The Reimagining Middle Schools (RMS) design teams, comprised of educators, community members and administrators, recently shared updates on their progress over the past several months.

At the conclusion of the 2022-2023 school year, the RMS committee recommended moving forward with two redesign models. The Advisory/Homeroom and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) models were selected to reimagine the district’s comprehensive middle schools. These models effectively address the social-emotional and academic needs of middle school students, creating a student-centered experience. Work began in August 2023 to enhance design and implementation plans.

Dedicated design teams are actively refining ideas to positively impact the Bellevue School District community. During the design phase, feedback is gathered from students, educators and community members on the proposed ideas. The primary goal remains constant – to create structures and practices that optimally support the social, emotional and academic growth of all students. The committee remains committed to centering their work around reducing and removing barriers, ensuring equitable outcomes for all.

Currently, teams are working to define successful implementation for Advisory/Homeroom and PBL initiatives. At the conclusion of this school year, teams will present comprehensive plans to BSD’s Superintendent and Executive Team.

Problem-Based Learning Design

The PBL design team continues to develop a middle school PBL model grounded by the district’s focus to enable students to become creators of their future world and prepare to navigate global issues and intercultural situations. Problem-based learning, implemented with fidelity, can contribute to a reimagined middle school by centering real-world problems, igniting curiosity and making learning more meaningful. Middle schoolers, known for their developing sense of identity and social awareness, are naturally drawn to projects that have real-world impacts and connect to their interests.

PBL expects students to be active participants in their learning, rather than passive receivers of information. Students must problem-solve, collaborate, research and experiment. This approach can be highly motivating and engaging compared to traditional lecture-based approaches.

Finally, PBL helps to develop essential 21st century skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication and creativity.

Advisory/Homeroom Design

In December, the Advisory/Homeroom design team successfully concluded their initial outreach listening campaign. They are evaluating the collected data and, based on their findings, will revise their prototype.

Community members can learn more about the work of the design teams by viewing the RMS design team meeting presentations. For more information contact [email protected].

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.