Superintendent’s Letter on Annual State of the District

Dear Seattle Public Schools Families,

Last week, Seattle Public Schools hosted the annual State of the District ( In this season of thankfulness, the State of the District is an opportunity to share our gratitude with our families, staff and students for an incredible year of growth and success.

This year’s theme was Better Together, and together we have made significant gains. Thanks to our outstanding educators, partners and families, the 2016-17 progress report ( includes exciting evidence of improvements across the district: 

  • Seattle Public Schools continues to outperform peers across the nation by nearly a full grade level.
  • On average, our students consistently outperform the state in English Language Arts and Math.
  • During the past four years, graduation rates have significantly increased for most of our students and are up 12 percent for African-American students. 
  • Suspension rates are dramatically down across the district; and 
  • In 2016-17, 23 schools won achievement awards and 11 received awards of distinction.  

This year we also opened five new or modernized buildings, adding 2,900 seats to help us address unprecedented enrollment growth.

State of the District is also an opportunity to recommit to our collective vision that every student in our care will be prepared for life, college and career. Together, I know it is possible and many schools are leading the way.

As I visit classrooms each week, the dedication of Seattle Public Schools’ staff to student success is evident in the quality of instruction and clear care for students. I am thankful for the time and incredible amounts of energy our school board, staff and community partners dedicate to knowing each student’s story, strength and need and supporting them on their unique educational journey.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to thank you personally. Thank you for your commitment to Seattle Public Schools and to all of our students. Thank you for believing in and advocating for public education.

Most of all, thank you for entrusting me with your child’s education. I have dedicated most of my life to the education of students. Serving Seattle Public Schools, your family and student is one of my greatest honors.

Warm regards,


Dr. Larry Nyland

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