Seattle Public Schools

0010 Instructional Philosophy

It is the moral, legal, and ethical imperative of Seattle Public Schools to ensure that all students are afforded the opportunity to graduate from high school ready for career, college, and life; prepared to pursue individual goals; and be contributing and included members of their communities and society. The Board of Directors of Seattle Public Schools affirms that career- and college-ready expectations, goals, and standards are appropriate for all students and that prioritizing growth for those students who are furthest from educational justice is central to improving outcomes for all students. We believe that high-quality instruction includes creating schools that are culturally responsive and provide inclusion of all students in meaningful ways.

We are committed to:

  • High academic expectations and standards for all students and by all staff; with students learning with their same-age peers to the greatest extent possible;
  • An engaging, rewarding, challenging, relevant, and identity-affirming inclusive curriculum that provides all students with an opportunity to meet or exceed learning standards, multiple career and college possibilities, as well as opportunities to enrich their lives;
  • Effective and culturally responsive teaching that leads to measurable outcomes and continuous progress at the student, school, and district levels;
  • A meaningful variety of opportunities, multiple pathways to success, and support services designed to promote the full development of each student’s attributes, including critical thinking skills; communicating their ideas and understandings effectively; using technology effectively and responsibly; and social/emotional capabilities—to ensure that all students can meet or exceed state and district learning standards;
  • The identification of student needs, assets, barriers, and strengths, using multiple data points, to deliver instruction and supports designed to accelerate their learning, with the ultimate goal of eliminating any opportunity gaps;
  • Serving students with disabilities as general education students firstin the general education classroom and settings—and providing the services and supports in accordance with their Individualized Education Program or the student’s plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504 Plan) as required;
  • Environments where all students feel seen, heard, and welcomed in all schools and spaces, including General Education classrooms, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, LGBTQIA+ sexual orientation and gender identity, primary language, and any other identifier, so that every student is a fully included member of their community;
  • Schools that provide a joyful, safe, secure, and supportive environment; and
  • Family and community engagement that builds trust and leverages community assets.

In addition to a sound educational core and efficient district operations, we believe that student success is made greater with clear, accountable, student-outcomes-focused leadership and the support and partnership of families, community, and other elected officials.