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District News and Announcements

Social studies instructional materials available for review

Seattle Public Schools invites all families, staff and community members to review instructional materials under consideration for use in middle school social studies. This is the first of two rounds of review. Public input will help the Middle School Social Studies Adoption Committee narrow materials for the second review round. Public viewing of materials and feedback for the first round ends on Wednesday, April 15. Two options are available for review:

  1. Visit the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence during normal business hours to view the materials in person and fill out a feedback form. Materials are on display and forms are available in two locations: the School Board office on the first floor and the Professional Library on the second floor.

  2. Access the materials online. Click HERE for our adoption page, which provides links to PDFs with access instructions from three of the four vendors. The page also offers links to surveys  identical to the printed feedback forms available at the Stanford Center. These may be used to provide feedback for the online materials.
March 31, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

High-poverty elementary offers free, full-day PreK

Bailey Gatzert PreK teacher and studentsIt’s a daily ritual, the walk around the perimeter of the Bailey Gatzert Elementary playground: Teacher Daren Chamberlin leading 20 prekindergarteners, like little ducklings in a row.

Construction workers have dug a deep pit on the other side of the fence, and the little ones wave to the hard-hatted worker standing inside, but they want to see all the way in. So the kids wait patiently in line as 6-foot-3 Chamberlin lifts each one high into the air. “We want the children to experience the changes that are happening in our neighborhood and see the types of work that people do,” Chamberlin says.

Promoting school-community connections is one of the many ways that Chamberlin is preparing these students for kindergarten in the school’s new free, full-day prekindergarten – one of the first in the district.


ALSO SEE: King5 TV's recent story about SPS's new preK program at Bailey Gatzert.

March 31, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

2014 Healthy Youth Survey results released

What can you learn from the Healthy Youth Survey? Lots. Including:

  • 26 percent of seniors reported recently riding in a vehicle driven by someone who had been using marijuana.
  • Electronic smoking device use among middle and high school students rose dramatically.
  • Rates of sexual intercourse have dropped annually since 2010.
Find out much, much more on our Student Health Surveys page.

March 26, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Proposed 2015-16 School Year Calendar

A draft calendar has been proposed for the 2015-16 school year and is going before the Seattle Public Schools School Board Executive Committee on April 2, 2015. It will be introduced to the board at the April 22 school board meeting and the board will take action on it May 6.

Draft important dates under consideration by the school board:

  • Sept. 9: Start of school
  • Dec. 21-Jan 4: Winter break
  • Feb. 15-19: Mid-winter break
  • April 11-15: Spring break
  • June 23: Last day of school

Again, these are still draft dates until the school board votes. Upon approval (or changes and approval) this information will be updated and families will receive communications on the approved calendar.

March 26, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

How SPS gets enrollment predictions so close to the mark

Accurately estimating student enrollment the next school year, and for many school years ahead, is fundamental to the district’s ability to provide the best education for every student in every classroom, every day. What goes into determining those estimates is careful statistical analysis and research by a team of experts in everything from statistics to demographics.

Recently, the district’s overall enrollment projections have been within a half of a percent of actual enrollment.


March 26, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Seattle teacher earns top honor in physical education

Huge congratulations to Shelly Ellis, named National Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America.

Shelly, who teaches physical education and health at Broadview-Thomson K-8, earned the regional honor this fall to place her in the running for the national award. The top honor was announced Friday, March 20, at a banquet during the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) National Convention & Expo, held in Seattle from March 17-21. More than 5,000 teachers and physical activity professionals attended.

Click HERE to read about Shelly's innovative approaches to teaching and her work as a leader in the field.

March 23, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Franklin's Mock Trial team heads to state competition (again)

It’s one of those jewels of a program found throughout Seattle Public Schools: Ever since High School Mock Trial Competitions began two decades ago, Franklin High School has been there, earning top rankings against private powerhouses like Seattle Prep, University Prep and Seattle Academy.

In 2000, Franklin went all the way to the top, taking first place in the National Competition – the first Washington team to take the national title.

Franklin’s Mock Trial tradition continues on March 27-29 when the team heads to the State Championships in Olympia, hosted by the Washington YMCA.


March 19, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

T.T. Minor School to be modernized and expanded

architect drawing of new entry to TT Minor

Construction will begin this summer for the modernization and expansion of T.T. Minor School, which will become the new home for Seattle World School.


March 19, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Unified Drama brings together every voice and all abilities

In the stage-lit theater of Roosevelt High School, Madina steps to the front of the stage and begins telling a story in American Sign Language.

Another student moves into the light and says: “They can’t understand you – I don’t think they’re listening.”

Others chime in:
“Why can’t you at least try to speak?”
“She is speaking, but you don’t speak her language.”
“Let her speak!"

Then, “We all have a voice and a story to tell, but sometimes it’s hard to get anyone to listen, to take the time and really get to know who we are.”

That is an overarching theme of “Voices,” a Unified Drama production that will be performed on Thursday, March 19, in the Roosevelt High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Unified Drama draws together students of all abilities, including those in special education and some who are not, in “an inclusive environment that fosters respect for every voice and all abilities.”


March 19, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Video provides look at state assessments

The testing window has opened for our new state assessments, called Smarter Balanced. They will allow districts and teachers to see how our students are meeting more rigorous standards in reading, writing and math.
Not all students are taking the assessments this month; some won’t take them until April or May. Individual schools will send schedules to families. Meanwhile, this video provides a glimpse of what the new online assessments look like. You can find more information on our Smarter Balanced web page.

March 16, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Shorter wait times, more applications during this year’s Open Enrollment period

Parents and guardians had an easier time enrolling their students for school this year, thanks to improved procedures and better customer service at Seattle Public Schools’ central office.

Wait times, in-person at the John Stanford Center and on the phone, were a fraction of what they were last year, even though the district processed hundreds more enrollment applications and school choice forms.

Service Center Manager Faauu Manu, who oversees enrollment and customer service, attributes this year’s success to better information, better communications and better outreach.
These improvements are all part of Superintendent Larry Nyland’s 100-day plan for customer service improvement. The plan includes direction on increasing customer service through better information on the district website, customer service training at the central office, and stronger two-way engagement with families and community.


March 16, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Seattle Public Schools to host Community Meetings on the February 2016 Operations and BTA IV Capital Levies

Seattle Public Schools is hosting five community meetings to share information about our upcoming Operations Levy and our Buildings, Technology, Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy which will be submitted to Seattle voters in February 2016. 

The Operations Levy renews every three years, represents nearly 25% of the District’s annual general fund budget and supports basic educational programs not fully funded by the state.

The Buildings, Technology and Academics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy renews every six years and funds hundreds of small renovations and major maintenance projects, as well as technology, academic and athletic initiatives at our school buildings.

Staff members will present information, ask for comments and answer questions.

March 24,
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Mercer International Middle School
1600 South Columbian Way
Tagalog, Chinese,
Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese
March 25,
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Ballard High School lunchroom
1418 NW 65th Street
Chinese, Spanish
March 30,
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Nathan Hale High School
10750- 30th Avenue NE
Chinese, Spanish
March 31,
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Fairmount Park Elementary School
3800 SW Findlay Street
Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese
April 2,
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Meany Middle School
stage room
301-21st Avenue East
Spanish, Somali,
Vietnamese, Chinese

Comments and questions may be emailed;

  • for the BTA IV Capital
  • for the Operations Levy:
  • or mail to: Levies 2016, Seattle Public Schools, M.S. 22-336, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, Washington, 98124-1165.

March 10, 2015 | Tom L. Redman, Communications | Phone: (206) 252-0305

Past stories are posted in the News Story and News Release Archive

A selection of news articles and online coverage featuring Seattle Public Schools are posted in the News Coverage Archive

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If you are having difficulties accessing or navigating our website, please contact the District Webmaster for help. More information regarding accessibility, terms of use, and other website information can be found on our Site Info webpage.

SPS complies with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to:  Title IX, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and RCW 49.60 (“The Washington Law Against Discrimination”).  SPS’s compliance includes, but is not limited to all District programs, courses, activities, including extra-curricular activities, services, and access to facilities.

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) provides Equal Educational Opportunities and Equal Employment Opportunities and does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex; race; creed; color; religion; ancestry; national origin; age; economic status; sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity; pregnancy; marital status; physical appearance; a disability; veteran or military status; or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal.  SPS provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:
Requests for Accommodation
Student 504: Carole Rusimovic, 206-252-0118,
Adult 504: Brent Jones, 206-252-0027,
Sexual Harassment
The Interim Title IX Coordinator is Barbara Nahouraii: 206-252-0367,
All Other Forms of Discrimination
Student Matters: Larry Dorsey, 206-252-0707,
Adult Matters: Brent Jones, 206-252-0027,
Mail:  Seattle Public Schools, P.O. Box 34165, Mail Stop 33-157, Seattle, WA 98124-1165.

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