The City of Seattle recently announced that child care copay relief for income-eligible families will be extended through March 2021. The City will cover 50 percent of the remaining copay costs for all families participating in the Department of Education and Early Learning’s (DEEL) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and scholarship-eligible families participating in Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) child care.[Read more…]
City’s Pre-K program wins its fourth silver medal from national study of the 40 largest U.S. cities.
SEATTLE (December 18, 2020) – Last week, the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) was awarded its fourth silver medal for preschool programming from CityHealth and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. The honors stem from an annual, national report released by NIEER that rates how 40 of the largest U.S. cities are leading on policies that address health and well-being, including high-quality, accessible pre-K. This is the fourth year in a row that SPP has won a silver medal. Enrollment in both in-person and remote SPP classes is still available for this school year through March 14, 2021. Applications for the 2021-2022 school year will open in March.[Read more…]
School Health investments provide critical medical, dental, and mental health services to help support student health and academic success.
Early this month, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) announced that 29 School-Based Health Center (SBHC) services will be available to Seattle Public Schools students this fall, including 8 elementary schools and 21 middle and high schools campuses. This announcement included the opening of two new centers at Lowell Elementary and Nova High School.
SBHCs are part of the K-12 Health investments under the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise (FEPP) levy passed by voters in 2018. These investments offer comprehensive medical and mental healthcare, including routine primary care, vaccinations, counseling, and some dental services. SBHCs are designed to promote early intervention, prevention, and treatment of health-related barriers to learning and life success and increase the number of students graduating prepared for the post-secondary pathway of their choice.
The school district’s decision to implement 100% remote learning this fall hasn’t changed the health care needs of students and, if anything, many students may be missing out on the sports physicals or routine immunizations they would typically get in the fall. As such, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) made the decision to open their buildings for SBHC access, and families should know that students enrolled in SPS can receive services at any of the open SBHCs, not just at the school where a student is enrolled.[Read more…]
Last week, Director Dwane Chappelle was unanimously reconfirmed by the City Council in his role as head of the City of Seattle’s Department of Education & Early Learning (DEEL) through January 2024, following his initial four-year term. Director Chappelle originally became DEEL’s director on February 3, 2016 and was nominated for reappointment by Mayor Jenny Durkan early this spring after having served in Mayor Durkan’s cabinet since her election in 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic briefly delayed the reconfirmation process, which was put back on the City Council agenda this month.
“Every day, Dwane shows up to work committed to centering the needs of students furthest from educational justice. Under Dwane’s leadership, DEEL has made incredible strides, including the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy, which makes significant investments to close the opportunity gap, expand child care and preschool, and create two years of free college. I am so grateful that Dwane is a member of my Cabinet. He makes DEEL better, he makes our students’ lives better, and he makes the City better,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan.[Read more…]
Community-Based Programs Will Help Close Opportunity Gaps Through Expanded Learning and College and Career Readiness
This week, Mayor Jenny Durkan and DEEL announced $4.9 million in Opportunity and Access awards that will be distributed over the next three years to community-based organizations (CBOs) focused on closing opportunity gaps through expanded learning and college and career readiness. The announcement came as part of a larger press release announcing both School-Based Investments and Opportunity and Access investments that will begin this school year.
Part of the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy passed by voters in 2018, Opportunity and Access funding is a new investment area that allows for multiple service delivery methods to help students develop academic and nonacademic skills that will help them graduate on time and enter postsecondary programs.[Read more…]
Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor
Dwane Chappelle, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2020
Contact: Marissa Rousselle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-773-7307
Seattle Preschool Program Enrolling for Fall with Free and Reduced Tuition Options
City offers families multiple early learning options during COVID-19 pandemic
SEATTLE (August 25) – The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) is announcing modifications to the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) for the 2020-2021 school year in response to COVID-19. SPP programming will be available this fall in one of three programming options: in-person, 100 percent remote, or a hybrid option of both in-person and remote.[Read more…]
The City of Seattle, King County, and the UW Medicine are now offering free COVID-19 testing at two drive-up sites across Seattle.
If you live, work, or regularly visit Seattle, the City is urging anyone with symptoms or with 15 minutes or longer exposure to someone with COVID-19 within the past two weeks.[Read more…]
SEATTLE (July 31, 2017) – Today the Department of Education and Early Learning announced Launch will be the Seattle Preschool Program operator for the Miller Annex Preschool. Earlier this year, DEEL and Seattle Parks and Recreation signed an agreement to move forward with the redevelopment of the Miller Annex to serve as a preschool site. After a competitive application process in May, the Department of Education and Early Learning reviewed four proposals from current Seattle Preschool Program providers and ultimately selected Launch.
The Miller Annex is owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation and is connected to the Meany Middle School building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. As part of the Seattle Preschool Program Action Plan, the Seattle voters set aside $8.5 million to support the expansion, renovation, or improvement of early education facilities to help ease the pressure on early learning providers to find usable space for preschool classrooms.
“Our investment in remodeling Miller Annex represents one of the most important commitments to our Seattle Preschool Program providers,” said Department of Education and Early Learning Director Dwane Chappelle. “We know that preschools in the City of Seattle are feeling the squeeze of higher rents and more competition for licensable space. That is why our Department is prioritizing the renovation, building and acquisition of more preschool classroom space.”
Construction broke ground in March on the 4-classroom preschool center which will serve up to 80 children and significantly contribute to the Seattle Preschool Program’s expansion goals. Two classrooms will open in the spring of 2018 and all four classrooms will be open for operation for the 2018-19 school year.
Launch has operated high quality preschool for 17 years in the Seattle area and was selected due to their strong commitment to implementing a holistic approach to improving outcomes for children of color. Launch will be guaranteed a lease agreement with Seattle Parks and Recreation for the Miller Annex space through the 2018-19 school year. Launch has been a participant with Seattle Preschool Program since the first year of the program and consistently provides high quality preschool.
The Department of Education and Early Learning invested $1.7 million of Seattle Preschool Program Levy funds for the tenant improvements.
Today, the Mayor’s Education Summit Advisory Group, comprised of 32 representatives from Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle, community leaders, parents, business and philanthropy, presented a set of recommendations aimed at ensuring all Seattle students are set up for academic success, post-secondary education and future careers, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for African American/Black students. These recommendations reflect the mission laid out by Mayor Murray earlier this year to address the opportunity gap in our schools, and the Advisory Group’s “north star,” which envisions “a city where all children of all races and ethnicities can thrive and succeed.”
The Mayor’s Education Summit Advisory Group was developed to formulate recommendations in response to feedback from over 1,300 people from 20 community conversations, nearly 200 online survey responses and 500 attendees of the day-long Education Summit held in April.
“The Advisory Group delivered ambitious recommendations and we will develop an equally aggressive action plan to ensure every one of our students has access to opportunity,” said Mayor Murray. “We will need collaboration to address these disparities, which is why the relationship being built between the City, the School District and the private sector is so important. By forming this partnership and implementing an action plan together, we can make real progress in making sure every student will graduate ready to thrive in our growing economy.”
The Advisory Group recommendations include a variety of programs for students of all ages, from early learning through high school and beyond. The group concentrated its work in four areas: improving access to high quality learning opportunities and programs, creating positive, supportive and high quality teaching and learning opportunities, providing authentic family and community support and engagement and strengthening post-secondary access and attainment. They have identified criteria for prioritizing the recommendations, including those most important in having an impact on the opportunity gap as it relates to African American/Black students and other students of color, those that can be implemented in the short-term and those the City can have the greatest impact on.
“Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and the City of Seattle are committed to eliminating gaps in educational access, removing barriers to success and improving academic outcomes for students who have been historically underserved. Eliminating opportunity gaps is the issue of our time and together, we are committed to this vision. As a district we can’t do it alone. Working together, we can ensure every student thrives and succeeds. “said Superintendent Dr. Nyland
When Mayor Murray first issued the challenge at the Education Summit this Spring, he called on the group to develop solutions that would address disparities for African American/Black students and other students of color. A recent Stanford University study ranks Seattle as having the fifth-biggest gap in achievement between African American/Black and White students among major cities. Several recommendations addressing this need are already reflected by investments in the Mayor’s 2017 budget proposal. Those include:
- Expanding the My Brother’s Keeper mentoring program for African American/Black male students from Aki Kurose Middle School to five additional middle schools.
- Expanding the innovation school model, which has been successful addressing disparities in middle school around attendance, behavior and curricula, to a high school.
- Broadening the City’s Summer Learning Program to serve an additional 200 students, with an emphasis on programs offering culturally specific curriculum.
- Investing in post-secondary programs that ensure students who graduate from high school remain engaged during the summer and successfully enroll in college.
Council President Bruce Harrell added, “Melinda Gates put it best when she said, ‘Education is the key to opportunity, and the opportunity is not equal.’ In order to close the achievement gap and build a pathway to success for all children, especially students of color and those from low-income families, we need to make direct investments at three levels. My goal is to be able to tell every child in Seattle they can go to preschool when early brain development is critical, have the tools and mentoring to graduate from high school, and the opportunity to attend a college even if they can’t afford the tuition. The work of this Education Summit has been unprecedented in bringing all stakeholders together to achieve a common purpose of helping our students, teachers, parents, and administrators.”
“Alaska Airlines believes the quality education is the foundation that enables kids to accomplish great things, said Brad Tilden. “We want to make sure ALL our students are provided a quality education so that they are adequately prepared to take full advantage of the vast career opportunities available right here in our own backyard.”
“So proud to live in a city that is committed to social justice and equity for all. The willingness of our mayor, school leadership and community members to come together to address opportunity gaps in our city is inspiring. The recommendations offered today respond to the needs identified in community conversations and subsequent advisory group meetings.”
Mayor Murray and the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning, in partnership with the Seattle School District, community, philanthropy, and the business community, will release an action plan in January 2017 outlining the next steps for implementation.
To read the full recommendation report or an executive summary, please visit www.seattle.gov/educationsummit.
“Pre-K for All” Convening Re-Affirms Commitment to Free, Equitable pre-Kindergarten in Seattle and Across the Country
OCTOBER 6, 2016
Leaders from Seattle, Erica Johnson (Senior Policy Advisor, Early Learning Division) and Leilani Dela Cruz (Operations Manager, Early Learning Division) today will join policymakers from 12 municipal governments across the country in the first-ever convening to establish a network of cities dedicated to providing high-quality pre-kindergarten education to students, nationwide.
Held in New York City, the forum will allow for diverse municipalities to take part in an ongoing national dialogue about increasing access to high-quality education for all children regardless of their race, socio-economic status or zip code. Studies have shown that pre-kindergarten leads to better long-term academic and behavioral outcomes for children. Moreover, evaluations of existing universal pre-K programs reveal a significant financial benefit to low and middle class families who struggle with childcare costs.
During the October 6th Learning Lab, policy makers from participating cities will take part in roundtable discussions examining achievements, challenges, and lessons learned from NYC’s Pre-K for All expansion, sharing ideas and insights gained from their own city’s pre-K experiences. The Learning Lab is an opportunity for pre-K leaders to build relationships and identify thought partners for ongoing collaboration on how to implement high-quality pre-K that best meets the needs of children and families in their own municipalities, learning from other cities’ experiences. Finally, the host City and visiting policymakers will be encouraged to work together to advocate in support of expanding access and funding to early childhood education.
“As we work to implement the Seattle Preschool Program which aims to provide affordable and quality preschool to every family with preschool-age children, I am pleased that Seattle is participating in this gathering of national education leaders on best practices in early learning,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Early learning is the cornerstone to building a 21st century education system that will prepare our nation’s students to fully participate in tomorrow’s economy.”
“Free, full-day, high quality pre-K is a game-changer for more than 70,400 four-year-olds in New York City,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Delivering high quality pre-K is an essential part of our commitment to equity and excellence for all students and we’re thrilled to welcome this diverse group of cities who share our belief that our youngest learners must have a strong foundation to succeed in college and their careers. Municipal governments must work together to share best practices and lessons learned, and this summit is an essential step in building a strong network of policymakers who, together, will continue to advocate for expanded access to quality early education for every child nationwide.”
“Pre-K for all is all about high quality programs, and when we share best practices, children are the real winners,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.” “This forum is an invaluable opportunity for visiting cities to learn from our achievements, and perhaps more importantly from the challenges we faced, while also fostering a thoughtful, long-term discussion about how to expand access to pre-K education in New York City and across the country.”
“It’s an honor to welcome such a diverse group of cities aligned in the belief that every child deserves free, high-quality early education,” said Richard Buery, New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “What we did in New York City is testament to the role municipal governments can play in promoting equity and keeping the American Dream within reach for the next generation. The Pre-K For All Cities network is a critical next step in expanding access so that children across the country can reap the long-term benefits of a pre-kindergarten education.”
Seattle Preschool Program launched in Fall 2015, and is in it’s second year. The program currently has over 30 classrooms city-wide, and is providing full-day, affordable, high-quality preschool to over 600 students. Seattle Preschool Program anchors it’s quality improvements in supporting the growth of teachers through professional development, in-class coaching, tuition support to complete an early learning degree, and increased pay for teachers.
In New York City, 70 percent of four and five year olds are enrolled in a Universal Pre-k Program. As of the first day of the 2016-17 school year, over 70,400 children were registered for free, full-day, high quality pre-K, up from 19,287 prior to the start of Pre-K for All. This extra year of learning is a critical part of this administration’s commitment to equity and excellence for all students, and a way to address disparities in educational opportunity for our city’s youngest learners.
The 13 cities participating in this year’s Learning Lab are:
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Dayton, OH
- Mesa, AZ
- Montgomery County, MD
- Nashville, TN
- New York City, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- San Antonio, TX
- San Francisco
- Seattle, WA
- Tulsa, OK