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Grading Our High Schools: How Seattle schools are changing the way kids learn, plus test scores, class size, and specialties for 128 public and private schools; School of Knox: As former UW student and convicted murderer Amanda Knox comes up for appeal in an Italian courtroom, her most vigorous supporters come from her old high school; X-Treme Pampering: 16 ways to get peeled, pummeled, and pampered, and emerge looking youthful, relaxed, and ready for your close-up; and Home for the Holidays: Party designers show how you can go all swanky with a silvery soiree for urban sophisticates or go uber lumberjacky with a plaid-mad supper.

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Beauty at the Beast

Old World finery takes a magical culinary tour at Capitol Hill restaurant La Bête.

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Natural History

An unlikely partnership redefines Northwest Modern at downtown home furnishings store Black Ball Line. Plus: AllSaints Spitalfields settles in downtown, and holiday sparkling lip gloss by Seattle’s Suresh Beauty.

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Party at Your Place

Luxe Productions and Wedding Design and the Adventure School set the mood this season with a silver soiree and a come-one-come-all plaid-mad supper.

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Desk Jockeying

Fact: Outside The Office, Rainn Wilson and Craig Robinson refuse to fight.

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Premiering at 5th Avenue Theatre: Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s musical adaptation of 1983 film A Christmas Story.

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Scent of a Candy Man

SIFF Cinema brings back Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Smell-O-Vision screenings.

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Holiday Sleepovers

Four Seattle staycations to make the most of your holiday season.

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The Facebook Comic

Darren Davis of Vancouver, Washington–based Bluewater Productions releases Mark Zuckerberg: Creator of Facebook. But at least one comic book aficionado won’t be championing the graphic novel when it comes out on December 22.

The Perfect Party

This month’s party guests: Bill Gates Sr., Andrew Fink, Sylvester Cann, Hal Griffith, Arlene Wagner, and Christian Lander.

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Greenback Gifts

Have yourself a mercenary little Christmas.

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The Holdout

Mayor Mike McGinn and the city council flex their political muscles. But can’t they all just get along?

A Note from the Editor

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Letters to the Editor

An ex-pothead pipes in on adults smoking pot; regulating Seattle’s trees of plenty; small towns talk; and shorter short sales.

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Family Value

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes serves as “refuse alchemist” of the Archive Vintage Redistribution Project, a new retail enterprise obsessed with enduring quality and Northwest brands—a sort of shop-in-shop at Punctuation on Capitol Hill.

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Downward-Facing Demon

Mark Driscoll, pastor at Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, says yoga is evil. Does he have a point?

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High Schools 2010

The New School Plan

School enrollment in Seattle just got simpler, but for some parents it causes more problems than it solves.

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Not Your Grandma’s Punch

Bartenders like Alison Sever of the Local Vine on Capitol Hill are rediscovering real sherry—the stuff made in the Jerez area of Andalusia, Spain. Here, her recipe for the Local Vine’s Bombay punch, perfect for a holiday party.

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Neighborhood Hot Spot: Chloé Bistrot

At last, the old Union Bay Cafe space in Laurelhurst can boast an occupant worthy of that noble legacy: Chloé

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Billy Got Gruff

The deadliest creature in Olympic National Park is a snowy-white vegetarian: the mountain goat.

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Court Marshal

Lorenzo Romar is shooting to become the first coach in University of Washington history to notch his fifth 25-win season.

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School of Knox

As former UW student and convicted murderer Amanda Knox comes up for appeal in an Italian courtroom, her most vigorous supporters come from her old high school, Seattle Prep.

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X-Treme Pampering

Adventures in spa treatments at Spa Scotta, Northwest Face Spa at the Woodmark, Salish Lodge and Spa, Truce Spa, Elaia Spa at Hyatt at Olive 8, Vida Spa, The Spa at Pro Sports Club, and Penterra Spa at Heathman Hotel.

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Where to Drop While Shopping

A few downtown restaurants to give your belly a worthy nosh while holiday shopping.

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The New Bids on the Block

Seattle parking by the numbers.

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We Got Game

In October, the Internet buzzed with the news that Zynga—the San Francisco video game company responsible for FarmVille and Mafia Wars—will soon open a Seattle office. It’s only a matter of time before updates from these viral game titles start choking up

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Pigskin Perp

Seattle Times reporters Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry, from their book, Scoreboard, Baby, about the thug-riddled 2000 Huskies’ championship-winning football team.

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High Schools 2010

One Size Fits Some

When all students learn the same thing, will they be smarter?

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High Schools 2010

Talk Supe

Seattle Public Schools superintendent Maria Goodloe–Johnson stands firm, even as her teachers lose faith in her leadership.

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High Schools 2010

Geek Boot Camp

Cleveland High reboots with a new tech–heavy STEM curriculum.

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High Schools 2010

Smart and Smarter

How West Seattle mom Molly Seaverns challenged Chief Sealth to be more challenging by pitching an International Baccalaureate degree.

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High Schools 2010

6 Ways for Seattle Schools to Score Higher

Melissa Westbrook and Charlie Mas have been schooling parents on the local public education system for four years at the Save Seattle Schools blog (saveseattleschools.blogspot.com). We asked them to weigh in with

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High Schools 2010

Parents As Search Engines

When the goal is private school, start the search early.

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High Schools 2010

Private Lives

A crash course in private school programs at Eastside Preparatory School, Northwest School, Lakeside School, and Seattle Waldorf.

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High Schools

78 public and 50 private schools graded.

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High Schools 2010

Grading Our High Schools

A guide to secondary education in King County, including student demographics and standardized test scores.

Rainn Wilson and Craig Robinson Respond to Reader Questions

The Office stars dish on ping pong, beet farms, and pogo sticks.

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High Schools

78 Public and 50 Private Schools Graded