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Storm’s lasting effects

Schools around the Island dealt with remnant effects of the nasty winter weather upon returning from Winter Break last Wednesday.

The finals schedule has been moved back a week at Mercer Island High School.

The intercom system wasn’t working at Islander Middle School and the Lakeridge playground was a big mess due to fallen tree branches.

But the pieces were slowly coming back together last week.

Ralph Jorgenson and his family organized a cleanup of the Lakeridge Outdoor Classroom area. Teachers read aloud emails in lieu of announcements at IMS, where they relied on watches, not bells, while the clock and intercom system was down.

The IMS seventh-grade field trip to see The Bodies exhibit, originally scheduled for a day when school was out due to weather, has been rescheduled for Feb. 14.

Lakeridge also had some minor bugs in its intercom system, but it was working, according to Principal Ralph Allen.

Principals Pat Blix and Kathy Morrison, at West Mercer and Island Park respectively, said they were suffering no lasting effects from the storm.

Gillaspie said students and staff alike were ready to get back to school after break, having attended school just 13 days of the 41 preceding Jan. 3, the first day back.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day recognized

Island elementary schools have made various plans to recognize The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including a visit by the Total Experience Gospel Choir, a well-known, Northwest-based choir, on Friday.

Island Park hosts the choir, led by Pat Wright, in a school-wide assembly at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 12. The event is funded with PTA cultural enrichment grants.

“They do a wonderful tribute to Martin Luther King, and she also has been down helping the Hurricane Katrina victims,” Island Park Principal Kathy Morrison said of Wright. “She took the choir down there and went with them and rolled up her sleeves and did some work.”

This year is the second in a row for Island Park to invite the choir. The students got so much out of the assembly last year, they decided to do it again this year, Morrison said.

“It was just so inspiring,” Morrison said. “She really ties a lot of what MLK believed and that wonderful message of brotherhood and building people up and taking care of each other. She’s just got charisma.”

At West Mercer and Lakeridge elementaries, plans are in the works for classroom-level activities.

“There will be observances or classroom lessons in each of the classrooms so that certainly the kids will know the significance of Martin Luther King’s work and the contributions that he made to the country,” West Mercer Principal Pat Blix said.

At Lakeridge, teachers debated and vetoed a school-wide assembly in favor of more in-depth work, Principal Ralph Allen said.

“They just want to do things that are more intimate,” Allen said. “Martin Luther King kind of warrants a little more focus, so we do it on more of a classroom level.”

Mercer Island High School has scheduled an assembly for Friday morning, along with discussions during BRIDGES classes.

At Islander Middle School, students will attend a Jan. 16 morning assembly featuring the Signature Project, a 45-minute projection show and stage performance said to bring about cultural awareness.

West Mercer Principal

Superintendent Cyndy Simms plans to decide this month, with the help of her search committee, whether to reopen the search for a permanent principal at West Mercer or to keep Principal Pat Blix on for another year. Blix said she has fallen in love with the school and would be willing to stay on for another year but no longer.

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