; and from 5:30-6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for 5- through 6-year-olds.
  • Mini-Leaguers Outdoor Soccer, for ages 3-6, is from 9:30-10:30 a.m. or from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Sept. 12 – Oct. 24. Children learn FUNdamentals, make new friends and participate in a game. Volunteer coaches are needed for each team, and parents/chaperones are encouraged to participate along side their child.
  • Youth Flag Football, for ages 7-10, is from 5:15-6:15 Thursdays and Fridays for practice with games on Saturdays, Sept. 10 – Oct. 24. Adult volunteer coaches are needed for each team, and parent/chaperones are encouraged to attend practices and games.
  • Kids University is an after-school program that offers children ages 5-12 the opportunity to take classes with a specific focus, such as tutoring, creative writing, storytelling, geography and foreign languages. The schedule is from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Lake Heights Family YMCA for St. Madeleine Sophie School students and from 3-6:30 p.m. at Hazelwood Elementary School for everyone else. The before- and after-school program is from 6:30 a.m. until school starts and from 3-6:30 p.m. at the YMCA. Call 644-8417 or go to www.lakeheightsymca.org for fees.

Clubs

Freethinkers United Network, Newcastle Chapter, meets at 7 p.m. every other Saturday in a Newcastle home environment. Freethinkers, humanists, agnostics and atheists welcome. There will be open discussion of wide-ranging topics of general group interest. Seating is limited, so call 206-228-7925.

The Society of Artists for Newcastle, an art organization, is seeking new members. Call 271-5822.

MOMS Club of Renton meets for play dates at parks and other locations. New activities are planned daily. This nonprofit, nonreligious organization provides daytime support for moms and their families. Call 260-3079.

Bridge players are wanted, evening or daytime. Games take place at various homes in the Hazelwood area. Call 255-0895.

Newcastle Rotary Club meets at 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15550 Six Penny Lane. Call 206-947-5741 or go to www.newcastlerotary.us.

Newcastle Historical Society meets at 4 p.m. the first Thursday at City Hall, 13020 S.E. 72nd Place. Call 226-4238.

An international dinner, sponsored by Bahai Faith of Newcastle, is at 6:30 p.m. the third Friday. Call 430-8047.

Drinking Liberally, an informal progressive social group that discusses politics, meets at 7 p.m. the first and Third Thursday of the month at Angelo’s Restaurant, 1830 130th Ave. N.E., Bellevue. Go to www.drinkingliberally.org.

Eastside Mothers & More, a social network for mothers, meets from 7-9 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in the North Room at East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 S.E. 32nd St., Bellevue (not church affiliated).

Hill’N Dale Garden Club, meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month September through June at the Newport Way Library, 14250 S.E. Newport Way. Call 255-9705.

Seniors

Lake Heights Family YMCA Seniors Program has drop-in time Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the YMCA, 12635 S.E. 56th St. in Newport Hills. Have lunch, socialize and have fun. Call 644-8417.

Library events

The following events are at the Newport Way Library, 14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue, unless otherwise noted. To register, call 747-2390.

  • “Microsoft Word Level 2,” for adults, 9 a.m. Sept. 5
  • “Microsoft Excel Level 1,” for adults, 9:15 a.m. Sept. 14
  • Talk Time for adults, 10 a.m. Sept. 14, 21 & 28
  • Newport Way Library Association meeting, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14
  • Tiny Tales Story Time, for ages 24 months and younger with adult, 10:30 a.m. Sept. 15
  • Teen volunteer informational meeting, 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15
  • Family Story Time, for ages 5 and younger with an adult, 10:30 am. Sept 16
  • Study Hall, for teens, children and families, 3 p.m. Sept. 21, 22 & 29
  • Pajama Story Time, for all ages, 7 p.m. Sept. 23 & 30
  • Study Zone, get homework help from qualified tutors in math and other subjects, 3 p.m. Sept. 24
  • Newport Way Book Group discusses “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21
  • “Internet Level 2” for adults, 7 p.m. Set. 24

Health

Angel Care Breast Cancer Foundation-trained survivors offer free emotional support to the newly diagnosed, enhancing emotional recovery while going through treatments. Go to www.angelcarefoundation.org.

Volunteers

Would you like to earn community service hours or spend some time outdoors with a bunch of fun folks this summer? Newcastle Community Events needs help with:

  • Information table greeting
  • Distributing flyers
  • Taking event photos/videos
  • Handing out trinkets
  • Playing games
  • Decorating

If interested, e-mail Jules Maas at julesm@ci.newcastle.wa.us.

Eastside Bluebills, a Boeing retiree volunteer organization that provides opportunities to help others in need and assist charitable and nonprofit organizations, meets from 10 a.m. – noon the third Wednesday at the Bellevue Regional Library. Call 235-3847.

King County Library System’s Words on Wheels program needs volunteers to select and deliver library materials to homebound patrons. Training is provided. A one-year commitment is required. Volunteers must be at least 18, have their own transportation and be able to pass a Washington State Patrol background check. Call 369-3235.

Places to go

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, on Lakemont Boulevard Southeast, is a 3,000-acre park with more than 30 miles of trails and the site of the 1880s coalmines. Go to www.metrokc.gov/parks.

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