Forest Ridge is located in a quiet, safe, suburban residential area with sweeping views of the Seattle and Bellevue skyline. Forest Ridge is known as a safe campus with 24/7 adult supervision in the Residential Life program.
It is not easy for most students to leave parents, friends, and the food they are used to behind and live in a new location or culture, so it is expected that there will be an adjustment period for most students. The residential staff members are trained to help students adapt to their new community, engage in new experiences to meet others, and provide coordinated activities that help students learn, grow and build confidence. We typically see students adjust to their new home anywhere from two to eight weeks, but every student’s journey is different.
The focus is on quality—whole foods, locally sourced, provided by environmentally sustainable suppliers. The experienced head chef offers a wide variety of delicious hot and cold foods with balanced, healthy options prepared onsite. All the breads and pastries are home baked onsite. We provide gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options as well. There are no peanuts—we use other tree nuts for meals. No artificial colors, trans-fats, MSG or sulfites are used in meal preparations. We have a number of chefs on campus and most of them hold degrees in a Nutrition and Culinary Arts Programs from nearby Bastyr University.
Forest Ridge Exchange students and international students are celebrated monthly by planning menus and cooking foods from their home country. The school has their own bees that provide honey and two organic gardens on-site that produce potatoes, corn, squash, lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables that are used in café meals. Dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. every weekday evening for the boarding students in The Commons (also known as The FRidge). Grab and Go meals are available on Saturdays to supplement flexible schedules for student activities.
Forest Ridge has 24-hour access to physicians and nurses. The program has an On-Call Dorm Nurse who is available for consultations. The residential staff members are trained in First Aid/CPR and trained to respond proactively to student needs. Overlake Hospital in Bellevue and Seattle Children’s Hospital are utilized in the event of a medical emergency. International students utilize Myers and Toohey Accident Insurance in the event of an injury or accident.
The Residential Life program is collaborative in the sense that many members of the community are engaged with student progress and outcomes that are consistent with the Goals and Criteria of the school. Teachers, the school chef team, advisors, admissions team, residential staff, learning support specialists, the school Principal, the dorm nurse—all are members of the student’s community in the United States and act as designated advocates and caregivers for all dorm students.
Study Hall is structured time in which 9th and 10th grade students work quietly in the school library free from distractions such as their phones. Study hall is held on school nights for two hours. If students complete their homework early, they are expected to use their time productively—some students read library materials, while others use that time to plan for the following week. Study Hall is required for all dorm students once a week. In addition, school personnel such as a High School Learning Support Specialist, School Librarian and the School Counselor offer services to Residential Life students throughout the year. Residential Life workshops are held once a month to build student relationships and academic skills. Small group discussions are facilitated on topics such as establishing roommate agreements, travel safety tips, utilizing assertive communication and setting personal goals.
Students are expected to wash their own personal clothes, bed sheets and towels. The program houses free washers and dryers during designated times for student use. All students during Residential Life orientation weekend are taught how to wash and dry their own clothes and residential staff are available to help students as needed. Students are expected to purchase and store their own laundry supplies.
There are a variety of activities that dorm students participate in on the weekends. Off-campus activities may include trips to Seattle, bowling, going to the movies, hiking, community service, trips to shopping centers, visits to museums, cultural events and parks. Each weekend, we offer the opportunity for students to go to the local YMCA, as well as a trip to the local shopping center for any errands they may need to complete. On-campus activities may include game nights, movie nights, karaoke, a variety of baking and craft projects, and indoor/outdoor group games. Dorm students may also wish to travel off campus with other boarding students or day students on the weekend. With certain parent permissions, students are permitted to travel off-campus by public transportation, parent/student drivers or taxi.
Each school year, the school posts its key dates calendar which outlines the dates that the dorm is closed. The dorm is generally closed for approximately two weeks during the December holiday school break and approximately one week during Spring Break. Students and parents are encouraged to check their school portal, Veracross, for exact dates of dorm closures.
If students wish to request airport transportation they are asked to check the dorm airport transportation dates and times available to guarantee transportation. Students who plan travel outside of the dorm’s airport transportation dates and times may have to arrange their own airport transportation.
All students, except for dorm student leaders, will have at least one roommate. Roommates are generally assigned based roommate surveys, grade level considerations, and insight by residential staff members. Roommate assignments for students who participate in the residential life program in their 9th and 10th grade years are largely decided by the dorm directors to ensure students have new living experiences with various students. The program tries their best to room students from different countries. The 11th and 12th grade students have some flexibility in selecting roommates, if possible.
Students share communal showers and bathrooms. Students are expected to purchase their own toiletries and are responsible for maintaining items that are needed for personal hygiene. The program provides weekly trips to the local mall to purchase personal items needed.
4800 139th Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA 98006 | 425.641.0700