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    SPS Fall Planning FAQ | Check Out the FAQ For Answers To Fall Remote Learning !
    Posted on 07/31/2020
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    Fall 2020 Planning FAQ

    Superintendent Juneau is recommending to the School Board that Seattle Public Schools start the 2020-21 school year remotely. 

    The School Board will vote on Superintendent Juneau's recommendation and an associated plan for Fall 2020 on August 12.


    SPS Fall 2020 FAQ Updates

    SPS Planning For Fall 2020 Updates

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Technology

    Will the district continue to supply technology to families who do not have access? How will the district support families who have more than one student in SPS?

    Seattle Public Schools is working towards providing a home computer/technology device for every SPS student, including new students. This is commonly referred to as a 1:1 technology model. Last year, close to 50% of SPS students received a device. Last spring, students who didn't have a device at home, students experiencing poverty, high school and middle school students, and students experiencing homelessness were prioritized for initial support. Three large orders of computers have been placed this summer. As devices become available, we will launch distribution sites and communicate to families with students who have yet to receive support.

    How is the district supporting internet access?

    The district has been hosting events throughout the summer to get families signed up for free internet. To learn more, including city-supported services, visit internet service support announcement. The district has also ordered additional internet hot spots to supports students who most need them.

    Will SPS provide the family tech support help line this fall?

    Tech support will be provided to all students, and we are working with partners to bring back the family tech support line.

    Will the family tech support help line offer translated supports?

    Yes, like last spring translated technology services and supports will be provided.

    My student's Chromebook blocks YouTube? What should I do?

    You must login to the Chromebook with a Google account that is set for an adult. Google accounts where the age is set to under 13 will be blocked from YouTube. More details on our Technology Resources for Families webpage.

    Can the district provide "how to videos" for Teams, Schoology, and any other online platform students will be using next school year?

    Yes, SPSTV will be working with the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Department to produce videos to support student and family use of learning platforms for Fall 2020. Videos will be released in August and distributed through regular communication channels including our network of education and family partnership organizations. Schoology videos are already available Technology Supports for Families webpage and can be found translated on the English Learner Family webpages.

    • Teaching and Learning

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

    If approved by the School Board on August 12, 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. Draft schedules will be shared during the August 5 School Board Work session. 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.

    What will my student's at home learning schedule look like?

    Fall schedules for elementary, middle and high school students are currently under development but are focused on providing live, remote classroom learning. Recommended draft schedules will be introduced to the School Board during the August 5 Start of School work session. Meeting agendas can be found on the School Board meeting materials webpage.

    How will SPS ensure consistency of instruction across schools?

    Staff recommendations to the School Board include training for educators on best practices in digital instruction and learning as well as a consistent, live remote teaching schedule.

    How long will remote/online learning go on? Will it be all school year?

    Seattle Public Schools continues to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates and is in regular contact with Public Health Seattle & King County. While we are beginning the year remotely, planning for a hybrid model (some in-person and some remote learning) for all preK-12 students will continue. We know that students do best when they are in a physical school community and have direct connection with educators and supports. Our local context remains dynamic and there are lots of unknowns. What we know is that transmission rates of COVID-19 must decrease significantly to provide in-person learning to all students. We each have a part to play in reducing transmission rates. Please continue to and encourage others to follow the guidance of public health, wear a mask, and social distance.

    Will educators be taking attendance? How?

    Attendance will be taken during remote learning, per OSPI the state education agency. The method is still being determined.

    What will the grading policy be for this coming school year?

    The grading policy is still being determined. A recommendation will be introduced at the August 5 Board Work session.

    Will there be supplemental, hardcopy packets at the school or meal sites for pick up?

    This is still being determined. The current recommendation is that all educators will be providing live, remote classroom instruction and we are working towards a 1:1 computer/technology device model for all SPS students.

    Will SPS be producing new educator videos for SPSTV?

    At this time, the recommendation is that educators will be providing live, remote classroom learning on a predictable weekly schedule. During Spring 2020, over 600 teacher-generated videos were produced by SPSTV and our great teachers and staff. These videos will be available for supplemental learning but not part of the regular school day instruction. Videos have been archived on the SPS COVID-19 webpage and can be viewed on the SPSTV YouTube channel.

    • Nutrition Services

    Where will the Fall Food Distribution sites be?

    Where will the fall food distribution sites be? The distribution sites for Fall 2020 mirror the sites launched in Spring 2020. More information will be shared directly with families as the start of school draws closer including information about evening and weekend meal supports. Read more about student meal support.

    • Health and Wellness

    If some students with IEPs or 504 plans will be invited to take part in small group or 1:1 in-person instruction what are the safety protocols that will be followed?

    Additional information about safety protocols for limited in-person will be provided soon, but protocols will be identified in partnership with the Coordinated School Health department, and our King County public health partners. Read more on the Public Health Seattle & King County website.

    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. In King County, our rates are going up. 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.

    • Child Care, Community Learning Supports, Basic Needs

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

    Community partners will continue to provide childcare at 35 sites in Seattle Public Schools. The district will be working with the City of Seattle and community partners to expand access. Enrollment for childcare is made through each individual provider. Essential staff including educators will be prioritized for childcare services. More information will be provided. Summer childcare spaces are still available. Learn more on our Child Care webpage.

    Will child care providers support remote learning for SPS students?

    This is currently under discussion.

    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 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, internet access?

    We are looking into setting up resource hubs at a school in every region to support families' needs. More information is coming. The City of Seattle also has compiled a comprehensive list of translated supports.

    • Special Education Services

    How will IEP or 504 plan goals be met?

    For students receiving specialized services and in alignment with their IEP or 504 plan, 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. The Special Education Department is working closely with Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction to develop guidance for rigorous remote instruction. More detail and recommendations for the start of school will be introduced to the School Board during the August 5 Start of School work session.

    • English Language Learner Supports

    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. Visit the Planning for Fall 2020 webpage for links and current updates.

    • Other

    Will sports continue?

    The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) approved a modified 2020-21 WIAA sports season calendar on July 21, 2020. Learn more on the WIAA website. The Athletics department is partnering with WIAA to make plans for the upcoming year and more information will be provided in the coming weeks.

    Could the remote learning recommendation change the school calendar/extend the school year?

    The school year calendar is bargained with Seattle Education Association and approved by the School Board. We are currently bargaining working conditions and any calendar changes with SEA. In addition, OSPI requires 180 days of instruction. Any changes to the number of instructional days will require an approved waiver from OSPI. If adjustments to the calendar are made families, students, and staff will be informed as soon as possible.

    What were the results of the Intent to Enroll questionnaire?

    In response to the questionnaire, 75% preferred some in-person instruction, 9% 100% remote, 13% not sure, and 3% will not be returning to SPS. While most families and many staff preferred in-person instruction the COVID-19 transmission rates are too high for an in-person return.

    What is SPS' stance on families forming learning pods or micro schools?

    These approaches are not formally supported by SPS. We recognize that families are going to identify a multitude of ways to manage home learning in the fall. We encourage families to work with community partners, school PTAs, faith organizations, and neighbors to determine solutions that are beneficial for all of our children and that don't widen inequities – we are all in this together.

    When will training for educators start?

    Educator training is offered throughout the summer. The first contracted day for all SEA represented staff is August 27.

    • Next Steps

    We know the uncertainty for next school year is stressful and there are still a lot of unknowns.

    The School Board will vote on Superintendent Juneau's recommendation and an associated plan for Fall 2020 on August 12. Go to the meeting agenda webpage.

    • Questions or Input for Fall 2020 Planning

    Please use our Let's Talk contact form to send Seattle Public Schools questions or input about fall planning.

    The FAQ on the SPS Fall Planning page is updated as new information becomes available.