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    Growth Boundaries Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have other questions, please email growthboundaries@seattleschools.org.

    Which schools will have new boundaries in 2019-20?

    Boundaries will change at Ballard High School, Roosevelt High School and Ingraham High School. These changes are related to the opening of Lincoln High School.

    Boundaries will change at Lawton Elementary and Catharine Blaine K-8, but the changes are not yet approved. These changes are related to the opening of Magnolia Elementary. Learn more.

    Adjustments to the implementation of the previously approved changes for three southeast elementary schools — Maple, Van Asselt and Wing Luke — is being discussed. The boundary change is related to a new, larger school building opening for Wing Luke Elementary in 2020-21. There may or may not be boundary changes for Maple and Van Asselt in 2019-20.  Learn more.

    Where can I find information on high school boundary changes?

    Please visit the High School Boundary Changes web page.

    My address is close to the boundary line. How do I know which boundary includes my address?

    Addresses located on streets where attendance area boundaries fall will be assigned to their respective attendance area schools. In the sample below, residents of building A are assigned to Whittier, while residents of building B are assigned to West Woodland.

    sample boundary line scenario map

    Who decided on the changes?

    The School Board approved boundary changes for multiple elementary and middle schools in 2013. These changes are being implemented over time. Each year the School Board considers adjustments to the changes for the following year. Changes to boundaries are also implemented when capacity needs to be balanced among schools. These changes must be approved by the Seattle School Board.

    Why are these changes necessary?

    School boundaries need to be adjusted to accommodate enrollment growth and new school construction that will occur over the next few years. You can see a schedule and information about school renovations and construction on the Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy website and the Buildings, Technology and Academcis IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy website

    Are these changes approved?

    Elementary school, K-8 school and middle school boundary changes were part of the Growth Boundaries Plan approved by the School Board in November 2013. That plan included implementation of new boundaries over time.

    Each year, staff review enrollment and capacity data, and meet with the community about the changes for the following year. If the data and community engagement shows that the previously approved boundaries need to be adjusted, staff-recommended amendments are  proposed to the School Board for consideration. The proposal first goes to the School Board Operations Committee. If they decide to move the proposal forward, it is introduced to the full School Board at a School Board meeting. At a future meeting, usually the next regular meeting, the School Board then acts on the proposal.

    With the rapid growth in Seattle, there is a need to adjust boundaries in addition to those previously approved. These boundary changes are discussed with principals at impacted schools, and then the Enrollment Planning team meets with the community to share information and listen to input. Data and community input is reviewed, and if staff believes a boundary change is needed, a recommendation to the School Board is prepared. Recommendations first go to the School Board Operations Committee. If they decide to move the proposal forward, it is introduced to the full School Board at a School Board meeting. At a future meeting, usually the next regular meeting, the School Board then acts on the proposal.

    How are the enrollment projections that influence boundary decisions made?

    Please visit the Enrollment Planning page to learn about projections.

    Will there be additional changes after all of the changes approved in 2013 are implemented?

    On occasion, a boundary change may be recommended to balance enrollment. If additional schools are renovated, replaced, or built using future capital levies, boundaries may need to be adjusted to accommodate that capacity change.

    Will current elementary students be grandfathered?

    Grandfathering decisions are made by the Seattle School Board.

    Is transportation provided for grandfathered students?

    The Seattle School Board makes decisions on transportation for grandfathered students.

    Will transportation be provided to the new attendance area school?

    If a student is outside the walk zone for the new attendance area school, transportation will be provided following usual school district transportation rules.

    What about siblings? Can they go to school with the students who are grandfathered?

    If grandfathering is available, it applies only to students currently enrolled in a school and is in effect through the highest grade at that school (5th or 8th grade) as long as the services the student needs are available at that school.

    Any student entering school after boundary changes are implemented will be assigned to the new attendance area school, including siblings.

    The first tiebreaker for a choice assignment is always "sibling," so it may be possible for a younger child to apply and enter through Open Enrollment.

    What if a student is grandfathered, but wants to move to the new attendance area school?

    To attend the new attendance area school, families need to fill out a School Choice form to alert the district that they do not wish to be grandfathered. A seat at the new attendance area school is guaranteed if the home address falls within the boundaries. If the new school is opening as a "roll up" with only a few of the early grades, it may not be possible for an older student to move to the new school.

    If a student is grandfathered in elementary school, where will he or she go to middle school?

    Once a grandfathered student completes the highest grade offered at the school (5th or 8th grade), attendance at middle school or high school is based on the home attendance area.

    If a student is currently enrolled in a school through the choice process, will that student be impacted by grandfathering decisions?

    No. Once a student receives a choice assignment, they may remain at that school through the highest grade level.

    If a student has an IEP, will that student be impacted by boundary changes and grandfathering decisions?

    Special Education services (and assignments) depend on the student's IEP. If the services the student needs are offered at all or most schools, the student's assignment, based on their IEP, may not be impacted by boundary changes.​

    If a student is experiencing homelessness, will that student be impacted by boundary changes and grandfathering decisions?

    No. As provided in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, students experiencing homelessness will not be impacted by boundary changes.


    Last updated: 10/26/18