Admissions

Challenging and nurturing preschoolers who are bright, curious and original thinkers using research-based methods for working with young gifted learners

88% of our alumni children have moved on to gifted programs

We are moving!

We will move to our new home near Crossroads over this Winter Break, to the beautiful 8-acre campus of the Jewish Day School where we will have our own stand-alone classrooms and play yard.  This move allows us to expand our program in the 2019-2020 school year:  we will have two classrooms, the Grasshoppers (ages 2.5-4) and the Dragonflies (ages 4-5).  For more information about the classes, go HERE

 

Admissions tours in November and December will take place at our current campus in downtown Bellevue.  Admissions tours in January will take place at our new campus near Crossroads.  Parents who visit our current campus might want to attend an open house in January at our new site. 

Admissions Information

Children applying to Bellevue Discovery are considered for admission based on their potential for success in our program. The admissions policy reflects our non-profit organization’s commitment to challenging and nurturing young highly capable children through inquiry-based learning.

In making our admissions decisions, we give consideration for:

  • High intellectual ability
  • Creativity, advanced language skills and independent thinking
  • Gender balance, a healthy mix of personalities and cultural diversity
  • Social and emotional development
  • A match between a family’s goals and our educational philosophy

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BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER

The fact that we come highly recommended by alumni families, local IQ testers and the admissions directors at local independent gifted schools may not mean we are the right fit for your child or your family’s educational philosophy. Choosing a preschool for your child is a family decision that weighs many factors. Here are two factors to consider:  Bellevue Discovery’s curriculum focuses on creativity more than traditional academics. Our children are highly capable, learn at an advanced level, and are prepared for kindergarten at the gifted and independent schools they move on to.  However, if your family is committed to a traditional skills-based learning environment we will not be able to meet your goals.

Bellevue Discovery has a low teacher-child ratio (1:4), but we are not the right placement for a child who needs a more structured or therapeutic environment due to social or behavioral needs. If your child struggles with responding appropriately to adults to the degree that it would impact the learning of the other children in our classroom, we ask that you talk about your child’s needs with our Admissions Director before applying.  We are able to make many accommodations at Bellevue Discovery, and we foster divergent thinking and self-directed learning in our children.  However, on extremely rare occasions we have had to make the difficult decision to withdraw a child from our program due to the child’s social, emotional or behavioral needs.

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APPLICATIONS ARE DUE:  Thursday, January 31, 2019

A complete application packet includes:

  • Preschool Application
  • $100 non-refundable application fee
  • Teacher Questionnaire, mailed to Bellevue Discovery by your child’s current preschool teacher.  If the teacher will not complete the questionnaire, you are may give us a copy of your child’s most recent preschool progress report.  If your child has not yet attended preschool you may ask an activity class teacher or child care worker to complete the questionnaire – ideally someone who has worked with your child in a group setting.  Please give your child’s teacher a stamped envelope, addressed to Bellevue Discovery (227 Bellevue Way NE #270, Bellevue, WA 98004), along with the Teacher Questionnaire

If you have questions about our admissions process, please contact our Admissions Director, Bhavya Srivastava, at Registration@BellevueDiscovery.org.

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CHILD VISIT DAY:  Friday, February 8, 2019

Child Visit Day is required for all applicants.  After receiving your child’s application materials we will contact you by email to schedule a Child Visit the morning of February 8.  Child Visits are for the preschool applicant and a parent or parent-designated caregiver.  Several children will be scheduled for the same 45-minute visit time.  Your child’s visit will include time for free play and exploration, informal assessment by the teachers, a group circle time, and a simple teacher-directed activity.

Parents must stay at the preschool due to licensing regulations.  We encourage you to step back when your child is ready and let your child participate as independently as possible.  We do not expect children to do everything teachers ask during their visits:  we are looking for an eagerness to learn, not a performance.  Our goal is for children to enjoy their visit to Bellevue Discovery.

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ENROLLMENT NOTIFICATION BY EMAIL:  February 14, 2019

If your child completes our admissions process we will either:

  • offer your child enrollment
  • offer your child a place on our wait list
  • or make the difficult decision that our program is not the right fit for your child

If offered enrollment, a signed enrollment contract with a tuition deposit will be due a week and a half after enrollment is offered.  The non-refundable deposit will be one-tenth of the annual tuition; this deposit counts toward the annual tuition – it is not an additional fee.

Every year we have more qualified applicants than openings in our preschool classes. Some qualified applicants are offered enrollment and some are offered to be placed on our wait list. Most years a few children from our wait list are later offered enrollment due to families not accepting their enrollment offers or families moving before the school year begins.

Our wait list is not ranked. As space becomes available, children on the wait list are offered enrollment based on their unique strengths and learning styles, as well as the existing class composition.

If you contact us about admissions after our classes are full we will be happy to add your child’s name to the wait list for the school year. If space becomes available we will contact you to see if you want to complete the admissions process. You can have your child added to our post-admissions wait list by emailing our Admissions Director at Registration@BellevueDiscovery.org and providing the following information:

  • Parent’s name or parents’ names
  • Child’s name
  • Child’s date of birth
  • How you heard about Bellevue Discovery

Admissions FAQs

Admissions Calendar

Preschool Application for the 2019-2020 School Year

Download HERE

Application due date:   January 31, 2019 

Evening Open Houses

Our Open Houses begin with a parent education seminar about young gifted children, followed by an overview of our preschool program and Q&A with our Head of School.  Open Houses are for adults only and parents must register to attend.

6-7 pm  ~ Parent Education Seminar: “Raising Young Gifted Children” 

7-8 pm  ~  Preschool Open House and Q&A with our Head of School

Seminar and Open House, Tuesday, December 4, 2018  ~  Register HERE

The following two Open Houses are at our new home on the JDS campus near Crossroads.

Seminar and Open House, Thursday, January 17, 2019  ~  Register HERE

Seminar and Open House, Monday, January 28, 2019  ~  Register HERE

In-Class Parent Visits

The best way to discover if our preschool is the right place for your child is to visit while class is in session.  You will have a chance to talk with our Admissions Director, Early Childhood Specialist, and Head of School, as well as see a variety of preschool activities.  In-class visits are for adults only and parents must register to attend.

Schedule:   9:45 to 11:00 am

November 6, 2018  ~ Register HERE

November 13, 2018  ~ Register HERE

November 27, 2018  ~ Register HERE

December 3, 2018  ~ Register HERE

December 4, 2018  ~ Register HERE

December 10, 2018  ~ Register HERE

December 11, 2018  ~ Register HERE

The following Parent Visits are at our new home on the campus of JDS near Crossroads:

January 14, 2019  ~ Register HERE

January 15, 2019  ~ Register HERE

January 22, 2019  ~ Register HERE

January 28, 2019  ~ Register HERE

January 29, 2019  ~ Register HERE

What is your teacher-child ratio?

We have a 1:4 teacher-child ratio with small homerooms. All of our teachers have at least their Bachelor’s degrees and have achieved the highest Educational Mastery level (Level 4) for early childhood teachers under the Department of Early Learning standards.

How old do children need to be to attend Bellevue Discovery?

Children must be between 30 months and five years old by August 31.

Younger Children

The Department of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) does not allow preschools to supervise children under 30 months of age. (The rules are different for child care centers.) We will consider enrollment for children who will be 30 months in the early fall if their parents commit to having an adult (parent, nanny, or grandparent) in the facility until the child is 30 months.

Does my child need to be potty trained?

Children need to be reasonably self-sufficient using the bathroom before beginning preschool at Bellevue Discovery. (Accidents still happen.)  Some children wear pull-ups at the beginning of the school year “just in case.”  Our teachers give frequent bathroom reminders at the start of the school year.

Older Children

DFYS does not allow preschools to enroll children who will turn six before the end of the school year.

We do not have an official kindergarten class but Bellevue Discovery has served kindergarten-age children with summer birthdays. Some of these children moved on to kindergarten the following year, and some moved on to public and independent school first grade classrooms. We are able to document a kindergarten-level curriculum for our older children but we cannot guarantee that a school will accept a Bellevue Discovery preschooler directly into first grade.

What is the tuition at Bellevue Discovery?

Bellevue Discovery has an annual tuition for our September-through-June school year which is set by our non-profit’s Board of Trustees.  For the 2019-2020 school year , the Trustees set tuition with a less than two percent increase from the previous year.

2019-2020 Grasshoppers Class (Monday-Thursday):  $15,100

2019-2020 Dragonflies Class (Monday-Friday):  $18,550

Most parents choose to divide the annual tuition into 10 payments. There are no additional fees for enrollment, supplies or field trips.  Bellevue Discovery is piloting Optional Early Care for the Dragonflies class for the 2019-2020 school year:  the early care fee has not yet been set.

Our tuition rate supports the 1:4 teacher-child ratio and our teachers’ after school Child Study time, but it does not cover the entire cost of preschool.  To make up the rest of our budget, our current and alumni families, staff, and community supporters donate to our annual “Show Your Love for Bellevue Discovery” giving campaign.  During the past seven years our families and community supporters have donated more than $300,000 to help build our program.

 

How we set our tuition rate:

Bellevue Discovery is a non-profit organization with a commitment to creating and sustaining a model program in early childhood inquiry-based gifted education. Each winter our all-volunteer Board of Trustees examines our budget to set priorities and to determine the next year’s tuition rate. Our first priority is maintaining program quality.

The vast majority of our tuition goes toward our teachers’ salaries. We have a 1:4 teacher-child ratio and all of our teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree. We pay our outstanding teaching staff at the 75th percentile for lead preschool teachers in the Puget Sound area.

Teacher-Child Ratios at local pre-Kindergarten programs (as listed on each school’s website)

  • 1:4 at Bellevue Discovery Preschool
  • 1:7 at The Bertschi School
  • 1:7 at The Evergreen School
  • 1:7 at St. Thomas Academy
  • 1:8 at University Child Development School
  • 1:9 at Bellevue Montessori
  • 1:9 at Cedar Crest Academy
  • 1:10 at Bellevue Children’s Academy
  • 1:10 at The Little School

What does “gifted” mean?

The word gifted is shorthand for “needing an advanced learning experience that is outside the norm and typically is not offered in a regular classroom.” Highly capable children are not better than other children – they just learn differently. Their learning is quantitatively different – they learn more quickly and with fewer repetitions. Their learning is also qualitatively different – they “leapfrog” through their learning instead of needing to take each subskill step by step. Gifted children are not gifted in every area. It’s not just that their cognitive, physical, social and emotional development can be asynchronous. It’s that even within the cognitive realm they can have areas of challenge and areas of enormous advancement. No two children are the same, and no two gifted children have the same set of strengths and challenges. What these children have in common is a “rage to learn.” See Young Gifted Children for more information.

Does Bellevue Discovery Preschool require I.Q. testing?

We do not require I.Q. testing at Bellevue Discovery.   The National Association for Gifted Children states that testing is not reliable or advisable for preschoolers.

Preschoolers are admitted to Bellevue Discovery based on their parents’ observations as related in a parent questionnaire, as well as our teachers’ observations and informal assessment activities during a Child Visit. Although almost 90 percent of our preschoolers later qualify for gifted programs, an offer of enrollment at Bellevue Discovery is not intended to formally identify giftedness.

Learn more about IQ Testing HERE.

Does Bellevue Discovery have a volunteer requirement?

There is no volunteer requirement at Bellevue Discovery.  Parents (and grandparents and nannies with parent approval) are welcome to volunteer in the classroom under the guidance of our Early Childhood Specialist. Some parents enjoy a weekly time slot and others like to volunteer for special events.

Our families are encouraged to attend Family Visit Day, the children’s culminating Project-Based Learning events, our Mothers’ Day Celebration in May and Moving Up/Fathers’ Day Celebration in June. Many parents, grandparents and nannies also attend our many, many gatherings:  Family Sing-Alongs, Project Galleries, class parties and family cultural events.

Bellevue Discovery is a non-profit organization. Our Trustees are volunteers, as are our committee members. As a non-profit we rely on the dedication and expertise shared by our families to keep our preschool and parent education programs sustainable for future families. We welcome our families’ active involvement and leadership.

Where do Bellevue Discovery preschoolers move on to kindergarten?

More than a third of our preschoolers in the last dozen years have moved on to The Open Window School in Bellevue.  Another 20 percent have moved on to three other local independent school that do an outstanding job working with gifted learners:  The Evergreen School, The Open Window School, Seattle Country Day School, and the University Child Development School.

Almost 90 percent of our alumni children have moved on to gifted programs in kindergarten, first, second or third grade.  While the vast majority of our children have moved on to independent schools, 20 percent have moved on to public school programs.

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