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District News and Announcements

District seeks feedback on school climates
Seattle Public Schools will be asking families for feedback on their schools through the annual climate survey, with questions ranging from effective communication to school safety.

The District will email or call all families the week of May 25th and do a second round the week of June 1. The calls and e-mails will be in the home-language spoken and will be administered through School Messenger.

The Family Climate survey results are shared with the public through School Reports, along with the results of student and staff surveys. The School Board, central office, and schools use this information to improve overall climate, culture and performance in our district and schools.

We appreciate your participation in this year’s family survey! If you have any questions please email

May 23, 2015 | Research, Evaluation and Assessment | Phone: (206) 252-0309

Levies 2016 community meeting set for June 2
Seattle Public Schools is hosting a community meeting to share information, receive comments and answer questions about our upcoming Operations Levy and Buildings, Technology, Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy, to be submitted to Seattle voters in February 2016. 

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 2, in the John Stanford Center Auditorium, 2445-3rd Avenue South, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

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.

Comments and questions may be submitted the following ways:
  • For the BTA IV Capital Levy, email
  • For the Operations Levy, email
  • For either levy, you can also mail via USPS to: Levies 2016, Seattle Public Schools, M.S. 22-336, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, Washington, 98124-1165.
For additional information about the BTA Capital Levy, please visit
Roosevelt's Ruff named STEM teacher of year

Ruff assists studentsWhile some students work on mapping electronic circuits in Karl Ruff’s class at Roosevelt High School, Ruff asks others to get behind the controls of their airplanes.

“What I’d like you to do is to go above Mercer Island at about 800 feet headed south, and land at Renton field,” Ruff instructs the five students in Aerospace Engineering. They engage their flight simulators and take off.

Ruff’s innovative, industry-based teaching approach has earned him the K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year award this spring from the Puget Sound Engineering Council.


May 20, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

SEA walkout information for families

Thank you in advance for your patience as we work to provide information and options for you around the May 19 Seattle Education Association (SEA) walkout and cancellation of school that day. Below is a list of frequently asked questions and information to assist your family in planning for May 19.

Last day of school for seniors and all other students
What is the last day of school now? What is the last day of school for seniors?
The last day of school for all students, except seniors, is June 16. Students will attend school for a full day on June 15 and be dismissed 1 hour early on June 16.  The last day of school for seniors is now June 9. Seniors will need to attend or provide an excused absence on June 9 to fulfill graduation requirements.

I need to secure qualified child care for my child on May 19.
Parents/Guardians needing child care are encouraged to check with the child care program director at your child’s school as soon as possible regarding the child care programs’ status on May 19, as well as any availability. While many of our schools have child care programs on site, parents/guardians should not assume these programs are operating on May 19. You should consult directly with the child care provider and not assume that the provider is open. A list of programs is available in the “Resources for Parents” section of the district’s Early Learning page under ‘Afterschool & PreK Programs in Seattle Public Schools.’

What about other community based organizations that provide child care? Are there options?
Seattle Parks and Recreation is providing free supervised drop-in activities at 21 community centers for children in kindergarten through 8th grade on May 19. The activities will be available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is available at the community centers and online at Childcare is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register early to reserve a spot.

Child Care Resources, an organization dedicated to providing child care information and referrals to families, is available to help families identify a child care option for May 19. Families seeking assistance in finding childcare can call Child Care Resources at 206-329-5544 or visit their website at

My school has an in-house before and after school childcare program. Will it extend to all day and can I participate in that?
Each school-based program is different; some will be open, while others may close. You should consult directly with the program at the school.

After school activities on May 19
What after school activities can take place on May 19?
District-wide, all after school extra-curricular activities are cancelled with the exception of scheduled evening student performances and high school athletic competitions. Please check directly with your school if there is an evening performance or athletic competition scheduled.

My student has a camp scheduled for that day. Can it still happen?
Yes. Overnight camps with students will still take place and staff will be present to participate in those camps. Your school will provide you with specific details.

Unexcused absences
What are the repercussions of not attending school on June 16?
Washington state law requires 180 instructional days of school (175 instructional days for seniors). The only acceptable exception is an excused absence. Those not attending on the last day of school will receive unexcused absences for that day. By state law, school attendance is mandatory, and unexcused absences and truancy are prohibited. Children found to be in violation of this law may be subject to a truancy petition filed with the superior court after seven truancy days in a calendar month or 10 truancy days within a school year.
We will continue to provide information and updates as details become available. Thank you for your continued patience.


May 11, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Ingraham rocketeers place third in nation

Ingraham rocketeers prepare to launchIngraham High School’s Rocket Club placed third in the nation in its best-ever finish at the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

The team was tasked with building a rocket that could carry one raw egg 800 feet into the air and return it to Earth safely within 46 to 48 seconds.


May 18, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Hamilton eighth-graders launch 100% Human Project

100 percent Human organizersA group of Hamilton International Middle School eighth-graders have organized a week of diversity awareness they call the "100% Human Project."

Among the events, they've asked students to write "six-word stories" on their experiences with insensitivity. Examples: "Wait, moms? Like you have two?" "What half Asian are you?" "But you aren't a real guy."

On Friday, staff and many students will wear "100% Human" T-shirts, and the organizers will hold a door-decorating contest.

Are Seattle residents as open-minded as they think they are? Click HERE for the student perspective.


May 7, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

Ballard student filmmakers win big, are featured in festivals

Audience Award winnersThe public is invited to view the work of Ballard High School's award-winning student filmmakers. The films will be screened at the Ballard Film Festival at 7 p.m. June 5.

In April, Ballard became the only school to win the top prize in the "48-Hour Film Off" twice at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, which is the largest youth film festival in the world. And festivals in two cities this month will feature the work of students in Ballard's Digital Filmmaking Program.


May 7, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

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

2015-16 School Year Calendar Approved

The 2015-16 school year calendar was approved by the Seattle Public Schools School Board Executive Committee on May 6, 2015.

Important dates include:

  • Sept. 9: Start of school
  • Dec. 21 - Jan 1: Winter break
  • Feb. 15-19: Mid-winter break
  • April 11-15: Spring break
  • June 23: Last day of school
May 7, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

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. MORE>>

April 28, 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 

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
Discrimination statement

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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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