The Bellevue Big Picture School Community is embarking on two innovative projects in line with the district’s developing strategic plan and Superintendent Aramaki’s priority of innovation for staff and students: building renovation and programmatic innovation. On this webpage, you will find updates on the programmatic innovation, including email communications and engagement opportunities for our learning community to share feedback throughout this process.


With nearly 15 years of learning under our belts bringing Big Picture Learning (BPL) principles to life in Bellevue, it’s time to deepen our practice implementing the ten BPL “distinguishers.” We are so excited to do this collaboratively with our community, learning and growing together. Over the next year, we will explore how to further our implementation of Big Picture Learning design features.

The Approach

An inclusive approach to design is as important as the outcome. We will employ core habits that promote inclusion, clarity and trust.

  • Inclusion – Bringing in diverse voices and building a sense of belonging
  • Empathy – Understanding the views, feelings, aspirations, and needs of others
  • Co-Creation – Working across differences to understand and create solutions

The Process

We will begin with a School Success Study in late February to identify the ways our school is successfully implementing the 10 Big Picture Learning (BPL) distinguishers and gaps that can be improved. As we learn together about the BPL distinguishers, we will iterate as a community on updates to our school design.

The People

Big Picture students, staff and families will all be invited to be involved. The process will be supported by Bellevue School District staff along with project partners who have expertise in Big Picture Learning design and roots in the Bellevue community.

Steering Committe

Assisted by professional facilitators, the Steering Committee will review data and community input, evaluate design options, and prepare a recommendation for Supt. Aramaki by winter 2025.

Middle School students

  • Kazuki Castillo
  • Bean Garcia
  • Diego Zayas Collazo
Middle School teachers

  • Emily Rio
  • Kelly Clark
Special Education

  • Brendan Schimpf



  • Amy Stephens

  • Tracy Ritzau
  • Angie Di Loreto
  • Anne Underwood
  • Anne Thapa
High School students

  • Nate Bauer
  • Arushi Sinha
High School teachers

  • Kevin Roberts
  • Anna Morin
  • Clinton Stellfox
BBP Leadership & Support staff

  • Bethany Spinler
  • Matt Stokes
  • Judy Hunsberger
  • Tony Granito
  • Suzanne Reeve
District Administrators

  • Scott Powers
  • Shomari Jones

Stakeholder Engagement

The work of the Steering Committee will be augmented by various meetings with other stakeholders. Findings from these sessions will be shared with the committee during the course of their regularly scheduled meetings.

  • Feb 28, 29- BPL National Directors Conduct School Success Study – School Visitation and Focus groups of Student, Parent, and Staff Groups
  • April 17- BP Staff Meeting- BPL Distinguishers & School Success Study Review
  • April 25- BP Innovation Steering Committee -Meeting #1
  • May 8- BSD Cabinet Meeting- BPL Distinguishers & School Success Study Review
  • May 9- BP Parent/Guardians from Feb Focus Groups- BPL Distinguishers & School Success Study Review 5:00 pm
  • May 14- BP Families -BPL Distinguishers & School Success Study Review 5:30 pm
  • May 14,16,17- BP High School Students and 7th grade students- BPL Distinguishers & School Success Study review
  • May 20 or 21- BP Innovation Steering Committee- Meeting #2
  • Week of May 20- BP 6th and 8th grade students – BPL Distinguishers & School Success Study review
  • May 22- BP Staff Meeting
  • June- BP Innovation Steering Committee Site Visits and Meeting #3

Equity-Driven Decision Making

Decisions will be guided by Equity-Driven Decision Making. This framework helps participants define priorities, barriers, and constraints and evaluate the extent to which the final plan furthers justice and belonging.

The Timeline

The updated design will be completed by winter (Jan-March) 2025.  Phase 1 implementation will start in fall 2025. There may be multiple implementation phases which will depend on what the new design components entail.

  • February 2024 – School Success Study
  • April/May 2024 – Community connection and engagement- learning about BPL distinguishers
  • June-Fall 2024- Community engagement and draft design options v1
  • Late Fall 2024 – Feedback on design v1 with community
  • Dec 2024, Jan 2025- Refine design based on community input
  • Jan-Feb 2025 – Share design v2 with community and gather feedback
  • March-June 2025- Plan for implementation
  • September 2025 – Phase 1 implementation begins

Contact Us

Please stay tuned for more information on how to get involved. Contact Bethany Spinler at [email protected] with any questions you may have.

News and Events

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.