Seattle School Board votes to join City’s Preschool Program

Tonight the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors approved its administration’s proposal to contract with the City to manage three Seattle Preschool Program classrooms: one in Bailey Gatzert in the Central District, one in the Original Van Asselt School and one in New Van Asselt in south Seattle.

“Thanks to the School Board for approving this agreement. I am pleased that the City and the District will be partners in this first year of Seattle Preschool,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “These classrooms will serve children from communities across the city as we build toward universal pre-K for all Seattle kids. The District and the City aim to narrow the educational opportunity gap that continues to impact Seattle’s children of color.”

As a Seattle Preschool provider, the School District will receive funding for preschool teachers and other benefits, including professional development, coaching and curriculum training. Contracts are renewed each year and the District will have the option to expand the program in public schools, if it chooses. The City is also contracting with several community-based organizations to deliver the program. A total of 15 classrooms are slated to open in September and early October.

The City and the District had previously approved a Partnership Agreement that lays out the terms of their collaboration. The Service Agreement, approved at tonight’s meeting, makes the District a provider of the City’s preschool program.

To identify children for the classrooms, the City will conduct targeted outreach and manage the selection process. Details of how to apply for the program are available on the City’s website: www.seattle.gov/education.