Seattle Schools, City begin work to solidify Seattle Preschool partnership

The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning and Seattle Public Schools have developed a draft partnership agreement on how they will work together on the Seattle Preschool Program.

Both the District and City have worked hard to ensure that the Seattle’s first steps toward a universal preschool system will complement and enhance K-12 education. The City and District share a goal of closing the readiness and achievement gaps that persist for many of Seattle’s students.

“Collaboration with our school district partners is key to the success of this program,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Seattle Preschool Program is designed to prepare students to be ready for school. Through strong partnership with the Seattle Public Schools, we can ensure positive outcomes for preschoolers and also sustain that success.”

“Seattle Public Schools is looking forward to a partnership with the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Early Learning to increase access to preschool for Seattle’s 3 and 4 year olds and aligning pre-K systems,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland. “The city and district have vested interests in ensuring the quality of children’s experiences and the continuity of that quality from early childhood through college.”

The partnership agreement outlines how the City and District will work together to share resources and expertise as students move from preschools into early elementary settings. The agreement includes provisions on shared professional development, assessment tools, curricula, and community and family engagement strategies.

The partnership agreement also discusses how the district might operate Seattle Preschool Program classrooms, a development already approved by the Seattle City Council.

The Seattle City Council, the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors and the Seattle Preschool Program Levy Oversight Committee must review and approve the new partnership agreement before it is implemented.