School Beat: The Seattle Public Schools Newsletter | September 17, 2020
Dear SPS Community,
I am so proud of the way families, students, and staff have come together to support each other during this first week of full school schedules. Thank you for sharing tips with other families, stories of gratitude for educators going above and beyond, and valuable feedback.
I know this week was not without its challenges. Across the country, parents are trying to balance working and supporting student learning at home. Many educators are teaching while helping their own children. Students are missing being under one roof together. And all of us are trying to adapt to new systems and platforms.
Please know that your efforts are seen and appreciated. Parents, staff, and students are doing an incredible job rising to this challenge and we are here to partner with and support you. Below, you will find information on helpful resources, including in-person tech help, childcare, and meal distribution.
Thank you for your partnership and flexibility as we support students, no matter the circumstances.
Sincerely,Superintendent Denise Juneau
Join Superintendent Juneau for a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 4:30 p.m. Department of Technology Executive Director Carlos Del Valle and Digital Learning Manager Rafael Gallardo will join Superintendent Juneau to share updates and answer questions about remote learning technology.
Technology Virtual Town Hall
Community Health Update
It is great to have the school year started, remotely. Our educators and school leaders have done a tremendous job lifting a remote school year. King County Public Health has been tracking COVID-19 cases and informed us that, as of September 9, King County had an infection rate of 65 cases per 100,000 residents. As you know, last spring we started planning a hybrid (part-time in person and part-time remote) return to school and had to quickly change to an all remote setting because of a spike in COVID-19 infection rates. So, this decrease in infection rates is encouraging, as it is evidence that our community is working hard to reduce transmission by following health safety protocols. We will soon begin some in-person instruction for a small number of students who receive special education services. We will also continue our conversations with our labor partners, staff, and school board about public health guidance and any next steps. Right now, we continue to be focused on ensuring a high-quality education to our students, no matter the circumstances or setting.
Attendance During Remote Learning
SPS will be monitoring and recording daily attendance to support student learning. Students’ participation in live classes and independent assignments will count as present for attendance. Students will not be marked late or tardy when participating in live classes or coursework during this period of 100% online learning. Before marking an absence, school staff will work with students and families to understand students’ participation and engagement.
Absences due to COVID-19-related causes will be considered excused. If a student demonstrates a pattern of repeated absences, schools will provide personal supports for families and students to effectively engage in remote learning.
Attendance Practices
A Remote Start to 2020-21
Technology Resource Centers
Eight temporary Technology Resource Centers are now open to support students and families with remote learning technology. Supports include remote learning software, computers or internet access, and general technology information.
Tech Resource Centers
Answers to Your Technology QuestionsWe’ve put together technology resources for families and students. In addition to the many how-to guides on our website, SPS offers students and families technology support by phone, email, or in-person. Students should restart their SPS computer and log in every weekend to receive the latest software updates.
Tech Support FAQ

Seattle Skills Center Applications Still Open. The Seattle Skills Center is a free program in SPS that prepares students for college, career, and life and offers classes in interest areas like aerospace manufacturing, automotive technology, health sciences/medical assisting, construction trades, culinary arts, maritime vessel operations, media arts, careers in education, and more. There are still spaces available for this school year but spots are filling up fast.
Apply for Skills Center

Standards by Grade Level. We will share videos on standards for what students will learn at each grade level before parent-teacher conferences.
How-To Videos for Common PlatformsNeed help with Schoology, Seesaw, or Teams? New how-to videos, including translated versions, are now available on the SPSTV YouTube channel. These videos will teach you how to log in, navigate your student’s school courses, submit assignments, and more.
Tech How-To Videos

Elective Supply Update. Courses like visual arts and physical education require additional supplies and resources. With our school doors closed, we are working on getting donations and purchasing supplies for each school to support at home lessons. This million-dollar investment is in addition to school-based budgets. Schools and teachers will communicate directly with families about the pickup schedule. In the meantime, educators will be providing lessons that can be supported with minimal supplies.

Devices for Preschool Students. Many school districts across the country are seeking technology and devices for their students. This has caused some delivery delays for devices for preschool students.
Superintendent’s Reopening Plan Task Force
SPS is recruiting members for the superintendent’s Reopening Plan Task Force for the 2020-21 school year. The task force will monitor the progress, implementation, and effectiveness of the remote learning model and advise the Board and superintendent on possible revisions and continuous improvement. The deadline for nominations or applications is Oct. 7, 2020.
Task Force Application
Resources For Families
Student Meal DistributionSPS is offering free student meals at 40 school locations and eight bus routes. Meal sites are open Monday-Friday from 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Student Meals

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application. Families are encouraged to complete the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application, especially during the COVID pandemic. Families must re-apply for meal benefits each year, using the online application or paper application. Families with students who qualify for free/reduced meals may be eligible to receive low-cost, high speed internet services through their home internet provider and reduced fees for a variety of programs.Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Language and translation supports. To make sure all our families have access to the latest fall 2020-21 updates and resources, we have created web pages in each of our community’s top six languages: AmharicChineseSomaliSpanishTagalog, and Vietnamese.
K-12 Enrollment Open for 2020-21 School YearEnrollment for the 2020-21 school year is still open. Students are guaranteed a seat at their neighborhood school. School registration is completed online and help is available in English, Amharic, Chinese, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. After September 21, the enrollment center be open for in-person enrollment services Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Enrollment Support

Flu Clinics and Health Centers. Everyone is encouraged to get a flu shot this year to protect yourself and the community. 32 drive-through flu clinics will be hosted at our schools in September and October.
School-based health centers will be open in 27 of our schools, including new centers opening at Lowell Elementary and Nova High School.Student Health Services

Seattle Parks & Rec Middle School and High School Community Center Learning Sites. Sites opened Sept. 8 and provide support for SPS virtual learning. Learn more and register on the Parks & Rec page.
Community Center Learning Sites
Capital Corner
High School Renamed in Honor of First Asian American Member of Seattle School Board
At the September 9, 2020 regular meeting, the School Board voted to recognize local lifelong education advocate Alan T. Sugiyama, with the renaming of South Lake High School to Alan T. Sugiyama High School at South Lake.Alan Sugiyama High School
Upcoming Dates
Sept. 18: Capacity, Enrollment, and Facilities Master Planning Advisory Committee
Sept. 22: Board Special Meeting: Work Session: 2020-21 Reopening Update (Special Education, Family Engagement)
Sept. 22: Highly Capable and Racial Equity Services Advisory Meeting
Sept. 23: Regular Board Meeting
Sept. 25: Capacity, Enrollment, and Facilities Master Planning Advisory Committee Meeting
Sept. 26: Board Special Meeting: Retreat
Sept. 29: Technology Virtual Town Hall
View the District Calendar for details as well as more upcoming events and school year dates.
The Source
Family Resources
School Year Dates
District News and Events
Departments and Services
Seattle Public Schools
Educate. Engage. Empower. 
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“Strong Start” for Grades PreK-12

On August 26, the School Board approved Sept. 4 as the first day of school for 1-12 students. Sept. 8 is the first day for preschool and kindergarten. They also approved changed bell times.

Elementary and K-8: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Mon-Tue, Thur-Fri), 8:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. (Wed)
Middle and high school: 9 a.m. – 3:50 p.m. (Mon-Tue, Thur-Fri), 9 a.m. – 2:35 p.m. (Wed)

Sept. 4-11 are considered “Strong Start” days for fall of 2020. Staff will be focused on supporting students’ social and emotional well-being, culturally responsive community building, family connections, and making sure students know how to use their technology tools to access learning.

“Strong Start” Sept 4-11: Two hours per day of instructional support. Supplemental learning resources will be provided for the remaining school hours.
“Strong Start” and School Schedules

Important Upcoming Communications

  • Today and Thursday, Sept. 3: Translated phone call to families with the latest planning updates
  • Early next week: Special Education communication to families
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2: School master schedules will be posted to school websites
  • Thursday, Sept. 3: School Beat newsletter with the latest planning updates

Please make sure your communication preferences are up to date to get the latest planning updates from your school and the district. Update Your Communication Preferences

Join Superintendent Juneau for a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m. for a kick-off to the school year with the latest updates. You can join the conversation on our Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to tune in.

A Remote Start to 2020-21

SPS and Seattle Education Association have come to tentative agreement
Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association have come to a tentative agreement for the 2020-21 school year. Tentative Agreement with SEA

Preschool and Kindergarten Family Connections
From Sept. 4-11, PreK and kindergarten teachers will be conducting Family Connection Virtual Visits to learn more about your child’s strengths and needs. These connection visits will give families a chance to talk about their hopes and wishes for their child.

Resources For Families

Device Distribution and Technology Support

  • 6-12 grade devices: Devices for students in grades 6-12 have been delivered to schools and will be distributed beginning next week, in addition to the thousands of devices that were distributed in the spring and summer.
  • 3-5 grade devices: Laptops for students in grades 3-5 will be at schools and ready for distribution next week.
  • K-2 grade devices: Most K-2 students will receive their iPads the week of September 8-11.

These devices will be distributed by your school. Schools will contact families directly to let you know when you can pick up a device and get help with internet service or hotspots. If families are not contacted by their school by Sept. 1, please reach out to your principal or teacher. 1:1 Device Distribution.

All eight temporary Technology Resource Centers will open on Sept. 14 to support students and families with remote learning technology. Supports will include remote learning software, help with computers or internet access, and general technology information. Three centers are currently open by appointment.

Meal distribution for the 2020-21 school year

Seattle Public Schools provides student meals by bus and at many school sites on weekdays. Changes to bus routes began Monday, August 24. For the start of the school year, we are working to expand service to 40 school locations around Seattle.
Student Meal Sites
Families must re-apply for meal benefits each school year. Households that experience a change in income due to job loss or their circumstances are encouraged to apply. Applications are available via online and paper submission.
Apply for Free and Reduced Price Student Meals
The application deadline for the Pandemic EBT Emergency School Meals Program is Sept. 11. This benefit is available for families who applied for the Free and Reduced Meals during the 2019-20 school year. P-EBT is a new and temporary food benefit to help families buy groceries because schools were closed.
Emergency Meals Program

Child care supports for families
SPS is partnering with the City of Seattle and community partners to provide full-day child care in 50+ elementary and K-8 schools. SPS is supporting providers’ efforts to assist students in accessing remote learning while in child care. Enrollment for child care is made through each individual provider. View the list of school sites with contact information on our website.
Child Care Locations

K-12 districtwide Social Emotional Learning
Seattle Public Schools deeply values the social and emotional well-being of our students, families, and staff, especially during a time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty. To ensure that our commitment to safe and welcoming environments and academic readiness continues in a remote learning model, the district is prioritizing SEL supports for our students. When we focus on educating the whole child, students are healthy—and feel safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Focus on SEL

Language and translation supports
To make sure all our families have access to the latest fall planning updates and resources, we have created web pages in each of our community’s top six languages: AmharicChineseSomaliSpanishTagalog, and Vietnamese.

Seattle Excellence: Liberation Through Anti-Racist Education Institute
Last week, over 500 Seattle Public Schools staff, educators, and community members registered to participate in the Liberation Through Anti-Racist Education Institute. Hosted by the district’s Department of Racial Equity Advancement, the four-day virtual institute focused on transforming SPS into an anti-racist organization.  Building an Anti-Racist District

Upcoming Dates
August 27: Listening to the Experiences of our Families: BIPOC, Bilingual, and Special Education Community Forums – Black Family Community Forum

August 28: Listening to the Experiences of our Families: BIPOC, Bilingual, and Special Education Community Forums

August 28: Capacity, Enrollment, and Facilities Master Planning Advisory Committee

August 31: Daniel Bagley Elementary Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Sept. 1: Board Special Meeting: Audit & Finance Committee Quarterly Meeting

Sept. 3: Virtual Town Hall with Superintendent Juneau

Sept. 4: First Day of School

View the District Calendar for details as well as more upcoming events and school year dates.