Bear Valley International School – A school for the community, by the community.
BVIS Vision: Bear Valley International School is a pillar of academic excellence and service in its local community, immersing students in educational experiences focused on leadership, active citizenship, and a culturally affirming curriculum.
BVIS Mission: Bear Valley International School engages scholars in whole child, restorative, and community based learning that is comprehensive, personalized, and engaging to prepare them to be active members of society.
At Bear Valley we commit to enacting the values of our Yeti community at all times, all staff and students will work to exemplify these core values each and every day as we are One Yeti, One ROAR.
At Bear Valley we believe in being a school by the community, for the community. We strive to lean into Restorative Justice and Practices as well as providing robust Mental Health, Social Emotional, and Special Education programs to meet all of our students’ individual needs while empowering them to find success as members of our community and as scholars pursuing their academic goals. We offer an inclusive and antiracist curriculum which provides all students with access to seeing themselves represented in coursework as well as to foster empathy as they learn of others’ experiences. Our school is integrating service, mentorship, and leadership into its core structures so that students leave our halls not only academically prepared for high school but also with a well-developed sense of self within the local and global communities of which they are a part.
Through our innovation status, we are able to create more Restorative structures within our school discipline matrix alongside service and community opportunities. We are also able to create a more innovative, antiracist, and culturally sustaining learning experience, going above and beyond the moves made within the standard DPS curriculum.
Bear Valley implements an innovative calendar which has a gradual start for grades to provide a Bear Valley Academy and provides time to create community from the first day of school. It also institutes multiple annual Mental Health seminars, referred to as One Yeti One Roar (OYOR), to provide a communal focus on mental health issues, skills, and to include students in the creation of school wide supports via artistic visual aids and community circles.
By having flexibility over PD and curriculum, Bear Valley is able to create more focused materials and staff learning/development that are inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming, and focused on Restorative Practices. Staff will receive Professional Development on Restorative Justice and Practices will take place annually as well as continually engaging in Antiracist, DEI, and LGBTQ+ affirming training to guide them in the long term development of these mindsets and competencies.
Bear Valley’s curricular flexibility also provides the ability to give students experience with Service as Action and Mentorship learning opportunities. Bear Valley places value on students’ understanding of and centering efforts as caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Students will exit our building ready for a rigorous high school experience while also fully prepared to enter into those buildings as leaders and community members with expertise in mentorship and service.
Finally, Bear Valley’s flexibility as an Innovation School allows for a more devoted focus to developing a school specific discipline matrix that meets the expectations of the DPS discipline policies while also providing opportunities for healing, reintegration, and restorative practices, such as operating a PASS Class program in place of In-School Suspension (ISS). These policies are collaboratively developed by staff, administration, Mental Health, and a Restorative Culture Team and are annually evaluated in a presentation of results and data to staff and community stakeholders in a CSC meeting.