Dear International Families,

Tomorrow, your student(s) will learn about Focus Week options for this school year in Community. We wanted to provide an overview of Focus Week for families who have not experienced this before as well as to share what considerations are being built in this year.

2024 Focus Week Brochure


Purpose of Focus Week

Focus Week is a longstanding traditional at International School to provide students with unique learning experiences. Students will have the opportunity to have access to quality work and experiences, develop strong relationships with adults and cultivate relationships with students outside of their usual social group in a stimulating environment outside of the regular curriculum and classroom.

Each Focus Week activity must provide instruction in work skills and career education in one or more of the following areas: industrial arts, home and family life, business and office education, agricultural education, health occupations education, vocational education, trade and industrial education, and technical education.  Students will also earn their one required credit of “Occupational Education” after the successful completion of four Focus Weeks during grades 9-12.  At the end of Focus Week, students should be able to describe in detail at least one career and the path necessary to follow in order to pursue participation in that career.


What Will Focus Week Look Like this Year?

Focus Week will have many similarities to last year—with some enhancement. Many of the Focus Week activities will have an off-campus component at some point in the week, and the time off campus will be able to be a bit longer than the past couple of years.  You will see that there are more options for both middle and high school students this year.



  • Students will receive their digital flyer in Community on February 7 in Teams that will provide information on the choices students have this year. This digital flyer will be available on the school website after Community on Wednesday.
  • Families should review and discuss options with their student(s) from February 7 – 13.
  • The form to sign up will open Monday, February 12 at 8:00 AM to allow time for family discussion.
  • Students will submit their top four choices by February 14. Students who have not signed up will be asked to do so in Community on 2/14. Focus Week assignments are NOT made on a first-come basis, so there is no advantage of being first.
  • Students and families will be notified for their Focus Week in mid-March.
  • Students will have their first meeting in their Focus Week group during Community on May 8.
  • Students will have their second Focus Week meeting to go over logistics during Community on May 15.
  • Focus Week will be May 20 – 24. No regular classes will meet during this week.


Focus Week Selection

Students will receive a link in their student email to a Microsoft Forms registration. This will be used for making selections. The form will not be open until 8:00 AM on Monday, February 12 in order to provide time for family conversations. When completing the form, students will receive an automatic email summary of their selections to their BSD email account. Families should ask their student to view the email summary to see their selections.


Financial Considerations for Focus Week

For the past couple of years, we have worked hard to reduce the cost of Focus Week by using parent drivers, public transportation, and reduced food expenditures. While students are not required to pay for Focus Week, we do depend upon parent support to cover the costs of these unique learning experiences. Please donate to help cover the cost of providing these enrichment opportunities.  The suggested donation will be no more than $125, depending on the activity. However, any amount is appreciated in order to make Focus Week successful! Donations will go into a restricted account and any excess will be used for future Focus Week activities.

The budget for each Focus Week learning experience has not been finalized, but the brochure will give an anticipated range for the suggested donations for families to consider:

$ $0 – $50 suggested donation
$$ $51 – $100 suggested donation
$$$ $101 – $125 suggested donation


Other Ways Families Can Support Focus Week

There are lots of opportunities for family members to support Focus Week. Many of our activities will need either chaperones for off-campus learning experiences or additional support while at school. Your student’s Focus Week teacher will reach out to families with specific needs. This is a great opportunity to share in the experiences with students.


A Note for 6th Graders

Focus Week is the time that our 6th grade students get to experience 6th Grade Science Camp at YMCA Camp Orkila on Orcas Island for the week. This is a multi-day, overnight experience for our students at a beautiful location. This is a similar experience for 6th graders across the district. Save the Date: Learn more about this experience at an information night for families on Wednesday, March 6 at 6:00 PM in the International School Performing Arts Center.



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.