All students in the Bellevue School District are guaranteed a spot at their neighborhood school. These Frequently Asked Questions are for those interested in applying for entry to a Choice School or Choice Program.

If my student is currently enrolled in a Choice School or Choice Program, do I need to submit another application for them to remain in the program next year?

No. You only need to submit a Choice School/Program application if you wish to request a different school or program for your student.

If my student is in 5th grade and currently enrolled in a Choice School or Choice Program that requires changing schools, do I need to take any action?

No, students attending Puesta del Sol, Jing Mei and Spanish Dual Language Programs will automatically roll-up to the assigned middle school: 

  • Mandarin Dual Language students will attend Tillicum Middle School.
  • Spanish Dual Language students will attend Highland Middle School.
  • Spanish Immersion or ISA students will attend Tillicum Middle School.

If my student is in 8th grade and currently enrolled in a Choice School or Choice Program that requires changing schools, do I need to take any action?

Dual Language students will automatically roll-up to the assigned high school:  

  • Mandarin Dual Language students will attend Tillicum Middle School then Newport HS.
  • Spanish Dual Language students will attend Highland Middle School then Sammamish HS.

8th grade Spanish Immersion or ISA students will need to choose Newport HS or Sammamish HS:   (You will receive an email in December from requesting a reply with your decision)

  • Spanish Immersion or ISA students will attend Tillicum Middle School then Newport or Sammamish HS.

*Nonresident students: If your student is enrolled in a Choice Program and will be changing schools/levels as described above, you must submit a BSD Interdistrict Transfer application requesting enrollment at the new school in addition to the 2020-2021 Choice Transfer Request to your resident district.

What if my student doesn’t want to continue to 6th grade in the Choice Program or attend the assigned school?

Your student is always guaranteed to return to their home attendance area school. If your student will be withdrawing from the Choice Program for the 2020-2021 school year, please notify both the Choice School/Program school and your home school of your transfer plans. If interested, you may apply through Open Enrollment for a different school or incoming 6th grade students may submit Choice School applications for entry level to International School and/or Big Picture school. Nonresident students are not guaranteed continued BSD enrollment; in this situation please contact Student Placement to find out if any BSD enrollment options are available.

What are the Choice Schools/Programs?

For Kindergarten entry:

  • Puesta del Sol (Spanish Immersion)
  • Jing Mei (Mandarin Dual Language)
  • Spanish Dual Language Program (at Lake Hills, Sherwood Forest or Stevenson)

For 6th grade entry:

  • International School
  • Big Picture

What is a Choice School/Program?

Choice Schools/Program offer unique learning environments.  For information on each choice school, please visit Choice Schools.  For information on Spanish Dual Language Programs, please visit Spanish Dual Language Programs.

How are students admitted to these schools?

Admission to these schools is during the Choice Schools/Program application period and only for entry into Kindergarten or 6th grade.

What is the timeframe?

Choice School/Program applications will be accepted from 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020 through Friday, January 31, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.  It is not first come, first served: All students who apply will be placed in a lottery for each school/program.  From the lottery an acceptance list and waitlist will be created.  This is done after the close of Choice School/Program Applications.

Choice School/Program notifications will be emailed the first week of March 2020.

Who can apply for a Choice School/Program?

Choice Schools/Program are only open to residents of the Bellevue School District*—the student must be physically living within the boundaries of the district at the time of application.

Per Washington State Law and District Policy, the nonresident children of Bellevue School District full-time employees** may apply as resident students.  Full-time employment status will be verified before the student is placed in the lottery.

*Applications will be accepted from nonresident students for the following Choice Schools/Program, priority is given to Bellevue School District resident students:

  • Spanish Dual Language program may accept incoming Kindergarten applications to be considered if space is available.
  • Big Picture school will accept online applications from secondary students. Your student will be added to the appropriate grade level waitlist in the order received.

**The parent/guardian is working for the Bellevue School District (i.e. teacher, principal, in a support function) not that the parent/guardian works in the Bellevue community.

What if my elementary student is entering a grade other than Kindergarten?

Students who wish to join the waitlists for other grades will have the opportunity to apply during the Choice School/Program application period.  Entries received will be added to waitlists as explained in Procedure 3120.2P – Choice Schools and Program Enrollment. 

What if my student is interested in International School and is not entering the sixth grade?

Students who wish to join the waitlist at International should contact the school directly.

What if my student is interested in Big Picture and is not entering the sixth grade?

When you submit your application to Big Picture School you will be able to select your student’s grade level. Your application will be added to the appropriate grade level waitlist in the order received with priority is given Bellevue School District resident students.

How does the application process work?

Applications are completed online at our Apply to Choice Schools and Programs page.  Families may access online applications using a kiosk at any school, the district office or they may complete a paper application available at all schools.  Paper applications will be forwarded by school personnel to the Student Placement Office for entry into the online application process.

How can we be sure Student Placement received our application?

Once you submit your application, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received.  This email will be sent to the email address you provided on your application.

What if we do not receive an email confirming our application has been received?

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please check your spam and junk boxes before contacting us.

Can we apply multiple times to the same school or program to improve our chances in the lottery?

No.  Any student with multiple applications to the same school/program will have all submissions discarded and will be removed from the Choice School/Program application process.

Can we apply to multiple schools?

Yes.  Students may submit an application to each Choice School or Choice Program.

Can we apply to all three Spanish Dual Language Programs?

No. You may submit one application and indicate which school you prefer.  If your preferred school is no longer available when we get to your student on the waitlist, you will be offered placement at the available school(s) or placed on a waitlist at your request.

How do the lotteries work?

Following the close of the Choice Schools/Program application period, all students who applied are assigned a number. A lottery is held for each school/program.  Student numbers are placed on a list in the order drawn for that school/program.

Can we attend the lottery drawing?

All lotteries are closed to the public.

How will we be notified of the results of the lottery?

Notification will be made via email using the email provided on the application.  Please add the email address to your list of safe emails so you can receive notifications.  Families will either receive a notification of available placement or an email with your student’s place on the waitlist.

What happens if we are placed on a waitlist?

If your student is placed on a waitlist, please plan on attending your neighborhood school.  If space becomes available, Student Placement will contact families immediately to get students in their schools as soon as possible.

What if a sibling wants to attend the same school?

The new sibling must submit an application and then will have preference in admission provided that both siblings will attend the school together for a minimum of one year.  Siblings who do not apply will not be admitted.

How long do we have to accept an offer to a Choice School/Program?

Initial offers in March will have 1 week to respond, then 2 weeks to enroll and submit residency documents. Please refer to the offer email you receive for the timeline to accept an offer and submit paperwork.  All students joining a Choice School/Program will have required paperwork including verification of residency. Failure to submit the paperwork in the timeframe provided may result in the offer being rescinded.

Can a student accept a spot at a Choice School/Program and then change their mind for an Open Enrollment offer?

Once a student has accepted a spot at one school/program, their name will be removed from all other waitlists including Open Enrollment waitlists, if applicable.

Who do we contact if we have questions?

If you have questions, please send an email to with specific information:  student name, grade, school, address, etc.  We will answer your question as soon as we are able.