Welcome to our Winter Teaching and Learning newsletter! We have exciting news to share and hope you enjoy learning about the latest parent resources, exciting student projects, and curriculum updates.
As we approach the middle of the school year, we would like to recognize that learning does not stop when students leave our schools. Our educators aim to equip students with the tools to learn so that they can facilitate their own learning no matter where they are or what they are pursuing. We also recognize that there are many learning styles in our diverse student population, thus our goal is to provide flexible opportunities that speak to our students’ needs. We look forward to partnerships with parents to help us build these opportunities.
It’s through these relationships that we are inspired to continually renew our commitment to being in community with one another. Thank you all for investing in one another and our shared future.
Tina Bogucharova, Melisa Macias, and Scott Powers
Teaching and Learning Directors
Advanced Learning Services provide identified students with academic services at an advanced level and accelerated pace due to their exceptional ability to comprehend and process information. Services provide students instruction in the core content areas of language arts, social studies, science and math. Instruction is designed to meet students’ cognitive and academic needs at the appropriate level. We are currently completing universal screening of all kindergarten and fifth grade students district wide.
To learn more about the identification process, please see our websites.
This winter, the Advanced Learning team is working to support teacher professional learning, and ensuring teachers have the curricular resources to serve students. Several new Advanced Learning teachers are participating in a workshop series on best instructional practices that include opportunities for cross-school collaboration and connection. Fourth and fifth grade teachers are engaging in professional learning to meet the needs of domain-specific Advanced Learners, specifically in math and literacy.
For more information on Advanced Learning Services, please visit our website.
During the week of December 5th, students around the district participated in the Hour of Code! Thank you to all of the teachers, volunteers, and families who helped bring this worldwide event to Bellevue again this year.
While the Hour of Code typically takes place during Computer Science Education Week in December, students can participate in an Hour of Code any time of the year! Check out hourofcode.com or reach out to your school’s CS Lead Teacher for more information.
During hour of code week this year, student across out district in science and AVID classrooms participated in hour of code. Middle school student got a chance to talk with professionals from the field and took a virtual space tour. High school students made connections to career pathways and got to program their special Alexa skill.
Thank you to all the teachers, volunteers and families that collaborated to make this happen. In Bellevue, we are excited to continue to increase access to computer science to all students as part of our computer science integration in science classrooms pathway program that we continue to build and expand outside of hour of code week.
The King County Council on Tuesday, November 15, approved the 2023-2024 budget which involved some special projects on the Eastside. One of the projects receiving funding was the Building Industry Technology – Core Plus Construction program, located at Interlake High School, who received $250,000 to upgrade equipment and materials. Billy Hetherington, Political Leader for Local 242, worked with Claudia Balducci, District 6 King County Council Member, to encourage this financial benefit to our program. Thank you to the King County Council for their support for this program and Billy Hetherington! This will provide a significant upgrade to our Core Plus program!
We have concluded the first round of PLCs with educators from our Spanish language programs at the elementary level. During these PLCs we will continue to look at instructional practices and strategies we can use in a bilingual classroom.
Earlier this year, we had our first meeting with our Mandarin Dual Language Program Student Advisory (MDLSA). Our MDLSA is a group of students whose voices will help us as we continue to expand our program and refine our shared vision for MDL in BSD. We are really excited about the creation of the MDLSA and thankful to our students for volunteering their time. We anticipate a fabulous and engaging year of collaboration!
During the month of December, we had our 4th SLPAC monthly meeting. During this meeting, parents shared their input about what they feel is going well and are areas of opportunity with our Spanish language programs. This input will help us identify priorities that will drive future agendas.
Thank you to all of those who participated in Dr. Jose Medina’s C6 framework workshop! We will be working with the cohort who was part of this great learning opportunity to identify some next steps in how we can systemically implement the great things we learned about.
Since their inception over a decade ago, our Mandarin and Spanish DL programs have been growing every year. In the 23-24 school year, our first cohort of Mandarin DL students will be Seniors at Newport High School while our second cohort of Spanish DL students will be Juniors at Sammamish. With the expansion of both programs, we have the opportunity to add new and exciting courses. We are currently working on adding some great course opportunities for our students in our bilingual programs.
At the beginning, middle, and end-of-year educators use literacy assessments to understand student strengths and ideas for next steps in instruction. During the winter months students in grades K-2 engage in early literacy screening using mCLASS DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) and RAN (Rapid Automatized Naming). These are a series of 1–3-minute assessments covering phonemic awareness, letter sound knowledge, phonics and language automaticity. These are great tools for helping educators and families know how to best support student reading growth. For more details, please visit: Early Literacy Screening
Over the last 3 years, the Bellevue Schools Foundation has generously supported enhancing classroom libraries in all of our elementary schools as well as building our digital collection for students. In January, all K-5 classrooms will be receiving additional books published in 21-22 to add to their Inclusive Libraries. This is an additional 7-12 books per classroom for all 18 elementary schools AND additional books for our digital library collection accessible K-12 via Sora. The books provided in this grant help students see themselves and understand the lived experiences of others in fiction and non-fiction. We thank Bellevue Schools Foundation for the on-going support to help our students cultivate identity, awareness, connection, and compassion.
Educator Professional Learning
Through the winter, we continue with approximately 200 educators participating in a year-long training called Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS). In this professional learning, educators learn the skills to master the fundamentals of reading instruction, including phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing and language. We are excited to see how this learning will help us to better serve our students and accelerate literacy learning K-5!
School Libraries Supported by BSF
In December 2022 and January 2023, all 11 secondary schools will receive $1500 in books support our secondary libraries in developing book collections reflect the students themselves and help them understand the lived experiences of others, in fiction and non-fiction. We thank Bellevue Schools Foundation for the on-going support to help our students cultivate identity, awareness, connection and compassion.
All students in middle school have access to Lexia PowerUP and can utilize this program both in class and independently. The activities in Lexia support and build on classroom curriculum, focusing on developing skills in three strands essential to becoming a proficient reader: Word Study, Grammar, and Comprehension. These three strands improve student proficiency and independence in reading and understanding complex texts.
Students in high school continue to build their critical thinking skills, knowledge and habits of mind needed for both college and career. Throughout the high school program, students develop close reading skills utilizing both literary and non-fiction texts, analyze the relationship between author’s purpose, stylistic devices, rhetorical appeals and effects intended for different audiences. Students focus on refinement in both writing and discussion with particular attention to selecting textual evidence and organizational patterns according to purpose and audience.
Kinder to Fifth Grade:
The first semester of our Year 1 implementation of our new math curriculum, Illustrative Math, is wrapping up! Students have been engaging in rigorous mathematics that go beyond memorization and calculation of concepts to a deep conceptual understanding of them in order to help create lifelong interest, access, and success in math. Language discourse and the ability to explain and justify their thinking around a mathematical problem is at the center of our learning. Next time math comes up at home, go ahead and ask your student to explain their thinking and let a beautiful world of math and language come alive! Looking for more math school-home connections? Connect with your student’s teacher about resources like family engagement videos, digital centers, sample lesson videos, and our supplemental math apps – Imagine Math & Dreambox (3-5 Dual Language & Immersion only)!
Six to Seventh Grade:
IMT1 and IMT2 students are engaging in learning on division of fractions and applications to area and volume as well as proportional relationships and their application to percentages and applications to minimum wage, college tuition costs, and other real-world scenarios. Teachers are working collaboratively to create engaging and meaningful experiences for students in this learning, building connections, and building language discourse.
Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2
AGA is wrapping up the first semester resource for its pilot, Carnegie Learning. Beginning second semester, classrooms piloting will be switching to our second resource, Illustrative Mathematics with ALEKS. Teachers involved in the pilot will be going through trainings the week we return from break to begin preparing for this transition. Mid-January, families and students can expect to see a survey compiling final thoughts and experiences of our first potential resource. The Adoption Committee will engage in surveys responded by families, students, and teachers as part of collecting feedback and information to make decisions in May. Families can also expect communication about our second potential resource and family information night late January.
For any additional questions or feedback, please contact [email protected].
Our state science standards are the Next Generation Science Standards. Learn more about the science standards by exploring these links to Family Guides in English (grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12) and Información en español (grados K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12). Students in grades K-12 will be engaging in the activities of science and engineering. They will think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems.
Eight grade science teachers engaged in professional development to prepare to teach the 8th grade integrated computer science unit in their science classrooms as part of our goal to create an inclusive computer science pathway, to provide opportunities for students to engage with computational thinking and computer modeling to better prepare them for future STEM careers.
What is Social Emotional Learning?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life. When we think of educating the whole child, their social and emotional development must be considered as a part of overall instruction.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) starts at home.
Parents and families are a child’s first teachers of SEL. As children grow, parents and families continue to support the social emotional lives of their children at home.
Promoting Social Emotional Learning at Home
You can support SEL skill development at home by encouraging your child to:
You can learn more about SEL in Washington State here: SEL in Washington and the Collaborative for Academic, Social Emotional Learning (CASEL) here: CASEL for Families & Caregivers or watch this 5 min video: SEL 101: What are the core competencies and key settings?
Bellevue School District aligns curriculum and instruction with the K-12 Social Studies Standards following the inquiry approach to instruction. “Students who are equipped with the skills of authentic inquiry and who know geography, civics, economics, and history can move forward with confidence that they are prepared to engage with the world.” Students will learn social studies through multiple perspectives.
Second grade students will begin a deep dive into Bellevue history by examining maps and images that reveal how early residents of Bellevue lived. Later in the winter third grade students will learn about the immigrant families who came to Bellevue from various locations in the world and note their contributions to the community. Fourth grade students will continue to study the types of pioneers who came west to the territories of Oregon and Washington. They will also learn about their impact on the lives of the indigenous people already living here. As part of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum, fourth graders will study the negotiations between the U.S. Government and the multiple tribes who depended on the existence of Celilo Falls for sustenance and cultural gathering place.
As an extension of the Human Geography unit, 6th graders are exploring the Sustainable Global Goals to understand and address issues of poverty, human rights, environmental issues, etc. Each student will focus on a goal and a nonprofit organization to learn and share how they take action to support a particular goal. In late January 8th grade students will begin studying the creation of the Constitution as a living document. This unit will culminate in the writing of a Classroom-based Assessment focused on the confluence of individual rights and common good.
Freshmen in AP Human Geography are just finishing a unit on culture which includes the geographic distribution and diffusion of language, religion, and ethnicity. Some classes focus on the geopolitical causes and consequences of ethnic conflicts in locations such as Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, and Central Africa.
Does your High School student speak, read, and write a language other than English? They can earn up to 4 high school credits and even the Seal of Biliteracy.
There are two testing dates left this school year.
Bellevue School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:
Mailing address for all three: 12111 NE 1st Street, Bellevue, WA 98005.
The Bellevue School District is also committed to providing a safe and civil educational environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Report harassment, intimidation or bullying with Vector Alert or at your school. The Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Compliance Officer is Nancy Pham, (425) 456-4040 or [email protected].