City of Sammamish Ranked Second in the U.S. for Best Schools for Your Housing Buck
Forbes Magazine announced on Tuesday, April 6 that the city of Sammamish is ranked second in the United States for “Best Schools for Your Housing Buck.” To generate these ranking, Forbes worked with GreatSchools, an independent nonprofit organization that rates schools in communities across the country, to analyze 17,377 cities and towns from 49 states and the District of Columbia, using a combination of the most recently available K-12 public school student enrollment and test score data, along with 2009 median home price and population data. (Because there is no single statewide standardized test issued in Nebraska, cities from Nebraska were not eligible for consideration.) See the full article on Forbes’ Web site for more information.
The city of Sammamish ranked second, only behind Acton, Mass. in the $400,000-$599,999 median home price category. Here are the statistics from GreatSchools used in this comparison:
- Number of Public Schools: 13 (eight in LWSD, five in Issaquah School District)
- Population: 35,242
- Education Quality Score: 95.88
- Median Home Price: $569,140
- Property Taxes as a % of Home Value: 0.81%
- Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Audubon Wins Global Reading Challenge
The “Deep Diving Dolphins” from Audubon Elementary are the Grand Champions of King County in the Global Reading Challenge for 2010. This annual competition is sponsored by King County Library System (KCLS) and the KCLS Foundation. Each year, the King County Librarians select ten books to be included in the challenge. The KCLS Foundation then provides free copies of the ten books to each student participant, as each team must answer questions based on these ten books as part of the challenge. This year, Audubon had six teams of seven students each participating in the competition.
Team members must be in fourth or fifth grade. The “Deep Diving Dolphins” first won the school competition and then they became Lake Washington School District Champions. Then they became North King County Champions. Now they are the King County Champions. This year, the team is comprised of fifth grade girls. The students on this team are Tessa Fujisaki (captain), Simran Bhandarkar, Harriet Clarke, Tom Firstenberg, Natasha Foti, Tessa Hisel and Alice Zhu. This is the eighth year that Audubon has participated in the Global Reading Challenge.
Their coach, teacher-librarian Elisabeth Wicks, said this about the team: “I am so very proud of this team. They came into the library every day to practice and eat their lunch together. They also had some Saturday practices with some very helpful parent volunteers. This team is amazing because they are bright and competitive, yet they had fun at the same time. They also showed great teamwork and sportsmanship.”
Northstar Students Collect “Pennies for Patients”
Northstar Junior High students just completed a “Pennies for Patients” Drive. The 94 students in the school collected $1,570.84. During the three-week penny drive, students brought in money. Some brought money from their own piggy banks, some knocked on doors in their neighborhoods, and some collected money in front of stores. The money will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Lake Washington High School Students Win Money for Prom
Students in Lake Washington High School’s (LWHS) leadership class entered the school into the 2010 Proms Across America Contest in an attempt to win money to be used towards this year’s prom. Stumps, an event planning company, sponsored the contest. The contest was an online vote, with the three schools with the most votes nationwide receiving the grand prize – a $5,000 Stumps gift certificate, DJ expenses paid up to $1,000 and royalty items for their entire prom court. LWHS did not win the grand prize, but they were selected as the winner for Washington state. The following individuals were instrumental in getting this off the ground: Students Kayleigh Daniels, Gray Morgan, Grant Gaskins, Megan Whiting, Becky Ly, and Brandon Garberg, and teacher Jaimi Adams. Because this was an online voting contest, LWHS would not have been selected as Washington state’s winning high school without the support of LWHS’s Leadership class (taught by Nykolas Minke and Leanne Fike) and the entire student body with the support of their parents.
Mead Students Hold “Hearts for Haiti” Fundraiser
Students at Margaret Mead Elementary held a “Hearts for Haiti” fundraiser for the Haiti Relief efforts. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief fund. Between February 12 and 26, a coin drive was held during student lunch hours. Students received a heart with their name on it for the Heart for Haiti wall upon donating money. The school collected $810 in the two-week drive.
Community School Students See Flowers of their Labor
Spring has sprung at Community School. Last September, parents organized a unique drive: collecting spring-flowering bulbs and garden tools for the school. Families gave plants, trowels, gloves and money, and contributed over 700 flower bulbs. In October, the kids got into their ‘triad’ groups (buddy groups with one younger class student, one middle and one older in each triad) and parents volunteered their time to help with the “Big Dig.” Kids and adults dug, sang, and put the bulbs to snooze for the winter in beds and borders all over the school grounds. Now students are discovering spring flowers popping up all around the school.
Community School Students “Bee-Friend” Bees
Students at Community School are friends of bees: Orchard Mason Bees, to be specific. Teacher Anne Heil invited Missy Anderson (AKA Queen-Bee) to visit the Youngers class and teach the students about the life cycle of the Mason bee. On the day of Missy’s first visit, the kids bent over their work; carefully applying a thin line of glue to recycled paper, rolling it tightly around a dowel, gently sliding the roll off, and racing to the front of the room to drop it on a growing pile of neat paper tubes. Missy’s latest visit to the school was in March, when she returned with five paper tubes full of mature bees, and a wooden nesting box to hang outside. Now students at Community Elementary need only peek out the window in the first graders’ reading area to see their gift of recycled paper tubes being enjoyed by their little bee friends.
Stella Schola Teacher to Spend Summer at Sea
Elizabeth Warren, a sixth grade teacher at Stella Schola has just been accepted into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea (TAS) Program. Only 35 teachers were selected out of over 250 applications received by the TAS Selection Committee. This is the second year that Elizabeth has applied for the program. She will be going on the Pisces for a 16-day Reef Fish expedition. The idea behind this program is that the teachers will take what they have learned on board the ship and teach their students and co-workers about ocean life based upon their experiences while on board the ship. Elizabeth’s students at Stella Schola know that she is going, and she plans to blog about her experience while she is on the vessel. She will also be taking as many pictures as she possibly can throughout her experience. For more information about the TAS program, visit the NOAA Web site.
LWSD Bus Drivers Climb Tower for Leukemia Research
Four Lake Washington School District bus drivers and two others climbed the Columbia Tower Saturday, March 20, and raised over $800 for leukemia research. Their goal was $500. Team In4theflight ran/walked up the 69 flights of stairs (1,311 stairs) to fight blood cancers. All proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Team In4thefight included the following LWSD staff members: Kaylee Sutter, driver, team captain. 19 minutes; Kelley Kain, driver, 21 minutes; Heather King, driver, 23 minutes; and Bobbi Tagstrom, driver, 43 minutes. The team members all intend to climb the tower again next year and will be looking for more volunteers to join them.
News from the Schools is compiled by the Lake Washington School District Communications Department. For more information or to submit your school's news, please e-mail Kathryn Reith or Shannon Parthemer.