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    What makes us international?

    As an international school, we intentionally engage students in work that prepares them for citizenship in a 21st century, globally interdependent world. 

    Components of International Education
    in SPS

    Students in Seattle's International Schools

    • Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment.
    • Recognize diverse perspectives.
    • Develop critical and creative thinking skills.
    • Enhance communication and collaboration skills.
    • Translate their ideas into action.

    What's going on in Seattle's International Schools?


    At Mercer we

    • Prepare students to be global, 21st century citizens by offering a rigorous academic

      curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards.

    • Offer a continued pathway for dual language immersion students from Beacon Hill International Elementary School.

    • For students not in the immersion pathway, we offer Mandarin and Spanish language classes. Mercer students who complete 2 years of world language leave middle school having earned one credit toward high school graduation.

    • Strengthen students’ communication and collaboration skills by engaging in collaborative discussions across content areas.

    • Explicitly teach students through the lens of a growth mindset.

    • Celebrate the international heritages of our students through five cultural nights per year (Filipino Cultural Night, Latino Cultural Night, Asian Cultural Night, African-American Cultural Night, East African Cultural Night).

    • Teach students 21st century technology skills through STEM and technology elective classes and through robotics, wind turbine, and digital multimedia design courses through our partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Community Learning Center.

    •  Offer a Global Leadership elective course that teaches students leadership skills as they learn about global issues and how to take action in their communities.

    • View our students’ home languages as a tremendous asset to their education: in 2016-17, 81 8th graders earned a total of 239 high school credits through competency-based testing. 26 8th graders earned the Seal of Biliteracy, an accomplishment that will be noted on their high school transcripts.

    • Recently at Mercer International: 

        • 8th grade STEM students designed and engineered custom-built door stops using CAD software and a 3D printer.
        • 6th grade literacy students investigated, discussed, and taught their peers about global issues through the lens of protest movements of the 1960s.
        • Science and math students are using collaborative discussion to problem-solve and learn key content.
        • Spanish and Mandarin world language students are using 21st century technology to share their content learning and oral language skills using video apps
        • Technology students are gaining skills in professional digital media software as they hone their creativity.
        • Social studies students investigated environmental issues and solutions and gained proficiency in argument talk/writing techniques.
        • 8th grade Global Leadership students taught the Mercer community about the UN’s sustainable development goals and helped raise over $1500 to help empower youth living in poverty through the Students Rebuild organization
        • Global Leadership students participated in this year’s student-led WAGIN conference hosted at our immersion pathway high school, Chief Sealth International.
        • Take a look at our photo gallery to the right to see our international learning in action!

    Dual Language Immersion

    More information at Seattle Public Schools Dual Language Immersion site.

    What is Dual Language Immersion?

    • Dual Language Immersion (also known as Dual Language or Immersion) programs begin in all the international elementary schools where students learn the language through content-based instruction in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish 50% of the day and 50% in English.
    • Immersion Continuation programs in international middle and high schools offer one to two periods per day of enhanced language instruction, depending on the school.

    Dual Language Immersion at Mercer 

    • Dual language immersion students feed to Mercer from Beacon Hill International Elementary School.
    • Dual language immersion students have a guaranteed pathway to Chief Sealth International High School, where they will continue to take content courses in their target language. Dual language immersion students who attend their attendance-area schools will also have opportunities to continue their language studies.
    • Dual language immersion students continue their studies in either Spanish or Mandarin through their social studies classes (6th grade: Ancient Civilizations, 7th grade: Washington State History, 8th grade: U. S. History).
    • Spanish language immersion students receive one period (47 minutes) of instruction daily through social studies.
    • Mandarin language immersion students receive two periods (94 minutes) of instruction daily, one period in social studies and one period in direct language instruction. 

    Benefits of dual language immersion

    • High academic achievement  
    • Bilingualism/Biliteracy  
    • Cross-cultural relationships 
    • Respect for self, family, school, and community.
    • Leadership and self-confidence 
    • Strong school and parent partnership  
    • Expanded career opportunities  
    • Skills for a global economy


    For more information about international education at Mercer, contact Meg Luthin, International Schools Leadership Team, at

    international education logo english

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