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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 Issues elective course at every grade level 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: 

      • Students are learning to communicate and collaborate using collaborative discussions in every subject area
      • 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are participating in a new leadership development elective class called Mastering our Cultural Identity: The African-American Male Image. This course was developed in partnership with SPS’s African American Male Achievement Initiative and between SPS and Oakland Unified School District and the Seattle Parks Department.
      • Spanish and Mandarin world language students are using 21st century technology to share their content learning and oral language skills using video apps.
      • Mercer students got a taste of classical languages through a 10-week Introduction to Latin club, offered in partnership with OST.
      • Technology students are gaining skills in professional digital media software as they hone their creativity.
      • Social Studies students across grade levels are investigating current events on a regular basis, building global competencies and making connections between the local & global and past & present.
      • Students are making cross-cultural connections: This year, 8th grade Global Issues students learned alongside students in Jordan through the Global Nomads Group, and 7th grade Global Issues students are sharing letters and cultural objects with penpal classes in Taiwan through the iEarn program.
      • 7th grade Global Issues students led a the grade-level-wide action project as part of the Students Rebuild Facing Difference Challenge.
      • 6th grade Global Issues students researched global leaders using online library resources, including Seattle Public Library’s Library Link. 6th grade students also have

    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).
    • At the 6th and 8th grade levels, Spanish and Mandarin language immersion students receive two periods (100 minutes) of instruction daily. At the 7th grade level, Spanish and Mandarin immersion students receive one period (50 minutes) daily through social studies.

    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

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