Students standing in circle

Creating a Strong Culture of Community

The International School continually strives to lean in to its small size by creating and maintaining a strong culture of community. The school offers an annual retreat for high school students in order to build community and realize its mission of providing students with a globally-focused education. The academic content of the retreat follows a four-year cycle of geographic and cultural regions including Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. This year’s retreat took place from September 14-15 at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA.

The retreat’s objectives were for students to explore a few forms of Middle Eastern cultural expression; to understand some of the challenges facing different Middle Eastern societies, and the power we and the world community have to address them; and to appreciate the value of the International School community and its contributions to our overall success in the coming school year.


Support from the International School PTSA

The International School PTSA provided a large grant for this event, and parents volunteered as chaperones.

“International brings together the diversity that we see in our world today and puts it in the small school that is like a family. Coming out to this retreat for me feels like getting together with my big family. Seeing the kids, the parents, and the teachers and staff of the school. At the retreat, we are going through learning about different regions of the world. Every year, the school retreat focuses on one region of the world. It is fantastic to see the students learn about the region that’s in focus – their cultures, their sports, their food, their dances and music. It is about becoming a citizen of the world, and International School brings us all together in developing the next sets of citizens of this world. Very appreciative of what Bellevue School District has done with the International School and very, very proud of the Titans.”

– Azfar Moazzam, International School Parent

The mission of developing global competency is incorporated in the International School’s curriculum.

“Some of the ways I see International School incorporating global competency is through our curriculum. For example, I teach Human Geography in the middle school, and we really connect a lot of things from our local community into the global community… We look at water issues in Washington and then we look at them globally. We really want our students to see what’s going on and how they’re connected to the world, and really think about how to solve those kinds of problems in ways that they can act personally or in promoting education or ideas that help tackle global issues like climate change.”

– Tamara Truax, International School Secondary Teacher

Learn More

Learn more about the unique learning opportunities at the International School and their mission to inspire and empower students to be creators of their future world.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.