A Welcome Message from the Superintendent

Dear Seattle Public Schools families,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! The district and Seattle Education Association have reached a tentative contract agreement. School will begin on Wed., Sept. 5 for 1st through 12 grade students and Mon., Sept. 10 for kindergarten students.

I’m excited to kick off the school year as your superintendent. I’ve worked in public education for most of my career. My first job was in high school working alongside my grandmother in the school kitchen. My grandfather was a school bus driver and attendance officer and both my parents were educators. I started my career as a paraprofessional, was fortunate to teach high school students, then served as the state superintendent in Montana, and now have the great honor to lead Seattle Public Schools, a high-performing district in a thriving city. I know firsthand the transformational power of a great education and have seen the positive difference it makes for individuals, families, and communities.

I’ve been out meeting with lots of people already, and one consistent theme I’ve heard is the importance of racial equity in education. While everyone has shared a unique perspective, the collective hope is the same: that all students receive the supports they need, and that every student, regardless of circumstance, graduates from high school with the knowledge and skills they need to be Seattle Ready. This is one of the biggest challenges facing the school district, but it is one I know we will work together to address and overcome. Seattle is poised for greatness, and together we will make this the best school district in the country.

I am ready to launch my Listening and Learning Tour. It is important to me to learn from families, staff, and students about what is important in Seattle Public Schools and where I should focus my efforts. There will be many opportunities to provide feedback, both in person and online. Your ideas will guide the next Strategic Plan for the district. Follow progress on my Listening and Learning Tour page  or on social media: Twitter and Facebook.

One thing I am already certain of is our staff’s commitment to ensuring your child has a great experience in Seattle Public Schools. I want to personally thank the district office staff, educators, and community partners who have been working hard over the summer to support students and prepare for a great school year.

Here are some highlights of the summer work:

  • Over 1,700 students in grades K-4 received personalized academic supports and over 600 high school students recovered close to 300 credits in our summer learning programs
  • 183 students continued their musical learning by participating in the Summer Music Program
  • 126 students participated in Skills Center courses, earning hands-on training in the fields of animation, graphic design, and broadcasting. Students in Introduction to Video Production visited a movie set and got firsthand experience on a production set.
  • 2,000 of our earliest learners participated in Jump Start, a program to support a strong transition into Kindergarten
  • The Department of Technology Services worked to make each of the 104 school webpages ADA compliant; provided 25,000 computers with hardware or software updates; and worked with teams to roll out SchoolPay online payment systems, Naviance college and career planning tools, and CareHub health information system.
  • Our Capital Projects team added 45 classrooms, including portables and 41 existing classrooms modernized or repurposed.
  • Over 4,000 educators participated in training focused on creating welcoming school environments for students and families.

I’ve already learned so much since I officially started on July 1. I’m looking forward to putting new knowledge into action and working with you to ensure your student has the best possible experience in Seattle Public Schools. 

It’s going to be a great year! I look forward to connecting soon. 


Denise Juneau, Superintendent