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    Seattle Public Schools Eliminating Opportunity Gaps

    “Eliminating opportunity gaps and ensuring educational excellence for each and every student is the issue of our time.”

    ~ Superintendent Larry Nyland

    In the 2016-17 school year, we continue our commitment to eliminating opportunity gaps across our district.

    Seattle Public Schools is leading the way to prepare students for college, career and life. For the last ten years, we have consistently outperformed the state’s academic average and often perform better than similar districts nationwide. Many of our students are ready for success in life and are well prepared for college and careers that require a strong mastery of content, innovation and creativity.

    However, while we are making significant progress, our promise to some has not been fulfilled. Seattle Public Schools, despite making promising progress continues to have unacceptable achievement gaps between white students and students of color.

    The good news is that since 2011, the number of gap eliminating schools has increased. We now have eight schools that are rapidly increasing achievement for students we have not historically served well. These schools have a common foundation and approach.

    They are focused on:

    • data driven decisions;
    • matching the right support and interventions to student need;
    • teachers collaborating to innovate and problem solve;
    • supporting leadership from strong instruction-focused principals;
    • partners working with staff to provide whole child supports; and
    • teachers’ unwavering belief in their students is reflected in the school culture, the rigor in the classroom and students’ sense of belonging.

    Our Work to Eliminate Opportunity Gaps

    Staff, families and community partners working together can eliminate opportunity gaps. Our Four Signature Strategies below illustrate how our combined commitment is making that happen.

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    Positive Learning

    A focus on student strengths, needs and success

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    Positive Beliefs

    Changing hearts and minds

    • Moratorium on non-violent suspensions
    • Principal development 
    • New employee orientation
    • Equity and race teams 
    • On demand 24/7 professional development
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    Positive Relationships

    A caring adult for every student

    • Whole child support: RULER, Positive Behavior Intervention Support
    • Trauma Informed Learning
    • District-wide professional development focused on relationships
    • My Brother’s Keeper: Success Mentors Summer Institute
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    Positive Partnerships

    Engaging families and community partners

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