Nominate an alum for Pathfinder award | School news

District seeking nominations for new alumni award; late start may pose need for bus drivers; school district to ban hoverboards.

Nominate an alum for Pathfinder award

The Mercer Island School District is seeking nominations for its new Pathfinder Alumni Awards.

The award celebrates graduates of Mercer Island High School whose achievements, strength of character and citizenship inspire and challenge today’s youth. The deadline to apply is Feb. 19.

Candidates must have graduated from Mercer Island High School at least 10 years ago and have shaped the world in a variety of fields. Posthumous nominations are welcome.

Visit to view the selection criteria and submit a nomination online.

Winners will be honored at the Mercer Island Schools Foundation’s Breakfast of Champions on April 26.

Board retreat set for Jan. 26

The members of the Mercer Island school board will hold their winter retreat Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the MISD administration board room.

Among the topics that will be discussed will be a review of the district’s special education program, mental health counselors and the district’s needs, wants and best practices, bus lot reconfiguration to make room for visitor bleachers at Islander Stadium, transportation impacts regarding a later high school start time and legislative issues in regards to what Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano called “the levy cliff discussion.”

“The levy lift authority expires in 2018, so we would immediately have to roll back 4 percent of our local levy,” Plano said to the board. “We’ll share with you what we know, and potentially you might want to think about if there’s any action you might want to take.”

Late start may pose need for bus drivers

The Mercer Island School District moving toward implementing a late-start Wednesday at Mercer Island High School may require a need for more bus drivers within the district.

Plano said discussions with Metro about the district’s move to late-start Wednesday yielded that Metro was unable to accommodate MISD due to the morning time and amount of available buses on Wednesdays. If adopted, the high school would start at either 8:45 a.m. or 8:55 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m. on Wednesdays.

“So we are exploring either adding drivers to our yellow bus fleet, we might need as many as five buses and we think we may have the equipment, but we do not have the personnel,” Plano said.

“If we don’t think that we don’t have the personnel and/or the equipment, we might want to look at a sub-contractor, because Metro in a sense was a sub-contractor.”

School district to ban hoverboards

A school board policy on safety is being modified to include a ban of hoverboards on school grounds within the district.

A first reading of the updated policy included the ban of motorized bikes and scooters for use during designated school times, which MISD chief financial officer Dean Mack clarified as meaning they were prohibited on the playground during recess. The policy stated, “Hoverboards are not allowed on school property at any time due to the fire hazard that they can create.”

Hoverboards contain high-powered lithium-ion batteries, which can be highly flammable and have led to some instances of hoverboards catching fire.


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