School Supplies Information

owls_manyStaff has decide to make it super easy and are buying in bulk!

SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Please bring cash or a check for $35 per STEM student (made out to STEM K-8) in an envelope on the first day of school. Write your child’s name & grade on each envelope.

All students will also need a backpack and a lunch box (if they are not doing school lunch).

Throughout the year teachers might ask families to donate specific items for their classrooms such as snacks, pipe cleaners, or more tissues in January!

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4th Grade Potluck/Social


4th Grade Potluck/Social

 When: Monday, August 31st @ 6:00 pm

 Where: Fairmount Park field (north side near park).

 Please bring a dish to share

No BBQ on site. Families please bring your own utensils/plates/drinks.

 Tell all of your other 4th Grade STEM friends.  Siblings are always welcome.

Bathrooms are available.

 Any questions/concerns please contact:

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6th Grade Update from Principal Ostrom

Principal Ostrom has been blogging! Read his update on the path to sixth-grade including a technology update and bringing in books for middle-school readers.

Hello 6th grade families! Hope you all are enjoying a summer of good books and towering construction projects that collapse spectacularly.

It’s been a fun July taking in some vacation time and getting balls rolling for our 6th grade start up. But before I share details, a few good ways to stay on top of updates are @PrinciPalOstrom via twitter,, and I’m working to create a direct link to the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Facebook page.

A short list of things that have happened recently on the path to 6th Grade:

  • Kim Noble accepted a .5 position as the first STEM K-8 Assistant Principal!
  • I tracked the arrival of 60 iPads from Apple to the school district warehouse for barcoding to Lincoln for formatting and setup and (soon) on their way to us! One can not imagine the complications involved in establishing a 1 to 1 program and getting the equipment here to start the year….
  • Capitol programs allowed Mary Bannister to select $20,000+ books for the library for our new 6th grade!
  • Capitol programs allowed me to select $9,000 worth of STEM-weighted books for two new 6th grade classroom libraries.
  • We are at the final stage of approval for a fantastical $25000+ order of science and engineering supplies! Mr. Parsley and Mr. Des like to make lists! It’s been one full time job to turn them into quotes and another to get them approved. There are way-cool gadgets, science, and engineering materials.
  • I ordered two full class sets of 6th Grade Singapore math texts.
  • We are working on an order for musical instruments to support middle school band.
  • I met with tech systems to negotiate the development of a 6th grade schedule that renegotiates traditional class times/courses. We determined that a two-hour Science/Engineering/Social Studies block could fit under a district-approved title of STEM Modeling. And that all of our electives except band will fit the title of Unified Arts. How we squeeze this into the SPS Powerschool electronic gradebook is going to be interesting….sometimes I call these things STEM problems and sometimes Creative Arts problems. We will all get to grapple with them!
  • We are partnering with the Museum of Flight to offer Amelia’s Aero Club for 6th grade girls (more information is provided below). It’s simply an amazing opportunity! Later in August I will be sending out a Survey Monkey’s for feedback on a few different topics, including scheduling for Amelia’s Aero Club.
  • In case you hadn’t heard, we will operate next year on the same schedule we had this year: 9:25-3:40, K-6th.

This list is just a sample of what has happened as we get ready for 6th grade. We are embarking on an amazing year!

A few dates to put on your calendars: 6th Grade Orientation—Sept. 2nd, 5:30-6:30 pm (yipes—that’s my daughter’s birthday), and First day of school–Wednesday, September 9, 9:25 am.

Visit the Principal’s Blog here.

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The First Day of Kindergarten: Some Tips and Suggestions from the STEM K-8 Community

dT8GnrGTeStarting Kindergarten is a big milestone. Most parents will have some combination of anticipation and dread, anxiety and excitement. It can be an emotional time for kids and their parents. We wanted to provide a bit of advice and some tips to help you approach your first day and weeks at STEM K-8 with more excitement and less anxiety. One of our Kindergarten teachers Ms. Ciocca, our Principal Ben Ostrom or “Mr. O” and some of our PTA members have provided the advice below.

If there were one thing you would suggest parents tell their new student about their first day of Kindergarten, what would it be?

  • Let your student know that parents/family will come back at the end of the day and the family will be reunited. Make sure they know how they will get home at the end of day and how they will get back together with family. It seems obvious, but often, new students worry about when and how they will see their family again.
  • Sometimes giving them a challenge can be helpful (e.g. see if you can meet someone who’s name starts with the letter B)
  • For any students who may have separation anxiety, having a family photo inside the child’s backpack that they can look at if they need to. Please do not send toys to school!
  • Above all reassure them that it’s going to be ok.  All the adults at school are there to help take care of them.

What will new students experience in their first days of Kindergarten?

Kindergarten teacher Ms. Ciocca provided this summary of the first days in her classroom,
“The first days of kindergarten are all about setting up our classroom community. We will be learning one another’s names, where things are in the school and the different routines and procedures that we have in school (how to line up, how to sit at the rug, what to do at the end of recess, etc.) We will be singing songs, playing games, and doing awesome brain breaks! We will also start learning right away with math, reading, and writing. Everyday will be an adventure!”

Is there anything parents can do to prepare their child for the first weeks of school?

  • Practice writing your name, practice independence (tying shoes, buckling belts, zipping jackets, putting on backpacks, etc.),
  • Practice letter names and sounds, and counting.
  • Discuss putting things away when you are finished and practice at home.
  • Practice following 1 and 2 step directions.
  • Talk about how your child will be getting home from school each day.
  • Start practicing morning routines to get ready for school.
  • Read some first day of school books (“The Kissing Hand”, and “The Night Before Kindergarten” are a couple of goodies!)
  • Have a couple trial runs with new backpacks and lunch boxes. If your child has not spent much time eating lunch independently have some lunches where they open their own containers and put everything away in their lunchbox. This will help them with in the lunchroom.

Know that kindergarten is exhausting.

Since kindergarten is typically a child’s first full-day school experience, parents should be prepared for their kids to be exhausted after school, at least for the first few weeks. Those first few days are long and stressful. Don’t plan a lot of after school activities in the first couple months of school.

Other ways to help your little one recover from the long school day include setting a regular bedtime routine and bedtime and working on a morning routine that allows kids as much sleep as possible.

It’s okay for you to be emotional.

Sending your baby off to kindergarten is a bittersweet event, and it’s normal for there to be tears from both you and your child. Even parents who have had multiple kids start Kindergarten find it an emotional time. It’s a big change for one of your kids to leave home for most of the day! Letting go is hard, and kindergarten is one of the hardest times. The PTA will sponsor a coffee on the first day of school in the lunchroom. Come and meet and talk to other parents who are feeling the same way.

Parents may bring their child to the classroom on the first day of school but they must give three hugs and three kisses at the door. Having parents enter the classroom on the first day of school makes it very challenging for Ms. Mebane and Ms. Ciocca to get the students settled and get the day started. If parents feel like their child will have a hard time saying goodbye then they may want try saying goodbye at the outside pickup line and our teachers will hold any hands that need to be held.

 Upcoming Events and Reminders

**COMPLETE THE KINDERGARTEN SURVEY if you haven’t already and send it in ASAP!**

 Come to our Kindergarten Play dates:

August 20 and 27, 4:30 – 5:30pm
STEM K-8 Playground

Come to the kindergarten open house! Our K teachers Whitney Mebane and Alicia Ciocca want to meet as many faces as they can and allow the students to see the classroom and meet each other before the big first day.

Connect with us on Facebook to get more advice and information from our school and community.

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School Vision Document: Share Your Thoughts

A message from the Principal:  As we transition to a new year, an important development has been growing the vision for Louisa Boren STEM K-8. A vibrant, living vision inspires, guides, defines priorities, and sustains collaboration.

Back in November, the K-8 Design team began discussing important concepts from the vision created when K-5 STEM was founded. We also discussed missing elements, including the role of STEM subjects and a commitment to equity.

Our goal was to develop a guiding document stating what STEM K-8 was about, explaining key concepts, and pointing to more detailed frameworks and resources to guide planning and implementation. After multiple conversations with staff and the Building Leadership Team, we are ready to share the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Emerging Vision.

The plan is to support a broader community discussion when families return in the fall, but we wanted to share what is emerging now. Remember that a vision serves to guide our growth, rather than describe current practice.

Please let us know what you think. At the bottom of the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Emerging Vision page is a space for you to share your thoughts and provide feedback.

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STEM End of Year Survey RESULTS – 2015

Thanks to all of you who participated in our end-of-year survey and the 89% of you that attended a PTA sponsored event this year! Let’s see if we can get to 100% this year! Grab a friend, and come to an event. The community is a huge part of our school and all are always welcome!

Volunteers this year threw some awesome events and we are looking ahead to next year. Favorites included the Rock’n’Roll UP! Auction, enrichment classes, pizza pi night and the Dia de los Muertos potluck. Many respondents loved anytime our community got together to do something fun – YES! As a newer school we are still figuring out our traditions, but after three years we’ve gone up with some keepers and would love your help this year!

Year one we did some weekend events that had low turnouts, in this survey respondents asked for some mixing it up – we will definitely make deliberate choices about what nights, days & times we schedule events to try to include as many families as possible.

Making all our families feel included has always been core to our mission and we are making it a priorit to will work even harder in the coming year to include more of our diverse community. We serve all kids, and our community is stronger when everyone feels included. Let us know how we can do a better a job of this and make a commitment to ask a friend to join us or reach out and make a new one!

You named the PTA’s strengths in communication, organizing events, supporting teachers, fundraising, enrichment and supporting our school community – YES! Next year we will have a new version of the Owl Post, and we are already planning next year’s events and how we can keep improving year 4.

If you ever have any questions or concerns – let the Executive Board know. We are a group of volunteers who always welcome input, support, feedback and help. Many concerns raised on the survey (like having a room liaison, or not getting e-mails, or not knowing that kids are supervised between after school and enrichment programs) are things we have solutions already in place for and we are happy to help make sure you are in the loop.

Stay tuned for more information about next year. Save the date for Back to School Bash 4 (B2SB4!) picnic potluck the evening of September 11th. Hope you are staying cool owls! See you soon!

WINNER of the $25 Amazon gift card Tia!

More information always on Facebook (West Seattle STEM PTA), twitter @STEMPTA and SPS site

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Needed! Middle School Level Book Donations

owls_manyAs K – 5 STEM grows to a K – 8 school, we are in desperate need of donations of books for both the classroom and school libraries. If you know of any middle school or high school student that is ready to clear the clutter of their middle school reads, we would LOVE them!

Many Thanks,
Mary E. Bannister, Louisa Boren STEM NBCT – Library Media

P.S. Books can be dropped off at STEM when schools starts back up. Just mark that they are for the library!


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Pedestrian Safety Improvements at Boren Building!

Safe Routes to School improvements coming to Delridge Way SW!

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will install a new marked crosswalk, curb ramps, pedestrian-activated rectangular rapid flashing beacons, and painted curb bulbs on Delridge Way Southwest at the front entrance to the Boren School building in July. The Boren building currently serves as home to more than 700 elementary school students including K-5 STEM as well as Arbor Heights Elementary while that building is being rebuilt.

Curb ramps will be installed on both sides of Delridge, midblock between Southwest Juneau Street and 24th Avenue Southwest. Crews plan to begin work on Monday, July 6, with construction expected to last approximately two weeks. Crews will work weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.  During this time, pedestrians will follow signed detours next to the school or into a temporary walkway using the parking lane.

These pedestrian safety improvements are funded jointly by Neighborhood Park and Street Fund with matching funds provided by SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program. For more information about this project, contact SDOT’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty, or 206-684-5124.


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STEM K-8 PTA End of Year Survey (and win $25)!

survey-clipart-survey_icon_surveyicon-555pxWe would love your feedback about how this year went, and how the PTA can be better.

Please participate in this survey to help inform our decisions for next year and for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card:

The survey will be open through June 30.

Happy Summer and see you in September Owls!

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Sing Out Seattle Presents Annie

STEM and Sing Out Seattle are proud to present our performance of Annie. There is no charge to download the video but please consider making a donation to the PTA. Thank You.

In case you missed our previous Sing Out Seattle performances … watch Mary Poppins and The Lion King below.

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Field Day 2015: Volunteers Needed!

multi_sports_mainField Day is coming and we need your help!

June 12, 2015
9:45 AM – 2:45 PM

If you are interested in helping with this year’s Field Day festivities please visit:

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Science Fair and PBL Extravaganza!

STEM is hosting a Science Fair and PBL Extravaganza on Thursday, 5/28 from 6-7:30pm. It will be an open house format with spring Science and PBL projects from all grades on display. Meander from classroom to classroom to see what STEM students and staff have been working on. From 6:00‐6:30 our 5th graders will be standing by to talk about science fair‐type projects, so you may want to start in the 5th grade first.

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3rd Annual Book Swap!


The 3nd Annual STEM Book Swap takes place on Thursday, June 4th. We are asking for donations of gently used books for readers from kindergarten through middle school. Donations can be placed in boxes by the office door in the main hallway, and at the end of the orange and blue corridors. Each grade will take turns going to the swap and every STEM student will be able to choose a few new books to take home!

Please sign up to volunteer – click on the SignUpGenius link below:


Our previous Book Swaps were great fun and a huge success!

Book Swap student with book

1st Book Swap 2013 – This student loved her “new” books!

2nd Book Swap 2014 – There were lots of Star Wars books!


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“Heron and the Salmon Girl” coming to STEM!

Join us as the Seattle Opera bring “Heron and the Salmon Girl” to STEM
Wednesday, 5/20, from 2:30-3:15 PM in the cafeteria!

Seattle Opera has created a trilogy of operas created especially for our youngest opera fans. The Our Earth trilogy explores stories of a Pacific Northwest river including marine life, freshwater ecosystems and forests. In the first opera, Heron and The Salmon Girl, the salmon fail to return to the sea one spring. Animals such as Orca, Heron, Turtle and a grumpy fisherman embark on a journey upriver to find the missing fish.


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Teacher Walk-Out 5/19

As you likely know, Seattle Education Association voted to walk-out for one day, May 19th, to protest the state legislature’s failure to fund 1351 and the McCleary decision. Parents, students, and community members are welcome at their march and rally in downtown Seattle. School will not be in session on 5/19/15.
Find out more at

In addition there are other events being planned at both WS High School and Chief Sealth starting at 8am.

Additional information:
* The City of Seattle is providing free childcare on May 19 at community centers
* SPS’s FAQ:
* The Seattle Education Association is planning rallies and a march through downtown to which parents and students are invited.

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Bell Times: Online Survey Extended Until May 10th

We asked, primer-clipart-school-bell-clip-art_430610they listened! An online survey at  is now available until May 10 for all parents, students and staff to collect input on possible bell time changes for schools.  The District would like your input because a change in the start and end time for a school day has the potential to affect the entire community. It is recommended that even those who completed previous surveys send their input online to ensure your feedback is considered.


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No School May 19th, Last Day of School June 16th!

Teacher walk out, no school May 19

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) voted to join in a statewide action against the legislature to protest the lack of education funding in our state. The SEA is the organization of professionals and union that represents teachers in our district. This protest involves a one-day walkout.

SEA has selected May 19 as the day for their one-day walkout. Therefore, there will be no school for students on May 19 as teachers will not be at work on that day. SEA chose the day to provide the district two weeks of notice to work on arrangements in an effort to minimize disruption for students and parents to the greatest extent possible.
The district has been working to determine how to handle activities and events scheduled for May 19 that would be difficult to reschedule. For example, tests scheduled for that day will be rescheduled. However, previously scheduled interscholastic competitions will take place on May 19, after regular school hours.

While there is no school for students on May 19, the school day will have to be made up, just as we would make up a snow day or other unforeseen calendar change. The make-up day will be added to the end of the school year. This means Monday, June 15 will become a full school day and our last day of school will now be June 16. A revised school year calendar will be shared with families.

It is important for families to know that this SEA action is not directed at Seattle Public School families or community, but is a statement to the state legislature about the current lack of adequate state funding for basic education.

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