What is Elementary No. 18 (E18) and where will it be located?

E18 is a new $49 million facility approved by the Bellevue taxpayers during the last bond election (February 2014). The school will be located at the Northwest corner of Main Street and 124th Avenue, just east of the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

How and why was the site for E18 selected?

The district actively sought out property in downtown Bellevue to build a new elementary school to relieve crowding at Woodridge, Enatai and Clyde Hill elementary schools. Property available to the district for purchase was too small to support a standard district neighborhood elementary school, as well as cost prohibitive.  The property designated for E18 has been owned by the district for a number of years and is in close proximity to Woodridge, Enatai and Clyde Hill.  Additionally, this location can address ongoing and future new housing growth in the downtown area and Bel-Red corridor (Spring District).

Is there a preliminary attendance area for E18?

A preliminary attendance area was submitted to the City of Bellevue as part of the planning process. However, a committee has been formed to develop three recommendations for the School Board to consider.

Is there a preliminary recommendation for the middle and high school feeder pattern for E18?

There is no preliminary recommendation for the middle and high school feeder schools for E18.

Who will create the recommended attendance area and middle and high school feeder area for E18?

The Elementary 18 Attendance and Middle and High School Feeder Area Advisory Committee has been charged with reviewing data and creating three ranked recommendations for Elementary 18’s attendance and middle and high school feeder areas.

How can the community provide input on the recommendations?

The advisory committee will be hosting two open house events in April to share their recommendations and solicit feedback.  The open house events are drop in sessions and no formal presentation will be given.  You are invited to select the date, time and location that works best for your schedule.  We estimate that it will take an average of 30 minutes to review the information presented, ask questions and submit a survey to provide the committee with your input. Open house events will be held on:

  • April 25, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @
    Chinook Middle School, 2001 98th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA
  • April 26, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @
    Sammamish High School, 100 140th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA

How was the advisory committee formed?

Parents and teachers from the following schools were invited to apply to represent their school community:  Clyde Hill, Enatai, Woodridge, Chinook, Odle, Bellevue High and Sammamish High.  One parent and one teacher from each school was selected, via a lottery process.  A principal or assistant principal from each school was also asked to join the committee as a school representative and to provide input on potential school impacts.

Who is on the E18 attendance advisory committee?

The committee was initially planned at 21 participants, seven parents, seven teachers and seven principals.  Its current make up is as follows:  Seven district parents; One Wilburton community member; five teachers; and seven principals.  An outside facilitator, district administrator and the E18 principal are also attending committee meetings, but are not voting members.  A complete list of members can be found online on the committee page.

Are advisory committee meetings open to the public?

Advisory committee meetings are for the sole purpose of providing the committee with time to review data, ask questions and create three recommendations.

Where can I get updates on the attendance and middle and high school feeder areas for E18?

The E18 website and the advisory committee webpage on the district website will be updated when new information becomes available.

Who will lead the new school community once the attendance area is formed?

Beth Hamilton, the current principal at Medina Elementary, will be the principal at the new school and will have a one-year period to design the school experience and hire appropriate staff. Ms. Hamilton will begin her role as Elementary 18 principal on July 1, 2016.

What will the new school be like?

The new school will be a state-of-the-art facility with naturally-lit, cheerful spaces and a modern design similar to the district’s most-recently constructed schools. A thoughtful site design will help contain school related traffic on the property and an exciting collaboration with Microsoft, similar to the “Showcase School” model currently in use at Sammamish High School and International School, will be featured along with the district’s standard STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) opportunities.

Will the school be a magnet school?

The school will have a neighborhood attendance area and all students in the school will enjoy a common curriculum and the benefits of the Microsoft collaboration. The attendance area is intended to provide relief to Woodridge, Enatai and Clyde Hill, along with addressing growth expected from new mid- and high-rise housing under construction in the Downtown and Bel-Red (Spring District) areas.

Is there an over-crowding problem at Chinook Middle and Bellevue High Schools that needs to be addressed?

The district is faced with a challenging situation in that Chinook Middle School and Bellevue High are located on the west side of Interstate 405 and are both at capacity. Both are crowded and face significant growth from downtown housing developments west of Interstate 405.   Chinook and Bellevue High also include all of the Woodridge attendance area east of Interstate 405.

The current Woodridge Elementary School attendance area includes:

  • its own immediate neighborhood (the Woodridge Neighborhood),
  • the neighborhood where the new E18 is being constructed (the Wilburton Neighborhood) and
  • a large portion of the new Bel-Red (Spring District Neighborhood), which constitutes the western portion of the Bel-Red and will be the first area of the Bel-Red to develop.
  • Please note that the exact extent of these neighborhoods is not defined here and these references and neighborhood extents will be refined by the committee.
  • There are very few residents or students in the Bel-Red Spring District area now, but significant numbers will quickly materialize in the next five years. Currently, all three of these neighborhoods are assigned to Chinook Middle and Bellevue High Schools, which have no capacity to address new residential growth.

Are there potential solutions to the crowding at Chinook and Bellevue High?

Both Odle Middle School and Sammamish High School are very proximate to these three neighborhoods and are relatively proximate to new housing under construction in the Downtown area. Both of these schools are nearing the completion of re-construction efforts funded by Bellevue School District taxpayers and have the capacity to partially address growth in the four neighborhoods.

How would space in the new school help Chinook and Bellevue High?

It is the hope of the district that the advisory committee will consider assisting Chinook Middle School and Bellevue High Schools with long-term crowding issues by considering the assignment of all or part of the new Elementary 18 attendance area so that it feeds Odle and Sammamish. The new Bel-Red Spring District area currently has very few students.

Why would the district consider changing the assignment of existing neighborhoods to Odle and Sammamish?

The district has tried when possible to have the students from elementary schools feed to middle schools together as a group. That is one reason why the secondary feeder of the E18 area is complicated, in that many children form life-long relationships in elementary school and some of these relationships are impacted when students move on to different middle and high schools after their elementary school years are completed. There are three neighborhoods that will potentially be affected (Wilburton, Downtown and the Bel-Red Spring District) and it is up to the committee to determine which neighborhoods might have potential changes in secondary feeder patterns.

If my residence is in an area not selected to attend the new E18 school, will my secondary school feeder system change?

It is the intent of the district to leave attendance areas unchanged for residences not assigned to the new elementary school.

What Transitional Policies will the district provide to allow current students at Woodridge, Enatai, Clyde Hill, to complete their school experiences without disruption?

As part of the advisory committee’s work they will develop a Transition Plan.  The Transition Plan will include thoughtful grandfathering provisions for current students.

Is International School a secondary feeder option for E18 students?

International School was established as a district-wide choice program and remains in high demand.  International School will remain a district-wide choice program.