On March 22, 2023, Principal Danelle Edwards and Assistant Principal Jessica Strazzula welcomed the community to the highly anticipated grand opening of the new home of Puesta del Sol Elementary.

Honored guests included Puesta del Sol staff, teachers, students, families and alumni, BSD school board directors Sima Sarrafan and Jane Aras, Executive Director of Schools Heather Sanchez, Javier Montero Pozo of the International Spanish Academy, Luis Fernando Esteban from the Consul of Spain, and Carlos Sierra of Sierra Martin Architects.

Fifth grade students read BSD’s land acknowledgement, and incoming superintendent, Dr. Kelly Aramaki, spoke about the beloved Puesta del Sol community.

There was a musical tribute from Mariachi Halcones Rojos from Sammamish High School, campus tours led by the Puesta del Sol Green Team, student performances of flamenco, and the Puesta del Sol Marimba led by Puesta’s music teacher, Emily Rose.

It was a beautiful celebration of the Puesta del Sol family!

A History of Puesta del Sol

In 1986, The Sunset/Puesta del Sol immersion program was started by the Bellevue School District’s Frank Koontz, and a group of forward-thinking parents. After researching immersion programs from the United States and Canada, the decision was made to begin a full immersion program at Puesta del Sol.

In the beginning, a small group of dedicated teachers worked tirelessly to develop the foundation of the Spanish immersion program at Puesta. Many other fabulous teachers have since joined the Puesta family and have helped make the immersion program at Puesta del Sol the program that it is today.

Sharing their love of the Spanish language and culture and inspiring their students to feel the same, has always been the focus of our amazing teachers. ¡Viva el español!

Puesta’s New Net Zero Home

Puesta new home is truly state-of-the art. It is the first full-scale net zero elementary school in Washington state — and one of the first in the United States — meaning it is designed and built to produce as much, or more, onsite renewable energy than it consumes over the course of a year.

A photovoltaic system uses solar panels on the roof of the building to capture energy from sunlight. This energy is then converted into electricity for the building to use.

Every classroom has sensors to measure the amount of sunlight in the space. The LED lights dim automatically based on the sensor’s date to keep the light level consistent and save energy.

The walls, roof, and floor control air, water and heat to separate the outside weather from the interior. This is a key element in controlling the building’s energy usage.

A geothermal heating system uses pipes buried in the ground. A liquid runs through these pipes. In the winter, the liquid takes heat from the ground and brings it inside to warm the building. In the summer, the liquid takes heat from inside the building and puts it back into the ground.

¡Muchísimas Gracias!

Special thanks to the City of Bellevue, Bellevue School District Facilities, the Puesta del Sol Design Team, Puesta del Sol PTA, Amity Institute, East Bellevue Community Council and Neighborhood, supporters of the BSD 2014 Capital Project Bond, Jubilee REACH, Sierra Martin Architects, Spee West Construction, the contractors, builders, landscapers, electricians, technicians, plumbers, custodians, and everyone who made the new Puesta del Sol home possible.

Learn More

Please visit the Puesta del Sol Elementary Contruction page for more information on the project.

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.