Community members sitting together in a meeting around tables.

Prototype Phase Begins for Reimagining Middle Schools

The Reimagining Middle School Committee continues its work in the new year by starting the design prototype phase to reimagine middle schools. The prototype phase allows the committee to test possible solutions to the identified areas for improvement. This allows for the development of continuous short cycles of innovation and improvement. The committee continues to center its work to reduce and remove barriers in search for equitable outcomes.

Identified Areas for Improvement

Previously, the committee identified the following areas of improvement for middle schools:

  • Create meaningful connection to/with peers and adults​
  • Develop a sense of belonging​ for students
  • Strengthen use of instruction time​
  • Connect classroom skills to skills needed for future success​
  • Develop meaningful student engagement and voice
  • Create more interactive learning environments​
  • Develop school day structure that promotes student ownership of learning​
  • Incorporate additional opportunities for wellness breaks in the school day
  • Develop bridge for elementary to middle school transition​

Two areas emerged as dominant themes, student well-being and the development of community and belonging as foundational to learning. The committee also identified a desire for academic learning — defined through student voice, choice and responsibility – in environments that feel relevant, challenging, interactive, engaging and empowering.

The committee will take these emerging themes to the prototype phase as they work to establish the method through which these themes can be operationalized in the design of a reimagined middle school.

Stakeholder Engagement and Continuous Refinement

Over the next several months, a few committee members will travel to visit middle schools throughout the region which can serve as models for design and implementation. This will allow them to think critically and intentionally about the prototypes and use their learning to refine proposed designs.

Thus far, the committee has sought stakeholder engagement from students, staff and families through surveys, focus groups and in-person meetings. As the work to imagine, define and refine prototypes continues, the committee will soon embark on its next listening campaign for stakeholders.


Learn More

Since August 2022, the RMS Committee has been sharing the minutes, presentations and pictures from its meetings. View details about the work of the RMS Steering Committee.

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.