August 25, 2015 - With the much anticipated opening of the fourth elementary, Northwood, still one year away, the Mercer Island School District has been working with great intention to place students into its three existing elementary schools. Enrollments continue to come in as the District welcomes its newest members to the community. Dr. Plano commented, “The quality of our educational programs has attracted families from around the region, country and even globally. We plan to welcome our newest families and students as the school year unfolds, ensuring a positive first impression for our students and their parents.”
August 24, 2015 - Note: For interested staff and community members who missed this event, there will be two additional opportunities to tour the new classrooms: Tuesday, August 25 at 4:00 PM, and Tuesday, September 1 at 10:00 AM. Tours will begin at the main entrance of the high school. Members of the Mercer Island School Board and City Council were joined by the MIHS Cheer Squad and nearly 100 others last week, with entertainment by a Mercer Island High School string quintet, as they eagerly awaited the cutting of the ribbon and entering the brand new classrooms.
August 10, 2015 – On Thursday, August 20, 2015, City staff, first responders, School District officials, and regional agency partners will conduct an “Operation Safe Community” training exercise at various locations on the Island, including Lakeridge Elementary, City Hall, and the Community Center. This is only a practice.
June 25, 2015 – The fourth elementary school in the Mercer Island School District has a permanent name. Northwood will be the district’s newest elementary school, a name suggested by Lakeridge Elementary fifth grader Lainie Wion.
June 19, 2015 – The Mercer Island Schools Foundation (MISF) has raised $950,000 to support Mercer Island public schools through the Bridge 2015 campaign and hopes to reach $1,000,000 by June 30.
June 12, 2015 – Three more Mercer Island public schools are adding green to their colors this spring. Mercer Island High School, Islander Middle School, and West Mercer Elementary have earned King County Green Schools Level Three recognition. Now all Mercer Island public schools have achieved this recognition as Lakeridge Elementary and Island Park Elementary earned the status in 2013.
June 9, 2015 – Mercer Island High School (MIHS) has been named the 2014-15 Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) 3A Scholastic Cup champion, following a recent weekend that netted the high school five spring sport state titles. This is the eighth year MIHS has earned the 3A Scholastic Cup.
June 9, 2015 – For the second year in a row, Mercer Island High School’s radio station, KMIH-FM, won the General Excellence Award at the Washington State High School Radio Awards.
June 5, 2015 – Mercer Island School District (MISD) Director of Learning Services Fred Rundle has been promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, effective July 1, 2015. In his new role, Rundle will retain many of his current duties, but will also lead the learning services team and supervise the four elementary principals.
June 5, 2015 – Mercer Island taxpayers will save nearly $9 million thanks to premiums from the sale of bonds for Mercer Island School District (MISD) facilities projects.
June 3, 2015 – At the end of May, Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano honored the 2014-15 Teachers of the Year. The honorees are Mercer Island High School (MIHS) science teacher Larry Bencivengo, Islander Middle School (IMS) music teacher David Bentley, and West Mercer Elementary second grade teacher Trina Sherman. Craig Vanderhorn was named support staff of the year for his work as a MIHS special education paraprofessional.
June 3, 2015 – The 2014-15 Mercer Island School District (MISD) retirees are: Michael Flaherty, hired in 1992; Carol Wiseley, hired in 1997; Sue Jobe, hired in 1998; Jean Field, hired in 1998; and Jan LaFountaine, hired in 2009. The retirees were honored at the end of May during a celebration at Mercer Island High School (MIHS).
June 1, 2015 – Five Mercer Island High School spring sports teams have earned the designation of 3A state champions in 2015. Boys baseball, girls tennis, girls golf, boys tennis, and boys lacrosse all earned state titles during the spring sports season.
May 28, 2015 – Today the Mercer Island School District announced the hiring of David Bynum as the new Director of Transportation and Emergency Services, effective July 1, 2015.
May 28, 2015 – Today the Mercer Island School District (MISD) released a short, online survey regarding the 1:1 iPad program for parents of Islander Middle School and Mercer Island High School students. The 12-question survey is part of a program review that includes input from parents, teachers, and students. The survey will remain open until June 17.
May 27, 2015 – After winning honors for creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving in local, state, and regional tournaments, two Mercer Island Destination Imagination (DI) teams traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., to compete in the DI Global Finals.
May 27, 2015 – On May 28, 2015, the Mercer Island School District Board of Directors recognized 22 Mercer Island High School band students who earned the title of ‘state champion’ this year by the Washington Music Educators Association and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.
May 20, 2015 – Michael Bylsma will assume the role of Special Education Program Coordinator for the Mercer Island School District, effective July 1, 2015. Bylsma will join the learning services department and work alongside Director of Special Education, Dr. Lindsay Myatich.
May 20, 2015 – In August, the Mercer Island School District (MISD) will launch Google Apps for Education as an additional collaboration tool for students and staff using Windows or Mac devices. This transition will add to the Microsoft digital tools currently available to students and staff.
May 15, 2015 – On May 14, the Mercer Island School District Board of Directors voted unanimously to send a letter to legislators with the message that school funding in Senate Bill 6109 is too restrictive and will have negative impacts on students.
May 15, 2015 – On May 14, the Mercer Island School District Board of Directors bid farewell to Board President Janet Frohnmayer with a standing ovation and welcomed newly appointed Director Ralph Jorgenson.
May 15, 2015 – On May 15, an online survey was launched to solicit names for the new Mercer Island School District Elementary No. 4, which is scheduled to open for the 2016-17 school year. The survey will remain open until May 31.
May 12, 2015 – On Tuesday, May 19, the Mercer Island Education Association will hold a one-day walkout to protest the underfunding of basic education by the Washington State Legislature. The vote to walkout was taken on May 11. The missed school day will be made up on June 19, which was a previously scheduled make-up day for school closures.
May 12, 2015 – On May 12, the Mercer Island School District (MISD) opened an online survey for parents to provide feedback on the possibility of later high school start times. The survey follows an open house hosted by the High School Start-Time Committee on May 7. Four MISD committee members, including parents and staff, discussed potential impacts with community members at that event.
May 8, 2015 – This fall, three of the five positions on the Mercer Island School District’s Board of Directors will be up for election. This includes board positions 1, 3, and 5. Individuals who wish to run for one of the three seats up for election must file with King County Elections between May 11 and May 15.
May 8, 2015 – The Mercer Island High School boys’ soccer team was named the 3A academic state champion for the highest state grade-point average (GPA) in the sport by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), Dairy Farmers of Washington, and Les Schwab Tires. The team had a collective GPA of 3.564. The boys’ basketball earned the same honor in the fall with a collective GPA of 3.684.
May 8, 2015 – On April 30, Mercer Island High School students heard career insights from local professionals at the “Career Journeys” career day, organized by College and Career Readiness Department Director Kristine van der Hoeven.
May 4, 2015 – On Wednesday evening, as part of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Mercer Island High School will screen the locally-produced film Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story in the MIHS Performing Arts Center.
May 4, 2015 - At a special meeting of the Board of Directors on May 2, 2015, the board selected and appointed Ralph Jorgenson from a field of four applicants to complete the term of office for Board Position No. 5 which will be vacated by Janet Frohmayer on May 14, 2015.
Jenny Gibbs has been appointed to serve as the next principal at Lakeridge Elementary School, effective July 1, 2015.
April 28, 2015 – Mercer Island High School (MIHS) sophomore Garrett Dubofsky was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship for a physics-based public service announcement about distracted driving.
April 28, 2015 – On the morning of April 28, 2015, Mercer Island parents, community members, students, and Mercer Island School District staff celebrated Mercer Island’s 21st century, public educational system at the Mercer Island Schools Foundation “Breakfast of Champions.”
April 27, 2015 – On Wed., April 29 at 6:30 p.m., Mercer Island High School’s (MIHS) Green Team will co-host a presentation and discussion on clean water in schools at PEAK with Splash-Nepal Director Prakash Sharma.
April 28, 2015 – Thanks to year-long efforts to help local and global communities, Islander Middle School (IMS) students earned tickets to attend We Day in Seattle on April 23. One Mercer Island High School (MIHS) student, Kat Tiscornia, even spoke to the We Day Seattle crowd of 16,000 students and teachers about her personal philanthropic journey.
April 24, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District will host an open house on later high school start times on May 7, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Islander Middle School Library. Community members are invited to discuss the possibility of later high school start-times with members of the High School Start-Time Committee.
April 23, 2015 – On Tuesday, April 28, Mercer Island community members and Mercer Island School District staff will gather at the annual Mercer Island Schools Foundation “Breakfast of Champions” at Mercer Island High School.
April 23, 2015 – On April 20, educators from three Washington school districts visited Mercer Island classrooms to learn about the Mercer Island School District’s (MISD) vision for personalized learning. The visit was coordinated by Apple to highlight MISD’s instructional program for implementing iPad technology into the student learning experience. MISD’s program was formally recognized by Apple as an “Apple Distinguished Program” earlier in the school year.
April 20, 2015 – Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior David Emanuels has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholars Program semifinalist. Emanuels is one of 576 national semifinalists. Of that selected group, approximately 150 will be chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars.
April 17, 2015 – Mercer Island High School was recently named the most athletically dominant high school in Western Washington by USA Today High School Sports.
April 15, 2015 – The Rockin’ Readers, a group of seven Lakeridge Elementary fourth graders, won the King County Library System’s East Regional Global Reading Challenge. It was the final level of the event sponsored by the King County Library System.
April 14, 2015 – Today Mercer Island High School and Island Park Elementary were named recipients of 2014 Washington Achievement Awards by Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and the Washington State Board of Education.
This month, the Mercer Island School District was lauded by College Board for its AP program. College Board honored the district for its AP program which provides expansive access to AP courses, and has led to an increasing rate of achievement on AP exams.
April 9, 2015 – Mercer Island High School (MIHS) science teacher Larry Bencivengo has been selected for the 2015 Research Experience for Teachers Program at the University of Washington Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE). The summer program, from June 29 until August 14, includes collaborative research, lectures and workshops for a selective group of teachers.
April 8, 2015 – On Saturday, March 28, Mercer Island’s Destination Imagination (DI) teams competed at the state tournament in Wenatchee. Two Mercer Island teams, The Seven Sparks and Sushi, were chosen to advance and represent the state of Washington at the DI Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., from May 20-23.
April 2, 2015 – Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano announced that the district is closed to new non-resident student applicants, including students who were granted non-resident enrollment for the remainder of the 2014-15 school year after becoming nonresidents during this year, due to inadequate space, facilities and staff.
March 31, 2015 – Mercer Island High School (MIHS) juniors Evan Ashley, David Stein, and Tomasz Prussak recently took second place in the fifth annual Pacific Lutheran University High School Programming contest at the Morken Center for Learning and Technology. Their team completed seven advanced programming problems in 700 minutes, beating third place Cleveland High School, who took 891 minutes. First place Skyline High School accomplished the task in 672 minutes.
March 27, 2015 – On Friday, March 27, the Mercer Island School District (MISD) celebrated the groundbreaking of the Islander Middle School expansion project. Mercer Island School Board members were joined by members of the Mercer Island City Council, leaders from the campaign for the Feb. 2014 bond proposition, and students in the sixth-grade band.
March 27, 2015 – On Thursday, March 26, the Mercer Island School Board and the Mercer Island Education Association (MIEA) met to discuss topics of mutual interest. The conversation between the groups of leaders from the Mercer Island educational community was guided by questions outlined by MIEA President Tani Lindquist and Board President Janet Frohnmayer.
March 23, 2015 – The Mercer Island High School (MIHS) DECA program sent 57 students to compete in the recent state DECA competition in Bellevue. Of those students, 21 qualified for the international competition, which draws tens of thousands of competitors from around the world. That competition will be held in Orlando, Fla., during the last week of April.
March 23, 2015 – This fall, three of the five Mercer Island School Board seats will be up for election. This includes board position 1, 3, and 5. In anticipation of these elections and to educate prospective candidates, the Washington State School Directors Association is hosting several free, two-hour workshops in the months of March and April.
March 20, 2015 – The Mercer Island School Board will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Islander Middle School expansion project on March 27 at 2:00 p.m. at the middle school.
March 17, 2015 – On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, the Mercer Island School District celebrated the groundbreaking of Elementary No. 4 at its future site on the North Mercer campus. Mercer Island School Board members were joined by members of the Mercer Island City Council, including Mayor Bruce Bassett, and a group of young students who will attend the new elementary school in the fall of 2016.
March 16, 2015 – Rev. Ruth Saunders, a member of the Mercer Island School District (MISD) Diversity Advisory Committee, will be honored at The Seattle Medium Newspaper’s Annual Black Press Breakfast on Friday, March 20. The event will salute “women trailblazers and role models for equal and civil rights.”
March 11, 2015 – The Mercer Island School Board will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of Elementary School No. 4 on March 17 at 1:00 p.m.
March 6, 2015 – The Mercer Island High School boys’ basketball team was named Washington’s 3A academic state champion for the highest grade-point average (GPA) in the sport by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association for 2014. This is the second year in a row that the team has earned this distinction. The team boasted an average GPA of 3.684.
March 5, 2015 – This fall, three of the five Mercer Island School Board seats will be up for election. This includes board positions 1, 3, and 5. The Mercer Island School Board will host two information sessions for prospective school board candidates in March. The sessions will be devoted to board governance overviews for prospective board candidates. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes.
March 3, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District sent 16 teams to the 2015 Destination Imagination Seattle-Metro Regional Tournament on Feb. 28 at Bellevue High School. Four teams advanced and will compete at the state tournament in East Wenatchee on March 28.
February 25, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District (MISD) will hold classes on Monday, March 16 to make up for the day that was missed Sept. 29, 2014. All schools, programs and transportation will operate on a normal Monday schedule.
February 25, 2015 – For the first time ever, the Mercer Island Schools Foundation (MISF) is offering a $1,500 college scholarship to a Mercer Island High School (MIHS) junior or senior who best describes how his or her education has been impacted by private community investments in public education.
February 24, 2015 – The 2015 Educational Effectiveness Parent Survey for schools in the Mercer Island School District has been released online. Surveys must be submitted online by April 3, 2015.
Feb. 13, 2015 – On Feb. 12, King County Executive Dow Constantine, along with Deputy Executive and Mercer Island High School (MIHS) graduate Fred Jarrett, toured Mercer Island schools and discussed educational programs and initiatives with students and staff. The Mercer Island School District is one of the 19 public school districts in King County which Constantine is visiting in his efforts to reduce demand for the criminal justice system by investing in less-expensive prevention efforts, including early education.
Feb. 13, 2015 – The most recent print edition of the Mercer Island School District News will arrive in residential mailboxes on Mercer Island soon, but it can be read online now.
A team of teachers, parents, and administrators have been working hard conducting a comprehensive search for a new third, fourth, and fifth grade core literacy program. The curriculum adoption group, guided by literacy research, best practices in instruction and knowledge of Mercer Island students, evaluated five publishers. The process has reached a point where we would like to invite more community members to two open forums to elicit feedback from parents and other stakeholders.
February 11, 2015 - Today Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano announced the naming of Aimee Batliner-Gillette as Principal for Elementary No. 4.
February 10, 2015 – Mercer Island High School’s (MIHS) DECA program has announced that 57 students who competed in the Area 3 competition in December and January have earned a spot at the March 5–7 Washington DECA State Career Development Conference in Bellevue. At the state competition, students will vie for the opportunity to attend the April DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Fla.
February 6, 2015 – More than 100 students from Mercer Island High School (MIHS) competed in this year’s Eastshore Solo and Ensemble Contest on Jan. 31.
January 30, 2015 – For about a decade, two ospreys have nested in Mercer Island on a light pole at Islander Stadium. Like clockwork, the urban raptors return near the beginning of April to lay eggs.
January 30, 2015 – Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior David Emanuels was recently selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholars Program candidate.
January 29, 2015, 2:00 p.m. – On Thursday, at 1:20 p.m., fire alarms at Mercer Island High School went off after smoke set off an alarm in a bathroom. In the construction zone, a welder inadvertently caused plastic to melt and the resulting smoke escaped into the vents in the adjoining wall where the bathroom is located. The Mercer Island Fire Department responded immediately, cleared the smoke, and reset the alarm. Students were briefly evacuated to the football field while the fire department cleared the school for re-entry. Classes have now resumed as scheduled.
January 26, 2015 – At the Jan. 20, 2015 meeting of the Mercer Island School Board, board members and district staff met with board members of the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club.
January 20, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District (MISD) Boundary Committee, charged with presenting MISD Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano with a recommendation for new elementary boundaries for the four elementary schools that will determine school placements for students beginning in the 2016-17 school year, will hold a public hearing on Feb. 4, 2015.
Jan. 16, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District (MISD) will be closed on Monday, Jan. 19 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There will be no school-related activities.
Jan. 12, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District is hosting an information session for the parents of incoming 2015-16 kindergarten students on Monday, Jan. 26, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. District staff will present an overview of the program, answer questions, talk about educational opportunities for students, and distribute registration forms.
Jan. 12, 2015 – The Mercer Island School District (MISD) will host a Different Learners Review Parent Update on Jan. 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the MISD Board Room.
Jan. 6, 2014 – Six members of the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) jazz program will perform live on air on KPLU radio, 88.5 FM, on Jan. 15 from 12:15 to 12:35 p.m. at KPLU’s Belltown studio.