Requirements

Big Picture School offers students a tight knit, personalized, non-traditional learning environment where students have a voice in determining what and how they learn and how they demonstrate understanding. This is a different environment from most district schools, and as such, Big Picture School is not the right fit for all students. Big Picture School requires each applicant to demonstrate motivation and commitment to the Big Picture program and learning philosophy and will determine admission/non-admission based on the following requirements for acceptance:

  • attend a BP information session,
    • January 12 at 6:30pm – 6th-12th grade
    • January 18 at 6:30pm – 6th-12th grade
    • January 24 at 6:30pm – High School Only, including current BP 8th graders
    • February 1 at 6:30pm – 6th-12th grade
    • February 7 at 6:30pm – 6th-12th grade
  • complete an application form,
  • submit a written statement explaining why they think that Big Picture School is the right school for them (included in application materials and for informational purposes only – the essay is not used for screening applicants though is required for all applicants to complete), and
  • sign the Big Picture Code of Commitment.

Enrollment Period

The Big Picture enrollment period typically runs from mid-January to mid-February. During that time we will host information sessions for families who are interested in attending.

Application Procedure

Applications will be submitted via an online process and will include required supplemental materials, including student and parent essays and signed code of commitment, to be completed after email verification.

  • Email address MUST be verified within 10 minutes of submitting the application or the application will not be accepted and will need to be resubmitted
  • Applicants will receive notification that their application has been received; this notification will be sent to the verified email address
  • Families who do not have internet access may:
    • Obtain and submit a paper copy of the application to the school or District office
    • These forms will be manually added to the online process
    • These families will receive off-line communication regarding their application
    • This will not increase nor decrease their chance of being selected in the lottery
  • For a younger sibling to be guaranteed a spot because an older sibling is already attending the school, the application for the younger sibling must be submitted by the due date
    • If we do not receive an application by the due date, the younger sibling will not be accepted to the school and will instead be added to the end of the waiting list
  • Applications received late or incomplete will not be added to the lottery but will be added to the end of the waiting list
    • All applications are due by February 10, 2017
  • There is no preference given to early applications for the lottery. After the end of the open enrollment period, student applications will be accepted on a first come first served basis and added to the end of the wait list
  • Grade 7-12 applications are accepted on a rolling basis and admission is granted as soon as openings are known
  • Multiple applications for the same student will result in all applications being rejected from the lottery and instead added to the end of the waiting list
  • If you need to update an application, please contact Student Placement at 425-456-4200
  • The lottery will be held at the District office in late February
  • Notification of lottery results will be sent one week after the lottery
  • Residency verification and confirmation of acceptance will be required within two weeks of lottery notification
    • If, after acceptance to the school, residency cannot be established in the time frame required, the student will forfeit their place at the school and it will be offered to the next student on the waiting list

All important documents are linked in the right column of this page.

New to the District?

All students new to the Bellevue School District must first register at their neighborhood school before they can apply to Big Picture. Learn how to register…

Enrollment Procedure

1.0 General

1.1 The Bellevue Big Picture School is designed as a seven-year integrated program commencing in grade 6 and continuing through grade 12.

1.2 Admission will be granted on a space available basis to qualified applicants selected under this Procedure.

1.3 For the purpose of this Procedure, the nonresident children of full-time employees of the Bellevue School District shall follow the lottery guidelines set forth for residents of the Bellevue School District. These students will need to follow the requirements described in section 6.1.

1.4 Residents of the Bellevue School District will receive first priority for admission to the Bellevue Big Picture School. If there is space available after the applications for all residents and nonresident children of full-time employees, admission of nonresident students will be offered. The school and District websites will indicate if the school is accepting applications from nonresident students for the upcoming school year.

1.5 Applications will be available via the school website. Late, incomplete and multiple applications for the same student will not be accepted and will, instead, be placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list. Applicants with siblings already at the school must submit an application by the due date; failure to do so will result in the applicant being placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list. Completed applications must be submitted by the due date. Applicants without internet or email access may complete a paper form to submit their application. Paper applications will be manually entered into the online application tool by Student Placement. For more information, please see Resident Admission procedures, below.

1.6 The Bellevue Big Picture School application schedule will coincide with the Bellevue School District Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period for resident and nonresident students.

1.7 Students will be admitted for specific grade levels. The school will accept students entering 6th-12th. Sixth grade admission occurs via lottery. Admission to grades 7-12 is based on space availability and is at the discretion of the principal. Part-time or home-based enrollment is not available at the Bellevue Big Picture School

1.8 All new 6th grade students who are accepted to the Bellevue Big Picture School via the lottery will be given the opportunity to attend an informational interview, tour and/or shadow day.

2.0 Verification of Residency

2.1 All applicants applying as residents to the Bellevue Big Picture School must be residents of the Bellevue School District at the time of application following the guidelines in District Procedure 3120P.

2.2 If, after acceptance to the school, residency cannot be established in the timeframe required, the student will forfeit their place and it will be offered to the next student on the waiting list.

3.0 Resident Sixth Grade Application Process

3.1 During the Bellevue School District Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period, the Bellevue Big Picture School will hold informational meetings for prospective students. All new 6th grade students who are accepted to the Bellevue Big Picture School via the lottery will be given the opportunity to attend an informational interview, tour and/or shadow day. If a space becomes available in grades 7-12, applicants will be given the opportunity to meet with the school.

3.2 Bellevue School District resident students (as defined by District Procedure 3120P) may apply during the current school year and be placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list or during the District enrollment period used for all Open Enrollment, Choice School Applications and special programs for the next school year. Resident applicants will be required to show proof of residency.

3.3 In accordance with State Law, the children of any full-time employee at the Bellevue Big Picture School shall be admitted if the employee so requests. The student may remain at the Bellevue Big Picture School until graduation regardless of the parent’s employment status. The overall enrollment target for the school shall be raised by one for each such student enrolled at the Bellevue Big Picture School in any given year. If these students are not residents of the Bellevue School District, they must submit an Interdistrict Transfer Application to the Bellevue School District their first year in the school and a Choice Transfer Form each year they are enrolled in the Bellevue School District.

3.4 Applications will be available via the school website. Late, incomplete, and multiple applications for the same student will not be placed in the initial lottery and will, instead, be placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list. Applicants with siblings already at the school must submit an application by the due date; failure to do so will result in the applicant being placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list.

3.5 Completed applications must be submitted via the online process by the due date. Applicants will need to verify their email address within ten (10) minutes of submitting the application. Failure to do so will result in rejection of the application and it will need to be resubmitted. An email containing further instructions will be sent to the verified email address.

3.6 Applicants without internet or email access may complete a paper form to submit their application. The form is available, by request, at the Bellevue Big Picture School or the Student Placement Office at the District Office (ESC Building). Both locations will accept the completed paper application forms. Paper forms submitted at the school will be scanned and emailed to the Student Placement Office who will manually entered them into the online application tool. Applicable automated responses will be sent, via US Mail, to the address on the application form. Late, incomplete, and multiple applications for the same student placed in the initial lottery and will, instead, be placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list. Applicants with siblings already at the school must submit an application by the due date; failure to do so will result in the applicant being placed at the end of the appropriate waiting list.

3.7 The goal of the Big Picture School is to have a diverse student body. Accordingly, to ensure that socioeconomically disadvantaged students have an opportunity to attend Big Picture School, 19 percent of the enrollment positions will be reserved for students who are eligible for free and reduced price meals. Parents may consent to disclose free and reduced price meal eligibility to the district as part of the application process. This consent will be limited to the enrollment process and all information will be held confidential as provided by Federal and State law. Parents may also choose to not provide this consent and their applications will be processed without consideration of socioeconomic status. To ensure geographic representation from across the District (North, South, East and West) all remaining applicants will be put in a random lottery according to the location of their home address. The District will ensure that there is a gender balance of not greater than 10 percent difference among all the names drawn in each lottery. The District may be required to make adjustments to equalize the gender balance to comply with Federal and State law.

3.8 Applicants will be notified of their acceptance to the Bellevue Big Picture School via email. Applicants without email access will be notified of their acceptance by phone and in writing, sent via the US Mail. All applicants must notify the school, in writing, following the instructions provided in their acceptance notification, to affirm their intention to attend in the fall. All replies must be postmarked no later than the date provided in their notification email. Failure to affirm will result in forfeiting a position at the school.

3.9 The number of openings for each grade for each school year will be based upon a total enrollment target of 525 +/- 10 students. Up to 80 students will be enrolled in each grade. For exceptional circumstances, these numbers may be adjusted with a target of no more than +/- 10 students at the principal’s discretion. Middle School enrollment will be offered from the waiting list for each grade up to 80 students per grade for grades 6-8. Enrollment in High School will be offered to students on the waiting list as space is available.

3.10 If the Bellevue Big Picture School receives more applications from qualified 6th grade applicants than it is able to admit during the District Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period, a lottery may be conducted taking into account the whether the applicant will be attending the Bellevue Big Picture School the following year and interests toward ensuring a diverse student body.

4.0 Sixth Grade Lottery Procedure

4.1 The lottery and waiting list procedures will be the same for resident and nonresident applicants. Resident applicants will receive preference in admission. The school and District websites will indicate if the school is accepting applications from nonresident students for the upcoming school year.

4.2 Sixth grade applications received during the District Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period will be numbered consecutively (separate lists for resident and nonresident applicants). Multiple applications of siblings at the 6th grade level will be assigned one lottery number. After the end of the District Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period, the applications for sixth grade will be prioritized using random lottery, witnessed by the PTSA president (or another PTSA officer if president is not available), a school staff member and a District staff member. The lottery will be held at the District office and will not be a public event.

4.3 Applicants will be notified of their acceptance to the Bellevue Big Picture School via email. Applicants without email access will be notified of their acceptance by phone and in writing, sent via the US Mail. All applicants must notify the school, in writing, following the instructions provided in their acceptance notification, to affirm their intention to attend in the fall. All replies must be postmarked no later than the date provided in their notification email. Failure to affirm will result in forfeiting a position at the school.

4.4 Applicants who are not accepted in the lottery will be placed on a waiting list in the order they were drawn in the lottery. There will be separate waiting lists for residents and nonresidents. Admission from the waiting lists is at the discretion of the principal.

5.0 Sibling Attendance

5.1 Qualified applicants who have a sibling attending the Bellevue Big Picture School may opt, during the period described above, to guarantee their enrollment. To be admitted as a sibling, a complete application form must be submitted by the due date; failure to do so will result in the applicant not being admitted to the school but, instead, being placed at the bottom of the appropriate waiting list. This admission is subject to the provisions of section 1.0 of this Procedure, and it is required that the sibling already in the Bellevue Big Picture School will be attending at the time of initial attendance by the applicant sibling and that the siblings will attend together for a minimum of one school year. The policy that siblings attend together for a minimum of one year applies to applicants of any grade of their waiting list status. An appeal to this policy may be made to a committee consisting of the school principal, counselor, District staff member and a member of the PTSA who has no particular connection to the student.

5.2 If, during the one-year period of dual enrollment, the sibling first admitted to the Bellevue Big Picture School makes a discretionary transfer to another school, the student admitted by the sibling guarantee privilege will revert to his/her original waiting list status. If there are applicants above him/her on the waiting list, the sibling must transfer to another school at the end of the semester. The applicant next on the waiting list will be offered enrollment.

6.0 Nonresident Students

6.1 During the Bellevue School District Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period, the Bellevue Big Picture School will hold informational meetings for prospective students. All applicants must attend an informational meeting and must complete all application requirements.

6.2 Should the child or children of nonresident full-time employee of the Bellevue School District be selected in the lottery, the student may remain at the Big Picture School until graduation regardless of the parent’s employment status. In accordance with Washington State Law, these students must submit an Interdistrict Transfer Application to the Bellevue School District their first year in the school and a Choice Transfer Request each year they are enrolled in the Bellevue School District.

6.3 Applications for qualified nonresident applicants to the Bellevue Big Picture School will be accepted during the Open Enrollment and Choice School Application period. These applications will be entered into a lottery if space is available after all applications from resident students and children of employees have been offered following District Policy 3141. Applicants will be notified of their status and will be subject to the same affirmation procedures above.

6.4 The lottery and waiting lists for nonresident students will be facilitated in the same manner as described for resident students.

6.5 Nonresident students who have been admitted to the Bellevue Big Picture School under the provisions of this policy will be required to reapply on a yearly basis via a Choice Transfer Request. In accordance with Washington State Law, these students must submit an Interdistrict Transfer Application to the Bellevue School District their first year in the school and a Choice Transfer Request each year they are enrolled in the Bellevue School District. Students enrolled as Bellevue School District residents who subsequently move outside the district boundaries will be allowed to attend the Bellevue Big Picture School through the end of the current grading period, at which time it will be necessary for them to reapply, in compliance with District Procedure 3141P. Reacceptance is not guaranteed.

6.6 In compliance with District Procedure 3141P, any student who has attended the Bellevue Big Picture School for a minimum of two years and moves out of the District during the last two grades of that grade span (e.g., Grades 4 or 5 for elementary) may continue to attend that school

until they have completed the highest grade at the school. In accordance with Washington State Law, these students must submit an Interdistrict Transfer Application to the Bellevue School District their first year in the school and a Choice Transfer Request each year they are enrolled in the Bellevue School District.

7.0 Waiting List Procedure

7.1 Waiting list procedures function the same for the resident and nonresident lists. Preference will be given to residents of the Bellevue School District.

7.2 Applicants who are not accepted to the Bellevue Big Picture School through the lottery process described above, will be added to the waiting list and notified of their place on the waiting list. Notification will be via email. Applicants who do not have email access will be notified of their status on the waiting list in writing via US Mail. All applicants who wish to remain on the waiting list need to affirm, in writing, of their desire to remain on the waiting list. All replies must be postmarked by the date listed in their notification.

7.3 Each spring students on the waiting list for each upcoming grade level (7-12) will be contacted to verify their interest to retain their place on the waiting list. This notification will be via email. Applicants who do not have email access will be notified of their status on the waiting list in writing via US Mail. All applicants who wish to remain on the waiting list must reaffirm, in writing, their desire to remain on the list. All replies must be postmarked by the date listed in their notification.

7.4 Students on those lists who have reaffirmed, in writing and postmarked by the notification date, will maintain their status on the waiting list and will be offered enrollment for the next school year depending on their place on the waiting list and if space is available. Any student who does not reaffirm his/her desire to remain on the waiting list, in writing and postmarked by the notification date, will be immediately removed from the waiting list. As student(s) are removed, the student(s) below them on the list move up.

7.5 In all instances, failure to affirm desire to remain on the waiting list and replies postmarked after the due date will result in the student being removed from the waiting list.

7.6 Each year, new applicants will be added to the appropriate waiting list as they are received. The sibling provision will apply as defined above.

7.7 Applicants who are admitted to the Bellevue Big Picture School will be removed from the waiting lists for all other Choice Schools.

8.0 Admission from the Waiting List

8.1 Admission in grades 7-12 will be offered to students on the waiting lists as space is available at the desired grade level. All admission in grades 7-12 is at the discretion of the principal and may require an interview.

8.2 Admission in grades 9-12 will only be offered at the beginning of the school year.

8.3 Students accepted into grades 7-12 may need to complete extra courses to fulfill the Bellevue Big Picture graduation requirements.

9.0 Compliance with District Policy and Washington State Law

9.1 It is the intent of this Procedure to comply with Bellevue School District Policy and Washington State Law. If at any time a portion or portions of this Procedure are found not to be in compliance with Bellevue School District Policy or Washington State Law those portions will be dealt with separately and will not impact the remaining Procedure.