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District News and Announcements

Avoid the Flu This Season
There are news reports that the Enterovirus, which is causing illness in children across the Midwest, may be in the Seattle area. With cold and flu season upon us, it’s a good time to review how students can do their best to avoid catching or sharing colds and the flu this season.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
  • Catch your cough in your sleeve to reduce spread
  • Prevent other flu viruses by getting your flu shot
Also, please become familiar with the SPS guidelines on when to keep students home from school, including when they have a fever, persistent coughing, diarrhea, or vomiting. The full list is available here:

Here in our schools, we’re taking extra precautions against viruses by wiping down frequently touched surfaces including desks, keyboards, drinking fountains, as well as common areas such as bathrooms and cafeterias.
For more information on the Enterovirus, here is a helpful link form the CDC:

Sept. 12, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


Many district schools moving to new assessments

Fourth-graders take the benchmark assessments in September at Rainier View Elementary.Many Seattle Public Schools students are taking a new test beginning this month – but the district isn't adding testing time to the school year.

The computer-based tests are designed to help teachers find out what students already know and what they need to learn early in the school year. These types of assessments are known as interim benchmarks because they "benchmark" student understanding periodically, which helps teachers adjust their teaching to their students' needs.

This year, Seattle Public Schools contracted with a vendor to supply benchmarks – called mClass Beacon – that match the state's Common Core college and career readiness standards. In the 53 participating schools, the MAP achievement tests will go away for students in Grades 3-9 in order to alleviate concerns about "overtesting."


Sept. 12, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


SPS seeking members for Task Force for Prevention and Response to Sexual Harassment; applications and public comments on new Title IX procedure due Sept. 26

Seattle Public Schools is working on compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which has expanded from a focus on sex discrimination and equity in sports to include a major focus on prevention and response to incidents of sexual harassment, including sexual assault. 
Seattle Public Schools has not kept pace with these changes and substantial work is required to bring the district into compliance, both with the law and with best practices. We have already begun work and anticipate we will be implementing additional changes, and we will keep our staff, families, and community informed as changes occur. 
Please visit these links to find out how you can participate in the task force, make comments to the draft procedure, and read about the work the district has done so far:

SPS strives to protect all of our students and we will continue to work with all staff, families, students and the community to make improvements.

Sept. 10, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


Superintendent headed to White House

Seattle Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland is one of a select group of superintendents nationwide invited to the White House on September 15 by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

Nyland is one of two superintendents from Washington state and 30 nationwide who will participate in the Let’s Move! Active Schools Leadership Roundtable. The Roundtable will bring together the superintendents to discuss strategies to improve the health and well-being of our nation's youth.


Sept. 5, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


Preschool programs begin soon

While classes have begun for students in Grades K-12, the youngest students in Seattle Public Schools are waiting for their first day. Families of preschoolers can click "More" below to find September start dates and times as well as contact information for SPS preschool programs.


Sept. 5, 2014 | Contact: Early Learning Department | Phone: (206) 252-0127


Seeking nominations for School-Family Partnership Advisory Committee by Sept. 19

In the fall of 2004, the Seattle School Board unanimously adopted a policy and procedure that underscores the critical importance of family engagement in student success. This committee advises the Superintendent on the School-Family Partnerships Policy and Procedure (4129 and 4129SP) and the development and implementation of the School Family Partnerships Plan.  

To be considered for the SFPAC, those interested should complete and submit the nomination form (below) by Friday, September 19, 2014.  The Superintendent will appoint members to this committee.

School and Family Partnerships>>

Sept. 4, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


Advanced Learning Office enhances service and program designations, web pages

As school begins and the nomination window for Advanced Learning services opens, the Advanced Learning Office has initiated several enhancements to benefit Seattle Public Schools families: changing some service and program names and streamlining its series of web pages.

These changes are designed to help the Advanced Learning Office more effectively communicate with families of current and potential advanced learners. Strengthening school, family and community engagement is the third goal of the District’s five-year Strategic Plan.

The Advanced Learning nomination window for eligibility testing opened Sept. 1, with an information packet, including required forms, available for download. The parent permission form deadline for eligibility testing is Oct. 2.


Sept. 3, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


DISTRICT: Students to have access to personal email from District computers

three girls using computerAll Seattle Public School students in grades K–12 will be able to access their personal email accounts from District computers beginning this fall. This change comes at the request of District principals with approval of senior leadership.


August 28, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200


Seattle Public Schools seeking nominations for Equity and Race Advisory Committee

Seattle Public Schools created the Superintendent’s Equity and Race Advisory Committee to address educational equity practices in our schools and central office. This committee is a commitment to transforming our current practices at a systemic level to eliminate disproportionality in education and in all aspects of its administration. These efforts require a long-term commitment from our advisors that includes both making recommendations and staying engaged as work progresses over time.

The Superintendent will appoint members to this committee. Nominations will be sought until Monday, September 15, 2014.


August 25, 2014 | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200

Families told Title I schools did not meet No Child Left Behind goals

Seattle Public Schools recently sent letters to parents/guardians at Title I schools telling them their school has failed to meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While this news may raise concerns, it does not mean these schools have suddenly had a change in performance. In fact, most schools continue to show improvement in percentage of students meeting the standards in reading and math for their grades. 


August 21, 2014 | Audience: Families, Students, Staff, Community | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200

Superintendent's Letter to the Community regarding the incident reported after a 2012 Garfield High School Field Trip

Seattle Schools Community:

The incident reported after a 2012 Garfield High School field trip is of concern to us all.  We would each be deeply shaken if our child was involved in such an incident. While we cannot undo that event, we can learn from it and take steps to increase the safety for our students.  

Read the letter>>

August 20, 2014 | Audience: Families, Students, Staff, Community | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200

TOPIC: Volunteering at Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools is grateful for each parent and community member who contributes to the success of students. We have thousands of volunteers who work in a variety of capacities in Seattle Public Schools.

If you are interested in volunteering visit, "
Volunteering at SPS" to read the Volunteer Handbook and access the required online course, along with other forms.

DISTRICT: Dr. Larry Nyland appointed Interim Superintendent

The Seattle School Board named longtime educator Dr. Larry Nyland during a special meeting July 18 as Interim Superintendent to replace Superintendent José Banda. The Board will conduct a full search with community engagement this fall for a permanent Superintendent. Nyland retired in June 2013 after nine years as the Marysville School District Superintendent. 


July 18, 2014 | Audience: Families, Students, Staff, Community | Contact: Public Affairs | Phone: (206) 252-0200

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