• Council Roundup: Update on Bellevue schools

    Plus, National Police Week and health care worker celebration  

    The City Council Monday received an update from Bellevue School District Superintendent Ivan Duran on the district’s response to COVID-19.

    The school district, which closed schools on March 12, is focusing on a number of priorities including: providing meals, childcare and technology; graduating seniors; and supporting student emotional social well-being and academic work.

    To help ensure that basic nutrition needs are met, any student can receive lunch and breakfast for the next morning at six grab-and-go pickup locations or 33 pre-order delivery spots. Last week, an all-time high of 68,541 meals were served.

    Through the district, child care is available for first responders, health care workers, essential workers and students experiencing homelessness. Currently one location at Stevenson Elementary is serving approximately 100 students. The Boys and Girls Club is an essential partner.

    BSD is focusing on equity and access by providing a laptop for each student (2,975), internet connectivity (through 435 hotspots) and ongoing technical support in multiple languages for students and families. Drivers deliver laptops around the district where they are needed.

    During COVID-19, 26 bus drivers and attendants deliver meals and transport students to and from child care. 

    The district is working with seniors to support students in meeting academic requirements for graduation. In addition, resources are being provided to support the academic, social and emotional needs of students.

    The district is administering surveys approximately every three weeks to students, parents and staff to monitor progress and make adjustments. Results show that students have been impacted socially and emotionally due to not being in school with teachers and peers.

    Elementary and secondary learning plans are in place, with ongoing adjustments based on feedback.

    The presentation is located in the council agenda materials.

    National Police Week

    The council adopted a proclamation declaring the week of May 10-16 National Police Week in recognition and appreciation of our law enforcement officers. There are about 800,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S., including nearly 200 dedicated officers with the Bellevue Police Department. Every shift, these officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve, and each year officers die or are injured in the line of duty.

    Police Chief Steve Mylett noted that the second week in May is set aside to honor those who have died in the line of duty. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s candlelight vigil will be virtual and streamed live. During the event on Wednesday, May 13, all the names of the fallen will be read out loud. Once the ban on large gatherings has been lifted, there will be a public ceremony with the reading of the names. All the names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.

    Support for health care workers

    Fire Chief Jay Hagen updated the council on a countywide effort by emergency responders on April 16 to express appreciation for health care workers. Members of the Bellevue Fire and Police departments greeted Overlake Medical Center staff with flashing lights, handmade signs and cheers (video). 

    Staff on the upper floors caring for patients responded in kind with signs in the windows. Responders visited a total of 15 King County hospitals, with Bellevue Fire and Police joined by Mercer Island Fire, Redmond Fire and Tri-Med Ambulance.

    NOTE: The next council meeting will be a virtual special meeting on Monday, May 11, at 6 p.m. The meeting will air live on Bellevue Television. Further details and access instructions are available in the council calendar.

    Published on 05/06/2020