Seattle Public Schools

Business and Finance

Procurement and Distribution

Doing Business with Seattle Public Schools

SPS is committed to conducting procurement using sound business practices, promoting competition whenever possible to minimize costs, and upholding the highest ethical standards in all of our business practices.

Seattle Public Schools Strives to use software, applications, and published electronic media that are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act. We currently require compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA standards.

Vendors need to complete our Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to show how their product supports each aspect of Section 508 requirements.

Quick reference document about accessibility and procurement

SPS Vendor Code of Conduct

We expect all vendors we do business with to abide by the Vendor Code of Conduct, when doing business with Seattle Public Schools.

The Seattle School District No. 1 (the “District”) is committed to a procurement process that fosters fair and open competition and is conducted under the highest ethical standards. To achieve these purposes, the District expects each vendor who seeks to do business with the District to subscribe to this Vendor Code of Ethics.

  1. A Vendor’s bid or proposal will be competitive, consistent and appropriate to the bid, RFP, RFQ, or other competitive solicitation documents.
  2. A Vendor will not discuss or consult with other Vendors intending to bid on the same contract or similar District contract for the purpose of limiting competition.
  3. A Vendor will not disclose the terms of its bid or proposal, directly or indirectly, to any other competing Vendor prior to the closing date for bids or proposals.
  4. A Vendor will not make any attempt to induce any individual or entity to submit or not to submit a bid or proposal.
  5. A Vendor will completely perform the contract awarded to it at the contracted price pursuant to the terms set forth in the contract.
  6. A Vendor will submit timely, accurate and appropriate invoices for goods and/or services actually performed under the contract.
  7. A Vendor will submit invoices only after the contract has been executed.
  8. A Vendor will submit invoices only after services have been rendered.
  9. A Vendor will properly, accurately and fairly record all financial transactions with the District in its books, journals, ledgers and/or other appropriate records.
  10. A Vendor will submit invoices that meet District invoicing standards.
  11. A Vendor will provide reasonable cooperation with any inquiry by either the District or the State Auditor relating to the performance of the contract.
  12. A Vendor will not, without the prior written consent of the District, initiate, negotiate or render an offer of employment to any District employee who is directly concerned with, or personally participating on behalf of the District with respect to any procurement or other matter involving the Vendor.
  13. A Vendor will not cause, influence or attempt to cause or influence any District employee or School Board member:
    • (i) in any way which might tend to impair his/her objectivity or independence of judgment; or
    • (ii) to use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure any unwarranted privileges or advantage for that Vendor or for any other person.
  14. A vendor will be mindful of the primary mission of schools and District programs, which is to educate students and support schools. All visitors to schools, programs, or classrooms must obtain prior permission of the principal, program manager, or supervisor in charge, and are required to sign in at the main office.

A vendor shall also comply with School Board policies which cover visits to schools. See School Board Policy concerning Public Access to Schools, Staff and Students:

It is up to each principal or administrator as to whether or not he/she wishes to meet with the vendor.

Seattle Public Schools utilizes a variety of strategic sourcing mechanisms available to use that fall within State of Washington and School Board Policies. Interlocal agreements are routine and normal ways of doing business in a public agency.

We encourage vendors interested in Seattle Public Schools project and program awards to submit requirements to cooperatives to become approved vendors under applicable interlocal agreements when advertised or available.

State of Washington references to Interlocal Agreements:

Business names and links to the agreements are below:

Rosters are a list of firms pre-qualified to provide the following services to SPS.

  • Educational Staff Associates
  • Miscellaneous Consultants & Professional Services Roster
  • Sign Language Interpreter Services
  • Special Education Services for Placement of Students into Non-Public Agencies
  • Temporary Staffing
  • Therapeutic Treatment Day Services
  • Tutoring Services and Other Compensatory Education Services
  • Youth Programming Services

Vendors: learn how to apply to be added to a roster.

SPS staff: please log in to MySPS for a roster list organized by service type.

A wide variety of trade work that is accomplished throughout SPS is performed by SPS staff. If management concludes that a particular work request cannot be performed by SPS staff, the Procurement team will contract with an outside vendor/contractor to accomplish the work.

Learn more about the SPS small works roster and how to apply

Standard Terms and Conditions – Invitation to Bid, Requests for Quotation, Purchase Order Contracts

The following provisions will be made a part of the Purchase Order contract, and Vendor by acceptance of an order agrees thereto:

  1. Detailed invoices in duplicate, plainly marked with our purchase order number are to be mailed to: Seattle School District No. 1, Accounts Payable Department, Mail Stop 33-343, PO Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165. All accounts are paid by remittance by mail.
  2. No alteration in any of the terms, conditions, delivery, price, quality, quantities or specifications of this order will be effective without prior consent of the Purchasing Department.
  3. No charges will be allowed for packing, wrapping, bags, containers, reels, etc., unless otherwise
  4. The Seattle School District No. 1 reserves the right to cancel any unshipped portion of this order. Time of delivery is part of the essence of this contract and the order is subject to cancellation for failure to deliver on time.
  5. For any exception to the delivery date as specified on the purchase order, the Vendor shall give prior notification and obtain approval thereto from the Purchasing Department.
  6. Shipping Instructions: Unless otherwise specified please ship prepaid via most economical means, f.o.b. destination. Unit cost of items f.o.b. Seattle shall not include sales tax or cost of freight. Sales tax shall be added to the invoice as a separate charge. Freight charges will be added as a separate item. Sales tax on freight will be paid in accordance to the laws of Washington State.
  7. Materials purchased are subject to the approval of Seattle School District No. 1 and if rejected, are held subject to the Vendor’s risk and expense incurred for their return as approved by the Purchasing Department.
  8. Order number MUST appear on all invoices, packing lists, packages, shipping notices, instruction manuals and any correspondence.
  9. Memorandum of contents shall be enclosed in each box or package.
  10. The Vendor agrees to protect the Seattle School District No. 1 against all claims for patent or franchise infringement arising from the purchase, installation, or use of the material ordered on this contract, and to assume all expense and damage arising for such claims.
  11. If price is not stated on this order, it is agreed that the goods shall be billed at the price last quoted or paid, or the prevailing market price, whichever is lower.
  12. It is agreed that the waiver or acceptance of any breach of any of the terms of this order shall not operate to relieve the Vendor of the responsibility hereunder for any prior or subsequent breach.
  13. Attached lists of materials, specifications or drawings shall form a part of this purchase order where reference is made thereto.
  14. The Vendor warrants articles supplied under this contract to conform to specifications herein, to be fit and sufficient for the purpose manufactured, merchantable, of good material and workmanship, and free of defect.
  15. Cash discount period on all invoices shall commence on the date which the correctly completed vouchers or shipments are received by the Seattle Public Schools, whichever is later. If an adjustment or damage occurs on a shipment subject to cash discount, discount will be taken effective on date final approval for payment is authorized.
  16. The Seattle School District No. 1 must pay State of Washington Sales Tax unless purchase order specifically indicates exemption.
  17. The Seattle School District No. 1 is exempt from Federal Excise Taxes. Exemption certificate will be furnished upon request.
  18. Liens: Vendor, by accepting this purchase order, warrants and represents that the goods, wares or merchandise ordered herein are free and clear from all claims and liens of any nature whatsoever.
  19. Neither party to this contract may assign any portion of this agreement without the prior written consent of the other party.
  20. Special brands, when named, are to indicate the standard quality, performance of use desired. Bids on your equal will be considered provided you specify brand, model and the necessary descriptive literature. In the event the Seattle School District No. 1 elects to contract for an alternate purported to be an equal by the bidder, the acceptance of the item will be conditioned on the Buyer’s inspection and testing after receipt. If, in the sole judgment of the Buyer, the item is determined not to be an equal, the material shall be returned at the seller’s expense and the contract cancelled.
  21. Debarment: Vendor, by accepting this purchase order, warrants that supplying or invoicing company are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions (defined as not being eligible to receive federal funds) by any federal department or agency.
  22. Shipments of hazardous materials shall comply with all Federal and State regulations. This includes that the shipment of any hazardous material be accompanied by a current Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and be provided to an on-site Seattle School District representative.
  23. Governing Law: These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without regard to conflicts of laws rules.

This document last changed May 2005

Seattle Public Schools wants to provide women and minority-owned architectural and engineering firms the maximum practicable opportunity to compete for the District’s architectural and engineering Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

If you would like to receive electronic notifications about the District’s upcoming architectural and engineering RFPs, please send a letter on your firm’s stationary to In the subject line please put Minority and Women-Owned Firms.

Vendor Frequently Asked Questions

Do you want to do business with Seattle Public Schools but aren’t sure how to go about it? Click through the FAQs below to get started.

The Seattle School District does not maintain special lists of prospective vendors for regular competitive solicitations or procurement activities. It is the vendor’s responsibility to check the below websites and follow the instructions given for each bid, RFP, RFQ, etc.

The District does advertise for construction bids, some products including food, and some services, such as waste management. The District does not advertise for goods or services of low dollar values that fall below State of Washington or District thresholds for publicly advertised bids. The state law which governs District procurement is described in RCW 28A.335.190.

Vendors are asked to be mindful of the primary mission of schools, which is to educate students. All visitors to schools, programs, or classrooms must obtain prior permission from the principal, program manager, or supervisor in charge, and are required to sign in at the main office.

School Board policies which cover visits to schools are found at Superintendent Procedure 4200SP.A Visitors to Schools.

Vendor representatives are welcome to contact Purchasing staff to introduce themselves and share information about available products and services. The best method is by an email to the appropriate Procurement department: Procurement Contact Info

Within the requirements of state or other governing law and School Board policy, Procurement staff will select vendors who provide the best value to the District on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, the District has a variety of strategic partners. A list of partners can be found above in the Interlocal Agreements section.

The Washington State Department of Revenue holds the District liable for “use tax” regardless of the origin of goods, whether or not the out-of-state vendor is required to collect the tax on behalf of Washington State.

Yes, in rare cases. Sole source purchases must meet the requirements of RCW 39.04.280.

District staff who request sole source purchases must complete the Documentation of Competition or Sole Source Justification form (login required).

Send questions about payment or invoice inquires to and To aid in quick resolution please include the PO number and a copy of the invoice within the email.

Yes, the majority of our purchases require purchase orders or other forms of contract. If unsure, please contact Procurement Services at

About Purchasing and Contracting Services

In Purchasing and Contracting Services, our vision is to lead the way with integrity, teamwork, and outstanding services. Our mission is to deliver goods and services through authorized cost-effective solutions to meet the needs of our customers. Our values are customer service, integrity, teamwork, and creating an enjoyable and rewarding work environment.


Our goals align with Seattle Public Schools 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.  Seattle Excellence: Educate. Engage. Empower.

Our primary goals include:

  • Compliance: Ensure the integrity of our business processes
  • Service Delivery: Consistently meet service and delivery standards
  • Fiscal Integrity: Be good stewards of public funds

Current Initiatives

Some of our larger initiatives, which are directly related to our primary goals, include:

  • Compliance: Review and update policies and procedures for procurement, and help ensure compliance with state and federal laws, Board policies, and Superintendent procedures
  • Service Delivery: Establish baseline for performance measures for procurement administrative lead time
  • Fiscal Integrity: Establish sustainable processes to evaluate procurement savings


A few of our accomplishments include:

  • Implementing paperless requisitions, resulting in an e-procurement ratio of 80%
  • Redesigning the Small Works procurement process, resulting in a new application, a new roster, and a more streamlined and audit-worthy process
  • Rolled out electronic purchase orders, reduced paper usage by 50,000 sheets of paper per year