International Education Frequently Asked Questions

February 13-24, 2017 is the Open Enrollment for School Choice period for Seattle Schools this year. Check the web page for detailed information and the forms. Here are a few additional tips to help clarify the process for students in International Schools with Dual Language Immersion pathways.

Q: What is the timeline?

A: Here are the Key Dates from the web page:
• Mon., Feb. 6, 2017: School Choice Forms Available Online
• Mon., Feb. 13, 2017: Open Enrollment Begins
• Fri., Feb. 24, 2017: Open Enrollment Ends
• Mon., Apr. 17, 2017: Updated Next Year Assignment Information Available Online
• Wed., May 31, 2017: School Choice for 2017-18 Ends
• Thurs., Aug. 31, 2017: Waitlists Dissolve

Forms submitted after Feb. 24 are late, do not receive tiebreaker priorities, and are much less likely to result in your student being assigned to the school (or program) of your choice.

Families can continue to submit School Choice forms through May 31, 2017. If students are on the Waitlist, Admissions will continue to monitor the waitlist through August 31 this year. After this date, the waitlist will be dissolved and students waitlisted will remain at their current assigned school. If parents would like to dispute their next year assignment as a result of Open enrollment they may appeal through the transfer appeal process. Admissions will begin accepting 2017-18 transfer appeals starting June 1.

Q: What do current families need to do about transitions from elementary to middle or high school?

A: If you reside in the neighborhood attendance area of the middle or high school in the International/Dual Language Immersion pathway, your child will be assigned to that school by default (so you do not need to submit a form). To check your student's current assignment, use our Assignment Lookup Tool.

If you do NOT reside in the school’s attendance area (use our Assignment Lookup Tool to check) , then you do need to submit the School Choice form available on the Open Enrollment and School Choice web page. Indicate the International/Dual Language Immersion pathway middle school or high school and your child will be guaranteed placement in that pathway school.

Here are the pathways for 2017-2018:
• John Stanford and McDonald International > Hamilton Intl MS > Ingraham Intl HS
• Beacon Hill Intl > Mercer Intl MS > Chief Sealth Intl HS
• Concord Intl > Denny Intl MS > Chief Sealth Intl HS

Q: How do I know if my child qualifies for the middle or high school Intl/DLI pathway?

A: If your child is in the Spanish, Japanese, or Mandarin Chinese Dual Language Immersion program at John Stanford, McDonald, Beacon Hill, or Concord International School, then they qualify for the Intl/DLI middle school pathway. If they are in the middle school Dual Language Immersion continuation classes at Hamilton, Mercer, or Denny Intl MS (Spanish/Japanese/Chinese Language Arts 2B or 3B), then they qualify for the Intl/DLI high school pathway.

(Note that there may be students who joined the Dual Language Immersion pathway during middle school but did not attend one of the elementary International Schools; they still qualify for the high school pathway.)

Q: What if my child also qualifies for the HCC program?

A: In the NW region, Hamilton Intl MS offers both HCC and Dual Language Immersion continuation for Spanish and Japanese with an International School curricular focus. For high school, the pathway for all HCC students is Garfield HS if your student was eligible and participating in an 8th grade HC Cohort at an HCC pathway school. There is not a guarantee pathway to Garfield for eligible HCC risers to the 9th grade if they attended a non-HCC pathway program or school in 8th grade. If you prefer to attend Ingraham Intl HS immersion program, then you need to submit a School Choice form available on the Open Enrollment and School Choice web page and a guarantee assignment. Requests for Ingraham IBX/HC program will require you to opt-in through school choice as well but is not guarantee and based on space available only.

In the SE and SW regions, Mercer Intl MS and Denny Intl MS are not HCC pathway middle schools. Students may choose to attend the Dual Language Immersion continuation program for Spanish or Mandarin at Chief Sealth International HS by completing the School Choice form available on the Open Enrollment and School Choice web page.

More questions about our International Schools or Dual Language Immersion programs? Feel free to contact Dr. Michele Aoki, International Education Administrator maaoki@seattleschools.org or 206 252-0191.

Questions about assignments or school choice? Please contact our Admissions office at 206-252-0760.

Q: What are the International Schools Pathways?

A: The concept of a pathway is that a student entering an International School in elementary school would be able to continue in that International Education program into middle school, and that middle school students would be able to continue on to high school. A good example is the International Schools pathway in the Southwest region: Concord International School feeds into Denny International Middle School, which feeds into Chief Sealth International High School.

In the Northwest region, the two elementary International Schools, John Stanford International School and McDonald International School, feed into Hamilton International Middle School, but Hamilton students do not necessarily get assigned to Ingraham High School, which is a designated International School. The compromise has been to offer students who began in the two elementary International Schools the opportunity for a K-12 pathway to Hamilton, then on to Ingraham. Specifically,

  • Rising 5th graders at John Stanford and McDonald International Schools who live outside of the Hamilton Attendance Area will need to fill out a choice form before May 31st to continue in the International Schools Pathway at Hamilton. Assignment is guaranteed for these students, but they must fill out the form. School Choice begins on February 13th.
  • 8th graders at Hamilton who live outside of the Ingraham Attendance Area will need to fill out a choice form before May 31st to continue in the International Schools Pathway (Dual Language Immersion continuation) at Ingraham.
  • Students at Hamilton in both the HCC (Highly Capable Cohort) and Dual Language Immersion continuation pathway can remain at Hamilton even if they are affected by a boundary change if they are continuing in the Dual Language Immersion continuation pathway.

In the Southeast region, one elementary International School, Beacon Hill International School, now feeds into Mercer International Middle School. (Dearborn Park International School will also feed into Mercer when their grade 2 class this year (2016-2017) completes grade 5 in 2020.) The district has designated the high school pathway for Dual Language Immersion continuation students as Chief Sealth International High School for fall 2017. Mandarin and Spanish Dual Language Immersion continuation students from Mercer who attend other high schools, such as Franklin, Garfield, or Cleveland, will likely have the opportunity to take higher level world language classes at those high schools, but no content classes taught in Spanish or Mandarin. We are also working to develop a hybrid (partially online, partially in-person) project-based language learning course that students could take in 9th grade.

Q: What about if a student did not attend an elementary International School, but joined the Dual Language Immersion Continuation language program in middle school. Can that student be placed at an International High School?

A: Yes. If a student has demonstrated language proficiency at a level expected for placement in the Dual Language Immersion Continuation classes in middle school, then that student may also be placed at the designated International High School pathway for that region. If a student wants to enroll in an International High School in a different region, the family can apply during Open Enrollment. See: http://www.seattleschools.org/enrollment.

Q: What are the policies regarding admission to elementary International Schools?

A: For information about admission to any school in Seattle Public Schools, please check the Enrollment web page: www.seattleschools.org/enrollment. Here are a few specific links that might be helpful to you:

While admission to one of the elementary International Schools at Kindergarten is quite competitive, especially for families living outside the neighborhood (for Beacon Hill, Dearborn Park, or Concord), or outside the GeoZone for Option Schools (McDonald and John Stanford), it is quite possible that there could be open spots in 1st - 5th grades, and especially from 3rd - 5th grades because those grades have higher class sizes and need to attract fluent speakers of the immersion language to join the program during those grades.

To learn more, contact www.seattleschools.org/enrollment.

Q: Can students from other countries enroll in Seattle Public Schools?

A: Visit the district Enrollment web page: Enrollment Services: International Services. It is the practice of the Seattle School District to admit as a student any person, regardless of national origin or citizenship, upon documentation that the student or parent/guardian resides within the boundaries of the Seattle School District. The Seattle School District will not provide legal advice to families on immigration related issues.

Please see the I-20 document and F1 brochure for the process and requirements to apply for F-1 visa status, and registration information for International Students to attend a Seattle Public High School.

For more information, contact Faauu Manu fmmanu@seattleschools.org 206 252-0205. For students seeking to attend school as exchange students on the J-1 visa, see the district policy and procedure regarding International Student Exchange for more information.

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