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COVID-19 Response

Seattle Public Schools COVID-19 Response


What are the vaccination rates for SPS schools? 

As of March 31, 2022, 83% of SPS students have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 79% of students have had two. The highest vaccination rate in a school is 95%, while the lowest is25%. Of 106 schools, 93 have a greater than 50% vaccination rate and 13 schools have less than a 50% vaccination rate. 

Vaccine clinics at SPS Schools: The district continues to offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics for our school community in partnership with trusted medical providers.

SPS COVID-19 Dashboard

SPS closely tracks and monitors confirmed COVID-19 cases. Confirmed case counts at Seattle Public are displayed  on the COVID Data Dashboard.

How does SPS share COVID-19 tracking data? 

Refreshed weekly on Mondays by the end of the day, this dashboard disaggregates (dividing data into parts) cases by region, week, and role to provide an understanding of the pandemic across the district. Confirmed cases  does not mean the transmission occurred within Seattle Public Schools sites.

Data is gathered from three primary sources: self-reporting, 106 schools, and school-based rapid antigen testing.

Outbreak Response

SPS continues to follow mitigation strategies to minimize transmission of COVID-19. The district’s continuity of operations plan (COOP) identifies several interrelated factors that inform the decision to move a classroom or a school building to remote instruction.

Stay Home When Sick It is important that if students have COVID symptoms, they stay home and test. Keep a supply of home tests on hand.

Department of Health Symptom Flow Chart

This DOH flowchart ‘What to do if a Person is Symptomatic’ is available in additional languages.

Mask Guidance

Seattle Public Schools lifted its mask requirements in March 2022. SPS continues to encourage masking at school, especially after travel or a break. Read the Seattle Public Schools mask update.

Virtual, Remote, and In-Person Learning

What metrics are most important for deciding if instruction should transition to remote learning?  

SPS’ continuity of operations plan identifies several interrelated factors that inform the decision to move a classroom or a school building to remote instruction. Those include student absenteeism due to COVID, staff absences, substitute teacher availability, school leader coverage, and operations support in transportation, custodial, and culinary services. 

How are decisions about in-person or remote learning or school closures made? 

When there is significant community transmission the  superintendent’s senior staff meet throughout the day to review the data, engage with school leaders, and develop recommendations to the superintendent or his designee for supporting schools or moving them to remote instruction.  

How do I help my student access remote instruction? 

Your school will provide a letter to families with information about schedules, lunch pick-up, and any related activity. The letter will also give you clear information about how to connect to the learning platform your students’ classroom is using. 

Does SPS offer virtual learning option 

SPS offers a Virtual Option Pilot Program (VOPP) with limited enrollment capacity.

Can Virtual Option Pilot Program (VOPP) students return to their school in 2022-23? 

VOPP students are expected to commit to a one year stay in this program (ending June 2022).

Students attending choice schools: However, students enrolled in a choice school may be guaranteed to return to that school only if they have attended through the end of March 2022 (3rd quarter). Short of this commitment, it is subject to availability to return to their choice school upon requesting to transfer back. Students are guaranteed a spot at their neighborhood school to return if their choice school is not available. 

Students attending attendance-area schools (neighborhood schools): Students are guaranteed a spot at their neighborhood school. 

How do you accommodate high-risk families who wish to keep their child at home temporarily until school cases come under control?  

SPS recognizes these are complicated times for families. Families are encouraged to communicate directly with their students’ school regarding student absences.  

COVID-19 testing

If You Test Positive for COVID-19:   

  • Stay home for a minimum of 5 days and until your symptoms have significantly improved.    
  • Notify your school   

Outbreak Response and Testing Consent 

If there is a suspected or confirmed outbreak in a classroom or across classrooms, testing and masking may be required to sustain in-person learning. Learn more about the testing protocol and consent to outbreak testing.

Read the outbreak response plan (created in consultation with Public Health).

COVID-19 Testing

Students can take a COVID test:

  • At their school
  • At home

At home testing: Seattle Public Schools is now accepting over the counter COVID-19 tests for students and staff.

Student assigned school: COIVID testing is available at each school, and results are available usually within 15 minutes with parent/guardian consent.

DOH provides districts with rapid antigen tests from a variety of companies.

The Fact Sheets below contain information to help you understand the risks and benefits of using these tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

Abbott Binax Now COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

AccessBio CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Test

BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SAR-CoV2

iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test


Vaccine Clinics

COVID-19 Vaccine for Students and Staff

Vaccination is our most important line of defense against the virus and being vaccinated also reduces the loss of vital in-person instruction time at school.

Prom, Arts, Activities, and Athletics

Prom Protocols  

Prom is back! High schools are now able to host in-person proms. Schools will have free at-home COVID tests available for students attending prom. Each attendee can receive one test box which includes two tests. Students are strongly encouraged to take a COVID test both before prom and before returning to school. Let’s make this a healthy and safe prom season. Learn more about testing.

Performing Arts

Due to decreasing community transmission rates, community audiences are allowed at middle and high school performing arts events starting February 7. Physical distancing between family groups and masking are required.

Student Athletes COVID-19 Health Safety

In addition to the updated testing and masking requirements, there are also updates for when an athlete can return to play and spectator guidelines. Pre-pandemic community audiences are allowed at indoor middle and high school athletics starting April 2. Masking is optional and verification of vaccination or negative test are no longer required for entry. Learn more about athletics health safety.

Visitors and Volunteers in Buildings

Adults in Buildings 

One-time/one-day visitors and one-time volunteers are allowed in buildings during the school day with the following requirements.

  • Visitors must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. Home tests will be accepted. Same day rapid antigen tests are highly recommended.
    • Note that proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is not required outside of the school day.
  • Visitors and staff in meetings together must follow all SPS Health and safety protocols.
  • Adults maintain 6-feet physical distance from others.
  • Meetings over Teams are still an option, and in some cases more convenient for families and staff.
  • Note that essential volunteers are already allowed at the discretion of the school leader.
  • School bus drivers and other SPS vendors supporting our students are allowed in buildings on an as-needed basis (e.g., restrooms).

Recent Announcements

Vaccination Clinics for 3- and 4-year-old children

Seattle Public Schools is offering vaccine clinics for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children 3 years and older, and for adults.

Masks optional for SPS students and staff

Seattle Public Schools will lift its current mask requirements beginning Monday, March 14.

A woman in a mask receives a vaccine dose from a health care provider.

Staff Vaccination Requirement

Governor Jay Inslee announced a directive legally in 2021 requiring all K–12 school district employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination

View all recent COVID-19 news posts.