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

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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
  • Much more to come…

Rebecca Garcia
PTA President

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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:

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.


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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

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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:


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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:

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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 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


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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.

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Want to be a Room Parent?

room_parent_2-804-650-500-80Are you interested in supporting your student’s classroom and teacher? Do you have a little time to get involved and would love to spend it focused on your child’s classroom? Becoming a Room Parent may be a job for you.

At STEM K-8 each classroom has a parent, family member or guardian who supports the teacher, communicates with families in the class and makes connections between the classroom and the PTA. It’s an important role, but it does not require that you are on site at school or present during school hours. Lower grades tend to require more time coordinating volunteers and providing parent support. Duties include:

  • Creating a class list and communicating to parents about upcoming events and activities.
  • Working with the teacher to assess volunteer needs and helping the teacher to get the volunteers they need. There are easy ways to do this online.
  • Helping to support the annual PTA auction by helping with an auction project for each classroom.
  • Responsibility with other room parent/s in your grade band for an event or activity.
  • Various duties specific to your classroom and grade band.

It is a fulfilling role and provides the opportunity to get to know other families in your classroom and take on an important communication role. There is a lot of support and many past room parents to give you help and guidance.

If you are interested please send an email to Gretchen Evans at


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CANCELLED: 4th Annual STEM Back To School Bash! B2SB4


WHEN: Friday, September 11th from 5:30 pm – 8 pm

 WHERE: Lincoln Park NORTH END Shelter 5 & picnic tables 60-84

 Park on the street (watch out to not park in a restricted ferry line) or in the long parking lot (first parking lot off Fauntleroy) and walk in.

 WHAT: Food, friends and fun!

Please bring a potluck food to share, plates, and utensils for just your family.

 STEM PTA will be providing hotdogs, veggie dogs, buns & condiments, water & lemonade.

 Feel free to bring playthings to share (footballs, chalk, soccer balls, bubbles, jump ropes, etc.)

 Volunteers would be much appreciated for BBQ duty and cleanup crew.

 More info? Want to volunteer? Contact:

 Rain or shine – thunderstorms cancel – stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates

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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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