The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors in December approved a resolution that directs SPS to begin the process of bringing approximately 9,000 students back into school buildings and classrooms.

The plan, first recommended by Superintendent Denise Juneau and staff at a Dec. 5 board retreat, will initially resume in-person instruction for preschool through first-grade students and students enrolled in moderate to intensive special education service pathways (focus, moderate/intensive, social emotional learning, distinct, medically fragile, bridges, preschool — Developmental/Seattle Pre-School Program) and continue serving individual students who have had an Individualized Education Program team determine in-person services for resource and access service pathways.

“I’m very pleased that our school board today made the decision to move forward on bringing preK-first-grade students and students enrolled in moderate to intensive special education services pathways back into our classrooms,” Juneau said in a press release. “Our entire staff will be getting a lot of work done over the next couple of months to make sure we are ready to greet students in-person.”

Some highlights of Resolution No. 2020/21-4.1:

* In-person for students who are preschool through first grade;

In-person for students enrolled in Special Education Moderate to Intensive service Pathways: Focus; Moderate Intensive; Social Emotional Learning; Distinct; Medically Fragile; Bridges; Preschool (Developmental/Seattle Pre-School Program); individual students whose Individualized Education Program team has determined in-person services necessary;

* Up to five days per week;

Beginning on March 1, 2021 for PreK-1 and begin bringing back students enrolled in moderate to intensive service pathways before or on March 1;

* Preparation for bringing back additional students: SPS staff will begin configuring 75 elementary and K-8 schools to support a 1:15 teacher- student ratio;

* Expansion of Special Education services in secondary schools;

Bargaining new working conditions with the Seattle Education Association;

* Hiring additional bus drivers and custodial staff;

* Resumption of in-person nutrition services as necessary.

In January, SPS will be conducting a survey of families to enroll students for the in-person model and determine how many will opt to continue with remote learning.

The district will continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates and follow guidance from key public health agencies, including the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health — Seattle & King County.

SPS board action comes after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health announced revised guidelines for schools as they consider reopening for in-person instruction.

For more information, go to the SPS website, For more information about the Department of Health guidelines, go to