Department of Education and Early Learning Fall 2021 Newsletter

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Fall 2021 Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 3

From our Director, Dr. Dwane Chappelle

DEEL and ReWa EL Providers

Image Above: (L-to-R): Monica-Liang Aguirre, Early Learning Director of DEEL; Susan Lee, ELC Director of Operations of Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWa); Mahnaz Eshetu, Executive Director of ReWa; Dr. Dwane Chapelle, Director of DEEL.

Greetings Educational Family and Community, 

Welcome to the new school year! DEEL is proud to welcome our City’s amazing scholars back to the physical classroom; a big milestone made possible because of the dedication and accomplishments of our school, community, and child care partners. I have had the pleasure to visit several school sites during the first few days of instruction and observed our students’ happiness and joy to be back in person around their peers, teachers, and other supporting staff. DEEL is grateful to everyone who has supported child and youth wellness throughout the pandemic and continues to work hard to make learning environments safe for in-person learning. I am truly looking forward to an amazing school year!  

In partnership,  

Dwane Chappelle signature

Dr. Dwane Chappelle 


Investment and Program Features

DEEL Supports Early Learning and Parent Engagement With Home Learning Kits
Register Now for 2021 Trainings for Early Learning Professionals Child Care Recognition Payment Application Now Open for Providers Prenatal-to-Three Community Grant Program closes October 6Youth Led Social Justice Mini-Grant Closes on October 25
DEEL Welcomes Two Seattle Youth Employment Program Interns for Summer 2021
Kingmakers of Seattle Expands to Franklin and Cleveland STEM High Schools for 2021-2022
Visit School-Based Health Centers To Stay Healthy This School YearSept. 27 Marks The First Day of Fall Quarter At Seattle Colleges! Promise Scholars Should Contact Their Outreach Specialists To Get Ready for ClassesThriving Youth: How Data Helps Youth Succeed An I LOVE CENSUS DATA virtual conversation Tuesday, September 28, 12pm - 1:30pm

Department Features

DEEL Staff Spotlight: Contracts Unit

This month’s newsletter spotlights our Contracts unit, who manages all aspects of DEEL’s contracting process in service of Seattle children, youth, and families.  

Meet DEEL's Contracts Team! Photo collage of team members

Image above: (Top, L-to-R) Mimi Somsanit, Interim Contracts Manager; Blaine Wolde, Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist; Coral Powers, Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist; Wysteria Oliver, Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist. (Bottom, L-to-R) Tracy Saeteurn, Grants & Contracts Specialist; NaKeesa Frazier-Jennings; Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist; Cilla Longoria, Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist.

Our Contracts unit is responsible for overseeing all of DEEL’s contracts with schools and community-based organizations that fund birth-to-five, K-12, and post-secondary programs for Seattle youth and families. This high-powered team is key to managing DEEL’s entire contracting process including writing contracts, processing invoices and providing technical assistance to DEEL’s partners. Each year, DEEL’s Contracts Specialists share a portfolio of over 400 contracts and vendor services agreements and process up to twelve invoices for each contract! 

As a steward of public funds, DEEL is committed to ensuring contracting processes are transparent and equitable. DEEL strives to achieve accountability and equity in the contracting process to ensure all contracts yield high-quality programming and are accessible to education and community partners. DEEL practices consistent process improvement by routinely evaluating how contracting can be improved and implementing new ways to make contracts more efficient and equitable. 

The Contracts unit was instrumental in making emergency funding available to schools and child care providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under an extremely short timeline, this nimble team pivoted to a paperless contracting process to keep emergency contracts moving to support families and children throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

In addition to all these important responsibilities, several members of the Contracts team offer their expertise in collaboration with other units within DEEL and participate on important committees that further DEEL’s mission, such as DEEL’s Race and Social Justice Change Team.  

We’re grateful for the valuable skills the Contracts unit brings to DEEL in service of Seattle youth and families – thank you, Contracts Specialists, for all that you do! 

To learn more about the Contracts unit, contact Mimi Somsanit at  

DEEL’s Fall Pre-Service Institute Convenes 270+ Early Learning Professionals   

In late August, DEEL hosted the 2021 Fall Pre-Service Institute to prepare preschool and birth-to-five educators, administrators and staff for the new school year. This year’s theme was “Leading With Equity: Building an Adaptive Lens That Is Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist, Inclusive, and Culturally-Responsive". This two-day virtual training provided early learning educators and birth-to-five providers with an opportunity to learn about emerging topics in the field of Early Learning Education, network, and share best practices. Workshop topics included health trainings, how to talk to children about COVID-19, and how to observe and document children’s development through a culturally-responsive lens. 

DEEL’s full schedule of 2021 trainings for early learning professionals have been announced! View the full training schedule here and secure your spot today.  

Student and Family Resources


Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is available to pay for child care costs for children ages one month to 12 years old for income-eligible working families or families with a parent attending school. 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 

Did you know SPP offers nationally recognized curriculum? Apply today at

Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) Enrollment is Open Now! 

SPP provides families with affordable, high-quality preschool to all 3- and 4-year olds living in Seattle. In-person preschool classes are in session now, and the enrollment period for the 2021-2022 preschool year remains open through March 2022. Learn more and apply at

Students In Line At Wing Luke Elementary

Seattle Public Schools Resources 

Mental Health Resources - This fall, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) educators and school staff are focused on supporting student mental health and wellness through social-emotional learning activities. Parents can view social-emotional learning activities and resources here to support student wellness at  home.  

Flu Shot Clinics - Seattle Public Schools has partnered with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA) to  offer flu shot clinics from Sept.18 - Oct. 21. Some of these clinics will also offer COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more here.  

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

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Calendar and Events of Interest