The Mercer Island High School band moved another step

A broken window pane is reinforced with duct tape in the Commons at Mercer Island High School on Thursday, Feb. 18. A total of four panes were damaged. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
A broken window pane is reinforced with duct tape in the Commons at Mercer Island High School on Thursday, Feb. 18. A total of four panes were damaged.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

School Briefs

Band moves closer to getting new uniforms

The Mercer Island High School band moved another step closer to getting 300 new uniforms for students in the program.

MISD School Board members approved the acceptance of gifts to the school from both the Mercer Island Schools Foundation and the MIHS Uniform Campaign during the Feb. 12 School Board meeting.

The Schools Foundation donated $17,750 toward the campaign while the MIHS Uniform Campaign added another $14,245 for a total of $31,995 toward the amount needed.

Terry Pottmeyer said the fundraising has raised almost $90,000. She said due to good responses from manufacturers, the total needed for the uniforms is closer to $130,000, less than previously expected. The goal is to place the order by April.

“We’re moving closer,” she said. “We have our work cut out for us.”

The MISD goal is to raise enough money to purchase 300 new uniforms to outfit a bigger band next year. Each uniform is estimated to cost $450. The campaign has received donations from a variety of sources, including MIHS student groups, such as the Senior Service and Math Clubs at the high school.

Plano approves credit policy

Mercer Island School District Superintendent Gary Plano approved an updated version of the district’s off-campus credit policy, accepting the recommendations of staff last week. The new policy goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2009.

The policy allows students to take an unlimited number of credits off campus, with approval from the principal; however, those credits will be signified on the student’s transcripts with a “CR” for credit or “P” for pass, a choice left to the student. Grades from these courses will not be included in the student’s GPA or class rank. The off-campus transcripts will be attached to the student’s MIHS transcript.

“Both Principal John Harrison and Superintendent Plano are committed to addressing and resolving the issues that appear to be connected with students seeking off-campus classes, particularly those issues that parents and students have expressed around math instruction,” said a press release from the district.

The updated policy is Administrative Policy #2414 and can be found on the district’s Web site:

Vandalism at MIHS first major incident of year

Four windows will have to be replaced at Mercer Island High School after vandals smashed the panes in the first major vandalism event of the school year.

The windows, near the high school Commons, were covered in spider-web cracks after the vandals attempted to break the windows from the outside. Replacement costs are estimated to be around $2,000.

According to Keith Ellis, the director of maintenance and operations for the Mercer Island School District, a staff member who went to the school on Monday, Feb. 16, observed the broken windows and called maintenance staff and police. Ellis said the incident happened sometime between late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

The windows were not completely smashed through, said Ellis, but the outside panes were broken by rocks.

Ellis said the staff was impressed by the police officers’ response and was pleased with their efforts, saying that they spent a good deal of time at the scene, collecting evidence and taking pictures.

Ellis said that during this year the staff has dealt with graffiti, but in those cases the damage and cost were minimal and this time they were not as lucky.

“This is a rarity,” said Ellis of the vandalism. “This was the first incident this year where it has cost the district. We’re really lucky where we live.”

Due to the district’s high insurance deductible, Ellis said the district will be paying for the replacements itself. The new panes will be installed by maintenance staff.

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