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    Seattle Public Schools Remote Learning FAQ

    Seattle Public Schools started the 2020-21 school year remotely. On August 26, the Seattle School Board voted to approve the revised school calendar and school day start times.

    When does the school day (which includes class meetings with teachers and independent student work) start and end for students?

    Elementary and K-8 Schools

    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

    Middle and High Schools

    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 9 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.

    See remote learning sample schedules. Schools will adjust sample schedules to meet the unique needs of their community and students.


    Additional FAQ by Topic

    Fall Remote Learning Overview

    What will remote learning look like this fall?

    Students will be learning five days a week from their homes with a combination of:

    1. Live full-class instruction and small group instruction
    2. Independent learning activities.

    Live full-class and small group instruction: Students will meet with educators and other students live using Microsoft Teams.

    • Educator facilitates a discussion about a shared text with the whole class over video conference
    • Students work together on a group project in a breakout room over video conference
    • Students work independently while on video conference; educator monitors work and uses the chat for individual feedback or pulls a small group into a breakout room to share feedback with the group

    Independent learning activities: Students will learn independently and offline, on their own timeline.

    • Students watch a pre-recorded video lesson on their own schedule
    • Students complete assignments posted on Schoology or Seesaw on their own schedule
    • Educators provide feedback on completed assignments over email or within Schoology or Seesaw.

    Read more on the teaching and learning FAQ.

    What will students need to access remote learning?

    Students will need a device and internet access to access remote learning.

    Learning devices (laptop or iPad) Schools will reach out with more information on where to get learning devices. Read more about student device distribution.

    Internet access (or a "hotspot") Schools will reach out with more information on where to get internet access or a hotspot at the start of school. For more information, visit the internet assistance webpage

    The temporary Technology Resource Centers will have tech support and information how to access internet for student learning. You can also visit our Technology Supports for Families webpage or contact us at email, or call our telephone support line: 206-252-0100 for assistance.

    Will Class Lessons be Recorded Class?

    With the school year beginning remotely, live lessons from your student's teacher may be recorded for students to watch at other times via Schoology and/or Seesaw. This means that your student's work may be shared with their class for the purpose of collaboration. Recorded lessons will not be shared school or district wide, only with your student's class.

    If you have questions or concerns about your student being recorded or their work being shared during a recorded live lesson, please contact your student's teacher.

    What other technology does my student need to engage in remote learning this fall?

    Students will need access to their student email account, Schoology or SeeSaw, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, and the student portal Clever.

    Read more about these tools for students on our technology FAQ.

    Student schedules

    Will students receive live, remote classroom instruction? How many hours of instruction per day will be provided?

    The district is recommending live, remote classroom instruction in grades preK-12. Schedules and "school hours" will be consistent across the district and predictable for families, students, and staff. For students receiving special education services, in alignment with their IEP, some students may receive small group, in-person instruction if it is determined that services can be provided safely, and services cannot be accessed successfully through remote learning.

    Will my student receive differentiated support outside of general education classes?

    Yes. Students receiving special education services and English learners will receive additional support in and outside of class time. In addition, all SPS schools will set aside time (from 1+ hours/ day in elementary school to 3+ hours/ day in secondary schools) during which educators will work with small groups to accelerate learning or provide additional support. Read more on our special education FAQ.


    Will educators be taking attendance? How?

    For the 2020-21 school year, we will be accommodating the varied needs and schedules of families and students using a traditional attendance check at the beginning of class as well as a more flexible approach by considering student engagement with learning tasks and posted lessons. Excused absences will also be extended to families experiencing illness, parent/guardian conflicting work schedules, and online connectivity issues. Read more about attendance during remote learning.


    Child Care, Community Learning Supports and Basic Needs

    How will child care providers support remote learning? How do I sign up for child care?

    The district is working with the City of Seattle and community partners to expand access to more than 55 sites in the fall. Enrollment for childcare is made through each individual provider. Families should speak with their childcare provider to plan how academic programming will work for their child. Enrollment for childcare is made through each individual provider. Essential staff, including educators, will be prioritized for childcare services. Learn more on our Child Care webpage.

    Will child care providers support remote learning for SPS students?

    Yes. SPS is supporting providers' efforts to assist students in accessing remote learning while in child care.

    What connection to mental health providers will be made available for students during the school year?

    Like last year, we will provide a list of providers available to families during our school building closure on our Mental Health and Health Services webpage. Students' mental health and wellness is a top concern as we reopen school remotely for fall. These supports will be prioritized in partnership with licensed community mental health providers.

    Where can my family go to find information on basic needs — housing, food, and internet access?

    The district is launching temporary family resource centers located across the district to provide the technology support. Read more about the Family Resource Centers.

    The City of Seattle also has compiled a comprehensive list of translated supports. 

    English Learner (EL) Supports

    How is SPS working to prioritize the needs of English Learners in an online setting?

    EL staff will work in partnership with classroom teachers to plan and deliver core instruction using:

    • Language and content standards
    • Supports for learning content and language acquisition
    • A wide range of strategies that build on students’ strengths and interests while they continue to work on the learning objectives
      • Content (e.g. student choice of topic when writing an argumentative essay for an assignment)
      • Process (e.g. mixed-ability small grouping, same-ability small grouping, paired work, allowing a student to stand while listening to the teacher)
      • Product (e.g. written test, oral presentation of learning, visual representation)
    • Assessments of content separate from assessments of language proficiency

    Where can I find supports and information in my home language?

    District staff have translated key information for families, including technology "how to" videos. These language focused webpages are located as tabs at the top of the district website and each school site.

    Health and Wellness

    What science was this decision based on? What would we need to see for us to return to school buildings?

    Countries that have managed to reopen schools successfully have done so with declining infection rates. We will continue this model until the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 has decreased enough to resume in-person instruction and will do so in consultation with Public Health Seattle & King County.

    Public Health Seattle & King County COVID-19 resources. (this site includes FAQ in English, Spanish and Chinese)

    Nutrition Services

    What is the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program?

    The Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application is used to capture information and ensure the district/school receives the full amount of federal and state funding available, and that eligible students are receiving all of their services.

    Families and caregivers with students eligible for free/reduced meals may be eligible to receive low-cost, high-speed internet services through their home internet provider. This is especially important right now during online learning.

    In addition, students approved for free/reduced meals may be eligible to receive reduced fees for the following programs:

    • Event Fees
    • Field Trips
    • Advanced Placement Tests
    • Running Start Books
    • Associated Student Body (ASB)
    • Fees Pre-College Exams (PSAT/SAT/ACT)
    • College Application Fees

    Student eligibility for school year 2020-21 will carry over for the first 30 operating days of the following school year.

    How do I sign my student up for free or reduced lunch?

    It is imperative that households complete the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application if they are eligible for meal benefits. We encourage all families that may be eligible to submit a new application prior to the start of each new school year. This allows the application to be processed and the correct eligibility established before school starts. Families have the ability to fill out the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application online. You can find translated copies of the application on our Free and Reduced Price Meal webpage.

    Where will the fall food distribution sites be?

    Visit the Student Meal Support. webpage for a map of food distribution sites, bus route schedules, and other student meal support resources.

    Will more time be allotted in the recommended schedules for meals?

    Meal distribution sites have expanded to make it more convenient for students and families to pick up lunch during the planned lunch time.

    Family Technology Resource Centers

    What are the SPS Technology Resource Centers?

    There are 8 temporary Family Resource Center located across the district that support PreK-12 students and families with technology access. Read more about the resource centers.

    Communication Between Families and Caregivers and Schools

    How will family-educator conferences work in remote learning?

    Elementary schools will host family-educator conferences in November for each grade level over Microsoft Teams.

    How can I provide input and share feedback with my school on how remote learning is going?

    We welcome and encourage feedback from our staff, families, and community partners during this time of remote learning. To leave feedback or input, please use the Let's Talk contact form below.