Skip to main content

Contacting DEEL During COVID-19

The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) has limited staff on site in the Seattle Municipal Tower to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff can be contacted directly by email or phone. Interpretation services available.


Visite esta página para obtener información de contacto del personal | 직원 연락처 정보는이 페이지를 참조하십시오 | ለሠራተኞች ግንኙነት መረጃ ይህንን ገጽ ይጎብኙ 

訪問此頁面以獲取員工聯繫信息Truy cập trang này để biết thông tin liên hệ của nhân viên | Booqo boggaan si aad ula xiriirto shaqaalaha xiriirka


DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle

The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) was created to facilitate the City of Seattle's support for the educational and developmental needs of children in Seattle birth to preschool, students in Seattle's public schools, students in postsecondary programs, and their families. DEEL is responsible for leadership, direction, policy development, interdepartmental and interagency communication and coordination for early learning programs and education programs and policies and serves as the City's higher education liaison.  

DEEL works in partnership with the Seattle School District No. 1 (Seattle Public Schools), the Seattle Colleges, government agencies, and community-based organizations to: 

  • Invest in Seattle children, students, families, and communities who have been historically underserved to increase access to educational opportunities across the education continuum. 
  • Assure data-driven and outcomes-based decision making.  
  • Implement or continue evidence-based strategies and promising practices to improve program quality and achieve equity in educational outcomes.  
  • Provide access to capacity-building opportunities among partner organizations for historically underserved Seattle communities to improve program instruction, quality, and infrastructure. 


The mission of the Department of Education and Early Learning is to transform the lives of Seattle's children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education. We envision a city where all children, youth, and families have equitable opportunities and access to high quality education services, support, and outcomes.


DEEL is guided by our values of Equity, Results, Stewardship, Transparency, and Collaboration.


What we want for all children, youth, and families in Seattle:

  1. All Seattle families have access to quality, affordable childcare.
  2. All Seattle children are ready for kindergarten.
  3. All Seattle students graduate high school ready for college.
  4. All Seattle youth attain a certificate, credential, or degree.


We pursue these results through three key strategies:

  1. Equitable educational opportunities.
  2. Student and family supports.
  3. High quality learning environments.


The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) stands in solidarity with our children, students, families, and communities against all acts of racism. 

DEEL uses its power and privilege, as the education agency within the City of Seattle to dismantle racially-biased systems and processes, to advocate for our communities within government, and to share power and resources within our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPoC) community.

We work to advance as an organization along the Anti-Racist Continuum and acknowledge that this is a continuing journey. 


Dr. Dwane ChappelleDr. Dwane Chappelle is Seattle's first Director of the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL), serving since February 2016 when he was first confirmed to the role by City Council. Dr. Chappelle oversees the City of Seattle's efforts to partner with families and communities to achieve educational equity, close race-based opportunity gaps, and build a better future for Seattle students through strategic investments in education. In September 2020, he was unanimously reconfirmed by City Council to continue in his role through January 2024.

Prior to becoming DEEL's Director, Dr. Chappelle was principal of Rainier Beach High School, where the graduation rate increased by 25 percent under his leadership. Dr. Chappelle graduated from Grambling State University and earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

2020: Director Dwane Chappelle Reconfirmed in His Role as Head of Department of Education and Early Learning through 2024

Education and Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94665, Seattle, WA, 98124-6965
Phone: (206) 233-5118
Phone Alt: Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050
Fax: (206) 386-1900

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Education and Early Learning