I graduated International in 2010 and have nothing but high praise. I appreciated the 7x7 curriculum and felt very prepared for my college level courses. Due to the school's size, getting involved in extra-curriculars is very easy. I also formed close relationships with my teachers and students in the other grades. I grew so much while at IS and have nothing but the fondest of memories. I will say that the science program isn't fantastic, but this is true across the district. Above all, my writing really improved throughout my time at IS (thanks to Mr. Webb and Mrs. Boxleitner), and I was a very happy student.
I went to this school for awhile at the beginning of the year, and it was the worst experiance of my life. The kids were completly unwelcoming to me (since i was coming in as a new student. I had to go through 6 monthes of therapy and a major depression after i left, because my confidence was completly knocked from me. I found that the teachers were very strict and uptight, and hard to understand for unconventional learners. This is just my experiance, but i would not recomend this school to anyone.
I'm a current student at IS, and I love it here. IS has, in particular, a great staff. Many teachers are absolutley adored, and it's a regular thing for students to hang out in various classrooms at lunchtime, or afterschool (often until 5 or 6pm, if they're waiting for a ride) not only to work, but to chat with other students, and with whatever teachers should happen to be in that classroom. Granted there are some teachers that most students agree don't teach to the same standards set by the rest of the staff, but I think that's true at any school. All the students also build great peer relationships here. Even if someone isn't one of your best friends, you're likely to be close enough to them to know their name, be able to tease them/joke with them, know who they hang out with, cont.
The International School is a truly unique school. It is the only public school in the Northwest to require seven years of foreign language, seven years of fine arts and/or seven years of physical education. It has created a welcoming community devoted to providing the best possible, well-rounded education.
This school is merely a posture of a good school: the teachers are nearly competent, the curriculum is hardly imaginative, the atmosphere is stifling, and the administration is a total joke, bending in to bureaucratic demands and whims of all types, with no regard towards sanity. IS has a marginally more conducive learning environment than other schools in the Bellevue school district - not saying much, by any means.
I'm an alumni of International and I spent 7 great years there. The teachers are amazing and I would go as far as to call many of them my great friends; I have learned so much from them. The school has changed and continues to change. I am sad to see the old International disappear so rapidly. It is a good school, but it use to be great.
A wonderful school, but I worry that the priorities of the district are such that they're willing to give up on International's amazing progress. I'm amazed to hear a district continually make claims that one of their schools isn't really that special.