January 2017 PTSA Newsletter  
Presidents' Letter 
Happy New Year to you and your families!
At their January meeting, the IH PTSA board of directors conducted a mid-year review of our goals.  These goals are:
1. Enhance and support the positive and welcoming environment at IHS.
2. Effectively communicate with PTSA members and the greater community.
3. Promote healthy student programs and support services.
4. Engage parents and students in activities relevant to the IHS school community.
5. Establish and maintain strong partnerships with Issaquah High School staff, students, organizations, and the greater community.
The Board was able to provide multiple examples of PTSA programs, events, communications, and funding that fulfill each goal.  As we move into the second half of the school year, we feel confident that we are fulfilling our mission and serving IHS students, families, and staff well.
That being said, we strive to do better, and we are asking for your input to help us do that.  We will be conducting a PTSA survey and sending it to all IHS school families, members and non-members alike.  Your responses to this survey will guide our future goals and help us to continue serving the IHS community in relevant ways.  Please be sure to complete this survey when it arrives as an email in your in-box.
Thank you for your ongoing support of IH PTSA and best of luck to your students on their final exams.

Next PTSA meeting: Friday, Feb. 10
Social begins 9:00am
Meeting called to order: 9:30am

Future meetings and prior meeting minutes can be found at:
PTSA website
Your award-winning PTSA wants to be even better, and you can help in 3 minutes or less.  If you haven't already done so, please complete the QUICK survey sent to all parents January 18.  We value YOU and your feedback.  
District Wide Reflections Reception held on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017, at IHS.
The IHS Reflections winners who are moving onto State are:
Visual Arts
Ashlyn Aske (10), “The Grand Illusion” (pictured above)
Katherine Bonsi (11), “A Recollection” (below right)
Priyanshi Rastogi (12), “Be True to You” (below left)

Music Composition
Abigail Heyrich (11), “Life: Theme and Variation for Solo Bassoon”
Isobel Grudin (9), “Small Things Big Stories”
All Issaquah High PE classes require a 5 kilometer run/jog/walk as their Final, and these fine volunteers made certain that our participants were well hydrated and fueled after the event. L-R:  Victoria Evans, Wendy Marucheck, Jane Barry, Carrie Christianson-Frueh, Ami Maron
On Monday, January 16th, PTA members from across the state joined with several other advocacy groups in Olympia to rally and meet with legislators. Our IHS delegation included Bertina Loeffler Sedlack, Anne Watanabe, Sara Carmichael and her son Davis, and Dea Barnett. There was an amazing turnout of around 5,500 people, all there to urge our legislature to fulfill its paramount duty to amply fund basic education for all children residing in Washington State. While discussions focused on education funding, we also talked to our legislators about the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Breakfast After the Bell, Closing the Opportunity Gap, and Standards for Para-educators.

We heard from Gov. Jay Inslee about his proposed budget and the emphasis it places on education and supporting "the whole child." Next, the newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Rykdel, spoke about the importance of supporting multiple tracts to success, including trade and vocational schools and certification programs in addition to college degrees.

We met with Senator Mark Mullet, Representatives Jay Rodne and Paul Graves, all of the 5th Legislative District, and Senator Lisa Wellman of the 41st Legislative District. All four legislators appeared to be in favor of extending districts' ability to use their levy dollars through 2018 ("fix the levy cliff") while the legislature figures out how the state will fund basic education. Without that extension, the Issaquah School District would face a significant budget shortfall and may have to lay off teachers for the 2017-18 school year. Such a layoff would hamper efforts to recruit new teachers to the profession at a time when there is already a serious teacher shortage.

In discussing more permanent solutions to "fix education funding," it was apparent that there is no consensus between the Democratic and Republican caucuses. All legislators made it clear that they really want to hear from their constituents. There are several ways to do this, ranging from a quick email letting them know where education stands on your list of priorities, to more detailed email, or even better, a written letter or phone call, spelling out your thoughts about how education should be funded, or personal stories about how this issue affects you and your family.  

Below, please find links to contacting your legislators:
5th Legislative District:
Sen. Mark Mullet (360) 786 7608
Rep. Paul Graves; (360) 786-7876
Rep. Jay Rodne; (360) 786-7852
41st Legislative District:
Sen. Lisa Wellman; (360) 786-7641
Rep. Tana Senn; (360) 786-7894
Rep. Judy Clibborn; (360) 786-7926
Not sure of your legislative district? click here and type in your address.

IH PTSA, in partnership with the locally-owned, is offering an affordable review class at IHS to help your student obtain optimal test results. Perfect for those taking the March 11 SAT exam. 

Class runs from February 14 to March 9, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 - 7:15 p.m. in Room 3102.  $349 for 16.5 hours classroom instruction by WA-state certified teachers, who have over 10 years experience teaching test prep classes.  

Sophomores may wish to consider this class.  Getting a jump start on college test preparations may reduce junior year stress!  

Click here to register or to learn more information about the SAT test prep class.    


IH PTSA budgets money every year to fund selected projects and programs proposed by teachers, staff and/or parents to further our mission. Please review previous grants for your consideration: Grants
Deadline: Friday, January 20
NOMINATE DESERVING Individuals now for 
Golden Acorn and Outstanding Advocate Awards
Each year our PTSA recognizes outstanding volunteers with a Golden Acorn Award or Outstanding Advocate Award.  Nominations are requested now until February 10.  Forms are available on the IH PTSA website under Awards.  It's a great way to show your appreciation for the extra effort of these individuals. 
The Golden Acorn award recognizes individuals who have given exemplary volunteer service to children and youth in our school or community.  Recipients volunteer in ways that meet the mission of the PTA; promoting the health, welfare, safety and education of all children and youth.
The Outstanding Advocate Award recognizes individuals for continued and dedicated service to ALL children, and a demonstrated commitment to helping create strong policies relating to the health, welfare, safety, and education of children and youth. 
Please provide your nominations here.

Don't forget to sign up your Senior for this celebratory event: the Senior All Night Party following graduation ceremonies. Early bird pricing of $170 ends Jan 30th, then ticket prices increase. Also for people who paid a deposit earlier in the year, the second payment of $85 is due Jan 30th. Sign up here.   More information is available here.

Is your student sitting for the ACT or SAT exam soon?  IH PTSA is offering practice tests for both exams on Saturday, February 4 from 8 a.m. to noon.  Only $25. 

Why take practice tests at IHS?  Because these closely simulate the actual test experience:  same day of the week, start time, timed sections.  Knowing what to expect calms nerves.    

Practice exams include the writing option.  Huntington Learning Center will return scored exams at a feedback session at IHS on Wednesday evening, February 8, at 7 p.m.  Students learn their strengths/weaknesses in various subjects and can tweak study strategies accordingly. Click here to register.

The Angel program would like to thank the many donors who help the Angel program open the closet to students needing assistance with new clothes, school fees, toiletry kits, new jeans, coats and school supplies.   Your generous support helps the program support students in a variety of other ways with school related items, including meal support. 

If you find your family in a short term financial crisis and need assistance with school items, fees or basic needs, please contact Lisa Hollingsworth at All inquiries are confidential.
Heidi Fuhs, Lida Buckner, and all volunteers who donated breakfast items for the Staff Breakfast on January 4, 2017.
Victoria Evans, Jane Barry, Ami Maron, Carrie Christianson-Frueh and Wendy Marucheck for providing water and snacks for all participants of the all-school 5K run on January 13, 2017.
Dea Barnett , Anne Watanabe, Sara and Davis Carmichael, and Bertina Loeffler Sedlack for representing IH PTSA at Focus Day on January 16, 2017 in Olympia.  Picture sent separately from me.
Ginger Wilfong, Megan Haas, and Patti Miller for completing the IH PTSA mid year Financial Review.
A special thank you and congratulations to Leah Gibson, Reflections Co Chair for IH PTSA and PTA Council, for hosting a very successful district-wide Reflections reception on January 10, 2017, at IHS.
If the way to a teacher’s heart is though food then please join the effort today. Out of great appreciation, the PTSA provides a monthly Staff Appreciation Breakfast. Being a Staff Breakfast volunteer is as easy as signing up to buy an item and then dropping it off at the high school the day before the breakfast. We do the rest! Sign up today to help make the much appreciated Staff Breakfast extra delicious! The remaining Breakfast of 2017 are February 1st, March 8th, April 5th, May 24th. Questions answered here.
The IH PTSA is currently looking for leaders in our parent community to serve on the 2017-2018 board. Click here to see the list of elected positions and the many committees that need volunteers.

By participating in the IH PTSA, whether as a board member, committee chair or volunteer, you are guaranteed to have fun, connect with a wide variety of enthusiastic, knowledgeable parents and get the inside scoop about what is going is at IHS!  At the same time, you will be doing some valuable work to support the students, parents and faculty at our school. 
Please contact Anne Watanabe at if you are interested in nominating yourself or a friend, and/or if you need more information on how to get involved in IH PTSA.
Thank you for your support!
This year's Essay Contest involves writing a piece on how you think "Men Make a Difference" and offer a positive influence in your life, or someone who is important to you. Deadline is March 1, 2017 and the flyer and submission standards are located here: Submission standards and guidelines
2017 Community Values Survey
The Issaquah PTSA Council is conducting a Community Values Survey within the Issaquah School District attendance area.  We are seeking your perspective on five Value Statements based on your experience in the Issaquah School District.  All community members are encouraged to participate including parents, teachers, students, and community members who do not have students in the local schools.  This survey closes on January 31 and the results will be shared with the ISD Administration, the ISD School Board, and the Issaquah Education Association in a presentation open to the public in early February.
Parent Education

Here's a retrospective article with seeds of relevance today:
Issaquah School District Workshops on
Positive Behavior and Social and Emotional Support

Families are invited to join the Issaquah School District for its second annual PBSES (Positive Behavior and Social Emotional Support) workshop this coming January 2017. Topics covered will include engagement vs. compliance, building strategies that enhances engagement with your students, and how to use PBSES at home. The workshop will focus on motivation, organization, positive relationships, and social and emotional learning strategies. Next date/location for the same workshop is listed below:
Jan 26, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM at Maywood Middle School
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Issaquah High PTSA · 18925 SE 63rd Pl, Issaquah, WA · Issaquah, WA 98027 · USA

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