2019 Direct Give Success!!

2019 Direct Give was a success!  And with matching it brings the total to $46,809.00.  Thank you everyone who donated and help give our kids the best.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/11/11/2019-direct-give-success/

Center School Open House

Dear Seattle middle school community,

The Center School is having an Open House on Thursday, November 14th, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Armory Loft, 305 Harrison Street on the Seattle Center campus.  Check-in opens at 6:00 pm.  We request that you forward this letter to your 8th Grade families.

The Center School is a small, arts-integrated public high school available to students from any neighborhood.  While our class selections are not as numerous as those of larger schools, our curriculum provides depth and hands-on rigor, with a college prep track for each and every student.  All seniors take AP English.  Our math and science program includes AP Environmental Science and AP Statistics.  Our multi-faceted visual arts program includes AP Studio Art.  We have robust, high-quality programs in theater, creative writing/poetry, as well as film-making and photography.  The Center School also has an exemplary social justice focus.  Our students excel in an award-winning Model UN program.  The Center School is a gem among Seattle Public High Schools!

We are a great choice for your graduating 8th graders who are artistically inclined and want intellectual rigor.  The Center School is perfect for students who prefer a high school experience out of the mainstream that provides the structure and support needed for success.  Talented students who might be uninspired by other schools really thrive here.

Being situated in the Armory, in the heart of Seattle Center, The Center School has many arts and cultural organizations as neighbors.  The Center School builds partnerships and learning opportunities with these unique resources and our students benefit from this rich environment.

We want your students and their families to know about The Center School and what it offers that sets it apart from other high schools.  Please contact us if you would like a student representative or two to speak to student groups at your school.  We can also arrange for a parent to speak to a parent group.  And we look forward to seeing you at our Open House in the Armory Loft, (up the stairs from the food court), on Thursday, November 14th – 6:30 to 8:30 pm, check-in opens at 6pm.  Additional open houses will be held January 23rd and February 13th 2020.

Free parking is available in the Memorial Stadium Parking lot with the parking pass attached PARKING 2019, or you can email kawebb@seattleschools.org or tlott@seattleschools.org to request an Open House parking pass.  Memorial Stadium parking is next to MOPOP museum – enter from 5th Ave. N, turning west on Harrison.

Thank you,
Roxanne Duniway
Proud parent at The Center School


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/11/02/center-school-open-house/

2019 Direct Give Campaign

Dear STEM Owls family and friends,

The first fundraiser of the year is our Direct Give campaign that runs October 1-31. State and local funding is terribly inadequate to support the vision of our school and provide the level of services, support, and materials we need for all of our students.
 The PTA serves as the roots of STEM and funds many aspects of our unique school. We’ve invested in technology, art, literacy, engineering, Project Based Learning, playground equipment, scholarships, teacher training, field trips, and our community. The PTA is a vital supporter of the tools, materials, books, instruments, equipment, supplies, software, and training that support every student, family and staff member at Louisa Boren STEM K-8.

Our goal is $40,000. We’ve raised the goal this year to reflect the increase in classes and teachers, and to support our community that increasingly struggles to make ends meet.

We chose Direct Give so that each and every dollar – every penny  – you donate goes directly to the school. We don’t ask your student to sell anything and we don’t pay a company any percentage to run a fundraiser. Each donation is tax deductible and many employers will match donations, increasing your gift to our school and community.

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

To Donate:

You can submit a payment online at http://stemk8pta.org/get-involved/direct-give-donation/ . There is an option for recurring payments on the page if you prefer to pay monthly.

Checks can be made out to: Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA

Return the donation form sent home with your student to the PTA mailbox at STEM or mail to:
STEM K-8 PTA, 5950 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106 

Thank you for supporting Louisa Boren STEM K-8 and all the students & teachers in our community. 


From October 2018 – October 2019 here are some of the ways you have supported Louisa Boren STEM K-8 & our Community: 

  • $1 every month for a year pays for a scholarship for one student to attend “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” at Seattle Children’s Theatre
  • $3 a day for a year pays for the 4th grade Blake Island Salmon Bake and Potlatch field trip.  
  • $7 a day for a year pays for 7th and 8th graders to wear a safety apron or a coverall during Career & Technical education classes. 
  • $8 a day for a year pays for Project LIT books – that increase access to culturally relevant books – like Solo, For Black Girls Like Me, and Patina
  • 12 payments of $13 buys the jump ropes, hula-hoops, and balls for recess.
  • $17 a month pays for pizza & supplies at Pi Night on 3.14 where we celebrate the nerd in all of us. 
  • $24 a month buys new books about anxiety including the graphic novel Guts for the Library.
  •  $100 buys soil, planters and seeds for a 2nd grade life sciences project.
  • $120 purchases microscope slides for a Middle School Project Based Learning science experiment.
  • $150 pays for an entire 1st grade class to work with a Lakeshore Learning Math Manipulatives Place Value Activity Kit
  •  $200 buys six Lakeshore Learning Building Math Skills Math & Wipe Boards for an entire class of 3rd graders. 
  • $200 pays for “Gender Universe” a community learning event on gender & identity. 
  • $750 pays for the Robotics Club to have support for the entire year. 
  • $88 a month for a year pays for TapRoot Theatre a K-5 & Middle School specific  all-school assembly 
  • $5 a day pays for many of the Multi-cultural and Heritage events including the Juneteenth Celebration and Talent Show which featured the Buffalo Soldiers, Mokojumbies & DJ, and Black History Month Events which featured an opening day event, Afro-Indigenous Night with Polynesian Dancers, HELLA BLACK BOOKS & tostones demonstration and a Black Lives Matter Day of Action. Included in this line item was all-staff professional development on racial equity and an additional family donating $1000 would pay for a community event like Countering Whiteness which brought in two experts for a community learning workshop. 
  • $2,000 pays for scholarships for every single 5th grade student to have their (sometimes first and only experience) of overnight camp.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/10/01/2019-direct-give-campaign/

Last change for Enrichment Registration!

There is Still Time to Register: Enrichment Registration Closes 9/24!
There are still many great classes to choose from!
The following classes could use some more registrations to help meet their minimums. If you are interested in any of these classes please register as soon as you are able to ensure that they will run! http://www.6crickets.com
Registration closes Tuesday 9/24 @ 6:00 PM
Carpentry (AM & PM)
Trendy Crafts Llama Drama
iPad Moviemakers
Circus Arts with SANCA
Mad Science: Revealing Science
Marine Biology
The following classes still need volunteers and have room for enrollments. Volunteers receive 100% tuition for one child. Email enrichment@stemk8pta.org if you can volunteer.
Phython Game Development
Beginning Coding (with Ms. Schmick!)
Trendy Crafts
iPad Moviemakers
Makerspace: What’s in Your Brain? (with Ms. Schmick!)
Makerspace: Circuits Lights Breadboards Action (with Ms. Schmick!) (with Ms. Schmick!)
Makerspace: Simple Machines (with Ms. Schmick!)
Mad Science: Revealing Science

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/09/21/last-change-for-enrichment-registration/

Fall 2019 Enrichment sign ups starting soon!

The sign ups for Fall Enrichment classes starts September 16th and 8am and will remain open until September 24th at 6pm.  You can find out all about the programs and how to register on our Enrichment Program page.  Coordinate with friends and classmates to join in on the fun!

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/09/13/fall-2019-enrichment-sign-ups-starting-soon/

Ultimate Frisbee Spirit Wear Design Contest

The ultimate frisbee team needs a new t-shirt design to flaunt their school spirit.  You can download the template here.  Designs must be submitted to Mr. Des by September 23rd.  Here are the rules.

  1. Designs need to be school appropriate.
  2. T-shirts / sweatshirts will be available & the
    can be BLUE or GREEN and the design will be
    printed in WHITE. Designs need to be drawn
    in 1 color.
  3. You can use this template, a blank piece of
    paper, or use a print out of your design.
  4. Be careful not to use any copyrighted
    images. You can use the STEM owl logo.

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/09/11/ultimate-frisbee-spirit-wear-design-contest/

Welcome back message 2019 from Principal Ben Ostram

Please read the document in this post to get news on upcoming dates, changes to dress code, the best ways to safely drop off and pick up your kid, and more.

Aug’ 19 Back to School Letter

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/08/25/welcome-back-message-2019-from-principal-ben-ostram/

Uniform policy update for 2019 school year

From our principal Ben Ostrom, here is his update to the uniform policies at the school that will take effect the start of the 2019 school year.

Background on uniforms at Louisa Boren STEM K-8

Uniform policies can provide benefits to students, families, and schools.  Uniforms were adopted at the opening of K-5 STEM because they aligned with the goals of a new school, and pointed towards a new shared identity and focus on STEM learning.  As Louisa Boren STEM K-8 has grown to include a continuum of programs and grades pre K-8th, the outcomes of our uniform policy became more complex. I encourage you to read the information below to understand the final decision regarding uniforms, the issues and discussion involved, and join us in the ongoing collaboration of community, staff, and students that makes Louisa Boren STEM K-8 great!

Summary and Decision

Questions were raised about STEM K-8’s uniform policy regarding equity, body image, identity, gender issues, race, culture, self-expression, and sensory needs. Furthermore, for many staff uniform enforcement negatively affected student relationships and efforts to create a welcoming environment. After student and family input, and a staff vote, STEM K-8 will not have a required uniform next year.  We will follow the standard SPS Dress Code.  Students are welcome to wear uniform attire; staff will not communicate or enforce uniform expectations.  Our school identity is based on exploring shared values, building rigorous STEM skills, and constructing Project Based Learning experiences. STEM K-8’s diverse community will continue to find ways to create shared identity, belonging, and school spirit without the conformity of uniforms.


STEM K-8 staff spent the last two months of the school year examining the school uniform policy. Students, staff and families were surveyed (results are displayed below).  STEM K-8’s uniform policy was discussed by the Building Leadership Team, at staff meetings, and PTA meetings. A summary of key issues:

  • Staff, students, and families raised concerns about uniform policy implications for youth wrestling with equity, body image, identity, gender, race, culture, self-expression, and sometimes sensory needs. Examples include:
    • communication with challenging students focused on uniform compliance rather than connection;
    • time spent addressing uniforms detracting from instruction or building relationships;
    • uniforms represent “uniformity” and dominant cultural values regarding “professional” or “acceptable;”
    • students with different body types finding STEM uniforms uncomfortable physically and emotionally;
    • girls feeling uniform enforcement represents gender bias;
    • uniform enforcement disproportionately affecting struggling students;
    • a wide variety of challenges lead to inconsistent enforcement;
    • the benefits associated with the STEM’s adoption of uniforms–supporting an academic learning environment, equity, shared identity, and safety—are less clear in middle school grades; and more.
  • The school board has been addressing broader dress code policy issues.  A school board action report on 6/24/19 connected to the proposed new SPS Dress Code stated, “School dress codes have a long history in our society and are often over-reaching and biased against the female gender. With this policy, it was the hope to eliminate unnecessary notions regarding such things as clothing length and subjective views of appropriate school attire.”
  • STEM K-8’s uniform surveys asked multiple questions about our uniform policy.  In the end the basic question was whether STEM K-8 should change our uniform policy.

Questionnaire results:

Question: STEM K-8  should continue to require uniforms.

Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly


Grade 3-8 Students 13/202 or 6% 2/202 or 1% 18/202 or 9% 23/202 or 11% 146/202 or 72%
Families 112/293 or 38% 70/293 or 24% 28/293 or 10% 41/293 or 14% 42/293 or 14%
Staff 6/47 or 13% 9/47 or 19% 6/47 or 13% 16/47 or 34% 10/47 or  21%

As displayed in the table, clear divisions regarding uniforms emerged among survey respondents.  83% of 3rd-8th grade students oppose a uniform policy, with 72% strongly disagreeing with uniform requirements.  On the other hand, 62% of families support uniforms with 38% strongly agreeing. Amongst staff, 55% were opposed to a uniform policy, with 21% strongly disagreeing. Only 32% of staff supported a uniform policy.

For a uniform policy to be effective, a strong majority of staff and families need to support it.  At STEM K-8, most staff and students are opposed to uniforms, while a majority of families support them.  One reason for the discrepancy are negative outcomes staff and students experience from uniform enforcement, and the equity issues raised.  When those concerns were discussed during PTA meetings, families present understood more clearly the complexity of uniform issues.

Under the new SPS Dress Code scheduled for an adoption vote July 10, implementation guidelines exempt uniform policies adopted with feedback from students and families and a 2/3 staff vote.  During the final months of school, staff participated in multiple uniform discussions, input was solicited from families and students, and two PTA meetings discussed uniforms.  In the formal STEM K-8’s staff vote, 36% supported continuing uniforms, 48% were opposed, and 17% were neutral.  While a 2/3 majority is the baseline for staff approval, only slightly more than 1/3 of staff voted for uniforms.


Ben Ostrom

STEM K-8 Principal

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/07/03/uniform-policy-update-for-2019-school-year/

Juneteenth Celebration & Talent Show

Juneteenth Celebration and Talent Show

Wednesday, June 12th

5-6 Talent Show
6-7:30 Juneteenth Festivities
6:30-7:30 2 on 2 Basketball Tournament
-Buffalo Soldiers with museum, soldiers and horses
-Mokojumbies (stilt walkers)
-Detective Cookie Chess
-Info tables

For the Talent Show/Juneteenth Celebration bring food to share.

If you can, please volunteer to help set-up, supervise, or clean-up on the link below: 


Any questions:  email LBSTEMK8BSU@gmail.com

Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/06/06/juneteenth-celebration-talent-show/

Get Your Dance Shoes Ready! GGLOW OWLS Family Dance Party

Join us on 5/31, from 5:30-7:30pm.

Thanks to those who purchased the new 2019 GGLOW OWLS t-shirt. The campaign has ended and shirts will be shipped soon. Two GGLOW OWLS designs are available on our school’s Cafe Press account. GGLOW OWLS Family Dance Party is also an opportunity to raise money for the purchase of more LGBTQIA books for our library and classrooms. If you purchased a t-shirt during our campaign, that was one way to contribute to our book fund! Other ways include bringing cash or checks the night of the party or choosing a book or two off this list:


If you’d like to find out more about volunteering at our party on 5/31, please email Shawna Murphy, GGLOW OWLS PTA Chair at southernstreetkids@yahoo.com


Permanent link to this article: http://stemk8pta.org/2019/05/20/get-your-dance-shoes-ready/

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