There's a movement in Bellevue to include Russian language and culture in the classroom.
With the highest Russian population in the state on the east side of Puget Sound, the Russian community wants District 405 to include a language immersion program that honors their heritage.
While the district says it's not considering it, the community isn't giving up.
One of the main proponents is the owner of LaVida Dance Studio, Natasha Maltseva. A Russian immigrant, she has worked hard to teach her kids and students her native language.
"It's very important for me as a mother that my kids continue to speak the Russian language," said Maltseva.
She and others are pushing for a Russian language immersion program in the Bellevue School District. They've even started a petition to implore the school to implement the program.
According to the Bellevue School District, there are 338 students district-wide (Kindergarten – 12th grade) that have notified the district that they speak Russian. Out of 19,974 total students, just 1.7% of the population speaks Russian.
Maltseva thinks that number is off.
"No I just don't believe it," said Maltsava. "I really think something is miscalculated."
But even if it's accurate, she and others feel 338 kids are still a strong segment of the school that should be recognized.
"I think it's a missed opportunity for those who live on the east side," said Maltsava.
The district does offer dual language programs in both Spanish and at one school Mandarin.
Copyright 2016 KING