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Greetings Bellevue Educators, Staff, Students, Families, and Community Members:

While our school year doesn’t end until June, the end of a calendar year provides a fitting time for reflection and resolution. For many of us, the December holidays also mark a time to gather and celebrate with family and friends. As 2019 nears its end, and 2020 gets ready to start, I would like to spend a few moments with you – our Bellevue School District (BSD) family – to reflect on where we have been and where we would like to go.

Throughout this school year, BSD continues to focus on the success of each and every student. We believe that innovation and a future focused approach are central to student success and examples of these key components abound in our learning community. Here are just a few.

News reports of youth leading the way in response to climate change and the health of our environment are many. We find this spirit of environmental stewardship at our own schools every day in something as familiar as the lunchroom. This year, 24 schools in the Bellevue School District took part in our annual Cafeteria Challenge – an eight-year partnership with the City of Bellevue. During lunchtime, schools compete to produce the least amount of trash sent to the landfill, as opposed to recycling or composting. Over 15,000 students participated in 2019 – a record amount – showing their collective commitment to achieve a more sustainable future.

Innovation also finds fertile ground in our Safety and Security Department. Always on the forefront of emergency preparedness, department staff members provide more than 15 training courses to BSD staff. Courses include our Safety Academy, Incident Command System, Earthquake Readiness, Active Threat, and Disaster Medical. These lifesaving skills go beyond theory and the classroom. David Tomihiro, an English teacher at Bellevue High School, attended the Safety Academy training. Six months later he used those skills in a real-life emergency and saving a man’s life – a real-life example of BSD’s commitment to the well-being of our children and community.

As we look to the future, many of you may know about the Capital Bond that the community will consider in the upcoming February 11, 2020 election. The goal of this bond is “Student Success. Future Focused.” It will help fulfill our community’s desire to have all students thrive in high-quality learning spaces by rebuilding Big Picture, International, and Jing Mei Elementary Schools and renovating Newport and Interlake High Schools. It will increase student safety by creating more secure entrances at all schools. It will also improve facilities for support staff to better serve students, teachers, and the community. And, it will designate funding to purchase property for future school locations so BSD is prepared to respond to our ever-changing community.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Our mission to make Bellevue a model of educational excellence and a local point of pride will continue into 2020. My family wishes your family, and the entire BSD family, health, happiness, and fulfillment in the coming new year.

In partnership,

Ivan Duran
Bellevue School District