Friday, December 20, 2013

Levies in February

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season, and enjoying the snow we had today! I'm sure all the kids loved having an extra day tacked on to their vacation.

This coming February, there will be three levies put before voters. These levies are important to the continued operation of our schools. Washington State schools are mainly funded through the local levy.

What is a levy?

Levies pay for our children's education and day to day operational costs for our schools. They pay for books, teacher salary, everything our kids need as far as learning goes.

Technology Levy? What is that?

Technology is not included in basic education, which is all the state funds for public schools. So in order for us to have updated technology in our classrooms, we have to make sure it is provided for.

What does the Bus Levy do?

The bus levy will enable the bus fleet serving our kids to run more efficiently, safely, and keep us in line with state safety standards. The bus levy allows us to keep operational dollars in the CLASSROOM.

I encourage you to vote YES for all three levies this coming February. When I was a young mother the first campaign I got involved in was for a school levy. In 2001, in Yelm, WA it was all about computers. I wanted my kid to have a computer in the classroom. Today, I want my younger kids to have the same benefits.

For more information on the levy go to: 

To learn about how you can help the Levy Campaign, or endorse the levy please go to:  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly

Hello Parents and Teachers of Issaquah Schools,

I just returned from PTA legislative assembly. Thank you to IVE parents and teachers for trusting me with your voice.

Thank you for speaking up for your kids through the survey the PTA sent out on our issues, and for participating in discussion of the issues at our General Meeting in September.

This year the top issue for all parents according to the survey, was Background Checks for all gun purchases. PTA parents and teachers felt this was a common sense solution to preventing weapons from being in the hands of people who can't pass a background check. PTA position is that all gun sales should be subject to background checks.

Background Checks for all gun purchases was the top issue/priority for IVE parents and teachers. I took the floor at Legislative Assembly to speak up for the issue. The points I made were:

  1. IVE parents and teachers asked that this be the top priority. 
  2. IVE parents and teachers feel this is a common sense measure which will help keep children safe. 
  3. People selling guns will now have another source to insure their private sales go to responsible gun owners. 
Other issues which have been adopted to our platform are: 
  • Sufficient and Equitable Funding for highly capable learners
  • Support for equal access to quality public schools and instruction for ELL students
  • Access, Opportunity and Equity for Special Education students
Resolutions are things that PTA will always work toward. 

  • Added "Ensuring the provision of high quality special education services and accommodations to improve outcomes for all students with disabilities and special needs to Public Education Policies and Funding. 
  • Add "Social Emotional Learning" to Safe Nurturing Environments for Children and Youth" (An IVE PTA priority). 
  • Add "Prevention of trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse of minors" to Safe and Nurturing Learning Environments for Children and Youth. 

Following is a link to Washington State PTA website where you can read more about advocacy and our platform which we as a Parent and Teacher driven organization advocate for adoption in the Washington State Legislature. 

Following is a link to find your legislator. Send them an email so they know what you care about. 

Following is a link to the Region 2 PTA Facebook page. Here you will find out what Region 2 is doing to advocate for kids. Like the page and find out what you can do to participate. //

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Start of School Year!

I hope all of your kids have all of their pencils, backpacks, sports equipment and thinking caps on!
Mine sure do!

It's that time of year again Issaquah Parents! Time for Legislative Assembly, Elections, and Levies.

If you are not registered to vote, you have until October 7th to register! Here is a link!


Volunteers for Issaquah Schools will be very active this year beginning a campaign for our School Levy which will be expiring soon. We will vote on the Levy on FEB. 11th. This levy will cover three items:

Maintenance: Maintenance supports the investment the community put into the 2012 Bond. Have you loved seeing the construction happening? Is your kid excited about a new school or improvements?

Technology: Technology is not covered by State funds. Its up to our community to make sure our kids and teachers have the tools they need in a technology based world. The technology piece will also enhance security for our schools.

Transportation: This part of the levy package will ensure that our transportation is in line with state standards.

For more information, please visit the District Website which has more detailed explainations, and gives information on the tax breakdown.

Legislative Assembly 

PTA Legislative Assembly is on Oct 18th - 19th. Please attend PTA general meeting on Sept. 23rd at 7pm  for a presentation of what we are looking at this year for Washington State PTA legislative platform. 

I will be attending Legislative Assembly with Heather Berry your co-president, at IVE and I'm hoping to have ONE MORE volunteer to attend with me at Seattle Marriott (expenses paid) for the two days we will be in Seattle.

Please take the Legislative Survey, especially if you will not be at the first general meeting, so your VOICE IS HEARD! Our kids depend on us to speak up for them!
Here is a link to the PTA advocacy center, click on the "Take the Survey" link. I will get the results of this survey, and will represent IVE PTA at Legislative Assembly.


This November we will be electing mayoral candidates, and School Board candidates. Stay informed! Please see my previous post on a candidate forum available to the Community through the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce. Also please note that campaigning for candidates under a PTA event or advocating for candidates under your PTA member title is prohibited. Otherwise, stay informed and get involved! This election matters to our kids! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Issaquah Mayoral and School Board Candidate's Forum

September is almost upon us and its time to buy new backpacks, pencils and go through those lists of supplies for your kid's classrooms.

Its also time for us PTA Legislative Reps to start thinking about elections, Legislative Assembly and getting input from our parents.

This year we have some local elections to make some decisions about. We have a Mayoral election as well as a School Board election.

Lucky for us the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is making it easy on us for getting informed on the people who are running for election.

On September 17th from 4:00pm-6pm, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce will host a Candidate's Forum. Attendance is expected to be high, so please register on their website. The following is information on the event from their website and a link to register.

Event Details

The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and the Issaquah Highlands Council have partnered to organize a community-wide Candidate Forum featuring Issaquah’s Mayoral and School Board candidates, providing businesses and residents with an opportunity to hear directly from candidates on topics of creating a strong economy, education/workforce development, and community success.
The Forum will feature the Candidates from the local races who have declared competitors, including Mayoral Candidates Joe Forkner and Fred Butler, and School Board Candidates Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan.  The event format is organized by the Issaquah Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and will be moderated by Erin McCallum of Strategic Campaign Group.
The forum will take place from 4:00pm-6:00pm at Blakely Hall, 2550 NE Park Drive, Issaquah, WA 98029.  The public is invited but RSVP is mandatory to ensure sufficient seating. 
To register for the event, please click HERE.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Homework Meetings

If you live in the Issaquah School District you may have been asked to attend a "homework meeting." These meetings or otherwise known as "focus groups" are being organized by Betsy Cohen, Legislative Director for the Issaquah School District PTA Council.

These groups are to help get an idea of how parents and teachers view homework, collect your ideas, and present them in a meaningful way to our school board. If you did not get a chance to participate in your meeting, contact your PTA president and ask if they can direct you to a meeting that has not taken place yet. The results of the public comment collected by the groups will be used to construct a survey. You may participate in the survey even if you attended a focus group.

The purpose of the survey is to reach people who may not otherwise have an opportunity to participate or give comment, and to consolidate information.

There will be many opportunities for input on the homework discussion. Thank you if you did attend or lead a focus group.

Thanks for all you do for kids! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sandy Hook

With the aftermath of Sandy Hook Elementary school most of us are stunned and horrified.

The best thing we can do for our children is to make sure they know they are safe at school.

Many parents have bombarded their PTA legislative reps with questions about school safety and gun control. I actually have not been posed with one question, but I still want to make sure you have information.

PTA position on gun control is to reinstate the ban on military style weapons, close the gun show loophole, make it illegal for people with violent criminal history to buy weapons, make it harder for mentally ill people to buy weapons, and harder to obtain products to build assault weapons or buy assault weapons online.

For more information see the PTA website at 

As with other PTA issues it is important to be clear when we are representing our own opinion and the position of the PTA. Our PTA's are expected to reflect the position of National and State PTA.

Katie Walmsley of CNN provided some resources for giving to the PTA, and community of Sandy
Hook. This information was taken from her article dated Dec. 21 titled, Help for victims of Sandy Hook

To send a message of condolence:

The US Postal Service has added a PO Box for those who wish to send letters of condolence to the residents of Newtown. Please address mail to: Message of Condolence, PO Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.

Sandy Hook Support Fund:

By Katie Walmsley, CNN
updated 11:46 AM EST, Fri December 21, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Results of WSPTA Legislative Assembly

WSPTA Legislative Assembly concluded on Saturday afternoon October 20th. We have some wonderful positions put together by some passionate PTA members, and we enjoyed a weekend of debate, education, food, and friendly conversation.

One of my favorite things about Legislative Assembly is meeting people from other parts of the state and learning about their experiences with the public school system. Most of us are at Leg. Assembly for the same reason; we care about our children's education deeply and want to see them succeed.

One of the questions I'm asked over and over again from my professors at Seattle University is: What does success look like? This is where I think our PTA members start to disagree. For some, success looks like an education system that completely funds special education and includes highly capable learners. Others think that success looks like an education system that embraces and supports students with emotional difficulties. Others may believe the only way to have a successful environment for kids to learn in is if we have education funded fully and made a priority when our State does its budget.

Our debates on what makes education successful are important to our legislators. This is our process in getting our children's voices heard. We had the pleasure of having long time PTA member, and Legislative Representative Ross Hunter  explain to us how our voices influence legislation and that hearing from our PTA on education is imperative. I love hearing Ross's story about how many people write to him about puppies in comparison to children. Guess how many more people write about puppies! You should ask him!

Thank you for being a voice for our children. Thank you for trusting me with your voice at Legislative Assembly. Come with me next year and share in the lively debate, or just sit and listen and cast your vote.

For information on the PTA's platform adopted on 10/20/2012 visit :

Have a wonderful safe Halloween!