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  about our Preschool and Admissions  

  • What is your teacher-child ratio?
    We have a 1:4 teacher-child ratio with small homerooms throughout our preschool day.
  • How old do children need to be to attend Bellevue Discovery?
    Children must be between 30 months and five years old by September 1st. 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! Our teachers give frequent bathroom reminders at the start of the school year. If a child has a wet or messy accident our teachers will talk them through the process of changing their own clothes. Bellevue Discovery does not provide toilet training. Older Children We do not have an official kindergarten class but Bellevue Discovery has served kindergarten-age children with summer or fall 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 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 2023-2024 school year, the annual preschool tuition will be: 2024-2025 Grasshoppers Class (Monday-Friday): $23,100 2024-2025 Dragonflies Class (Monday-Friday): $23,100 AM Extended Care: $1,100 PM Extended Care: $5,700 Most parents choose to divide the annual tuition into 10 payments. There are no additional fees for enrollment, supplies or field trips. Our tuition rate supports the 1:4 teacher-child ratio in our preschool program 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. 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 our preschool teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree. We pay our outstanding teaching staff at the 90th percentile for lead preschool teachers in the Puget Sound area.
  • 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 “curiosity to learn.”
  • 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.
  • 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 help the Early Childhood Specialist plan class parties, family cultural events, and other classroom celebrations. Parents serve on our Board of Trustees, the Parent Education Committee, the IT Task Force (whom teachers call when we need tech support!), and in other roles that support our mission and programs.
  • Do you have an Extended Care Program?
    Bellevue Discovery offers an Extended Care program to families enrolled in our preschool program. The Extended Care program has a 1:6 teacher-child ratio. Morning Extended Care - Available 8:30 am to 9:30 am Afternoon Extended Care - Available 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm Preschool hours are 9:30am - 1 :00pm. Occasionally, a few children (usually those with no prior preschool experience) may not be ready to attend the Extended Care program in addition to our Preschool program. In addition to this, some students may be enrolled in our afternoon extended program but may benefit from additional time to transition to a longer day. At the end of the first week of preschool, our Preschool Director may contact families whose children may need to start with a shorter hourly schedule. Our primary goal is to nurture and build a relationship with our children first before they are able to stay at school throughout an extended day. Children need to feel safe and loved before they can learn!
  • What is the preschool schedule?
    Our part-time preschool has a September through June school year, with breaks that typically follow the Bellevue School District calendar. Both the Grasshoppers & Dragonflies Classes run Monday-Friday, 9:30am-1:00pm. We offer an Extended Care program which runs from 8:30am-9:30am and from 1:00pm-6:00pm. While most children are ready to stay the full preschool day (9:30am-1:00pm) beginning the first week, a few children - usually those with no prior preschool experience - may need a bit more time to transition. At the end of the first week of preschool, our Preschool Director will contact families whose children may need to start with a shorter hourly schedule. Children almost always are ready to transition to the "full" preschool schedule within 3 weeks. Our goal is for children to feel safe and loved and ready to learn.
  • Is Bellevue Discovery a secular preschool?
    Yes, we are a secular preschool. We love celebrating our preschool families' diversity of cultures, and sometimes our children hear about a religious practice as part of a cultural celebration. We do not promote religious beliefs, and we absolutely support our children believing what their families believe, whether faith-based or atheist.
  • Does Bellevue Discovery require children to be up-to-date with their vaccinations?
    Yes. At Bellevue Discovery we believe in science, as do our families. All children must be up-to-date with their vaccinations according to the immunization schedule set by Washington State. Exceptions are made for children who have medical exemptions and/or who are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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