I am honored to be the new superintendent of the Bellevue School District, and to partner with our students, educators, families, and community to ensure we meet the district’s mission – to provide all students with an exemplary college preparatory education so they can succeed in college, career, and life. I am deeply committed to this charge and excited to learn more about how our mission is being implemented in Bellevue’s schools. This is a great time to be part of the Bellevue community and I fully embrace this opportunity to lead.
As your new superintendent, I am grateful for the comprehensive hiring process our community engaged in last spring. Because of this process, I was able to listen to the voices of our community – students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, staff, board members, residents, and civic leaders. Bellevue has achieved success on many levels. I want to build upon the strong legacy that the school district and community have established for our students in Bellevue.
Yet, there is a persistent opportunity gap that our entire community needs to address. To make sure that we build upon our strengths, recognize our challenges, and identify the most powerful strategies to address those challenges, my first 90 days of service will include the following structured entry plan to guide my work. I want to learn as much as possible about what is working for our students and where there are areas for growth. I also want to hear how we can better prepare and support our teachers, administrators, and staff for the critical roles they play in each student’s life.
I look forward to this opportunity to listen, learn, and partner with you. Together, we can increase educational opportunities for all Bellevue students to succeed in school and beyond.
Ivan Duran, Ed.D
Vision & Core Beliefs
Before I describe the entry plan process, I want to share my vision and some of the core beliefs that drive my leadership. My vision and core beliefs have influenced my career as a teacher, principal, and district leader, and greatly guide my entry plan.
My vision is to create systems of equity for all students and to ensure that each student has the opportunity to meet and maximize his or her full potential as individuals and contribute to our larger society.
I embrace the diversity present in our society, community and schools. We must find equitable solutions that provide the necessary resources and supports to ensure each student thrives in a supportive and engaging learning environment.
Classroom instruction is the most important work in our school system, and classroom teachers need support to meet the needs of each student with effective instructional practices. Our teachers have the closest relationship with our students. We must acknowledge this fact, build upon it, and provide the necessary support to enhance that relationship.
An effective team built on trust and strong leadership leads to high-level expectations, accountability and results. Individuals must feel valued and be willing to work together to learn and thrive. An environment that encourages honest conversation, productive problem-solving, effective conflict resolution, and collaborative effort will move the work of the team forward.
Data driven practices lead to reflection and a realization of what is working, what needs to be improved, and what we need to do next. Learning from both our successes and challenges is essential to identify and prioritize practices that will produce positive results across our organization.
My entry plan focuses on learning as much as possible about our schools and community so that we can build on our strengths and continue to improve. By listening, learning, and applying what we learn, we will be in a great position to define common goals, align resources, and take strategic action.
- Learn about the direction of the Bellevue School District as fully as possible in order to gain insight into its strengths, challenges, and areas of improvement so we can best serve our students.
- Learn how the district’s initiatives and priorities are being implemented in our schools by our dedicated staff.
- Learn about the values, norms, and expectations of our supportive community to best serve our students.
- Gain a better appreciation of how the district’s initiatives and priorities are publicized and understood in our community.
- Utilize the information gathered to:
- Create a transparent and reciprocal process with school and community members that is based on mutual trust and commitment in order to understand and address the district’s strengths and challenges.
- Develop a plan of strategic actions or refinement for the school district.
Listening and Learning
(July – September)
This phase will consist of meetings with district staff, school staff and community members to discuss our district goals and initiatives in order to learn about the strengths, challenges, and areas of improvement for Bellevue Schools. This is an important phase to listen and learn from students, teachers, principals, staff, parents, and community members. Through the different perspectives, we will learn how our district staff and community members perceive the efforts of our schools in order to meet our vision and mission.
In addition, I will analyze data from the 2016-17 school year as it becomes available to learn whether we have reached our goals at this time.
- What should Dr. Duran know about the Bellevue community?
- What are the strengths of the Bellevue School District that should be sustained?
- What are the challenges facing the Bellevue School District?
- What are some of the opportunities that the Bellevue School District needs to explore further or develop?
- Is there anything else you want Dr. Duran to know about the Bellevue School District and our community?
One-on-one meetings with:
School Board Members, Elected Officials, District Directors, Committee Chairs
Meetings with each central office team including:
Equity, Special Education, English Language Learners, Gifted, Curriculum & Instruction, Assessment, Interventions, Tutoring, Professional Learning, Leadership Development, Performance Management, Talent Management, Instructional Technology, Strategic Planning, Budgeting
Meetings with key stakeholders including:
Principals, Assistant Principals, Teachers, Focus Groups, Parents, Parent Organizations (PTSA, Special Needs PTSA, PABS), Students, Student Leadership Groups, Community Organizations (LifeSpring, Eastside Pathways, Jubilee Reach, Rotary, Bellevue Schools Foundation, Latinx, Promotores, Youth Link), Association Leaders, Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders, University Partners
Meetings are not limited to the individuals or groups listed above. If a stakeholder is interested in participating, please contact the superintendent’s office at (425) 456-4172.
Analyzing, Planning and Reporting
I will use the data that is gathered during the listening and learning phase to develop a summary report and presentation. This information will outline my findings and observations, and identify next steps. The summary information will serve as another resource to help inform the school board on the district’s goals, strategic focus areas, and planning. Information from Phase I will be shared with staff members and published online.
The information gathered will be used to create a summary report and findings. This resource will help guide the school board, district staff, and school staff in strategic thinking and planning to better support school leaders and teachers.
A work session with the school board will be held to study results of the Listening and Learning Phase.
Review & Adjust
At a retreat or workshop, the school board and I will review and adjust current goals, initiatives and priorities.
We are at a unique point in time for the Bellevue School District and our community. It is a time of great challenges, but also a time of great opportunities. It is a time to listen, learn, collaborate, and trust one another. It is a time to reach common understandings about the culture of Bellevue Schools, and how we can work together to meet our mission. Let us use this time wisely, to make sure that we are doing everything possible so that every student succeeds in our community. As we reflect on our successes, let us also embrace the future with confidence, purpose, and optimism. I look forward to meeting you and working together to create an equitable system and bright future for every student.