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Celebrating DEEL’s 2022 Partnerships and Accomplishments

Entering the new year, DEEL is reflecting upon the department’s many accomplishments in 2022 as we continued to navigate the persistent impacts of COVID. Together, in partnership with school and community partners, we: 

  • Issued approximately $6.3M to community partners across 6 funding opportunities, including the second round of Prenatal-to-Three Community Grants, and new Equitable Communities Initiative youth leadership & educator diversity investments. 
  • Transitioned leadership of the Early Learning Division to Leilani Dela Cruz, who brings decades of experience and a deep commitment to addressing communities’ unique challenges. 
  • Continued expansion of the Seattle Preschool Program by 7 additional classrooms, and 144 seats. We are on our way to the FEPP levy goal of 2,500 seats by 2026
  • Expanded language access resources and supports in our funding opportunities and created in-language promotional CCAP videos to support families  for whom English is not their primary language. 
  • Distributed over 25K masks and 2.5K rapid COVID tests to child care and early learning partners. 
  • Distributed flexible-spending stabilization grants to 631 providers, and partnered with King County to provide one-time retention payments to 4,589 child care workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Convened Levy Oversight Committee (LOC) members with school and community partners to deepen their understanding of direct services for students and celebrate summer programs
  • Increased professional development opportunities across all divisions in alignment with recommendations from the department’s Race and Social Justice Initiative Change Team.  
  • Expanded our educator diversity portfolio to invest in community organizations supporting educators of color advancing their careers.  
  • Launched the new Citywide Contract Management System to help us manage contracts more efficiently for our partners. 
  • Invested in school and community-based professional learning opportunities for K-12 and early learning educators. 
  • Hosted our first K-12 community partner appreciation celebration since the onset of the pandemic. 
  • Designed and distributed approximately 8K (and counting!) COVID-19 vaccine comic books to families through schools and community organizations in partnership with Public Health – Seattle & King County and Seattle Public Schools.  
  • Launched 5 multi-year external evaluations, including Families Education Preschool, and Promise, K-12 Culturally Specific and Responsive, Seattle Promise, and Seattle Preschool Program, and process evaluations for Seattle Promise and the Kingmakers of Seattle program led by DEEL staff.  
  • Advocated diligently–and succeeded–in securing continued funding for Promise equity enhancements to support students determined to continue their educational journey after high school. 

Thank you to all our school and community partners—who truly drive DEEL’s work—for partnering with us to advance educational equity across the city and create new opportunities for Seattle students. We look forward to our continued partnerships this year and wish you even greater successes as you serve our amazing community.