Seattle School Board Meetings
Regular Board Meetings are currently being held remotely without an in-person location per the Governor’s Proclamation allowing public agencies to conduct meetings subject to the Open Public Meetings Act remotely to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Regular and Special Meetings Agendas
Regular and Special Board meeting agendas are posted at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. At each Board meeting, minutes from the previous meetings are approved and will be posted to the agenda webpage once available.
Watch School Board Meetings
Details for accessing the meeting through teleconference will be provided on the agenda.
Regular Board Meetings are live streamed on SPSTV. When meetings are not in session, our media operations team broadcasts previous district events on SPS-TV. You can view the broadcast schedule on our media operations webpage.
Regular Board meetings can also be viewed on the following Seattle channels:
- Comcast 26 (standard-def) 319 (hi-def)
- Wave 26 (standard-def) 695 (hi-def)
- Century Link 8008 (standard-def) 8508 (hi-def)
Public Testimony at Regular School Board Meetings
The Seattle Public School Board welcomes members of the public to the legislative meetings of the Board and dedicates time at these meetings to hear from the public on agenda items and other issues of concern.
It is important for all community members to feel welcome and safe in the Board’s business meetings. Audience members will be expected to treat all attendees with respect and civility, just as Seattle Public Schools expects of students in our schools.
Public testimony will be taken by teleconference from those who sign up to provide testimony and who are placed on the testimony list per the process described below.
Board Committee Materials
There are four standing committees of the Board.
- Executive Committee
- Audit & Finance Committee
- Operations Committee
- Student Services Curriculum and Instruction Committee
About the Board Approval Process
The Seattle School Board generally holds two Regular Board meetings each month September through June, and at least one monthly year-round. During Regular Board Meetings, the Board takes public testimony and votes to take most final actions. However, Board discussions regarding items approved during Regular Board meetings often begin weeks earlier through the Board’s committee review process, which also includes meetings open for public attendance. Information is included here to support the public in tracking items throughout this extended process.
Board Action Report Development
When an item is brought to the Board for action, a Board Action Report (BAR) is drafted, along with any accompanying Board policy or other attachments as needed. Often these documents are prepared by staff, but Directors also may develop Board Action Reports, generally to revise or adopt policies and resolutions. Typically, these proposed Board Action Reports are next placed on an agenda for the relevant Board committee to review, discuss, and recommend action by the full Board (See Board Policy No. 1240, Committees, for the scope of each committee’s charge and exceptions to the standard committee review process).
Committee Review Process
Board committees meet monthly (with the exception of July) in public meetings to review Board Action Reports and decide whether to move them forward to the full Board, with a committee recommendation for “approval,” or “consideration.” Board Action Reports moved forward “for consideration” often include items that require substantive edits prior to introduction to the Board.
Regular Board Meeting Agendas and Use of the Consent Agenda
Board Action Reports that move out of committee are placed on draft Regular Board Meeting agendas developed by the School Board Office. These draft agendas are then reviewed and finalized by the Executive Committee, which sets two Regular Board meeting agendas at each of the committee’s monthly meetings. Typically, Board Action Reports are scheduled to first be introduced at one Regular Board meeting, and voted on at the next Regular Board meeting. When an item is introduced, it is presented by staff, and Directors have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss, but no action is taken. The public also has the opportunity at this point, and during all Regular Board meetings, to provide feedback by signing up to provide public testimony.
After introduction, the Board Action item is then generally scheduled for a vote during the next Regular Board meeting. The Executive Committee determines whether each item scheduled for a vote will be included as an Action Item that is discussed and voted on individually or whether it should be included in the Consent Agenda. Per Board Policy No. 1420, Proposed Agendas & Consent Agenda, a Consent Agenda is used to expedite business at Regular Board meetings by having the Board approve multiple items with one motion and vote. The use of a Consent Agenda is best practice for governing bodies (See more information on using a Consent Agenda to streamline meetings from the Municipal Research Services Center). The Student Outcomes Focused Governance Manual, developed by the Council of Great City Schools and AJ Crabill, advises that all consent-eligible items should be placed on a Consent Agenda in order to focus Board meeting time on improving student outcomes (See the Board-adopted student outcomes goals and guardrails).
When an item is placed on the Consent Agenda, it may be removed by any member of the Board during the Regular Board meeting. Any items removed from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted on individually later in the meeting.
Action Items listed as “Introduction & Action” on Regular Board meeting agendas are items for which immediate action is in the best interest of the district. These items are placed directly on a Regular Board meeting agenda for both the initial presentation to the Board and a vote. These items are not generally placed on the Consent Agenda.