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Like many other districts across the region, the Bellevue School District is experiencing an enrollment decline that demographers expect to continue for the next several years. Because the state funds education through a per-pupil allocation, declining enrollment is resulting in budget shortfalls. Both the enrollment decline, and the financial impacts were identified last school year when the district responded by making budget cuts including the consolidation of two elementary schools. This year, the district is studying middle school enrollment with the possibility of consolidating a middle school along with other options to balance our budget.

Community Forum Feedback Now Published

To gather input from the community, forums were held at each of the five comprehensive middle schools. There were also six online forums, including in Spanish, Mandarin and Korean. A districtwide survey was conducted, and each middle school’s staff met to provide feedback. Additional outreach is ongoing as the district seeks to ensure that all voices are heard, and that those furthest from educational justice are well represented in the feedback.

Approximately 750 participants attended the community forums and approximately 1,300 individuals completed the survey. Summaries from each community forum as well as the complete meeting notes have been posted to the Middle School Consolidation Study Community Feedback webpage. A districtwide feedback summary is also available. In addition, questions and answers to questions asked at the community forums have been added to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage.

Analyzing the Data and Exploring Options

A district team is in the process of analyzing the community feedback it has received — and continues to receive — and delving into the demographic projections and budget scenarios. All options are being explored to solve for the long-term, make equitable decisions, and minimize negative impacts on students and their families.

There are no easy choices — these are by far some of the hardest decisions any district must make. The district heard from community members that we need to continue to provide a sense of belonging in our schools and excellent and equitable educational opportunities for all. We are fully committed to our vision to affirm and inspire each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world.

Next Steps

A draft recommendation will be shared with the community in January 2024 and deep community engagement will continue in February, seeking feedback on the recommendation. Visit the Middle School Consolidation Study Timeline to learn more.

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.