Direct Give – Donate Today!

All_in_microscope_donateDear STEM Community,

Are you “All in for STEM?”

Did you know that each Monday morning our kids sit together as a community at assembly and start their week off by proclaiming they are “All in for STEM?” It’s pretty amazing to hear them all say it together and see them work hard every day to live it as they learn and grow together.

This is only our 4th year as a school and our first year as a middle school.
Today and over the next few weeks we are asking the family of our students at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 to be “All in for STEM” too.

This first fundraiser of the year is our Direct Give. State and local funding is terribly inadequate to support the vision for our school and provide the level of services, support and materials we want for all of our students.

We chose Direct Give so that each dollar you spend goes directly to the school. We do not ask our students and families to sell products or gather pledges. Each donation is tax deductible, and many employers will match donations, increasing your gift to our school and community.

In the next decade, almost all of the 30 fastest-growing jobs will require some STEM skills . Science, technology, engineering and math provide the foundation for a strong future. STEM learning is a game changer; an opportunity; it offers up unlimited potential if we can bring our school’s vision to life. I believe that being “all in” means working everyday to cultivate the community we envision that values equity, sustainability and the whole child.

This school is still in the process of making this vision a reality piece-by-piece, dollar-by-dollar every day. This is only our 3rd Direct Give and our goal is to raise the same $35,000 we raised last year. It can’t happen without your support.

The funds will help acquire supplemental materials that support STEM literacy, Project Based Learning, and our Louisa Boren STEM K-8 vision. Imagine tools, construction materials, and a wide variety of books, scientific instruments, software, training and support. Let’s engage children in learning how to build a sustainable future!

I invite everyone in our community (including friends, neighbors and relatives) to give what they can today. Every dollar makes a difference.

Thank you for your support and being one of the building blocks for an amazing future.

Rebecca Garcia

1. The 30 fastest growing occupation 2008-18, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/04/direct-give-donate-today/


Come Vote! Resolution for Fully Funding Education

Please join us at the next PTA meeting on Thursday October 8th, at 6:30 for a discussion facilitated by the newly formed Advocacy Committee about what we can do to advocate on the state level for fully funding our schools.

We will be presenting a resolution drafted by The Network of Excellent Washington Schools which calls our state officials to act quickly to comply with our state Supreme Court’s order in the McCleary case. (If you haven’t heard of McCleary feel free to study up-or we can fill you in!)

The Network has called upon all the PTA’s in our state to adopt this resolution calling for fully funding education promptly.  Review the resolution here: Paramount-Duty-Resolution-for-Organizations [PDF]

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/02/come-vote-resolution-for-fully-funding-education/


Enrichment Program Registration Closes 9/26

ministry-clipart-preschool-children-playing-clip-art-i4There are still spaces in many enrichment programs! If you would like to register you will be able to do so through Saturday, September 26th.

View the complete schedule and register here.

If you would like to be a parent volunteer or need information about scholarships please contact afterschool@stemk8pta.org

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/25/enrichment-program-registration-closes-926/


STEM Landscape Beautification

1724970Help improve our school’s appearance! Weekly weeding and trash clean up efforts will begin this Friday. Please join Jen Greene every Friday throughout the fall from 2:30-3:30pm to clean up our school’s landscape beds. Please bring gloves, weeding tools, and a bucket. Steady rain cancels. For more information, email Jen at jenaisa@gmail.com


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/24/stem-landscape-beautification/


First Annual STEM Social

You are invited to the first annual STEM Social.  This event is adults only. Bring a bottle of wine to share and come meet new STEM friends!

Time: 6:30 to 9:30



Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/23/first-annual-stem-social/


Enrichment Class Registration is Now Open!

chess-horzThere are many great before and afterschool classes to choose from! Participants are selected on a first-come-first-served basis. All programs have a minimum and maximum enrollment, so please consider registering as soon as possible to ensure that programs can run.

View the complete schedule and register here.

If you would like to be a parent volunteer or need information about scholarships please contact afterschool@stemk8pta.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/20/enrichment-class-registration-is-now-open/


Enrichment – Before and After School Programs


Registration Opens this Sunday, 9/20!

Do your kids want to drum or play tennis, Build Robots or cook, jump rope or join a full stage production of Grease? We have an amazing line up of classes for our Fall Enrichment. Many of our teachers are hosting classes this year including a lunchtime Glee club. There is a fee for classes and students must be registered ahead of time.

Look for information to come home with you kids and check the PTA website Sunday 9/20 for online information and registration.

Scholarships are available. If you have questions contact our Enrichment coordinator Linnea at afterschool@stemk8pta.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/18/enrichment-before-and-after-school-programs/


Looking Forward to the Year Ahead



Welcome Back Owls and Welcome new families!

I am so excited to get the new school year under way.

The PTA board has lots of ideas for how to get our community together, to celebrate, learn and meet new friends. We’ll need your input and energy to make it all happen.

I have been thinking a lot about what the PTA does, the real intention and what I hope it stands for. I believe it is here to bridge the gap, if one exists, between families and school. The PTA is an organization formed to facilitate connections and provide support. We do this with the funds provided by the community we serve, all of you and it is your input that keeps the PTA moving forward.

We are a new school; this is only our fourth year and we have already accomplished so much. As I think about the year ahead I am reminded of a quote by a favorite poet Antonio Machado that goes, “Traveler, there is no path, the path must be forged as you walk.” I hope you will join me on the path this year to bring STEM K-8’s growing vision to life.

Don’t forget:

  • Our first PTA meeting was moved to Wednesday, September 23. We will be talking about the year ahead.
  • Like our Facebook page, check our website often and make sure the school office have the best email address to reach you, it’s the primary way we communicate.
  • Our Fall fundraiser is almost here already, our Direct Give will kick off in October, let me know if you are interested in helping organize.
  • Please reach out to me anytime with ideas or concerns president@stemk8pta.org
  • Much more to come…

Rebecca Garcia
PTA President

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/18/looking-forward-to-the-year-ahead/


Back to School, Decompression Coffee Hour

coffeeMany of us are pretty excited that the first day of school is finally here. Join us in the lunchroom after drop off for coffee and snacks. The delayed start of school does not make it any less emotional or joyous, so please join the STEM community to decompress, commiserate and be thankful.

Where: STEM Lunchroom
When: Sept. 17, 9:25am – 10:30am

Coffee, cream, sugar, cups, napkins will be provided. Feel free to bring something to share or just share your presence, all are welcome.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/16/back-to-school-decompression-coffee-hour/


First PTA Meeting – New Date!

0515_PT_MeetingLogosOur first PTA meeting was scheduled for Thursday, September 17 which is now the first day of school.

We have postponed the PTA meeting which will now be held on Wednesday, September 23 6:30 – 8pm. As always the PTA provides childcare free of charge to all that attend. We would love to see you there!

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/16/first-pta-meeting-date-change/


Childcare Options During the Strike

Still looking for childcare this week? We understand there are still spots open at Delridge, High Point, and South Park community centers as well as Jefferson just across the bridge. Links for registration can be found at the link provided below. No promise there is space available, but we want to provide as much information and support as we can.


We have also heard that CDSA at Sanislo still has some room. Contact information here: http://communitydayschool.org/locations/sanislo/

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/14/childcare-options-during-the-strike/


Back-to-School Packet Now Online

PacketgraphicEach year all families are required to fill out and sign paperwork for STEM K-8 and the school district. In past years these documents have been printed and sent home with students on the first day of school.

This year these documents are online and easy to fill out. Each student’s family/guardian needs to fill them out online, print them, sign them and return them to school.

The back-to-school packet is REQUIRED, so please go to the link below as soon as possible to complete: http://stemk8pta.org/form-hub/

We will be adding to this page as the school year begins as your one stop for all school forms and notifications.  If you need help with translation or cannot find access to a computer or printer please contact the office at 206-252-8450.


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/11/back-to-school-packet-now-online/


Back to School Bash Cancelled


This was supposed to be a really different week of meeting new teachers and friends, our first school assembly, walking the long halls at Boren anticipating the new school year. Instead our teachers and staff walked the long sidewalk outside of Boren. We hoped this Friday would be a celebration of going back to school, instead many are not in a celebratory mood. It’s been a long week and we are so very appreciate of the support you’ve shown our teachers & community this week.

After long deliberations of the emotional and financial implications (brainstorming all the options available) we’ve decided to cancel the Back to School Bash 4.

Our community will have many other events where we gather in celebration, but for today we’ve decided to stand with our teachers. We will keep you informed on the strike, if your family wants to help, and for all the other upcoming events!

The Lincoln Park #5 Shelter is still reserved for Friday night, and if your family wants to enjoy a picnic with real owls and friends you are welcome to the space.

-B2SB4 Committee & PTA Team

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/10/back-to-school-bash-cancelled/


Support STEM Teachers!

SEA AND SPS have been unable to come to an agreement. Teachers will be on strike Wednesday 9/9 and the start of school will be delayed.

If you want to come support the STEM teachers picketing they will be at Boren Wednesday and Thursday 8:30-3. We are supporting them with signs, our voices, our presence, and food! Sign up to bring something and we hope to see you wearing RED! This is only IF an agreement isn’t reached.

For more information:


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/08/support-stem-teachers/


Press Release: West Seattle welcomes Louisa Boren STEM K-8!

PTA contact – Rebecca Garcia
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 2015-16 PTA President
School contact – Benjamin Ostrom
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Principal

West Seattle welcomes Louisa Boren STEM K-8

West Seattle, WA – September 8, 2015 – Only four years ago Seattle Public Schools’ option school K-5 STEM opened its doors offering Kindergarten through 5th grade. One of the only STEM dedicated (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) elementary schools in the Seattle Metro area, the school is adding a middle school, beginning with 6th grade this coming school year.

With the addition of a middle school and a permanent location in the Boren building in West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood, the school is now being called Louisa Boren STEM K-8.

“We are very excited to start our 4th year as Louisa Boren STEM K-8. We remain true to the school’s original goals of providing a strong STEM program rooted in project based learning, while our expanding vision is geared towards 21st century readiness in a community that values equity, sustainability and the whole child.” said principal Ben Ostrom.

STEM K-8’s 6th grade students will start this fall. Each coming year will add another grade, serving Kindergarten through 8th grade in the 2017-18 school year. Although current students ‘roll-up’ into the new middle school automatically, there is limited space for new enrollment as the school expands.

Louisa Boren was one of the Washington Territory pioneers and a founder of the city of Seattle. It’s fitting that STEM K-8 is located in the Louisa Boren building because Louisa herself loved science, particularly chemistry, botany and astronomy. “Liza” had a love of learning and a natural curiosity about the world.

Louisa Boren’s legacy continues today. Not only in the city of Seattle and the brave pioneering spirit she engendered, but also in her hard work supporting the women’s suffrage movement and her advocacy for Chinese workers settling in the area. Read more about Louisa Boren.

Arbor Heights Elementary school currently shares the Boren site for the second year while their school is built and ready for students in Fall 2016.

More information can be found at:


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/08/press-release-west-seattle-welcomes-louisa-boren-stem-k-8/


Welcome Letter from Principal Ostrom

Dear Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Families:

Hello and welcome back to a new year at Louisa Boren STEM K-8! We are meeting, planning, and working overtime to lay the foundation for an amazing school year. STEM K-8 has a special community of staff and families that come together to create a unique school experience.

Our journey towards K-8 is not without some growing pains. The additional coordination involved in adding staff, developing new plans, and obtaining a plethora of instructional resources has me behind on communication. There are many exciting things happening! A few ways to keep in the loop:

1. Bookmark the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 and STEM K-8 PTA websites (they overlap and contain a wealth of useful information).

2. Make sure your email address is accurate and updated in the school information system (check and fill out the data verification forms you receive at the beginning of the school year).  You will receive the PTA/School newsletter (Owl Post) weekly and other updates via School Messenger that use that email address.

3. Bookmark my school blog at principalostrom.wordpress.com and follow @PrincipalOstrom on Twitter.  Both are linked to the school and PTA website and combined school/PTA Facebook page (at Louisa Boren STEM K-8), and share news, ideas, and developments as they happen.

Some key information regarding the new year:

A. STEM K-8 Start and End Time:
9:25 am and 3:40 pm (they remain unchanged).

B. Pick up/Drop off/Parking:
Supervision is provided starting at 9:10 am. Please do not bring your child to school before 9:10 am as there is no supervision.

For Morning Drop off and Dismissal:  Students may be dropped off or picked up in the designated zone on the west end of the playground.   Parents may pull into the drop off/pick up zone and supervisors will direct children accordingly.  When in the pick up line please remain in your car.  We will bring your child to you.  Parents wanting to walk and pick up their children may park in the visitor parking section of the parking lot, or the park and walk section designated “School Load and Unload only” along Delridge.  Students may not be dropped off on Delridge to walk to the playground.

To respect instructional time in a building serving more than 800 students, after the first day of school we ask that parents pick up and drop off outside (or in the office for late arrivals) rather than at classroom doors. On the first day of school students and parents may go directly to classrooms.

There is now a crosswalk and flashing lights that make it permissible to park on the west side of Delridge and walk your child to the playground/school.  For safety reasons students may not be dropped off on either side of Delridge to walk to the playground. Parents must walk from those parking spots to drop off/pick up their children on the playground.  FYI—During school hours/flashing lights driving faster than the posted speed limit will incur a hefty camera-recorded ticket!

C. Classroom Assignments:
Due to changes in FERPA regulations, classroom assignments are no longer posted publicly.  Classroom assignments were shared on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 4:00-6:00 pm.  We are looking at a mechanism to email assignments to families on Tuesday, Sept. 8.  Either way, on the first day of school there will be staff and volunteers available to share assignments and families may walk students to new classrooms.

D. A few Upcoming Events:
September 9: First day of school decompression coffee hour!
9:25-10:30am meet with other parents and school principal Ben Ostrom to celebrate/decompress.

September 11, 5:30-8:00 pm: 4th  ANNUAL STEM BACK TO SCHOOL BASH! Lincoln Park NORTH END Shelter 5 & picnic tables 60-84 . Stay tuned to school/PTA Facebook page for updates Be there or be 

September 17, 6:30-8:00 pm PTA meeting.  Come to the first PTA meeting of the year to discuss STEM K-8’s developing mission, science and PTA enrichment, and more! There will also be a Uniform Swap – bring uniform items that don’t fit anymore and exchange them for ones that do.

September 24: Curriculum Night and Open House (times TBD)

E. Arbor Heights Co-location continues for one more year!
We have another year to collaborate with Arbor Heights’ staff and families.  The co-location of both schools in the Boren building for two years continues to create a number of benefits and opportunities for both schools! I am enthused to continue working with Principal Collins and the Arbor Heights staff and community to create a positive learning environment and experiences for our children.

F. Uniform Expectations:
STEM K-8 is a uniform school (yes, for middle schoolers too)!  Uniforms were adopted to build community, decrease inequalities and distractions, support safety, and many other reasons.  Visit the STEM School Website for full details on uniform expectations and guidelines.  A uniform closet exists to support families requesting financial assistance to meet uniform guidelines, and also address short term needs.

G. Welcome to New and Returning Staff:
STEM K-8 welcomes several new staff members, and some staff changed assignments and last names.  K-8 expansion and class size reduction money alone meant adding three new staff.  We were fortunate to add some outstanding educators to support our students and further our vision.  Names in italics are new to STEM K-8.  Make sure to search them out and introduce yourselves.

Position Names
Kindergarten Whitney Mebane (formerly Cook), Alicia Ciocca (formerly Hardman)
1st Lisa Sweeney, Jessica Broadland
2nd Jodi Williamson, Soheyla Nur, Joseph Roicki
3rd Sunny Graves, Kristen Colby, John Castilleja
3/4 Kent Daniels
4th Deborah Giza, Mo Newton
5th Ro Gluck, Lauren Martin
6th Craig Parsley, Travis DesAutels
Specialists Gretchen Gray, (PE), Julie Schmick (Technology), Marie Nelson (Performing Arts), Mary Bannister (Library)
Special Education Katie Griffith (Resource), Shamsah Rahim (SM4). Clara Hanson (SM4), Mary McDaniel (SM4)
Instructional Assistants Ronald Adams, Hayward Coleman, Greg Wolf, Craig Rankin, Caroline Ong, Jasmine Johnson
ELL Lee-Chin Chua,teacher;  Maria Asuncion, ELL IA
Counselor Renee Davis (.5 Counselor)
Office Cindy Baca, Patti Bunting
Assistant Principal Kim Noble (.5 AP)
Principal Ben Ostrom
Custodial Engineer Tom Zech
Lunchroom Manager Lynn Ferguson

Hopefully we will be starting school on September 9.  Pay attention to media on the evening of September 8 and have back up plans in case there is a strike by Seattle Education Association members.  Teachers and classified staff are our most vital employees, and hopefully a labor stoppage will be avoided and/or resolved quickly.  If there is a strike, school will not be open.

Many good things are happening!  STEM K-8 Staff gathered August 31 to work on year-long planning with the Next Generation Science Standards.  On Sept. 1, 2, and 3 staff participated in SPS training, and also worked at STEM preparing to roll out Singapore math again, school priorities, planning, and room set up.   We will have much to share and celebrate in the weeks ahead.  Thank you for joining me and STEM K-8 Staff to create a powerful learning community filled with scholars who are aspiring, creating, and expecting.



Benjamin Ostrom
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Principal


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/06/welcome-letter-from-principal-ostrom/


Decompression Coffee Hour

coffeeDecompression Coffee Hour – First Day of School

Drop off on the first day of school can be traumatic, emotional, heart-breaking, joyful, a complete relief. Come and share coffee, tissues and pastries and share the gamut of emotions with your STEM community.

When: First day of school, just after drop-off: 9:25am
Where: Lunchroom

Feel free to bring something to share or just share your presence.

Note: Arbor Heights will be holding their coffee in the Lunchroom just before us and they will likely have families there as well. Just look for familiar faces and some STEM colors to find our group.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/05/decompression-coffee-hour/

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