Come meet other incoming kindergarten families! August 18 & 25 4:30pm – 5:30pm Louisa Boren STEM K-8 playground.
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Friday, September 9 5:30pm – 8:00pm Location TBA
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From drumming to cooking to coding there is something for everyone during Winter Enrichment!
Registration will open on December 9, 2015 and will run through January 8, 2016.
A parent volunteer is needed for each class. Volunteers will help with signing students in and out of class, as well as assist instructors. Volunteers will receive 50% off tuition for the class and priority enrollment. For more information please contact Linnea Seidelmann at email@example.com.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/12/07/winter-enrichment-registration-opens-dec-9/
At the PTA meeting last night our librarian Mary Bannister presented some interesting information about literacy curriculum in Seattle Public Schools. There has not been a literacy curriculum adoption in the Seattle Public School district for 14 years and our Louisa Boren STEM K-8 teachers have to design every single literacy lesson they teach from scratch. There are no officially adopted guides or materials in Seattle Public Schools. You can review the attached presentation for more information, though you will not have the benefit of Mrs. B’s wise words.
Our Advocacy committee has started a campaign to send a message to the superintendent and board of directors that we need and expect a literacy adoption now. We have postcards available that you can send to Superintendent Nyland. Look for them in your kid’s backpacks next week.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/12/05/literacy-campaign/
Join our 4th, 5th, and 6th grade musicians for their Winter Band Concert!
When: December 15th at 6:30 PM
Where: Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium,
The program will last 45-50 minutes.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/12/03/winter-band-concert/
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/12/03/ready-to-order-holiday-card-gifts/
Did you know that Seattle Public Schools does not have a district wide literacy curriculum?
Join us at Thursday’s PTA meeting for a short and informative presentation by the STEM Literacy Team, meeting starts at 6:30pm. They will share their current literacy work and answer our questions. Following the presentation, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to take part in an advocacy project asking SPS to adopt a literacy curriculum. The PTA meeting will be short and sweet so everyone has plenty of time to shop at the book fair. Principal Ostrom will also be there to answer questions and give a school update. As always complimentary childcare will be provided.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/30/literacy-at-stem-this-weeks-pta-meeting/
Our neighbors at the Denny International Middle School PTSA are having an online auction. This is a great way to support others in our community. If you are interested in learning more please visit their online auction site at: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?vhost=dennymsauction
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/30/denny-international-middle-school-online-auction/
If you’re doing some shopping online or in stores don’t forget that many of your purchases can benefit our school. Here’s a reminder of all the ways to earn money for STEM K-8 when doing your holiday shopping and all year round.
Use this link to shop at Amazon, and 7% of your purchase amount will be donated to our school. Support STEM and shop in your pajamas from home-what could be better? You can always find our Amazon link on the front page of the STEM PTA website. Important Note: Shopping via this link earns our school much more money than using Amazon Smile.
If you have a Target REDcard be sure to register it in their Take Charge of Education program and 1% of purchases on your REDcard will come back to our school. Call 1-800-316-6142 to designate Louisa Boren STEM K-8. Our ID number is: 153701 If you would like to apply for a REDcard, learn more at Target.com/redcard or stop in at a Target store. The REDcard saves you 5% on all Target purchases everyday. It’s available as either a credit or debit card. Grandparents, friends and neighbors are all welcome to participate in the program. The more people we involve, the harder the program works for us. Sadly, Target has announced that the Take Charge of Education program will end in May 2016. So, let’s make the most of it while we can!Make cards, calendars, photo books and more at Shutterfly, Tiny Prints or MyPublisher. Click on our STEM School Storefront and 13% of your purchases will be donated to our school! This offer applies to all Shutterfly brands (Borrowlenses, MyPublisher, Shutterfly, ThisLife Tiny Prints, Treat and Wedding Paper Divas).
Order your $25 PCC scrip card here. Our school earns 5% each time you use it. You can reload it and use it every time you shop at PCC.
Please drop your West Seattle Thriftway receipts off in the donation box in the school office. 1% of the purchase price of every item you buy is returned to our school.
More Shop & Earn Opportunities on our website.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/30/holiday-shopping-earn-cash-for-our-school/
Bring the whole family!
Thursday, December 3rd 5:30pm – 8pm
Friday, December 4th 8:30am – 10am
All students must be accompanied by an adult.
Book Fair is also available online: http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/k8stem
Please note that books bought online may not arrive before school is out for winter break.
Volunteers still need!
Sign up at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050c4caead28aa8-book
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/30/2015-book-fair-blizzard/
Ms. Schmick is seeking the donation of old lap tops for students to use in Tech Lab. She is also looking for toys like gears, LEGO, K’Nex, magnetic letters, and other materials to use with students with the vision of a future maker space.
If you have plans to get rid of something, check in with Ms. Schmick at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if it may have a future at K-8 STEM.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/24/got-stuff-looking-for-old-laptops-gears-lego-and-more/
Monday November 16th is the start of our week-long All for Books campaign. We’re raising money to purchase books for classroom libraries during our Book Fair Blizzard (December 3rd & 4th). All donations go towards buying books for your child’s classroom. The money we raise also helps readers beyond our school. Every year, Scholastic matches the All for Books money raised nationwide with a donation of up to one million books to the Kids in Need Foundation and Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.
Monday November 16th – Penny Day
Tuesday November 17th – Nickel Day
Wednesday November 18th – Dime Day
Thursday November 19th – Quarter Day
Friday November 20th – Dollar Day (coins or bills)
Of course, spare change will be accepted on any of the above days!
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/13/all-for-books-campaign-4/
We are strongly encouraging all 4th grade families to help! Visit our Sign-Up Genius for info.
This is NOT a drop-off event. Kids must be supervised by an adult.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/10/join-us-for-movie-night/
PTA Meeting tonight. The agenda is short, but we will be discussing an allocation of money to a new PBL resource for teachers this year, which will include a vote. Please join us.
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA
November 5, 2015, 6:30-8:00pm in the Boren Library
- CALL TO ORDER
- PRINCIPAL UPDATE
- Discuss PBL as part of STEM Vision and curriculum
- Present information on PBL resource Sara Waldron
- BUDGET DISCUSSION AND VOTE
- Allocation of funds for PBL resource teacher
- FUNDRAISING UPDATE
- Direct Give
- Chinook Books
- ADVOCACY UPDATE
- Bell Times
- Student Assignment Plan
- Next meeting, Literacy campaign
- ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
- Harvest Festival Potluck, Thank you organizers
- Family Movie Night, November 20
- Veterans Day Assembly?
- December 3, Book Fair
- December 12, Grease Performance
- December 18, Guest Author
- Additional business or questions
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/05/pta-meeting-thursday-115/
We are extending our Direct Give for one more week to see if we can make our goal for 2015. Our final deadline will now be Sunday, November 8. We are so close to our goal and there are so many programs and projects we want to continue to support next year.
We are currently at $27,000, which is phenomenal and close to our goal of $35,000. We are immensely thankful to everyone in this engaged, generous community who has donated so far. If you haven’t had the chance to donate, now is the time to help us meet our goal.
The Harvest Festival potluck last week was a good reminder of the amazing community we have at our school and the family and staff that come together to put on such fun events. But that is not where our money goes. Those community events are put together almost entirely by volunteers. The money you donate all goes back into the programs, projects and consumables that our students use to learn and grow.
The money we raised last year has already been put to work this year, here are a few of the things were are able to support:
- $10,000 in library books, which only fills a few shelves
- Tech support for educational apps for iPads
- Singapore math textbooks that the district would not purchase for us
- Project Based Learning support in teacher professional development time and consumables for classrooms and projects
- We provide each teacher with a $200 stipend to buy items for their classroom that the school district does not have budget to provide
- PTA dollars provide our before and after school Enrichment program , the diverse programming, coordination and all scholarships
- A clean campus with new wood chips and beautiful new plants
- Balls, ropes and playground equipment for recess
Please consider a donation of any amount in this last week. You can donate online any time or leave a check in the PTA box in the office.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/11/02/one-more-week-to-make-our-goal/
It’s already the last week of our Direct Give and we have a long way to go. Our goal is $35,000 and we are short of the half way mark at $14,000.
The first several weeks of school have been a blur of late starts, unexpected changes and some disappointing news. In the midst of all this students went to school everyday and committed themselves as best they could to learning, participating and holding onto the values of their school and classroom.
Every bit of our support financially helps to support and cultivate that commitment. By providing the tools, training, programs and support that help make our school what we want it to be.
The reality is that only our support is going to replace the technology and tools that students use every day. For example, the 32 out-dated iPods that were purchased 4 years ago when STEM started. Or the 16 iPads also purchased 4 years ago and the cart used to charge and secure them as they travel from classroom to classroom. They are used in myriad ways and integrated into projects from Kindergarten to 6th grade, to take photos and video, operate robots and learn basic code.
Current, working technology should be a given for a STEM school,
but it only happens with our support.
Help us to make our goal today!
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/26/last-week-to-be-all-in-for-stem/
Campus Beautification Work Party – Saturday, October 17 9am
Join us for a morning of gardening and cleaning our school. We have been awarded a grant to make the Delridge facing side our our school more beautiful. We are starting with a pollinator garden in one of the courtyards. We could use all the help we can get. We will also be cleaning up the front of the school and the front left corner of the playground. We will supply the tools, coffee and donuts if you can come out and lend a hand.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/15/campus-beautification-work-party-this-saturday/
We have had some bad news in the last few days and many of us are dealing with the frustration of unanticipated change. Another issue has arisen over the last day that could also use some family attention and communication. Seattle Public Schools has been working on a proposal for new bell times for next school year. Bell times are the start and dismissal times for all schools throughout the district. In the proposals put forth up to this point and through the public comment period, STEM K-8 and all other K-8s were proposed to be in a time slot called Tier 2, which would move our bell time to 8:50am start time – 3:20pm Dismissal.
This is the time slot we advocated for and in discussions families felt good about. Part of the goals of the bell times analysis was to move start times back for Middle Schools and High Schools to account for their need for more sleep and to move most elementary schools to earlier times when younger kids are best able to focus. The Tier 2 time slot gave K-8s the best of both these scenarios and was recommended by the committee.
Yesterday new bell times were published and STEM along with two other K-8s were moved to a new bell time called Tier 3. This would make our new bell time for next year 9:40am start – 4:20pm dismissal. The opportunities for public comment have been completed and we were not notified why we were selected to move to the later start time. The Bell times task force will be presenting the latest and likely final bell times at the Operations Committee Meeting this evening at 5:15pm. We believe this later bell time may be a hardship for some. The later start makes childcare more challenging, the late dismissal can mean younger kids are getting home after dark in the winter among other challenges.
We want to give you the opportunity to email school leadership and the Bell Times Task Force to speak out about this last minute change should you oppose it. We have provided a sample letter below and encourage you to send it immediately before this evenings meeting. Adding your own personal story or the impact it may have on you or your students always makes a bigger impact. Please send to the following addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
You need to speak up now if this is something you oppose. Please feel free to contact Rebecca Garcia with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you – STEM K-8 PTA
Dear Superintendent Nyland, Seattle School Board and Bell Times Task Force:
Yesterday, with less than 24 hours until the Operations Committee Meeting, the district publicly released a revised Bell Times Recommendation Schedule, including a last- minute change, which moves STEM K-8 and two other K-8 schools into Tier 3 for 2016-17. This revision was released without explanation or communication to our community as to why we have apparently been arbitrarily moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3.
Your Task Force recommended Tier 2 start times for K-8s. Our community advocated for Tier 2 start times. The reasons for keeping K-8s in Tier 2 (young children walking home after dark, lack of morning care for working families, inability to participate in after-school programs, to name a few) have not changed. Why has our start time? Why was STEM K-8 chosen as an ”outlier” from the majority of K-8s? Our community and your committee both agree that Tier 2 is the right place for K-8s. We respectfully ask that you reconsider and reject this last-minute, seemingly arbitrary, unfair and ill-advised change to the 2106-17 Bell Times Recommendation Schedule.
Please RETURN STEM K-8 and all affected K-8s to TIER 2 – per the original recommendation of this committee and for the well being of the students and families in our communities.
STEM K-8 Community Member
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/15/share-your-voice-on-changes-to-stem-bell-times/
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/13/fund-stem-literacy-infographic/
Many of you saw Principal Ostrom’s comments in the Owl Post this morning about the staffing adjustments that are impacting many of Seattle’s schools. It is hard to know how to react when we are without definitive information to act on.
Last week, SPS announced staff cuts at 25 elementary schools across the district, including 5 West Seattle Schools thus far. To organize a collective community response a group of over 40 parent leaders got together over the weekend and discussed the issues facing many of our neighboring schools. Families are upset and want to take some action. I know many of you will want to do the same. The group’s primary goal is to stop the current staff cuts.
The immediate issue is the staffing cuts that are impacting kids all over the city and close to home in West Seattle, maybe even at our own school. The bigger issue is the lack of adequate funding for our public schools.
Want to take action now? Make your voice heard:
- A “bake sale” has been organized in part by our Advocacy Chair Shawna Murphy. The “SPS Half-Baked Sale, to protest staff cuts” will be held at the John Stanford Center for Education Excellence on Tuesday, October 13 from 11-1pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/413137362226564/
- Schmitz Park Parents have organized a rally for the same time at the John Stanford Center for Education Excellence on Tuesday, October 13 at 4pm.
- Email the attached letter to email@example.com. Or print, sign and mail it if you prefer. Post on social media with the hashtag #kidsnotcuts.
We will keep our community informed when there is more information to share.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/12/take-action-on-staffing-cuts/
Your Donations Help Fund STEM Literacy – Help us meet our goal of $35,000
Discussion about STEM education is often fraught with false choices. Recent assessments of students nationwide show them struggling with science. The same assessments show that two thirds of fourth graders are not reading proficiently in this country.
So should we invest our limited PTA resources in supporting critical reading skills or put that money towards STEM subjects? The truth is, we must do both.
Our emerging scientists and engineers can’t comprehend complex texts if they can’t read. Literacy is not just the ability to read and write. True literacy includes critical thinking, active inquiry, and reasonable and creative response.
Despite the profound importance of literacy, the district does not fund literacy resources sufficiently. While we were provided with some books when we opened three years ago and some resources for our middle school roll up this year, almost all of the books we have added to the school library since have been paid for by your donations to the PTA and book fairs.
Here are the facts:
- Next year Arbor Heights will move into their new school and they will take 10,000 library books with them.
- To fill ¾ of a shelf of books at the library costs approx. $1000
- Last year we were able to provide the library with $3,000, which enabled the purchase of about 150 books.
- The $10,000 we were able to provide our Librarian Mary Bannister this year will buy about 500 new books.
Can you imagine the time and resources it will take to fill our library with 10,000 more books? We need your help!
In addition to our shared library each classroom has its own-leveled library for shared reading and classroom instruction. Many classrooms have very few books and several are not at grade level. According to Mary Bannister, “most of the libraries that would be considered approaching adequate belong to the individual teacher, not the school. Each primary classroom has around 100 or so titles that were purchased by the school and PTA. Where I see the most need is intermediate classrooms. “
Ideally our state and our school district would more adequately fund education, which includes appropriately filled libraries. We voted on and passed a resolution in our PTA meeting last week asking the state to abide by its constitutional requirement and paramount duty to fund education. Until that day – it takes the support of our community to hold up our school and our kids. Together we can help to provide the supplies they need for the education we want them to have.
You can donate today at the link below:
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/10/12/your-donations-help-fund-stem-literacy-help-us-meet-our-goal-of-35000/
Dear 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.
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/
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/
There 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/25/enrichment-program-registration-closes-926/
Help 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 email@example.com
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/24/stem-landscape-beautification/
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/
There 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2015/09/20/enrichment-class-registration-is-now-open/