Two adults sit together looking at laptop screen

BSD Communications has two exciting updates for our learning community. The first is in regard to the Design and Development phase of the district’s new website project, which began in spring 2023 and continues this fall. In this phase, BSD project staff and Finalsite have used community feedback gathered in previous project phases to design and build new district and school websites that will be centered around user experience, equity, quality control, maintenance and security.

District Website Design and Structure

Throughout the summer, Finalsite shared several drafts of the website design. The drafts continue to go through cycles of improvement with review by district project staff. A preview of the new design will be shared with district leadership and other staff who have volunteered to serve as advisors and gather more feedback prior to finalizing.

In addition to getting feedback on the design, project staff engaged community members in a focus group this August. The focus group participants were contacted after expressing interest for continued engagement in the project through the Website User Survey. In this focus group, participants were guided in several exercises to assess the proposed district sitemap and determine which naming conventions resonated with them for ease of site navigation. Key takeaways from this focus group included:

  • Limiting the use of educational jargon
  • Simpler categorization of district programs and services
  • Ensuring that language used would have ease of translation
  • Making sure families new to the Bellevue School District would know what to expect when entering the district

Responding to Community Feedback: Streamlined BSD Newsletters

The second update refers to the Listen and Learn phase of the new website project, where the community shared that users struggle to find messages previously communicated to them through different methods — such as direct email or principal newsletters. They also shared that there is a difference in how schools across the district communicate with their audiences, which varies from how the district communicates. From this feedback, recommendations were made to streamline communications with a similar style newsletter to go out at the same time from the schools and to provide a location for families to find communications beyond their inboxes.

These recommendations are currently being implemented across the district. Moving forward, there will be designated days and recommended templates for BSD newsletters. The intent is to ensure consistent branding, improve the end-user experience, and facilitate excellence and equity in communications. Families can expect to receive school and district newsletters as follows:

  • Mondays – Middle and high school newsletters
  • Thursdays – District newsletters (BSD News and Events)
  • Fridays – Elementary school newsletters

To further streamline messaging and create a consistent user experience, district staff are currently investigating options and determining the feasibility of using a multi-purpose mass communication platform districtwide. If implemented, this new system would be accompanied by updated processes and procedures to support families in their communication needs. More information about this will be shared with families as it is available.

Learn More

The Design and Development phase will continue through spring 2024, when all school and district websites will launch. Previous updates and more information about this project can be found on the New BSD Websites webpage. Project information and future opportunities for feedback will also continue to be shared with the BSD community via email, text message and on social media.

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.