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    Enrollment and Attendance During Remote Learning

    Return to the Remote Learning FAQ webpage.


    What does it mean to be enrolled in Seattle Public Schools during remote learning?

    All registered SPS students will participate in remote learning with their assigned school. During the remote learning period, all student assignment policies and procedures will remain in effect. This includes but not limited to enrollment practices and procedures, address changes, and waitlist moves. This is because we are planning for an eventual full return to in-person instruction when Public Health guidelines allow and keeping our enrollment procedures consistent will make that transition back to buildings occur smoothly.

    For more information about our student assignment policies please review the Student Assignment Plan 3130 and Superintendent Procedure 3130 SP.

    What happens if my family moves to a new address in Seattle?

    Admission and school assignment are based on the student’s principal place of residence in the Seattle School District. The student’s principle place of residence is the home or location where the student lives most of the time. It is this address that determines the student’s designated school.

    When a student moves, they must submit appropriate address documentation to the Admissions Center. A student who moves may choose to or be required to change schools, depending on their assignment type, and the time of year that they move. Read more about  how to report an address change.

    What happens if my family moves out of the Seattle Public Schools boundaries?

    If a resident student enrolled in SPS moves out of district and wants to continue attending their school for the rest of the year, the student must reapply via the non-resident admission process. They are subject to the standard non-resident student admission criteria.

    What happens if my family moves out of state or abroad?

    Non-residents may apply for admittance to Seattle Public Schools by completing the non-resident student admissions process. If the non-resident student admissions process is not completed, or a student is not approved, they will be unenrolled from SPS.

    In order to consider a student for admittance who lives outside the Seattle Public Schools boundaries, the student must complete the standard admission documents and present all of the following documentation to the Admissions Center:

    • Choice Transfer Form from district of residence
    • SPS Non-Resident Choice Form
    • Attendance: Verification that the student has not had any attendance or truancy issues in the past 180 school days
    • Discipline: Verification that the student has not had any disciplinary issues in the past 180 school days
    • Special Education: Current copy of the student’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) and SPS Special Education Addendum, if applicable.

    After August 31, non-resident applications will only be accepted for current resident students who move out of the district during the school year and want to continue in SPS.

    Can a student participate in a family-developed "pod" and still be enrolled in Seattle Public Schools?

    The district realizes that families may need to have students engage in learning that occurs independent (asynchronously) from the scheduled school day hours to accommodate family needs such as parent/guardian work schedules, or other circumstances.

    Asynchronous learning activities approved by SPS educators are to be accessed through logging into approved SPS platforms in order to ensure students remain connected to district-planned learning outcomes.

    Student participation in meaningful learning activities through approved asynchronous formats will be considered as present for attendance.

    If a student is participating in SPS asynchronous learning or homework, but not participating in live/synchronous instruction is the student considered enrolled in SPS?

    Yes, as long as that student lives within the SPS district boundaries, and the family has communicated this arrangement with the school.

    Can I reduce my student’s full-time equivalency (FTE) status in Seattle Public Schools? What is the process?

    Students who are enrolled in Home-Based Instruction (HBI) or private school may attend SPS as part-time students. Private school or homeschooled students who would like to attend SPS less than full-time may do so by enrolling under standard assignment rules and timelines, just like full-time students. They may then arrange with the school to attend part-time, and the school will adjust the student’s FTE as appropriate. Part-time students may go to their designated school; or select from schools with choice seats available at the time.

    If I have hired someone to facilitate learning for my child, can we choose specific classes they attend to retain enrollment status at our SPS school?

    Students must take at least one course with SPS to retain part-time status.

    What about J1 students and F1 students?

    Due to the pandemic, SPS is not accepting new enrollment applications for J1 Visa students to learn remotely from abroad. SPS is accepting enrollment applications form F1 Visa students to learn remotely from abroad since they pay a tuition to the district for their learning. Maximum stay is one academic school year attending a public school.




    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.

    What is the definition of attendance during remote learning?

    Students' participation in live classes as well as working 'asynchronously,' or independently on planned learning activities and assignments, will count as a student being present for attendance.

    The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has provided examples of what student participation could look like in order to be counted as present, including, but not limited to:

    • Daily logins to learning management systems and completion of meaningful learning activities;
    • Daily interactions with teacher(s) to acknowledge attendance (including messages, emails, phone calls, or video chats); or
    • Evidence of participation in a task or assignment. Student presence is determined by engaging in planned synchronous or asynchronous activities.

    For full guidance regarding attendance during remote learning, please visit OSPI's website.

    What types of absences are there during remote learning?

    Students will either be recorded as "present" or "absent." Students will not be marked late or tardy during this period of 100% online learning. There are excused and unexcused absences.

    Absences due to the following COVID-19 causes will be considered excused:

    • Student or family health issues
    • Caring for a family member
    • Student's employment or other family obligations during scheduled school hours
    • Lack of necessary instructional tools (e.g., internet connectivity)
    • Parent work schedule

    For the full list of what qualifies as an excused absence, open the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) document.

    What is the process if a student is believed to be absent?

    Absences should not be recorded until staff has taken action to reach out and connect with the student and family to better understand the student's learning experience and ensure that the student has not participated in planned asynchronous, or independent learning activities during the school day or during off-schedule school hours.

    The school must apply OSPI requirements and district guidelines to determine excused and unexcused absences. Schools will take several different steps, summarized below, if they believe a student was absent.

    If a student is believed to have an unexcused absence, school staff will work to:

    • Determine if planned asynchronous learning activities occurred by checking Schoology activity, emailing or having a phone call with the family, checking for completed assignments, etc.
    • Follow district guidelines to determine if the absence is excused or unexcused.
    • Ensure attendance, once verified, is updated.
    • Notify the family of an unexcused absence.
    • Collaborate with the student and family to develop a plan of support, if necessary.
    • Monitor results and adjust the support plan when needed.