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    Posted on 6/2/2020

    Planning for 2020-21 School Year and Student Re-Entry

    Planning for 2020-21 School Year and Student Re-Entry School operations for the 2020-21 school year will look very different as we prioritize staff and student health and safety following the guidelines from the CDC and public health agencies while continuing to deliver high quality teaching and learning. We are working to create an adaptable plan for the fall, acknowledging that operations may need to change if COVID-19 returns and learning structures must be responsive.

    While science, data, and shared values, especially around racial equity, will inform our decisions, the capacity and resource constraints posed by safety guidelines, limits the number of possible scenarios of student re-entry. These constraints include safety guidelines for transportation, the number of students that can be physically accommodated in our buildings, and the need to prioritize developmentally appropriate practices. Any scenario will require a significant change to the school day, both in structure and instruction as we work to meet social distancing requirements.

    Three scenarios are being explored by four representative engagement teams.

    1. Students in grades Pre-K through 5 attend school in person; students in grades 6-12 have an A/B schedule where they receive part in-person learning and part remote learning.
    2. Students in all grades Pre-K through 12 have an A/B schedule and receive part in-person learning and part remote learning.
    3. All students participate in 100% remote learning.

    Four representative engagement teams comprised of school leaders, parents, SEA members, partners, students, and central office staff, will be formed to explore each scenario. The planning process will be guided by the tenets of our strategic plan Seattle Excellence, and will explore safety requirements, delivery of remote instruction to various student groups, and budget constraints, and will include feedback gathered in the recent staff, family, and leadership survey. These same survey results will be shared with all families and staff.

    Project Overview

    Engagement teams have been tasked with determining an adaptable plan that:

    • Mitigates and minimizes the spread of Coronavirus;
    • Keeps staff and students safe;
    • Prioritizes access to learning for students furthest from educational justice;
    • Provides services through a racial equity lens;
    • Enables staff and students to return to learning;
    • Supports social-emotional well-being and interactions in a safe environment; and
    • Supports families through this transition

    Guiding Principles

    • Assure the physical, intellectual, and emotional health and safety of our staff, students, and families is a top priority;
    • Reduce anxiety and stress for students; families and staff providing predictability, and consistency while acknowledging the needs of families returning to work;
    • Mitigate, monitor, and minimize spread of Coronavirus;
    • Prioritize anti-racist practices, including identity safety, culturally responsive teaching practices, and equity-focused resource allocation; and
    • Provide high-quality, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate social emotional and academic learning.


    The final decision for the Return to School Fall 2020 Learning Plan will be communicated to staff, students and families by June 19, 2020.  


    Project Charter: Read the project charter for details, including guiding principles, considerations, and engagement team membership. Returning to School Fall 2020 Project Charterpdf icon

    Engagement Teams: Each engagement team will present a final recommendation to the Leadership Committee, which includes the Superintendent, School Board representation, Seattle Education Association, and Seattle Council PTSA on June 18. The final recommended contingency scenario will be shared with staff and families the following day. The School Board may need to adjust policies to implement the final recommendation. View the engagement teams membershippdf icon

    2019-24 Seattle Public Schools Strategic Plan: While great work will continue for all students, Seattle Excellence, the district’s five-year strategic plan, makes clear what we will accomplish for underserved students and families. Read about Seattle Excellence.

    Policy 0030: Seattle Public Schools has made eight commitments to the success of every student in each of our schools. Read our Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity School Board Policy #0030

    Governor Inslee, along with OSPI and the Department of Health, provided guidelines to help school districts make the decision of when and how to reopen schools for in-person instruction.

    2020-21 School Year Calendar Dates