Department of Education and Early Learning Winter 2023 Newsletter

Department of Education and Early Learning blue-white logo

Winter 2023, Volume 4, Issue 1

Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of DEEL.

Welcoming the New Year

Leading the department for another year has been a privilege. While we transition to a new year, I’m reflecting upon DEEL'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 Inititative youth leadership & educator diversity investments. 
  • 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 in our funding opportunities, created in-language promotional CCAP videos, and distributed COVID-19 materials to support BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee families and those whose primary language is not English. 
  • Distributed over 25K masks and 2.5K rapid COVID tests to child care and early learning partners. 
  • Launched the new Citywide Contract Management System to improve the contracting process for our partners and help us manage contracts more efficiently. 
  • Invested in school and community-based professional learning opportunities for K-12 and early learning educators. 
  • Advocated diligently–and succeeded–in securing continued funding for Seattle Promise equity enhancements to support students determined to continue their educational journey after high school. 

I’m grateful to work alongside a brilliant team who is deeply committed to this work. In addition to these achievements, a lot of great work happened internally that you can read more about here on our blog.

Thank you to all our school and community partners—who truly drive DEEL's work—for partnering with us on our shared mission to advance educational equity for Seattle students. 

Dr. Dwane Chappelle
Seattle Department of Education & Early Learning 

Seattle Wins Gold for High-Quality, Accessible Preschool!

Gold Medal image with CityHealth logo

The 2022 City Health Annual Policy Assessment results are in, with Seattle winning GOLD for High-Quality, Accessible Pre-K! The growth of the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) has made high-quality preschool accessible to more Seattle families each year since 2015, with more than 2,100 slots available in the current school year and plans to expand by six more classrooms for 2023-2024. View the 2022 assessment here

Congratulations to all our amazing SPP providers, teachers, and staff who have been an integral part of expanding this program, maintaining high-quality standards, and providing Seattle 3- and 4-year-olds with a strong foundation for learning. Learn more about the CityHealth awards at

Investment and Program Features

SPP students listening to a story at Creative Kids preschool.

SPP students listen to a story at Creative Kids Preschool.

Applications for Seattle Preschool Program 2023-2024 School Year Open March 15!

SPP provides affordable, high-quality preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds living in Seattle. Classes are now in session, but enrollment slots for the current year are still available, with extended-day child care available at some locations. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year open March 15. Families can learn more and apply at 

Seattle Promise students attend the Summer Bridge new student orientation.

Incoming scholars excited for the Seattle Promise attend the Summer Bridge college orientation.

First Year of Equity Enhanced Pandemic Response Shows Promise for Scholars; Applications for Fall 2023 due February 17

Applications are open now for graduating seniors from all Seattle public high schools for Seattle Promise. Students can apply for two years or 90 credits of tuition and students supports. Equity scholarships are available to cover non-tuition costs such as books, child care, and transportation. Learn more and apply at today. 

Funding Opportunities and Recent Awards


2023 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) 

A preview of DEEL’s upcoming funding opportunities is available now on our website! View our 2023 NOFA for a description of each opportunity, who is eligible to apply and anticipated release dates. More information will be posted on DEEL’s funding opportunities page near each release date. 

Over the last quarter, DEEL awarded 11 organizations more than $1.6 million to support equitable birth outcomes and early childhood development as part of a second round of Prenatal-to-Three Community Grants. The program aims to improve kindergarten readiness and reduce outcome disparities for young children and families based on race, gender, or other socioeconomic factors. 

Current and Upcoming Funding Opportunities: 

Sign up for DEEL's Funding Opportunities Email List!

Want to stay up-to-date on funding opportunities from DEEL?  

Sign up for our Education Funding Opportunities email list to get notifications about upcoming funding and partnership opportunities delivered to your inbox.

Equitable Educational Opportunities

Diving Into Frequently Used Terms 

New issues of the DEEL newsletter will take a look at some of the terms you may frequently see to describe DEEL's work.

To provide students from historically underserved communities with access to equitable education opportunities, DEEL invests in strategies across the cradle-to-college continuum such as tuition subsidies, expanded learning and academic supports, facilities development, and college and career readiness activities that go beyond their basic K-12 education. 


Department Features

Working Together to Improve School Safety

In response to public safety issues impacting Seattle schools, including the tragic shooting at Ingraham High School, the City of Seattle formed a workgroup including leaders and staff from the Mayor’s Office, DEEL, Seattle Parks, the Department of Neighborhoods, the Human Services Department, and Seattle Public Schools. The team is working together as One Seattle to develop collaborative solutions to school safetyDEEL also increased funding for mental health services for K-12 students by $4 million through 2024.

There is much work to do in this space, and we recognize the importance of increasing mental health resources as an important first step. DEEL will continue checking in with our school and community partners to work together to find student- and community-led solutions to school safety. 

DEEL Director Dr. Chappelle attended Ingraham High School's student-led discussion on school safety, alongside Governor Inslee, Mayor Harrell, and Seattle Public Schools Supt. Dr. Jones in December 2022. This week, Dr. Chappelle will participate in the Rainier Beach's community-led School Safety Town Hall at Rainier Beach High School, on January 12 from 6pm-8pm. 

Dining with the Kings of Aki Kurose and Interagency Academy

Thank you to the Kings of Aki Kurose and Interagency Academy for bringing the Kingmakers of Seattle community together for breakfast! DEEL Director, Dr. Dwane Chappelle and staff were excited to attend alongside Mayor Bruce Harrell, Seattle Public Schools leaders & educators in support of these rising leaders. 

"Kingmakers is about making sure our educational system & community does right for our young Black men," said Dr. Mia Williams, Chief of Seattle Public Schools Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA)

Learn more about the FEPP levy funded Kingmakers program on DEEL's blog

Kingmakers students host breakfast for teachers, City partners, and community members.

Left image: Kings serve breakfast to the Kingmakers of Seattle community. Right image, L-to-R, Top-to-Bottom: Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of DEEL; Emery Walters, Kingmakers Facilitator; Sharonda Willingham, Principal of Interagency Academy; Mayor Bruce Harrell.

Health Resources

Handbook for Health Heroes COVID-19 Vaccine Comic for Kids Ages 5-11

Get Your Free Copies: DEEL’s Handbook for Health Heroes Available in Five Languages 

In partnership with Public Health – Seattle & King County and Seattle Public Schools, DEEL created a fully-illustrated comic book titled Handbook for Health Heroes that answers common questions families have about COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5-11. DEEL has distributed approximately 8K COVID-19 vaccine comic books to families through schools and community organizations.  

Visit this link to view digital copies of the comic English, Spanish, French, Somali, and Vietnamese! 

To request free printed copies, complete this short form.

Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Resources 

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the best tool to help keep our schools and communities safe. As of June 21, children age 6 months and older can now get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Please visit Public Health – Seattle & King County’s website for current information and resources about COVID-19. 

Stay Up-To-Date on Flu Shots and Routine Immunizations 

Protect yourself from serious illness caused by the flu by getting your flu shot and staying up to date on routine immunizations. Find vaccine clinics by visiting the following links provided by Public Health – Seattle & King County. 

SBHC oral health services.

Keep Students Healthy This School Year by Visiting a School-Based Health Center (SBHC)

SBHC's offer a comprehensive scope of services including asthma care, immunizations, age-appropriate reproductive health care, and mental health counseling. Services are available to all Seattle Public Schools students at 29 school sites. Learn more about SBHC services here

Student and Family Resources

Child Care Assistance Program

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)  

CCAP helps cover child care costs for children ages one month to 12 years old for income-eligible families living in Seattle. Families receive a monthly voucher for child care that can be used at  more than 200 participating CCAP providers in the city. Learn more at 

New CCAP video available in 10 Languages!   English  |  Españolአማርኛ  |  Oromo  |   普通话   |  广州话Soomaali Tagalog  |  ትግርኛ  |  Tiếng Việt


Enroll in Kindergarten at Seattle Public Schools

Enroll Your Child in Kindergarten for the 2023-2024 School Year 

New student registration is open at Seattle Public Schools! Children who will be 5 years old by August 31, 2023 are eligible to enroll. Register early to start a connection to your school community and gain access to important resources. Visit this link to learn more and enroll. Seattle Public schools is also hosting an Admissions Fair and Open House on January 28, where families can learn more about the enrollment process. 


Get connected to broadband with the Afforable Connectivity Program

Get Connected to Broadband with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward the internet for eligible households and up to $75 per month for homes on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Learn more here.


Become an SYEP Employer Partner

Become a Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) Employer

Interested in providing meaningful work experience and soft skill development to the youth and young adults of Seattle? The City of Seattle’s SYEP is actively looking for organizations & businesses interested in hosting internships this upcoming summer! An interest form will become available later this month for prospective SYEP employers to sign up. To learn more in the meantime, visit SYEP's website here.  


Rainier Beach Graduation Ceremony \

FAFSA and WAFSA Financial Aid Applications Open!

High school seniors interested in college can apply now for federal and state financial aid by completing their FAFSA and WAFSA applications. Seattle Promise scholars must submit financial aid applications by April 30, 2023 to maintain program eligibility.



Seattle Colleges is hosting a series of in-person and online events to introduce prospective students and families to programs and career pathways. The online series begins February 27, and in-person open house events begin March 6. 

Learn more and view the event schedule at

Path to UW

UW Application for Autumn 2023 Admission Open Through February 15th 

The UW General Transfer Application for Autumn 2023 admission is open! If you are a Seattle Promise student considering applying, or currently working on an application, now is a great time to connect with a Path to UW Adviser to talk more about the process. To learn more about the application components and how to apply, visit Path to UW


Community Partner Programs and Events

Young Community Builders participants enjoy their end-of-year celebration with a pizza and movie night.

Registration Now Open for Youth Leadership & Cultural Education Programs  

Celebrating Roots, a DEEL youth leadership partner, is accepting registration for two programs, including:  


Young Community Builders Program designed to support social, emotional and leadership development of low-income refugee and immigrant youth ages 5-24 using mindfulness-based teaching practices. Learn more and register here.  


Leadership and Business Development Program focusing on empowering East African girls in the Rainier Vista area from refugee and immigrant backgrounds through valuable entrepreneurial skills. Girls ages 14-24 are eligible to sign up, and those who complete the program receive a $400 incentive! Learn more and register here.  


For questions, please email Photo courtesy of Celebrating Roots.


Become A City Year Mentor or Tutor

Become a City Year Tutor or Mentor 

City Year Seattle is recruiting young adults to serve as tutors and mentors! Not only will these mentors help students feel more connected to their school, but they'll also walk away from the year with valuable work experience. Know someone who'd make an amazing mentor? Nominate them today by visiting this link. Form provided by City Year of Seattle/King County. 

City Year MLK Day of Service  

City Year Seattle sees Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a "day on" invites you to join them in service to a Seattle school on Monday, January 16th. This year's focus will be on revitalization projects and a community leaders panel. To learn more or register to attend, click this link.


Khmer Community of Seattle King County

Conversational Khmer Language Drop-Ins

Beginning January 18, Khmer Community of Seattle King County (KCSKC) will host Conversational Khmer Language Drop-Ins, Wednesdays, 4-8PM at The Apsara Palace (9808 14th Ave SW). Youth ages 12+ are welcome to drop in to practice listening and speaking Khmer language. Learn more here and sign up to receive more information using this form provided by KCSKC. 


Calendar of Events

City of Seattle MLK Unity Celebration

City of Seattle MLK Unity Celebration - January 16

How can the City of Seattle honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as we recover from the pandemic? The Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and Seattle Center invite you to tune into the free MLK Unity Day Celebration. Tune in to Seattle Channel, on TV or online, Monday, January 16 at 10am. 


Centering and Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education

Centering and Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education - January 24 at 6:00pm 

DEEL Director, Dr. Dwane Chappelle will join Dr. Brian L.  Wright for a panel discussion exploring how authentic care and equity are essential for teaching, learning, and schooling Black boys in the early grades and beyond. Learn more and RSVP here.