DEEL’s fall 2022 newsletter is available now! This issue features investments in Seattle Preschool Program Summer Extension, International Baccalaureate programming at Rainier Beach High School, and educator diversity. Also highlighted are DEEL’s proposed 2023 budget, a spotlight on our new Early Learning Division Director, Leilani Dela Cruz, and supportive student and family resources from preschool to postsecondary.[Read more…]
From July through early October, DEEL’s school and community partners welcomed the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy Oversight Committee (LOC) to observe programs in action and learn more about each investment area. Field trips were organized for nine DEEL-funded programs ranging from preschool through postsecondary.
The community-led LOC was established by city ordinance to monitor the levy’s progress toward achieving educational equity and make recommendations to DEEL leaders on how to improve outcomes for Seattle children, youth, and families through FEPP-funded investments. This series of field trips created an opportunity for committee members to engage with students and program partners in person, celebrate successes, and better understand challenges to programming caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[Read more…]
DEEL recently announced Leilani Dela Cruz as the new director of the department’s Early Learning Division, which supports efforts around ensuring that all Seattle families have access to affordable child care and all Seattle children are kindergarten ready. Leilani joined DEEL at the department’s founding in 2015, serving first as the Early Learning Operations Manager and, most recently, Deputy Division Director. With the departure of former division director Monica Liang Aguirre in May of 2022, Leilani began serving as interim division director while a competitive hiring process was conducted.
DEEL conducted a national search and considered a diverse candidate pool before selecting Dela Cruz for this important role within the department. With more than 70 staff and a $65 million budget, the Early Learning Division Director is responsible for directing and managing City investments in early learning, including the Seattle Preschool Program, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) classrooms, the Child Care Assistance Program, and multiple investments in the prenatal-to-three space, such as partnerships for ParentChild+, Nurse Family Partnership, Developmental Bridge Program, and Prenatal-to-Three community grants. The EL Director also plays an essential role in developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in early learning, including labor and community partners; Seattle Public Schools; federal, state, and county government entities; and elected officials.[Read more…]
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…]
Awards include first-time grants for home-based Family Child Care SPP providers serving culturally and linguistically diverse communities
SEATTLE (September 13, 2022) – This morning, the Department of Education and Early Learning announced $782,000 in facilities funding for six Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) providers, including first-time awards to three home-based Family Child Care (FCC) programs. The announcement also celebrated the start of the eighth year of SPP, which has expanded from serving 283 students in 2015 to having capacity for more than 2,100 students for the 2022-2023 school year.[Read more…]
This week, at the Denise Louie Education Center in the Chinatown/International District, Mayor Bruce Harrell and Seattle DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle joined Denise Louie Director Susan Yang to announce the opening of Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) applications for the 2022-2023 school year and the expansion of seven new classrooms for the program’s eighth year.
Tuesday’s event also celebrated the delivery of more than 8,700 home learning kits that have been provided to SPP families throughout the pandemic to encourage parent engagement and support sensory exploration and important foundations for learning and development. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the teachers and faculty at Denise Louie,” said SPP parent Liling Kong, who also spoke at today’s press conference. “I’m so grateful for the way they provide motivating lessons, help [my daughter] set realistic goals, and encourage learning and improving skills. They have such wonderful teachers at this school, and I can’t thank you all enough.”
This year, SPP will add seven new classrooms and 144 additional seats, allowing the City to serve up to 2,144 preschoolers this upcoming school year with its award-winning, high-quality programming. Two of the new classrooms will offer dual-language programming, including SPP’s first Somali-English classroom at Voices of Tomorrow Family and Child Center in South Seattle. Two new SPP Plus classrooms that provide inclusive programming for children with disabilities will open at Seattle Public Schools sites.
Denise Louie Education Center serves more than 500 children, ages birth to five, across multiple sites. Executive Director Susan Yang said, “The Seattle Preschool Program has grown into a national model for other cities and Denise Louie proudly hosts four classrooms across the city. We thank the City for their leadership and support through the pandemic, and the Mayor for his long-term commitment to early learning.”
Families can apply for Seattle Preschool Program at seattle.gov/applySPP. Translated applications are available and additional language assistance is provided for those who need help completing the application process by calling DEEL at 206-386-1050 or emailing email@example.com.
DEEL’s fall 2021 newsletter is here! DEEL is proud to welcome our City’s brilliant scholars back to classrooms for in-person learning. In this issue, we share stories about how the education community continues to support students throughout the pandemic from early learning to postsecondary. We also kick off the new school year by sharing information about resources that support student success and wellness including the Child Care Assistance Program, Seattle Preschool Program enrollment, School-Based Health Center services, and more![Read more…]
The Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) Provider Facilities Fund Request for Investment (RFI) is now OPEN!
The Department of Education and Early Learning is excited to announce the opening of the SPP Providers Facilities Fund Request for Investment (RFI) funding opportunity as part of the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy, passed by voters in 2018.
To be considered for funding, applicants are invited to apply by 11:59 p.m. on Monday August 9, 2021.
- The 2021-22 SPP Provider Facilities Fund RFI has approximately $1,200,000 available to support child care facility expansion and renovation projects for use in Seattle Preschool Program.
- Home-, center-, and school-based providers who contract with DEEL as providers of SPP or SPP Pathway are eligible to apply.
- Funds are awarded through a competitive application process.
DEEL will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 on the Webex platform. Webex meeting links are provided below:
SPP Facilities Fund RFI Information Session
Wednesday July 7, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Meeting password: PQiiWs5Zq29
Or, join by phone at:
+1-206-207-1700 United States Toll (Seattle)
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Access code: 146 800 0353
Click HERE to learn more about this funding opportunity and access RFI documents.
Contributors: Early Learning Training Coordinator, Michelle Winters and Early Learning Coaches Fanny Yang and Aaron Jeffers
On June 2– 4, 2021, DEEL hosted the sixth annual Children, Race, and Racism Institute: Elevating the Brilliance of Black Boys. Too often, the work of racial equity is framed within a deficit-based context; narratives that define Black boys and whole communities and populations by their struggles and not their assets, achievements, and abilities. This conference sought to shift that narrative and center Black boy brilliance and joy, through research, policy and practice to provide educators with knowledge and strategies to support the genius of Black boys.
This three-day event was co-hosted by DEEL Director Dr. Dwane Chappelle and Dr. William White, Director of My Brother’s Teacher at the University of Washington, using an interactive virtual platform, Hopin.
Over three days, a total of 639 attendees tuned in live to hear three different keynotes from national and local leaders, as well as nine workshops led by educators working in the field. Participants also heard from a youth panel from the Seattle Public Schools Student Leadership Council and visited a virtual expo/vendor hall. Audience members included educators, administrators, and directors working with children across the birth to secondary educational spectrum.[Read more…]
Contributors: Debra Kinsey, Early Learning Preschool Manager, and Grace Funk, South East Regional Coaching Manager
As the 2020-2021 school year nears its end, DEEL is reflecting on the innovative ways our partners and providers pivoted during the pandemic to continue serving Seattle children, youth, and families. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the inspiring work we’ve seen over the last year. Here is one example highlighting one of our Seattle Preschool Program providers, Causey’s Learning Center.
During the 2020-2021 school year, the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) looked different from previous years, with smaller class sizes, social distancing, and masked faces all around. For many families and providers, the difference was even greater—some SPP programs opted to provide family-directed remote programming for parents who were more comfortable with their children staying at home, while others offered a combination of both in-person and remote programming.
Ruth Brown and her team at Causey’s Learning Center, an SPP provider since the program’s inception in 2015, offered remote-only programming at the start of the school year, but their innovative approach brought creative solutions right to the doorsteps of their preschoolers. They called it Causey’s Classroom on Wheels.[Read more…]