Why We Do It - Eastside Pathways
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Why We Do It

We believe that every child on the Eastside deserves the opportunities to succeed.

The broader Eastside is a vibrant, growing, and diverse community. While there has long been a perception of cities like Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond as affluent and homogeneous suburbs, the reality is quite different. A large number of families—including many children—are struggling because of economic, racial, and cultural inequities.

  • 95 first languages are spoken in the Bellevue School District.
  • 35 percent of students speak a first language other than English. The top two languages are Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, followed by Korean, Russian, Telugu, Cantonese, and Japanese.
  • The Eastside is home to many low-income families. The Bellevue School District has four elementary and one middle school that receive federal Title I dollars, as well as two elementary, one middle school and two high schools that receive Learning Assistance Program (LAP) dollars.


In 2014, the City of Bellevue adopted the Diversity Advantage vision statement that declares, “Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength.”

As the Eastside continues to grow and change, we must harness this strength. We believe that zip code or family background should not define the limits of a child’s potential. We believe that everyone can succeed. We won’t accept the idea of us failing even one child.

We need to do better for our lower-income students.


We need to make investments in early education to create a strong foundation that leads to future success.


We need to coordinate programs and make systems change to support ALL children in our community, so they have a postsecondary credential that provides access to a living-wage career.


We need the entire community to work together to ensure all our children reach their potential.



Over 3,700 students (19 percent) receive free or reduced-price meals at school.


14 percent are English Language Learners (ELLs).


Special Education programs serve 7 percent of students.


More than 1 in 100 students is homeless.


There were 15.6 cases of child abuse and neglect per 1,000 youth in 2015.


The district-wide high school graduation rate is over 90 percent, but for low-income students and English language learners, graduation rates are closer to 70 percent.


By 2020, 70 percent of jobs in Washington are expected to require postsecondary education, yet there are students who aren’t even finishing high school.

Map showing Eastside school district boundaries 

Visit our Data Dashboard to get more details about core indicators and factors that contribute to those outcomes.

In 2011, Eastside Pathways began its journey towards a goal of creating a community where every child thrives, cradle to career. We are working with community partners to change systems and close gaps so that our children can be happy, healthy, and successful.

Equity gaps in outcomes for students in East King County are large,
often 30 percentage points or more. We need to close these gaps.