Tomorrow: Open-house night at West Seattle’s STEM elementary

Last year right about now, K-5 STEM at Boren – aka West Seattle STEM Elementary – was in the formative stages, and people who decided to enroll for this school year did so on a leap of faith. This year, it’s reality, and you can visit before deciding whether to enroll your child(ren). Tomorrow night’s the biggest event of enrollment season, an open house 6:30-7:30 pm at the school, 5950 Delridge Way. Four tours for parents/guardians are also set next month, as listed on this flyer.

12 Replies to "Tomorrow: Open-house night at West Seattle's STEM elementary"

  • StringCheese January 30, 2013 (10:24 pm)

    Tracy, thank you so much for posting! We are very excited to show off our fantastic school, outstanding faculty, and super students!

  • WSMama3 January 30, 2013 (11:13 pm)

    Thanks WSB!

  • wsea January 31, 2013 (8:07 am)

    I will be attending. I hope to learn more about the program.
    One interesting note, I spoke to the district about how the transfer process works and they said that transfers will be considered but not guaranteed. If they don’t get in, they will be reassigned to another school that the district choses and not the school they came from. Even worse, there could be a chance that only one sibling gets in and the other get re-assigned to another school. I think those at STEM need take management of the transfer process since the district is working against you.
    I have friends with 2 sons who may not consider the program because of the way the district might split up their kids.

  • WSMama3 January 31, 2013 (9:47 am)

    WSEA – The STEM community has 0 say in how the district organizes and executes the open enrollment process.

    I don’t know what you mean by “transfer” though. Do you mean if you elect STEM in open enrollment you then transfer from your neighborhood school. Give me a little more details and I’ll investigate.

  • wsea January 31, 2013 (10:33 am)

    @WSMama3 – You are correct. One family is considering a transfer from arbor heights to STEM, a couple other families from Lafayette. Example: 1st grader gets into STEM and 3rd grader does not (maybe due to capacity issues), the district will not allow them to simple reject the transfer and continue with their current school. They will then have to petition to go back to their current school but know who if they would let them in. We all fear that we end up in a school we don’t want to attend and is not close to our homes.

  • WSMama3 January 31, 2013 (11:31 am)

    Got it! Had not heard that called a transfer – but that makes a lot of sense.

    I get the risk – that makes it a truly difficult call to make.

    I wish SPS would see the difficult position this puts parents in. If you *ALWAYS* had a seat at your neighborhood school up till Aug 15th or so it would make the choice easier.

    See you tonight!

  • george January 31, 2013 (12:39 pm)

    STEM should just go private to get what they want.

  • StringCheese January 31, 2013 (2:10 pm)

    Here is my understanding. If you do NOT get into your choice school, you are placed on the waiting list and retain your seat at your current placement. You only lose your spot at your neighborhood school if you get accepted to an option school and then decide later you’ve changed your mind. When you accept the option placement, they give away your old seat. Simply applying does not relinquish your right to a seat at your neighborhood school. Only getting a requested seat elsewhere will do that.
    I believe that you do not lose your current seat until you have accepted another (filling out the request and getting a spot = acceptance). Therefore, only fill out the Choice Enrollment form for schools you actually want to attend (no brainer) because they will go down the list until you are placed. Once you are placed, that’s it. If you change your mind at that point, you are subject to the whims of where the district has room.

  • WSMama3 January 31, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    wsea – I called downtown since I understood the same as String Cheese.
    They also confirmed what String Cheese wrote above. The downside is siblings since kids might then be attending different schools – but it would be your neighborhood school and the choice school.

  • evergreen January 31, 2013 (6:10 pm)

    I think parents are worried that siblings would be split, and that one or both kids who do NOT get in end up being assigned to their non-neighborhood school. I think you give up your neighborhood school once you apply for an option. Families with two interested kids can enroll their kids directly in Sept if they are still interested by then and there are still openings. At that point they will tell you if seats are available for both kids, but you can stay at the neighborhood school if there are not openings at STEM.

    Same rules apply to Pathfinder.

    Personally, I would be just as happy at a neighborhood school. All schools have good points and flaws, but families can make anything work. All of our school communities seem to be pretty strong in West Seattle.

  • StringCheese January 31, 2013 (8:57 pm)

    Again, you only give up your current seats (neighborhood or otherwise) IF you get a spot at one of your choice schools. You DO NOT LOSE YOUR SEAT until they have placed you elsewhere. Simply applying doesn’t forfeit anything. The only real gamble (siblings aside) is whether you will be happy at your choice (if you are placed there). However, since you are surely doing your research ahead of time, that is not likely. Also, the district really does try to place siblings together when requested.

  • Evergreen January 31, 2013 (10:27 pm)

    Just read the enrollment transitional plan for 2012-2013, and you are right stringcheese. Also, there is a “keep siblings together” rule, where siblings are processed together for a choice seat. Either both get seats at the choice school, or neither. This may be something a family has to ask for when filling out the enrollment form. Details are on the enrollment website for SPS.

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