Newcastle Community DFCC Conversation questions and answers

June 4, 2015

Newcastle Community Conversation (DFCC) — Question 1 by newcastlenews

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Committee approves $518 million bond proposal for Issaquah schools

June 4, 2015

A committee of parents, principals and other educational leaders has approved a plan that would ask Issaquah School District voters for more than a half-billion dollars to build four new schools and modernize several others.

At a May 6 meeting, the district’s bond feasibility and development committee approved a package that would raise $518.5 million in voter-approved funds. The bond measure would likely appear on ballots in spring 2016.

The final item to be added to the proposal is a big one: $120 million for a fourth comprehensive high school. The school would likely be built for a core population of 1,500 – smaller than Skyline and Issaquah high schools, but bigger than Liberty, which finished an expansion and modernization project last year.

Another $148.5 million would go toward building a new middle school and two new elementary schools. That would give the district a total of six middle schools and 17 elementary schools. Read more

Notes from Newcastle — Drug-free group comes to Newcastle

June 4, 2015

A who’s who of the Newcastle community leadership gathered at City Hall for a very important discussion April 28.

Mayor Steve Buri, Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine and Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele were among the attendees at a community conversation about teen drug abuse in the area.

The event represented the first step in the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition’s attempt to raise awareness of its mission and services in Newcastle. The coalition, acting under the umbrella of the Healthy Youth Initiative, has already held similar events in Issaquah and Sammamish.

The Drug Free Community Coalition’s purpose is to prevent and reduce youth alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse within the Issaquah School District service area, which includes parts of Newcastle. Read more

Issaquah to increase secondary students’ time in classrooms

July 2, 2014

Middle-school and high-school students in the Issaquah School District will spend more time in the classroom in the 2014-15 year, after the school board approved a change at its June 11 meeting.

State law mandates an increase in instructional time for the 2015-16 year, but Issaquah will implement the switch a year earlier. To meet the requirement of 1,080 instructional hours, middle school and high school students will get out of class 45 minutes later on Wednesdays next year.

“This is the right thing to do for our students,” Superintendent Ron Thiele said in a news release. “Increasing instructional time is in alignment with our stakeholder values and the district’s mission and goals for students.”

The Issaquah Education Association, the union that represents classroom teachers, also approved the change. Get schedules for each of the district’s nine secondary schools at

Newcastle Elementary gets news principal

July 2, 2014

The lions have a new leader.

Richard Mellish will take over as Newcastle Elementary School’s principal, Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele announced in an email to the school community.

Mellish comes to Newcastle from the Mercer Island School District, where he served as principal of West Mercer Elementary School.

“If there is one core value that I would share initially, it would be the value of community,” Mellish said. “I believe that for students to grow and learn at their best, strong collaboration and partnerships among the staff team and with our families is critical. Read more

Superintendent seeks feedback on elementary principal search

June 2, 2014

NEW — 3:30 p.m. June 2, 2014

Newcastle Elementary Principal Marla Newton announced May 30 that she has taken a position in the Federal Way School District.

“Marla truly has a heart for students and while she will be missed in Issaquah we wish her the very best in this next phase of her career,” said Issaquah School District superintendent Ron Thiele.

The search for Newton’s replacement will begin in earnest, but first, Thiele wants to know what traits the community would like to see in their new principal. Families can offer feedback in an online survey at until 4 p.m. June 9.

“Along with our selection committee, I will work to ensure your next principal will inspire and lead Newcastle to new levels of achievement and hope to have this person hired by late June,” Thiele said.

Schools win academic awards

May 1, 2014

The Issaquah School District announced that 10 of its schools received Washington Academic Achievement Awards, the top honor for schools in the state.

Apollo Elementary School, Newcastle Elementary School and Liberty High School were among the winners.

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