Fall 2020 Newsletter from the Department of Education & Early Learning

Department of Education and Early Learning blue-white logo

Fall 2020 Newsletter — Volume 1, Issue 1

From the Director, Dwane Chappelle

Dwane Chappelle headshot

The 2020-2021 school year has only just begun, and we can already safely say it will be a year like no other! The COVID-19 public health crisis has disrupted traditional education service delivery in a way never before seen, leaving children, families, educators, and leadership partners with the significant challenge of adapting to an entirely new landscape.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has also exacerbated existing educational inequities in Seattle, making our department's ongoing work to eliminate disparities for children and youth furthest from educational justice more critical than ever. In this current civil rights movement, DEEL has strengthened its resolve to dismantle barriers to educational opportunities, because we believe that education is the key driver for positive social change and justice in our communities. This is why I’m both honored and humbled to have been reconfirmed earlier this month as DEEL’s Director for another four years to continue in this important work serving Seattle students and families.

As our city continues to navigate COVID-19 and build toward recovery, DEEL is committed to working with our partners to adapt to the challenges before us with innovation, collaboration, and a sharp focus on racial equity. In this first installment of our department newsletter, we're highlighting our investments and programs such as the Seattle Preschool Program and Kingmakers of Seattle, showcasing some of our amazing community partners, and introducing you to our Communications and External Affairs team here at DEEL. I'm incredibly grateful for all our program providers, community partners, and DEEL staff who stand alongside us in our pursuit of DEEL’s mission to transform the lives of Seattle’s children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education.

I am confident that together we can seize this moment of opportunity to best serve the current and future needs of Seattle students and families even amidst these unprecedented times. 

In partnership,

Dwane Chappelle signature

Investment and Program Features

Child learning on floor at home

Seattle Preschool Program Enrolling for Fall with Free and Reduced Tuition Options

In response to COVID-19, the Seattle Preschool Program for three- and four-year-olds is offering three programming options this fall: in-person preschool, 100% family-directed remote learning, or a hybrid option of both in-person and remote. Tuition reductions for all options are in place this year, including free tuition for 100% remote preschool. SPP is enrolling now at seattle.gov/applyspp

K12 student on computer

Nearly $100 Million in K-12 Investments Announced 

Earlier this month, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the City of Seattle will invest nearly $95 million over six years in K-12 educational supports through DEEL's School-Based Investments (SBI). In addition, DEEL has awarded $4.9 million over three years to community based organizations providing expanded learning and college and career readiness programs through our Opportunity and Access (O&A) investments

Mother putting mask on daughter

School Based Health Centers Will Be Open to All SPS Students for In-Person and Tele-health Services This Fall

This fall, 29 School Based Health Centers in Seattle Public Schools buildings will be open for in-person appointments and tele-health services to ensure Seattle Public School students can access the medical, mental health, and dental services they need while learning happens remotely.

A Kings Journey Blog and Video

A King’s Journey: 2020 Black Male Graduates Rise to Excellence in the Kingmakers of Seattle Program

Kingmakers of Seattle provides culturally specific programming emphasizing positive self-identity, literacy, and academic mentoring.

Watch and read about Demarcus Belle's journey to graduation with his mentor and teacher, Emery Walters, by his side. 

Community Partner Features

ACE Saturday Academy

$1 Million Investment to the Academy for Creating Excellence (ACE) for Youth Mentorship and Educator Diversity Programming

In late August, Mayor Durkan announced that DEEL will invest $1 million in the Academy for Creating Excellence’s F.A.M.E. (Family, Academics, Motivation, Environment) program. Programming was developed in partnership with the 1K Black Men Initiative and takes a multigenerational approach to youth development. Learn more and apply on ACE's website

ECC Provider Erica Linear

Celebrating the Emergency Child Care Program for Essential Workers

The City of Seattle's Emergency Child Care program, launched in late March during the early days of the pandemic, supported hundreds of essential workers in the wake of COVID-related school closures.

Erica Linear, CEO and Director of Seed of Life Child Care Center, was one of the Seattle Preschool Program providers who adapted her classrooms, her program, and even her own life in the middle of the crisis to help provide quality care for the children of first responders and workers in healthcare and food services so these essential workers could continue working and serving the community.

Department Features

Dwane Chappelle High-Fiving School Children

DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle Reconfirmed through 2024

Last week, Director Dwane Chappelle was unanimously reconfirmed by City Council in his role as head of Seattle’s Department of Education & Early Learning (DEEL) through January 2024, following his initial four-year term.

Read more about Director Chappelle and the work DEEL has accomplished under his leadership on our blog. You can also watch Director Chappelle's reconfirmation hearing and statement before City Council on September 8, 2020, beginning at 56:45 on this Seattle Channel broadcast.

DEEL Staff Spotlight: Communications & External Affairs

This month’s newsletter spotlights DEEL’s Communications and External Affairs unit, whose work reflects the department’s values of Transparency and Collaboration.

DEEL Communications & External Affairs Team

Meet our team! (L-to-R) Leslie Daniels, Advisor; Lori Baxter, Advisor; Marissa Rousselle, Manager. Fun fact about this team: Marissa was on maternity leave in Spring 2020 when Lori joined DEEL, so we have never all met in person!

Our unit has two branches: Communications (Comms) and External Affairs (EA).

The Comms branch is responsible for communicating the department’s ongoing work to the public, to the executive and legislative branches who govern our work (Mayor’s Office and City Council), internally to DEEL’s staff, and to the many partner organizations who bring DEEL’s investments to life. Our work product includes internal staff communications, presentations and speeches from DEEL’s leadership, our public-facing website and social media accounts, annual levy reports, and the newsletter you’re reading now.

The EA branch helps our department’s Early Learning and K-12 & Postsecondary divisions nurture many of DEEL's mission-critical external partnerships, such as those with the FEPP Levy Oversight Committee, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Colleges, and many other community relationships that are essential to DEEL’s mission. EA provides support for meetings and events and assists with program promotion, outreach, and relationship-building with community.

Our team is passionate about telling the stories behind the work done by DEEL’s amazing staff and partners, as well as showing how that work has a positive impact on Seattle’s youth, families, and communities. We want the public and other stakeholders to know how City revenue and levy funds are spent and the results achieved. We also view our work as central to cultivating transparent and collaborative relationships with all DEEL’s partners. 

To see more of our unit’s work, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to receive future newsletter editions and follow us on Facebook or Twitter at @SeattleDEEL.

Student & Family Resources

Dad and daughter at home

Early Learning Resources for Family-Directed Fun

DEEL’s team of Early Learning Coaches has developed six weeks of engaging educational activities to support family-directed learning in the home, with easy tips and developmentally appropriate strategies.

Families can learn how to incorporate math, literacy, art, and social-emotional learning into their everyday lives while building greater connection with their child.

To access resources, visit DEEL’s Home Learning Resources page

Child playing at Seattle Park

School-Age Child Care

The City of Seattle has two great resources for families seeking school-age child care this fall. 

Seattle Parks and Recreation has 19 sites offering full-day care and virtual learning support to elementary-age kids. Register here

Additionally, DEEL's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps income-eligible working families or families with a parent attending school pay child care costs for children ages one month to 13 years. Families receive a monthly voucher for child care that can be used at any one of the City's more than 200 participating CCAP providers. For more information, visit seattle.gov/ccap.

Garfield Teen Center

Teen Resource Hubs – Seattle Parks and Recreation

This fall, Seattle Parks and Rec is providing students with virtual learning support and access to recreational, enrichment, and mentoring programs. Seven resource hubs are open, including Southwest Teen Life Center, Miller Community Center, Garfield Teen Life Center (pictured right), Meadowbrook Teen Life Center, Magnuson Community Center, Bitterlake Community Center, and South Lake High School.

The program runs Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with lunch provided daily. Learn more and register here.

SPS Technology Resource Center

Seattle Public Schools Resources

Student Meals - Available for pick-up at 40 school sites throughout the city Monday - Friday 11:15 a.m. -1:15 p.m., and along eight bus routes. Weekend meal support is also available. 

Technology Support - Eight technology resource centers are now open for walk-ins and appointments to assist students and families with technology access this fall.

Drive-through Flu ClinicsDuring the COVID-19 pandemic it’s more critical than ever that our communities stay healthy. SPS is offering a series of drive-through clinics in September and October where students, SPS staff, and families can receive a flu shot (ages four and older). 

For additional SPS Resources, visit the SPS Resources web page.

Seattle Public Library logo

Remote Learning Resources - Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Libraries has put together a Remote Learning Resources web page to support students and families learning at home. Resources are organized by grade level and include academic support, reading resources, engaging home activities, and language resources.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

How to Contact DEEL Staff During COVID-19 (Translations included)

Seattle Preschool Program Parent Q&A Event: Video Replay

6 Tips to Improve K-12 Student Engagement in a Remote Learning Environment

Calendar and Events of Interest

October 1: Seattle Promise Application Opens

October 19-22: Introduction to Teaching Strategies GOLD (TSG) for preschool teachers and providers

October 26-29: Introduction to Creative Curriculum for preschool teachers and providers

Coming soon: Seattle Preschool Program funding opportunities for SPP expansion and facilities capital improvements. More information will be provided on DEEL's Funding Opportunities page as it becomes available.