International School (Bellevue, Washington)
|445 128th Ave. SE Bellevue
|Type||Public middle school and high school|
|School district||Bellevue School District|
|Color(s)||green and silver|
|Website||International School Profile|
International School (IS) is a 6th–12th in the Bellevue School District. The mascot for Bellevue International School is the Great Titan, and the logo is a Greek tripod with an ascending flame. International school is not a "true" international school with students from across the globe, but rather challenges students to think globally. Admission is based on a lottery of all incoming 6th graders who apply. International School is not affiliated with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), and students participate in sports at their home school within the district.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2007)|
International School was founded in 1991 by Bellevue teachers . Founded with a competitive $300,000 grant from the "Schools for the 21st Century" Commission, the six were granted a half year of release time to develop and recruit for the program. International School opened with 150 sixth and seventh graders in the fall of 1991, housed in an old elementary school. Later the school was moved to its current location in an unused junior high. In 2002 a short documentary on the history of the school with the title The World of International School was written by Kristen Rosenfeld. This documentary provides a fascinating glimpse based on primary sources into the origins and development of the school in its first ten years and helps explain why the school has been successful.
Bellevue International offers a seven-year, seven-subject curriculum, in which students take seven years of humanities (language arts), international studies, math, science, physical education/health and fine arts. Additionally, students study a foreign language, French or German, for seven years, with the intention of achieving fluency, and ultimately studying subjects such as literature, history and social studies in that language.
As seniors, students are required to complete a rigorous "Senior Project", which according to the school website, must be completed through "integrating, [and] demonstrating real-world application". One class is dedicated to this project senior year.
Students of the International School, none of whom are enrolled in occupational education classes, also participate in a "Week of focused study outside formal classroom structure". This Focus Week was designed as a way for students to earn their Occupational Credits or elective credits required to graduate high school. Many of the Focus Weeks involve going on overnight trips to other parts of the state such as Washington Pacific Ocean beaches, to other states such as Oregon, and sometimes outside of the country, including a three-week long exchange program to either France or Germany. Although Focus Week is required, students must pay a fee that varies based on the specific activity chosen.
As of the 2010-2011 school year, IS had an enrollment of 546 students. Because of the limited enrollment, students are chosen from applicants from Bellevue School District's 6th grade class by lottery.
World Languages Program
All students at IS are required to take seven years of either German or French. Historically, about 2/3s of incoming students have taken French and 1/3 have participated in the German Language Program. Both programs have co-existed successfully since the founding of the International School. Although in 2009 school principal Dr. Bang-Knudsen was forced to cut German 1A for the 2009-2010 school year due to budget cuts, he stated that German 1A will be offered for the 2010-2011 academic year if enough students signed up. Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, the German language program has since slowly been phased out. This move has sparked much controversy among faculty and students, as the "International School" will ironically only offer one language, French. In past years, students at the school have put their language skills to use during two week trips to France and Germany. In addition to the language programs, in recent years teaching interns from France and Germany have studied at the school for an entire academic year assisting in language instruction and enrichment.
The International School has ranked 9th in the nation on Newsweek Magazine's list of the best high schools for 2013. International School was also selected as a Blue Ribbon National School of Excellence in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Education.
Bellevue's International School has received a top grade in U.S. News & World Report Gold Medal Schools list. The weekly American newsmagazine ranked high schools nationwide based on college readiness and quality-adjusted exams per test taker. The International School ranked fifth best high school in the country.
The school is also well known for its FIRST Robotics team, the Titan Robotics Club. The Robotics team recently competed in the 2012 FIRST Robotics World Championship in St.Louis, Missouri. The team successfully made it to the quarter finals of the competition out of 100 total teams in their division.
The school's JSA club, Junior State of America, a youth political awareness organization is yet another well known club . The International School won "Chapter of the Year" in 2011-2012 school year, and was nominated for the national "Civic Engagement" award along with a total of nine other schools in the nation.
The school is also known for its award-winning jazz choir, "iJazz," under the direction of Mike Scott. They have won and placed in competitions frequently since Scott's arrival at the school. In 2012, they placed 2nd in Division I at the Columbia Basin College Jazz Unlimited Festival in Pasco, WA; in 2013, they returned to CBC to take 1st place in their division. In January 2013, they placed 3rd overall out of over 50 vocal jazz ensembles at Bellevue College's Pacific Vocal Jazz Festival.
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The school's current principal is Jennifer Rose (most recent principal at Medina Elementary).
A few of the changes that have been made in recent years by the new principals include, but are not limited to: The implementation of a tardy policy, the implementation of warning bells before certain classes, and suggested AP classes. The original "Student as Worker" phrase supported the idea that it was the students responsibility to want to learn, to write down their assignments, and to arrive to class on time. This concept has been discontinued and removed from the school mission, and is now replaced with the focus of creating "global citizens."
International School offers a wide range of Advanced Placement courses that are available to all students.
In the 2009–10 school year, the total student enrollment for the high school section (grades 9-12) was 286. The racial demographics are: 1% African American, 21% Asian, 1% Hispanic, 9% Multiracial and 67% White. 19% of students speak another first language besides English. 2% qualify for free or reduced lunches.
In the 2009–2010 school year, the total student enrollment for the middle school section (grades 6-8) was 244. The racial demographics are: 2% African American, 28% Asian, 2% Hispanic, 7% Multiracial and 61% White. 21% of students speak another first language besides English. 5% qualify for free or reduced lunches.