Seattle World School has open enrollment and accepts non-English-speaking students throughout the academic year. Each year between 500 and 600 children attend the school, with close to 400 students as of Spring 2017. These young people come from all over the world, particularly from centers of conflict in developing countries. At any given time between 35 and 40 different languages and dialects are spoken at the Seattle World School.
Currently, Spanish speaking students from Central America, Mexico, and South America form the largest language group. The proportion of students from Asia and Africa changes regularly, with new arrivals daily. During the nearly forty years the school has been serving Seattle, there have been continual dramatic shifts in the population served, corresponding to world events, and changes in policies on refugees and immigration.
As of October 2017, the following are the languages represented among our 293 current students. Many students speak more than one language; these are their first languages. The “other” category includes Burmese, Cakchiquel, Chuuk, Fallani, Farsi, French, Khmer, Kongo, Korean, Lao, Mam, and Polish.
The World School employs many teachers and instructional assistants who speak one or more of the students’ languages. This allows for instructional support in the students’ native languages, for the largest language groups.