In the fall of 2013, the district unveiled three new Instructional Initiatives, a set of priorities for the next three to five years which are closely aligned with the district’s mission:  to provide all students with an exemplary college preparatory education so they can succeed in college, career and life.  The Instructional Initiatives are:

1. Preparing students for academic success in core content areas through achieving proficiency in literacy, math, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), as measured by state assessments.

2. Preparing students for college and career success by graduating high school, meeting college academic distribution requirements (CADR), and earning at least 20 college credits and/or professional certification.

3. Preparing students for a positive and productive life through the development of interpersonal skills and a commitment to the community.

Academic Success

The first initiative, Academic Success, focuses on early proficiency in core subject areas.  During the 2014-15 school year, staff were trained on utilizing a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) approach to identifying student learning needs, implementing evidence based strategies to increase student learning, and monitoring progress to ensure all students are on track to demonstrate proficiency in reading by third grade, in math by fifth grade, in writing by seventh grade, and in science by eight grade.  Literacy specialists were provided at 13 elementary schools this year and will be provided at all 17 elementary schools next school year.  Ten elementary schools have implemented STEM curriculum, which will also expand to all elementary schools in 2015-16.

College and Career Readiness

The second initiative, College and Career Readiness, prepares students to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills to be successful once they leave Bellevue schools.  To achieve the goal of 100 percent graduation rate by 2018, the district hired a leader of graduation success and two progress monitors.  These leaders are utilizing best practices in early intervention for drop-out prevention and are building relationships with students and developing programs to ensure all students graduate from high school.

The district offers many opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school, such as Running Start, college in the high school, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Career and Technical Education.

Positive and Productive Life

The third initiative, Positive and Productive Life, looks at the “whole child,” and ensures that students are prepared to lead a positive life by building social-emotional knowledge and skills, as well as developing a sense of connection to and responsibility for the community.  New social-emotional learning curriculum was implemented at the elementary level during the 2013-14 school year and the middle school level will pilot curriculum during the 2015-16 school year.