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    How are students assigned in Seattle Public Schools?

    Elementary, middle, and high school students are initially assigned to a designated attendance area school based on where the student lives. Individual school attendance area maps are available on our School Directory page. To view designated school assignments for elementary, middle, and high school students using your current address, use the address lookup tool.

    Option schools offer a variety of approaches and instructional methods. Students must apply to attend an option school. Option schools are available for students at all grade levels.

    Several other schools and services are available to meet individual student needs. Students may request assignment to a service school and/or may be referred there and assigned as individually appropriate. Unlike attendance area schools and option schools, students may transition into or out of service schools during the school year.

    Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2020-21

    An additional amendment to the Student Assignment Transition Plan (SATP) for 2020-21 was approved by the Seattle School Board on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

    This change puts a hold on assigning new students to Mercer International Middle School for the 2020-21 school year, effective immediately. This means that students in grades 6, 7, or 8, who move into the Mercer attendance area after June 24, 2020, will be assigned to either Aki Kurose Middle School or Washington Middle School, depending on their home address. They would also be able to apply to an option school with space available. Related materials can be found on the Board’s meeting agenda page.

    An earlier amendment was made on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The Seattle School Board approved implementation of the STEMbyTAF academic model at Washington Middle School, beginning with 6th grade in the 2020-21 school year. As a result, highly capable (HC) students at Washington will be served in a blended model. Related materials can be found on the Board's meeting agenda page.

    Previously, the Seattle School Board approved the 2020-21 SATP at their meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Materials related to that action can be found here.

    Other 2020-21 changes are summarized below:

    • Changing the location of Licton Springs K-8 to the Whitman Service area and updating the Licton Springs GeoZone to extend to the west boundary of the district;
    • Expansion of GeoZones for Cleveland HS, Cedar Park ES, South Shore PK-8, Hazel Wolf K-8, Orca K-8, Salmon Bay K-8, Boren STEM K-8, and Thornton Creek ES to align GeoZones with walk zones;
    • Increase of the native/heritage set aside to 20% from 15% for John Stanford (JSIS) and McDonald International Schools; and
    • Advanced Learning (AL) assignment language and tiebreakers to reflect the fact that all schools offer AL programming and eligible students will be assigned to AL at their attendance area school.

    Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2019-20

    The Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2019-20 (opens in a new window) was approved by the School Board on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Related materials are available on the meeting agenda page.

    The Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2019-20 continues most of the assignment rules in effect during 2018-19. A summary of the changes is below.

    • Changing name of “Service Schools” to “Option Schools with Continuous Enrollment”
    • Updating international/dual language immersion pathway to include the addition of a southeast high school pathway at Rainier Beach High School and north end school pathway at Lincoln High School
    • Grade level adjustment for Middle College from 11-12 to 9-12 beginning in the 2019-20 school year
    • Transitioning Graham Hill to a school with one program for all students
    • Updating language to clarify current Special Education services and placement
    • Updating language to clarify that students entering 6th grade from a K-5 school may also apply for middle school enrollment at a K-8 during Open Enrollment

    The 2009 Student Assignment Plan (opens in a new window) is an historical document that details many of the principles of the current plan. The Superintendent's Procedures for Student Assignment (opens in a new window) sets forth the implementation of the policies established by the Board in the 2009 Student Assignment Plan and the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2019-20. These documents are the guides for Admissions and other district staff and must be viewed as integrated companions to fully understand student assignment.

    Last updated: 04/16/2020