Seattle Public Schools

1000 Legal Status and Operation

Legal Status 

The Board of Directors of the Seattle School District is the corporate entity established by the State of Washington to plan and direct all aspects of the district’s operations to the end that students shall have ample opportunity to achieve their individual and collective learning needs. 

The policies of the Board define the organization of the Board and the manner of conducting its official business. The Board’s operating policies are those that the Board adopts to facilitate the performance of its responsibilities. 


The corporate name of this school district is Seattle School District No. 1, King County, State of Washington. The district is classified as a first-class district and is operated in accordance with the laws and regulations pertaining to first-class districts. 

In order to achieve its primary goal of providing each child with the necessary skills and attitudes, commensurate with his/her ability, to become effective citizens, the Board shall exercise the full authority granted to it by the laws of the state. Its legal powers, duties and responsibilities are derived from state statute and regulation. Sources such as the Revised Code of Washington (Title 28A RCW), Attorney General’s Opinions, and regulations of the Washington State Board of Education (Title 180 WAC) and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Title 392 WAC) delineate the legal powers, duties and responsibilities of the Board. 

Number of Members and Terms of Office 

The Board shall consist of seven members, elected by ballot by the registered voters of the district. Except as otherwise provided by law, Board members shall hold office for terms of four years and until their successors are elected and qualified. Terms of Board members shall be staggered as provided by law. 

Newly-elected Directors shall take office at the first official meeting of the Board of Directors after the election results have been certified by King County Elections. Prior to beginning their term, Directors shall take and subscribe to an oath of office.