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District News and Announcements

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 

Last week to nominate a project for the 2016 Capital Levy

We want your input! The online nomination survey for possible BTA IV projects ends at midnight on April 30.

In Feb. 2016, Seattle voters will have the opportunity to vote on two Seattle Public Schools levies — an Operations Levy and a Capital Levy. The three-year Operations Levy replaces the current Operations Levy, which was approved by Seattle voters in 2013. The six-year Buildings, Technology and Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) capital levy replaces the BTA III capital levy approved by Seattle voters in 2010. BTA IV will provide funds for upgrades and renovations of our aging school facilities on a planned and predictable timeline to help ensure a safe, secure teaching and learning environment.

We would like your input regarding possible projects that may be included in our BTA IV capital levy. You may nominate a project for the BTA IV capital levy using our online form: Printable nomination forms and translated versions are posted on the Levies 2016 page. We will collect, record, consider and share your nomination with the Seattle School Board. The deadline to submit a nomination is April 30, 2015.

Read about the Seattle School Board's BTA IV project selection process, find contact links and get more information on the Levies 2016 page. Learn about all BTA capital projects at

Updated April 27, 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

Community meetings on school bell times set

School Family Partnerships' Neighbor to Neighbor program has scheduled five 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 April 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. – Highpoint Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW, Room 207)
•    Thursday April 30, from 7-8:30 p.m. – Hamilton Middle School Commons (1610 N 41st St.)
•    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.)

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

April 20, 2015 | School & Family Partnerships | Phone: (206) 252-0754

School Choice assignments and waitlist now online

If you submitted one of the 5,300 choice applications we received during the Open Enrollment period, you can now view the results. The Assignment and Waitlist link has been updated for the 2015-16 school year.

Use the link to see your student’s 2015-16 assignment and any wait list placements. You will need your student’s identification number and birthdate. If you did not request a different assignment during Open Enrollment and have not submitted at change to your home address, your student’s assignment hasn't changed.

Printed assignment letters will be mailed to home addresses the week of April 27. Second applications for choice enrollment will be accepted beginning May 1, 2015. The choice forms remain posted on the Admissions main page. If you have questions about school assignments for the 2015-16 school year, please call the Service Center at (206) 252-0760.

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

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 

The Creative Advantage: restoring arts access to all Seattle Public Schools

The Creative Advantage is a partnership between Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture that aims to ensure that every student at every district school has the opportunity to learn through the arts every year, from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The program began with 13 schools in the Central Arts Pathway in 2013 and will expand to 11 schools in the South-Southwest region of the district in the fall of 2015.

Learn more at or by visiting the SPS Arts page.

April 2, 2015 | Communications Office | Phone: (206) 252-0200 

PNB's DanceChance and more bring the arts back to Emerson Elementary

Jalen in a ballet poseJalen, a third-grader at Emerson Elementary, is one of a select group of Seattle Public Schools students studying dance at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School through PNB’s Dance Chance program.

Twice a week he takes time out of his school day to take the bus to PNB for classes.

The PNB program is just one of the arts opportunities Emerson has been able to bring into the school.


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.

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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