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District News and Announcements

Teacher walk out, no school May 19

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) voted to join in a statewide action against the legislature to protest the lack of education funding in our state. The SEA is the organization of professionals and union that represents teachers in our district. This protest involves a one-day walkout.

SEA has selected May 19 as the day for their one-day walkout. Therefore, there will be no school for students on May 19 as teachers will not be at work on that day. SEA chose the day to provide the district two weeks of notice to work on arrangements in an effort to minimize disruption for students and parents to the greatest extent possible.
The district has been working to determine how to handle activities and events scheduled for May 19 that would be difficult to reschedule. For example, tests scheduled for that day will be rescheduled. However, previously scheduled interscholastic competitions will take place on May 19, after regular school hours.

While there is no school for students on May 19, the school day will have to be made up, just as we would make up a snow day or other unforeseen calendar change. The make-up day will be added to the end of the school year. This means Monday, June 15 will become a full school day and our last day of school will now be June 16. A revised school year calendar will be shared with families.

It is important for families to know that this SEA action is not directed at Seattle Public School families or community, but is a statement to the state legislature about the current lack of adequate state funding for basic education.
May 5, 2015 | Communications | Phone: (206) 252-0200

Community meetings and surveys on bell times

If elementary schools were to start and end earlier than they do today, and high schools were to start and end later, how would that affect your family, childcare options, job, schedule, after school activities, community sports needs, sleep, and more?

The district has scheduled several regional community gatherings to receive input on changing school start bell times. Anyone in the public is welcome to attend and provide input on whether the district should, 1) maintain current bell times, 2) adjust bell times by swapping current elementary and high school start times, or, 3) add an additional period to high school allowing families to opt for later start and end times.

Community Discussions

•    Tuesday May 5, from 7-8:30 p.m. – New Holly Gathering Hall (7054 32nd Ave. S.)
•    Wednesday May 6, from 7-8:30 p.m. – Garfield HS Cafeteria (400 23rd Ave.)
•    Tuesday May 12, from 7-8:30 p.m. – Chief Sealth HS Cafeteria (2600 SW Thistle St.)
•    Thursday, May 19, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Ballard High School Library (1418 NW 65th St.)

Can't attend a meeting?
You can view the videos and fill out the family survey provided at the meetings by clicking here.

If you prefer an online survey, you can take the online survey here and share additional input by emailing

As a reminder, family surveys from the meetings can be dropped off at the dropbox on the first floor of the John Stanford Center, at your local school, or emailed to

May 1, 2015 | School & Family Partnerships | Phone: (206) 252-0754

Bell Time Survey is now available, please share your input
As part of the Seattle Public Schools Bell Time Analysis, we would like staff to provide their input on how a bell time change could potentially impact them. The survey asks respondents to identify a number of factors that could be affected, either positively or negatively, by a change in the start and end times of the school day. Three options meant to solicit feedback are offered within the survey.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and let Seattle Public Schools know what you think about changing bell times.

If a Parent of a current student, click here.
If not a parent of a current student and member of the community, click here.
If a staff member of Seattle Public Schools, click here.

If you are both a staff member and a parent of a Seattle Public Schools student, please take both the staff and parent survey, as there are specific questions for each role.  

For more information on the bell time study, visit

April 28, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Seattle schools receive distinction for overall excellence
Twenty three Seattle Public Schools are being recognized with Washington Achievement Awards from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The awards acknowledge the schools for improvements in areas including reading, English, math and overall outstanding academic success.

Mercer International School has continued its success, earning the award for the past several years with recent honors in overall excellence in both reading and math categories.

This year’s Washington Achievement Award schools are:
  • Broadview-Thompson K-8 - English Language Acquisition
  • Cleveland High School - High Progress
  • Coe Elementary - English Language Acquisition
  • Dearborn Park International  Elementary School - Math Growth
  • Denny International Middle School - Math Growth
  • Franklin High School - High Progress
  • Greenwood Elementary- High Progress
  • Hazel Wolf K-8 - High Progress
  • Ingraham High School - High Progress
  • John Hay Elementary - Overall Excellence, Reading Growth
  • Lawton Elementary - Reading Growth
  • Maple Elementary - High Progress
  • McDonald International Elementary School - Overall Excellence
  • Mercer International Middle School - Overall Excellence, Reading Growth, Math Growth
  • North Beach Elementary  - Overall Excellence, Reading Growth
  • Pathfinder K-8 - High Progress
  • Stevens Elementary - English Language Acquisition
  • The Center School - Overall Excellence, Reading Growth
  • Thornton Creek Elementary - High Progress
  • Thurgood Marshall Elementary - High Progress
  • Wedgewood Elementary  - Overall Excellence, Reading Growth
  • West Seattle High School - High Progress
  • Wing Luke Elementary - High Progress       
“We are honored to have so many of our schools recognized for their hard work, dedication, and student success with this prestigious award,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland. “This recognition demonstrates the continuing efforts and achievements our students and staff are making in academic excellence.”

Schools are selected based on their statewide assessment data for the three previous years. This data is analyzed using the Achievement Index and Methodology.

All schools received their awards at a ceremony on April 28 in Spanaway.

April 28, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Seattle Public Schools to host a Community Meeting on the naming of two new school buildings on the Wilson-Pacific site

Drawing of Wilson Pacific site

Seattle Public Schools is hosting a community meeting to share information, accept public comment and answer questions about the naming of the new middle school and elementary school buildings to be constructed on the Wilson-Pacific site. The meeting will be held on Monday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lincoln building auditorium at 4400 Interlake Avenue North.

Seattle voters approved the February 2013 Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy, which included the construction of a new middle school building and new elementary school building: both are scheduled to open in September 2017.

This message is also available in the following languages: Spanish, Chinese, Somali and Vietnamese.

For information about the Wilson-Pacific and other BEX IV construction projects, please visit If you have questions or comments about this and any other Seattle Public Schools capital project, please contact Thomas L. Redman, Capital and Facilities Communications, at or 206-252-0655.

April 20, 2015 | Capital & Facilities | Phone: (206) 252-0655

Before: What it's like to be 11, just heading into middle school

About a year ago, Loyal Heights Elementary parent and filmmaker Terence Brown set up his camera and sat down with a group of students who were just finishing fifth grade. He wanted to capture their thoughts about how it feels to be 11, not really a kid but not quite a teenager.
Brown had, in a way, watched these kids grow up with his son, Jack, who is in the video. “I felt I had a really unique opportunity to capture these kids right at that moment between childhood and adolescence,” he said.
The resulting film is called “Before” and is the cornerstone of The Before Project.

"Before" was supported by a Kickstarter campaign and will likely grow, although, like the kids featured in the video, Brown isn’t completely sure what the larger project will become.
The Seattle Public Schools students in this video talk about what makes them happy and what scares them. They talk about sex, puberty, bullying and tragedies in the news. They have a lot to say, and they are well worth a listen.
April 9, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Naramore exhibit of SPS student art at SAM

naramore art show poster

The annual Naramore art exhibit is on display on the first floor of the Seattle Art Museum. The exhibition of Seattle Public Schools middle and high school art is a time-honored tradition, named for Floyd J. Naramore, an architect who designed local public schools from 1919 to 1941.

A reception and awards ceremony will be held on May 8 at 6 p.m.Read more on the SAM/Naramore page.

April 2, 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 

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 

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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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.

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