Southeast Seattle Education Coalition

Board Approves Expansion of Preschool

Thank you to the Seattle School Board for voting to continue and expand the Seattle Preschool Program at Van Asselt and Original Van Asselt schools in SE Seattle, as well as several other schools in the city.

During the school board meeting, we heard from two Bailey Garzert (in the Central District) parents who spoke about how the preschool experience connected them to the broader school and neighborhood community, as well as prepared their children for a rich educational experience. Teachers, including Matthew O’Connor, a preschool and Kindergarten teacher from South Shore PreK-8, also testified to seeing how preschool has helped many of his students enter school ready to learn. Lastly, we heard from other educators who said that supporting preschool and preschool expansion is a no-brainer. John Bancroft, a SESEC member, testified about the financing of the preschool program and asked board members to stay focused on the goal of educating students and having them prepared for school.

There were several amendments, including an amendment to convene a task force to look at ensuring preschool classrooms are inclusive of students with special needs. Here is how they voted:

City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning/Seattle Preschool Program Service Agreement Amendment 2016-2017. This motion passed unanimously.

Amendment 1. This motion passed unanimously.

Amendment 2. This motion did NOT pass by a vote of 2-5. Directors Pinkham, Blanford, Burke, Geary, and Harris voted no. Directors Peters and Patu voted yes.

Please take a moment to thank our school board members by signing’s thank you letter. Signatures will be presented to the school board members to thank them and remind them that our littlest learners need their support.

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