Apply Now for the Seattle Preschool Program!

Apply Now for the Seattle Preschool Program!
Posted on 03/27/2017
4 young students smiling

Apply by April 25 to maximize your chances of enrolling your child. Applications received after that date will be considered in the second round of application review. See how to apply and other information on our preschool page.

Growing preschool offerings supports an initiative approved by Seattle voters in 2014 to fund high-quality preschool throughout the city. It is also a reflection of goal #1 of the district’s strategic plan to “ensure educational excellence and equity for every student” which includes a commitment to early learning as the foundation for academic success.

The Seattle Preschool Program is a partnership between Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and the city of Seattle to provide preschool for Seattle families. For 2017-18, this partnership is deepening. The number of classrooms opening is increasing. Additionally, the SPS School Board approved the conversion of four classrooms to “inclusion” classrooms, which will be called “SPP Plus.” SPP Plus supports children who have disabilities and typically developing peers in a preschool setting. 

Research supports the benefits of inclusive education for all children including social skill and language development, self-regulation, and cognition. In response, many district parents and community members have advocated for inclusive classroom experiences in Seattle Public Schools.

Last year, SPS educators taught in eight classrooms, out of 35 offered by the Seattle Preschool Program. For 2017-18, nine more SPS/SPP classrooms will be added, which will raise the total to 54. SPS staff will teach in 17 of the 54 classrooms with the remainder taught by community-based organizations.

“Seattle Public Schools is pleased to continue and strengthen this excellent work,” said Cashel Toner, Director of Early Learning for Seattle Public Schools. “With the support of the School Board of Directors, we have built a formidable partnership with the city of Seattle that reflects our joint commitment to eliminating opportunity gaps and accelerating learning for all students.”

In March 2016 Seattle Public Schools’ Board of Directors established a Preschool Task Force to study the impacts and benefits of sustaining and expanding preschool services within the city’s preschool program. The task force examined the potential of expanding inclusive preschool services, the financial and accountability model, and family engagement strategies. The task force included over 20 members representing the Seattle Public Schools’ Early Learning and Special Education Departments, the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning, preschool families, principals, administrators of community-based organizations and other early learning experts. Visit the task force web page to see more information, including a copy of the task force’s final report provided to the superintendent and school board.

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