Return to School Health and Safety

Return to School Health and Safety

2021-22 Return to School Health and Safety InformationPosted on 07/29/2021Illustration of school building with text "We are SPS: 180 days of excellence"

2021-22 Return to School Health and Safety Information

Seattle Public Schools is planning for five full days of in-person instruction at all 104 schools beginning on September 1, 2021 as required by the state. We are committed to working with our families, students, and staff to open schools and welcome back all students while continuing to prioritize the health of our school communities.

SPS continues to follow the requirements and guidance of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Labor & Industries, and Public Health – Seattle & King County as we plan for Fall 2021. Next school year, some health and safety protocols will remain, others will go away, and new COVID-19 prevention strategies will be implemented in response to public health guidance. The district is working in collaboration with labor partners to ensure a smooth start to school and may adjust safety protocols based on changes in public health guidance.

Health and Safety Highlights


Cloth face coverings or masks will be required for all school personnel, PreK-12 students, families, and visitors for the 2021-22 school year. There will be specific exceptions based on age, development, or disability.

Daily Cleaning

The daily cleaning of classrooms and common spaces will continue.

Physical Distancing

  • 3 Feet Classrooms: To the extent possible, students and staff will practice physical distancing of three feet while in classrooms.
  • 6 Feet Common Spaces: To the extent possible, students and staff should practice physical distancing of six feet while in common spaces (playgrounds, cafeteria, hallways, etc.).

Daily Health Screenings

SPS will launch a Healthy Schools campaign that encourages families to keep students home when they have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are sick with other illnesses. Daily health screenings are no longer required by DOH and will not be used in the coming school year.


We will continue to promote vaccinations for all eligible individuals. As soon as the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children under 12, we will partner with medical providers to hold in-school vaccination clinics at elementary, middle, and K-8 schools.

COVID-19 Testing

SPS is partnering with Health Commons Project to provide free in-school COVID-19 testing for students and staff who have been exposed to COVID or have COVID-like symptoms as important and effective COVID-19 prevention strategy

Please visit our resources webpage for a full list of Health and Safety Protocols that will be in place for the coming 2021-22 school year and information about athletics, volunteers, and much more.