Last week, hundreds of Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) participants started kindergarten better prepared and with more confidence around the big transition to school. That’s because preschool classes were extended through the summer for the second consecutive year, with some programs having as many as 10 weeks of extended programming.
Summer extension was first piloted in the summer of 2021 in response to a school year rife with learning interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides rising kindergarteners extra support and more opportunities for social and academic preparedness as they get ready to enter the K-12 system. SPP providers, whose contracts with the City typically cover September through June programming, were offered a second summer extension option. Many of these programs experienced frequent staff and student absences during the 2021-2022 school year, as the impact of COVID-19 on learning persisted, and 20 out of 26 provider agencies opted to participate in the 2022 summer extension. Over half of SPP’s 128 classrooms stayed open to serve their preschoolers through late July or August.[Read more…]