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School Choice and Open Enrollment

School Choice for 2023-24

February 1-28, 2023

Every Seattle Public Schools student is assigned to their attendance area school based on where they live. Families can also apply to request that their student attend a different school through the Open Enrollment for School Choice Process.

School Choice Process

If you are interested in having your student attend a school that is not their assigned school next year, please submit a School Choice form. Forms will be available through Source or on this webpage and at the John Stanford Center on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Applications received by Tuesday, Feb. 28 will receive priority. SPS will continue to accept School Choice forms until Wednesday, May 31. These applications are prioritized based on the date the application is received. 

If there are more applications than seats available for a particular school and grade, then certain tiebreakers are used to determine assignment and waitlist status.

  • All Seattle Public Schools choice assignments are subject to space availability.
  • Submitting the form does not guarantee an assignment.
  • Please review the Linked School and Programs as some programs or support services may not be offered at your preferred school.
  • New students must first register on the Enrollment webpage before participating in the open enrollment.
  • Non-resident and Early Entrance Kindergarten students are not eligible to participate in the Open Enrollment School Choice process.
  • If there are more applications than seats available for a particular school and grade, then certain tiebreakers are used to determine assignment and waitlist status.
  • K-12 students may transfer to their attendance area school after Open Enrollment through May 31, as long as the services the student needs are available at that school. Transfers to their previously assigned choice school is not guaranteed and requires a new School Choice Form subject to availability or placed at the bottom of the waitlist.
  • Transfers after May 31, follow the Transfer Appeal process opening on June 1. The Transfer Appeal Request Form will be available online the same day.
  • Students who apply for and receive a choice assignment will receive a new assignment to that choice school (or program). Students with a choice assignment will be continued at that school through the highest grade served, as long as the school offers the services the student needs.
  • School Choice results are available beginning April 18 via Student Assignment Lookup Tool.

Families with students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools may submit school choice applications for the following school year.

If there are more applications than seats available for a particular school and grade, then certain tiebreakers are used to determine assignment and waitlist status.

Standard Tiebreakers for available seats after assignment of attendance area students

Attendance Area Elementary and K-8 Schools

  1. Sibling
  2. Lottery

Attendance Area Middle Schools

  1. Sibling
  2. Feeder School
  3. Lottery

Attendance Area High Schools

  1. Sibling
  2. Lottery

Option Schools (all grades)

  1. Sibling
  2. Geographic Zone
  3. Lottery

HCC Tiebreakers

Elementary Schools

  1. Sibling
  2. Lottery

Middle Schools

  1. Sibling
  2. Feeder School
  3. Lottery

High Schools

  1. Sibling
  2. Lottery
  1. To return to your neighborhood school from a choice school. Students are guaranteed a seat at their neighborhood school if students apply by May 31, and Special Education service needs can be met at their neighborhood school. 
  1. If your student is currently in a dual language immersion pathway and is rising to middle school or high school.  
    • All current dual language immersion students entering their sixth or ninth grade next year who want to stay in their dual language immersion pathway must apply through School Choice during the Open Enrollment period. These students will be guaranteed an assignment.  
  2. If your student is eligible for Highly Capable (HC) services.
    • Kindergarten-7th grade students with a new HC decision for the 2023-24 school year who want to attend a pathway school. 
    • Students eligible for HC services entering ninth grade who did not attend an HC Cohort Pathway School in eighth grade—and—students with an HC designation currently attending their attendance area or option high school who want to attend an HC Pathway High school:
      • Will have a guaranteed HC Pathway seat at their HC Pathway High School (Garfield, Lincoln, or West Seattle), but a Choice Form must be submitted during Open Enrollment.
    • Please note: Currently enrolled eighth graders attending an HC Cohort (HCC) Pathway are guaranteed admission into their HC Pathway High School (Garfield, Lincoln, or West Seattle) in ninth grade based on where they live, and DO NOT need to apply during Open Enrollment. 
    • More information about Highly Capable pathways, including elementary and middle school pathways. Questions about Advanced Learning and HC services? Email advlearn@seattleschools.org.

School Choice Forms

  • If you are participating in the Open Enrollment for a current SPS student, please submit the school choice application through The Source, which will allow you to review the receipt status of your application. Please review steps for submitting below.
  • Students/families new to SPS, please email the completed PDF form (links below) to schoolchoice@seattleschools.org.

If you are participating in the Open Enrollment for a current SPS student, please submit the school choice application through The Source, which will allow you to review the receipt status of your application.

  1. Log in to your parent Source account
  2. After logging in, select School Choice from the left menu.
  3. The SPS School Choice Application will launch, carefully read the instructions.
  4. Scroll to the List Your Preferred Schools and Programs section. To select a school, click the drop-down on the left, then choose the Program from the column on the right. You may make up to 5 selections.
  5. If you have at least one student enrolled at the choice school, use the checkboxes in the Sibling Keep Together section to select the other student(s).
  6. If you have siblings not listed or are an employee, select the additional information check box and enter details in the field provided. Otherwise, leave the box unchecked.
  7. Click Submit. A message will display after you submit.

If you have questions, please contact the Admissions team.

  • New students must first register on the Admissions page before participating in School Choice.
  • All Seattle Public Schools choice assignments are subject to space availability. Submitting this form does not guarantee an assignment.
  • Please review the Linked School Charts as some programs or support services may not be offered at your preferred school.

Non-resident and Early Entrance Kindergarten students are not eligible to participate in the School Choice process.

Please send the signed form to schoolchoice@seattleschools.org.

  • New students to SPS must first register by visiting the Admissions page before submitting the school choice form.
  • Students must be at least 3 years old by May 31, 2023 with a current IEP to be eligible.
  • All Seattle Public Schools Experimental Educational Unit assignments are subject to space availability. Completing this form does not guarantee an assignment.

This form is used only for Pre-K and Kindergarten eligible students who are applying to the EEU as their only choice.

Please send the signed form to schoolchoice@seattleschools.org.


Enrollment Key Dates

1
Feb
Open Enrollment for School Choice
February 1February 28
18
Apr
31
Aug
Waitlists Dissolve
August 31

Linked Schools and Programs

Most students are assigned to their neighborhood school. For some required services, a student may be assigned to another school.

Linked Schools

Need more information on which school your student will attend next year?

You can review school assignments in the SPS Assignment Lookup Tool. All you need is your student’s date of birth and student ID number. If you are unsure of their student ID, contact SPS Admissions at 206-252-0760 or log into your account on The Source

Students currently attending an option school or a school that is not their attendance area school: These students can stay at their school until the highest grade offered without having to apply during Open Enrollment. 

Unsure which program to apply for?

If your student is not receiving special education services, then you should apply for General Education. The following programs are for students who are receiving special education services:

  • Extended Resource
  • Focus
  • Distinct
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing

If your student’s service model for special education is SM1, you should apply as General Education. Dual Language Immersion students should also apply as General Education. If you are seeking the HCC program for your student, select HCC. If you are applying for K-12 Virtual Option at Cascade, select Cascade Parent Partnership – Virtual.

Please review below Linked School Charts for programs and service availabilities.


Option Schools with Continuous Enrollment

  • Cascade Parent Partnership Program – General Education
  • Interagency Programs
  • Middle College High School
  • Nova High School
  • Seattle World School
  • Skills Center
  • Alan T. Sugiyama High School

All option schools with continuous enrollment are considered upon request. Please contact us online if you are interested in attending any one of our option schools with continuous enrollment. Some schools require capacity reviews or additional enrollment procedures. Read more about schools with continuous enrollment.

Note: Seats for the K-12 Virtual Option at Cascade are subject to availability.


Historical Choice Data

Would you like to know how many students applied for school choice in recent years? Or the number of students who were waitlisted?

Section 2 of the Annual Enrollment Report, produced by Enrollment Planning, also contains detailed historical choice data for each school.


Contact us

Questions?

Contact the Admissions team.

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