News Post

New information about Fall 2020 shared during this week's town hall meetings
Amy Bruce

Bellevue Christian's Leadership Team releases new information about the start of the 2020-2021 school year and invites community members to participate in town hall meetings.

On August 5th, Bellevue Christian's Leadership Team had the opportunity to interact with Grade 7-12 Parents and Guardians in a virtual town hall meeting about the upcoming school year. A few updates were shared: specifically, about the first day of school. Head of School Kevin Dunning shared that Sept. 3 will now be the first day of school for K-12 students, and the first day of Preschool will remain unchanged Sept. 8. We are also planning to add additional early release days to the calendar. We are planning to release an updated calendar on Aug. 10. Bus route information is expected to be released on Aug. 7 or 10.

Another town hall meeting is set for Aug. 6 for parents and guardians of our Elementary students. Specific login information will be coming soon for parents and guardians of our Elementary students.

Please review the slideshow for more details on the information shared at our town hall meetings. Thank you to all who have participated or are planning to participate in our meetings. Please email our Communications Team with any questions or for direct links to recordings of our town hall meetings. For specific questions about the Fall of 2020, you may contact our Head of School Kevin Dunning at kevin.dunning@bellevuechristian.org.

We are continuing to monitor information from health officials and the state very closely. Your children’s safety and that of our staff and faculty remain critically important and top of mind in our decision making. Thank you for your support and prayers as we navigate this unprecedented set of circumstances. We are grateful for each and every one of you and are thankful to count you as a valuable member of our Bellevue Christian family.

BCS@Home Program Coming Fall 2020!
Amy Bruce

Introducing BCS@Home, a high-quality remote learning option for elementary-age students.

Bellevue Christian School Announces BCS@Home, an alternative learning model for 1st through 6th grades!

Bellevue Christian is prepared for our launch of traditional, in-person education five days per week for the coming school year. We pray that public health circumstances continue to allow us to teach, learn, and grow together in person.

For families who desire a high-quality remote learning option for their child, we are also excited to announce BCS@Home. BCS@Home is an online learning environment where Elementary students of similar age will learn remotely on a daily basis through live and pre-recorded lessons delivered online by a dedicated, caring and qualified Bellevue Christian teacher. While students are remote, they will interact, socialize, and receive instruction through live video conferencing. BCS@Home will follow the same philosophy, learning objectives and pedagogy that families love about BCS. Your BCS@Home teacher will be committed to developing a personal relationship with your child and helping them grow socially and spiritually, even as they remain at home.

We believe this program is going to attract a high level of interest. We are prioritizing spots for our current BCS families and will not admit new families until August 3rd, 2020. If you are interested in this option for your family, please let us know as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is BCS@Home different than remote learning from last spring?

Last spring, most learning activities were self-paced and asynchronous. For the most part, students worked independently from short recorded lessons and assignments. BCS@Home will consist of live instructional sessions each day where students are interacting with their teacher and with one another. Live remote instruction will be supplemented by recorded lessons.

  1. How will the grade levels be configured?

This answer depends on demand. Based on a surge in overall demand for Bellevue Christian, we anticipate offering a section for grades 1-2, a section for grades 3-4, and a section for grades 5-6. Configuration is subject to change based on demand and staffing, but students will be grouped with others in a similar age.

  1. Who will my child’s teacher be?

We are in the process of interviewing both internal and external candidates for these positions in order to be sure we can meet demand. Our criteria for hiring will follow the same expectations as our traditional classroom teachers, with the additional expectation of comfort and skill with technology and online delivery.

  1. Will all subjects be covered?

Full instruction will occur in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Bible. Science instruction from our new FOSS curriculum will be modified for experiments and exploration at home. Instruction in Art, Music, PE and other specialist areas will be embedded in the core subject lessons.

  1. What is the schedule? How much instruction will occur each day?

Instruction will follow the same learning objectives and cover the same content as traditional, in-person classes. Specific schedules regarding meeting times for live instruction will be set by your teacher. Families should plan to set aside 8:30am-3:00pm, Monday-Friday for instruction and learning (with plenty of breaks for meals, play, and independent work).

  1. What is the tuition?

Tuition and other financial policies are the same as our traditional in-person program. BCS@Home families will pay an additional $750 program fee. (This fee is waived for currently enrolled BCS families who enroll in BCS@Home by August 3, 2020.)  More information may be found here.

  1. What happens if the traditional school is forced to close in-person instruction and moves to remote learning?

Regardless of the status of in-person instruction, BCS@Home students will remain with the same teacher and with the same students throughout the year.

  1. What happens if we want to return to in-person instruction in the middle of the year?

Students who wish to transition from BCS@Home to in-person instruction mid-year would need to make a formal request. That request would only be granted if there were space available in the classroom. 

  1. Are there optional opportunities for social interaction with classmates or others in the BCS community?

We are hoping to develop regular, optional opportunities for students in the BCS@Home program to meet up with each other in a safe way.

  1. Who provides the technology?

Families are responsible for their own laptop/desktop computers, WiFi, and printer.

  1. My child is in Student Academic Services. Can we participate in BCS@Home and still receive these services?

Yes. Please include this information in your email expressing interest in the BCS@Home program.

  1. Why are you only doing this for grades 1-6 – why not Kindergarten?

This is a philosophical decision rooted in the incredible importance of kindergartners to be together, in-person, for both learning and relational reasons.

  1. I’m in! What’s next?

Families should indicate their interest by first sending an email to admissions@bellevuechristian.org. The Admissions Office will coordinate communication between the family and appropriate school offices and personnel.

Visit the BCS@Home page for updates and more information.

 

 

  • BCS@Home
  • covid-19
  • online learning
July Town Hall Meetings & FAQs
Amy Bruce

Bellevue Christian will host town hall meetings in July to discuss plans for Fall 2020. We have also included a list of answers to FAQs.

By: Kevin Dunning, Head of School

 

As long-time missionary and theologian Lesslie Newbigin once wrote, “I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.” Amen to that.

For Newbigin and for us, hope is defiance in the face of fear. It is the often courageous task of staring reality in the face and still claiming that though evil, suffering, and death remain, they have already been defeated. Hope is standing in the valley of dry bones and daring to believe God will breathe life into them once again. Hope is mustering the courage to go to the tomb in the early hours before dawn, just in case. Hope is living as resurrection people in a dying world. Hope is joining God right here and right now in the renewal of all things. If Hell is hopelessness, then maybe a little bit of heaven is the realization that all over this tired old world, “hope springs eternal”  (The Culture Translator at Axis.org; used with permission). 

Perhaps now more than ever, we as Christians are daily placing hope and trust above uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our routines and lives, but we can take refuge in Christ.

As we make plans for our 71st year of preparing students to live faithfully for God, we are faced with entirely new questions and circumstances. On July 3, we announced plans via a video message to have in-person five days per week learning for our students, with a remote option available for 7-12 grade students.

Since then, BCS has received some great questions from parents. Thank you to everyone who contacted us. In many cases, those questions were responded to within a few days. Below we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

We will address additional issues during virtual Town Hall gatherings scheduled for next week:

  •    Clyde Hill:  Wednesday, July 22, 5-6pm
  •    Mack:  Thursday, July 23, 5-6pm
  •    Three Points:  Friday, July 24, 5:30-6:30pm

To Join the Clyde Hill Town Hall, click here:

Join meeting

 

 

 

To join the Mack Town Hall, click here:

Join meeting

 

 

 

To join the Three Points Town Hall, click here:

Join meeting

 

 

If you have students at more than one campus, you’re welcome to attend two of the town hall sessions.

 As you receive updates from us, you may continue to ask questions via communications@bellevuechristian.org or kevin.dunning@bellevuechristian.org.

 

FAQ

Face Coverings

·         The DOH and OSPI currently mandate face coverings. The recommendation is for a cloth mask, but a face shield will meet the requirement. Students, faculty, and staff who have a verified medical condition that limits mask-wearing can wear face shields instead.

·         BCS is not providing face coverings for students. This way students can express their individuality. We suggest one to wear, one in the wash, and one to spare. The school will have a limited supply of masks at each campus in the event of loss, damaged, or forgotten face coverings.

·         There will be opportunities for students to take mask breaks. Lunch and snack time are obvious opportunities.  There may be occasions to remove face coverings when students are outside if social distancing is maintained.  We will place limits on how many students can access playground equipment at one time.

·         Face coverings are particularly challenging for our youngest students, but teaching is what we do. And we will do it that with patience and gentleness. We can do this BCS!

 

Health Issues

·         All students, faculty staff, and visitors will be health screened. We are looking at options that would allow employees to do so with a phone app. We are looking at options for parents to do the health checks at home, while we do the temperature screening on campus.

·         When a student is not feeling well, they will be sent to the office. Office personnel will take the student’s temperature. If a student exhibits two or more flu symptoms, the student will be isolated, and parents called to pick up the student. Department of Health guidelines require that student to be symptom-free for 72 hours and be certified by a health professional that they are Covid free. Without that certification, the students will need to be away from school for ten days following the onset of symptoms.

·         If a student or staff member tests positive, we will close that campus only for deep cleaning. This might take 1-2 days.  An individual who tests positive will need to remain at home for ten days after their symptoms have disappeared. If there were a substantial outbreak, we would rely on local health department officials to guide us as to how we should proceed.

 

Distance Learning

·         Our focus has been to provide a safe environment where students could return to their classrooms. This is especially important for our younger learners. However, we understand that it does not meet the needs of all our families. We cannot ask our teachers to prepare for in-class lessons every day while simultaneously leading distance learning students. Currently, we do not have a remote learning plan in place for our elementary families, but based on the parental response, we are taking another look.

·         Distance learning for students in grades 7-12 is entirely synchronous. Attendance will be taken at every class period. Students may attend on-campus or livestream classes from home, Starbucks, the park, or wherever. Students will be able to ask questions and participate in discussions through either the chat feature or the speaker on their laptop.  Students may be required to participate on-campus for labs and assessments at the discretion of their teacher.

Cleaning

·         Our primary cleaning tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is an electrostatic sprayer. Campuses are disinfected prior to school on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Protocols are being developed to clean things (books, manipulatives, lab equipment) students might touch regularly. If you want more information about our sprayers and cleaners, please email us.

·         Teachers and aides will be mindful of the possibility of COVID-19 transmission and spot disinfect, as necessary. 

As COVID-19 pandemic news and information changes, we may consider changes of our own to ensure student and staff safety. Please join us in praying for our leaders and community members, making decisions around this pandemic, and those on the front lines, risking their own lives to care for others.

We look forward to discussing more of these topics with you at our virtual town hall meetings. Thank you for your continued partnership in this complex time.

 

  • covid-19
  • fall 2020
Head of School announces return to school plans for fall as of 7/3/20
Amy Bruce

Bellevue Christian announces plans to welcome students back to campuses for fall 2020, with five day per week instruction for students with precautions in place as of 7/3/20.

*Be sure to view the video message below

Our senior administrative team has been hard at work creating sustainable and effective plans for returning to school next year. Based on community feedback throughout the spring and summer, our conversations have focused on three key areas:

1) that our primary purpose is Christian discipleship and that true discipleship flourishes with in-person relationships

2) that live, in-person classes bring a very high value both to the learning process and to the routines of our families

3) that we have an essential responsibility to safeguard the health of our students, faculty, and staff. Please accept our gratitude for parent feedback, which has been almost universally thoughtful and measured.

Nearly all families recognize the challenge of navigating guidance or requirements from many outside entities, while also developing practices in the best interest of Bellevue Christian School and our families.

Please read on for important information about how the school will adjust to follow CDC/Government guidance while keeping our students and employees safe and healthy. The plans described below are subject to change based on evolving public health circumstances, requirements, and recommendations.

New practices for all campuses

  • Screening all visitors to campus, including employees and students, for virus symptoms upon arrival. We are investing in technology and systems to make this process as seamless as possible.
  • Propping open interior doors to minimize the need to touch surfaces.
  • Reconfiguring classroom furniture to increase social distancing.
  • Modifying movement patterns and foot traffic to increase social distancing.
  • Using personal protective equipment as required by local health authorities.
  • Equipping each classroom with two-way streaming technology to allow remote interactions.
  • Modifying large group gatherings like Chapel and Assemblies to allow smaller groups or virtual delivery.
  • Increasing our cleaning procedures, including the use of a non-toxic electrostatic mist delivery to disinfect surfaces, vacuuming, and wiping down surfaces. 
  • Installing plexiglass guards in specific areas, including front offices, food service areas, computer labs, science labs, and libraries. 
  • Limiting nonessential visitors and building use by outside groups. 
  • Educating students and staff on social distancing and other safety measures while at school.

Elementary (K-6) Learning Model  

Each elementary class will be split into A and B groups. (The student rosters for A/B groups will flex throughout the year.) Each class will be given two separate (A/B) meetings spaces to ensure appropriate distance. Each class will have a full-time Teacher in addition to a full-time Educational Assistant. The teacher and assistant will rotate between the two spaces, guiding students in instruction and practice. Each room will also have two-way streaming capability so that interaction can occur between the two spaces. While the format and timing of our Specialist teachers may change, all areas of Specialist instruction will continue. Recess will also continue much as it has in the past, though certain specific games or activities may be curtailed.

Junior High and High School (7-12) Learning Model

All Junior High and High School classes will continue their regular daily schedule. Students will have the choice of attending class in-person or remotely. With a few exceptions (Band, Choir, PE, etc.) each class will be entirely in-person with two-way live streaming also available for remote learning. Teachers may require in-person attendance for specific activities like labs or testing. Based on survey data, we believe that up to 20% of students will at least occasionally opt for remote, synchronous instruction. We anticipate that this will naturally reduce class sizes to a level that allows us to maintain social distance (around 20 students per room). In cases where attendance in a specific class exceeds safe classroom distance, individual students may be asked to “attend” class via Teams from a designated, supervised overflow study area on campus. The process for asking students to attend class remotely will be fair and equally distributed. While we are still exploring options, it is likely that the use of lockers and the scope of on-campus food service will both be somewhat curtailed. We intend still to offer a full slate of programs in Athletics and are proceeding appropriately, pending further guidance from the WIAA.

Based on our response and rollout of online learning last spring, Bellevue Christian School is experiencing strong demand from prospective families. Given that most schools are announcing plans not to be on-campus five days per week, we anticipate that our intention to provide in-person learning five days per week will only increase this demand. We also know that our response may not meet the specific needs of all families in our community. I ask you, please, to let us know as soon as possible if your enrollment status may change. This will allow us to extend the opportunity for a BCS education to prospective students who are also a good fit for our school. I also recognize that news of in-person learning will be a welcome relief for many of you. We pray for continued progress in the fight against COVID-19 so that our teachers and students may continue to learn and grow together!

We will be providing more specific details about the day-to-day practice of these plans as the summer unfolds. This plan has received full support from our Board of Directors. Please reply to this email or contact me directly with any questions. Have a safe & fun summer!

Video message from Kevin Dunning, Head of School

 

  • covid-19
  • fall 2020
Schools & Race Relations in America
Amy Bruce

The issues of social justice must be raised in our classroom discussions. Most importantly, we need to make clear the message of Jesus Christ is that we love one another.

By Kevin Dunning, Head of School

One of the goals of every great school is to inspire life-long learners. With millions of Americans, I recently learned that three white men chased down an unarmed black jogger and killed him. I listened to a white woman calling the police on a black man who merely asked that she leash her dog. I watched three police officers do nothing while a colleague kneeled on the neck of a handcuffed black man who was face-down on the pavement.

It feels that throughout my life, matters of race have been intertwined with education. My grade school teachers help me overcome the prejudices of my parents. Teaching in schools with diverse student populations exposed me to different customs and left me with some insight as to why oppressed peoples demand respect so vocally. I have also learned that the economic disadvantages so common in communities of color contribute to the vicious cycle of poverty that denies people of color the tools to rise above.

But mostly, I’ve learned that I haven’t done enough. I have been sympathetic to minority causes and concerns, but I haven’t lifted a finger to help change the mechanisms of power that sustain the status quo. If like me you are unsure of where to start, you can find suggestions here.

Brenda Leakes, a black leader of an area independent school, shared the following with her community: “Black people in this nation are hurting, including those who are members of [our] family. We can’t move forward by turning away from the pain, as hard as it is to witness. And, we can’t move forward by sitting in judgment of actions we would not take ourselves. Racism is a virus that permeates every institution in our country. We all need to have conversations with our children, and with ourselves, about the institution of racism that has a firm grip on the American experience.”

Schools like ours can be part of the solution. We will need to re-examine our curriculum to make sure the contributions of Black authors, scientists, and mathematicians are appropriately represented. The issues of social justice must be raised in our classroom discussions. Most importantly, we need to make clear the message of Jesus Christ is that we love one another. Second Sight explains that “the most fundamental Biblical statement about human nature is this: we are made in the image of God.” It is long past time that we align our practice with our theology.

  • blog
  • head of school
  • race relations