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    How are students assigned in Seattle Public Schools?

    Elementary, middle, and high school students are initially assigned to a designated attendance area school based on where the student lives. Individual school attendance area maps are available on our School Directory page. To view designated school assignments for elementary, middle, and high school students using your current address, use the address lookup tool.

    Option schools offer a variety of approaches and instructional methods. Students must apply to attend an option school. Option schools are available for students at all grade levels.

    Several other schools and services are available to meet individual student needs. Students may request assignment to a service school and/or may be referred there and assigned as individually appropriate. Unlike attendance area schools and option schools, students may transition into or out of service schools during the school year.

    Student Assignment Documents

    The Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2019-20 was approved by the School Board on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Related materials are available on the meeting agenda page.

    The Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2019-20 continues most of the assignment rules in effect during 2018-19. A summary of the changes is below.

    • Changing name of “Service Schools” to “Option Schools with Continuous Enrollment”
    • Updating international/dual language immersion pathway to include the addition of a southeast high school pathway at Rainier Beach High School and north end school pathway at Lincoln High School
    • Grade level adjustment for Middle College from 11-12 to 9-12 beginning in the 2019-20 school year
    • Transitioning Graham Hill to a school with one program for all students
    • Updating language to clarify current Special Education services and placement
    • Updating language to clarify that students entering 6th grade from a K-5 school may also apply for middle school enrollment at a K-8 during Open Enrollment

    The School Board approved the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2017-18 on Jan. 11, 2017. This is the most recent document and applies to all subsequent school years, until another plan is approved. Click here to download the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2017-18.

    The 2009 Student Assignment Plan is an historical document that details many of the principles of the current plan. The Superintendent's Procedures for Student Assignment sets forth the implementation of the policies established by the Board in the 2009 Student Assignment Plan and the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2017-18. These documents are the guides for Admissions and other district staff and must be viewed as integrated companions to fully understand student assignment.

    Upcoming Student Assignment Plan Revisions

    In the 2019-20 school year, Seattle Public Schools will reopen Lincoln High School, a comprehensive high school in Northwest Seattle. Reopening Lincoln will require redrawing the attendance area high school boundaries. The High School Boundary Task Force has made recommendations for high school boundary changes to be implemented in 2019-20. You can see the recommendations here.

    At the same time, the district is reviewing the Student Assignment Plan, including access to high school advanced learning opportunities. Click here to read more about Advanced Learning.

    Student Assignment Plan Revisions for 2018-19

    Proposed updates to the Student Assignment Plan will be presented to the School Board Operations Committee on Nov. 2, 2017. That committee will determine if the revisions to the Student Assignment Plan are ready to go to the full School Board for review and action. Community feedback is being collected to share with the School Board, including through the Community Meetings shown below. 

    The documents below show the recommendations for the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2018-19 as it is presented to the Operations Committee.

    These changes:

    • Clarify space available as it applies to choice seats allocated in the School Choice Process;
    • Update language to clarify current Special Education services and placement;
    • Align the School Choice deadline for students opting into HCC or continuing in the dual language immersion pathway with the general education timelines;
    • Update high school HC pathways for students entering 9th grade in the 2019-20 school year; and
    • Update advanced learning assignment language to reflect the fact that all schools offer AL programming and eligible students will be assigned to AL at their attendance area school.

    Recommended Student Assignment Transition Plan with the revisions marked.

    Recommended Student Assignment Transition Plan with revisions.

    Community Meetings

    The district will host open house style meetings to share proposed updates and gather community feedback. All meetings are from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

    • Monday, Oct. 23, 2017: Eckstein Middle School lunchroom
      (3003 NE 75th St)
    • Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017: Ballard High School common
      (1418 NW 65th St)
    • Monday, Oct. 30, 2017: McClure Middle School gym
      (1915 1st Ave W)
    • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017: Cleveland High School lunchroom
      (5511 15th Ave S)
    • Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017: West Seattle High School lunchroom
      (3000 California Ave SW)

    Decision Timeline

    The anticipated timeline for School Board consideration of the Student Assignment Plan is below. Action by the full School Board will not occur before the regular Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 meeting.

    Oct. 23–Nov. 15, 2017: Community feedback reviewed and considered so any revisions can be made before School Board introduction.

    Nov. 15, 2017: Expected date that recommended changes to Student Assignment Plan will be presented to the full School Board.

    Dec. 6, 2017: Expected date that the School Board will vote on the Student Assignment Plan for 2018-19.

    Feb. 2018: Student Assignment Plan for 2018-19 used for Open Enrollment and School Choice application process.

    Mar.-Aug. 2018: Student Assignment Plan for 2018-19 used to assign students for 2018-19 school year.

      Last updated: 01/23/19

      Contact Information

      Enrollment Planning


      Admissions Center

      Seattle Public Schools
      Admissions Center
      MS 11-161
      PO Box 34165
      2445 3rd Ave S
      Seattle, WA 98134

      Hours of Operation
      Monday through Friday
      8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

      Please note: the Admissions Center closes at 12 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of each month for staff training.

      Phone: 206-252-0760
      Fax: 206-252-0761


      Related Links

      Enrollment Data
      Growth Boundaries