Looking ahead 5 years in its 1st year: West Seattle’s K-5 STEM unveils strategic plan

April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 41 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This fall – probably around October – one big question should be settled for West Seattle’s trailblazing STEM elementary school: Its permanent home.

That’s what the Seattle School Board’s West Seattle rep, Marty McLaren, told us last night at the school’s current home, the former Louisa May Boren Junior High School that sprawls along the 5900 block of Delridge Way SW.

But the school’s staff and families aren’t waiting for that big decision to map out their future. That’s why McLaren was at the school last night, in fact – watching and listening as its community went public with the first draft of a five-year strategic plan, and invited the first round of feedback.

That feedback came in the form of sticky notes added to the huge yellow scroll of paper representing the envisioned timeline, posted along the biggest wall of Boren’s cavernous cafeteria. In our top photo, teacher Craig Parsley stands alongside the timeline during the presentation he led, laying out what were described as “the building blocks of a project-based-learning school.”

All the individual touchpoints along the timeline – and everything from the slide deck that started last night’s presentation – is published on the K-5 STEM PTA website; see it here.

But that doesn’t cover everything seen and heard by the more than 50 people in attendance last night – including hints of future hopes even bigger than a timeline might contain:

“Schools are built collaboratively,” began Parsley – promptly, in the spirit of collaboration, handing the microphone to Lily Pierson from the PTA.

“We got everything started,” she began, noting so much more remained to be done. “… We’re here because we want continued feedback from this community.”

Parsley offered gratitude to principal Dr. Shannon McKinney for giving staffers working on the plan “release time” to do it. He also listed other members of the Strategic Planning Committee, along with the committees they represented (he was from the Engineering Committee, while Pierson also serves on the Building Leadership Team):

Nancy Maher – PTA/ Parent Volunteer
Ro Gluck – 2/3 Teacher – Science Committee
Katie Bilanko – K/1 Teacher – Math Committee
Ashley Toney – Technology Committee

He noted the timeline’s focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics “doesn’t mean we’re not going to do anything else” at the school. STEM was stressed as a “platform to integrate Social Studies, Art, Physical Education, Music, Literacy (Reading and Writing), and Social Development” …

To cover those, the school’s strategic plan stresses it “two strategies to facilitate the delivery of a rigorous STEM program: Curriculum Integration and Cross-grade Curricular Articulation.”

Curriculum Integration was explained as “a teaching strategy whereby the boundaries between individual subject areas are taken down …” so that any individual lesson/project might span multiple subject areas. Curriculum Articulation, then, was explained as “the logical progression of learning objectives from grade level to grade level … The STEM curriculum we’ll be developing over the next five years will … also keep in mind what has to come before and what has to come after,” to avoid gaps.

One big disclaimer mentioned early on gave a nod to the uncertainty over the school’s permanent home, among other factors: Parsley said much would depend “on the availability of financial, material and facilities-related resources … We don’t know where we’re going to be.”

Other unsettled factors include the educational environments into which K-5 STEM “graduates” will be heading for middle school and high school, since there is no obvious pathway yet.

But for starters, the school has a full plate of its own, including how to best embrace each key subject area. Among those highlights:

SCIENCE
“We want to create a STEM mindset,” said Parsley – that includes creating a customized science curriculum, beyond the “basic” one provided by the district through kits.

By the end of the five years covered in the plan – 2018 – they hope all of their students will be qualified for advanced (honors) science studies in higher grades.

TECHNOLOGY
Technology “will be embedded into all facets of student learning.” Not hard, said Parsley, because “It’s how we live now.” But they want to go beyond those basics – with explorations including robotics and “simple machine building and design.”

ENGINEERING
They’ve already adopted a curriculum called Engineering is Elementary and plan also to customize that “to integrate fundamental engineering experiences across all grade levels over five years.” He pointed out that “children love to build devices and solve problems if they have simple materials.”

By the third year of the plan, Parsley added, the school hopes to have its own tool library. (Perhaps no surprise considering that the nationally acclaimed West Seattle Tool Library is headquartered a little more than a mile away.)

MATHEMATICS
They also have adopted Singapore Math – Parsley gained fame for fighting to get that acclaimed back-to-basics curriculum permitted and implemented at his previous school, Schmitz Park Elementary, with quantifiable achievements following. (Later in the meeting, it was mentioned that Alki and Lafayette Elementaries are using it too.) The timeline acknowledges that some adaptations might be necessary to ensure students are ready for state and district exams. Ultimately, it’s envisioned the curriculum will prepare “as many students as possible to enter Advanced Mathematics classes when they leave 5th grade.” That might mean some students jump right to 7th or even 8th grade math after leaving; Parsley said that opportunity will exist whether a K-5 STEM student is bound for Denny International Middle School or for Madison Middle School.

LITERACY
This involves a four-part program:

-Employ the district’s Readers and Writers Workshop strategies for narrative reading/writing skills
-Continue to use (while available) Reading Wonders for grammar and other nuts and bolts fundamentals of writing
-Design and implement a “customized expository reading and writing curriculum to support student work specific to the STEM domains”
-For struggling readers, use computer-based Read Naturally program or something similar

Regarding one other area of learning, art, it was noted that feedback had led to the integration of art “into the STEM domains” already.

Parsley stressed, “This is not cast in concrete .. this is the first go … we need a tremendous amount of community collaboration.” And it’ll still be a work in progress even once “finalized,” because technology will change, people will change, available funding will change, “so the goals that we’ve set are ‘modest to moderate goals’. … The bottom line is … what are your children going to look like in 10 years? Because the bottom line is THEIR bottom line.”

Realistically, he said, they’ll have a fixed level of district support, “and everything else, we’re going to have to chase” – seeking community partners, for example, maybe for something as simple as sponsoring/providing materials.

Proactivity also played into the question/answer session that followed – by parents as well as staff:
“Everything we have built so far is due to the intensity of the parent community. … If we want to take this up to middle school, to high school, the energy expended so far needs to be expanded on.” School leadership is doing what it can in that regard, Pierson said, mentioning that Dr. McKinney is talking to Madison to make sure it’s ready for students from this school to arrive: “The conversation has begun.” But beyond that – for example, whether there’s synergy yet with Cleveland High School and its STEM focus – the bridges have yet to be built. They’ll have to be, because as Parsley joked, “In three years, our students will be dangerous!”

How does “curriculum articulation” fit in with summers off? one parent asked via index card.

“Summers are summers, leave them alone,” Parsley began – while adding there are some advanced skills, especially math, that might be forgotten over the summer, so “it’s your option to ask your child’s teacher for materials to work with” – and, if feasible, you can get extra materials via singaporemath.com. But, again, “they do need to rest their minds.”

And, he suggested, get them working with “junk”; let them “develop their own play around learning … some of this has to be (fun).” He added, “Ingenuity isn’t just something you’re born with – it’s something you can develop in children,” if they’re given the chance.

One especially challenging question arose too: How is the school addressing social, economic, etc., injustice and what’s its approach to diversity and the world?

“As a staff we worked very hard on crafting a vision for our school that is inclusive and outreaching,” said Parsley, pointing out that the school is geographically located in a “very diverse neighborhood.” He re-read the mission statement calling for establishing a diverse student and staff population.

Just having a mission statement isn’t enough, he acknowledged, saying they’re going to conduct community outreach next year with multi-language advertising and flyers in community centers, “so non-native English speakers can see what the opportunities are here.”

Pierson said she appreciates the concern, as a woman of color, and observed that it says something about the representation in the STEM industries – which also have struggled with diversity.

(One of the sticky notes someone placed on the timeline shortly thereafter continued to press the point, urging the school’s staff to do everything it could to seek out more potential students of color.)

What’s next? One question wondered about another public forum; Parsley said an intensive testing period is ahead and there might not be time, but they’ll talk about feedback possibilities once everyone’s had a chance to go through the timeline/presentation online. (Again, you can read it on the PTA website, here.)

Side note: More than once during the evening, the idea of the K-5 school perhaps becoming K-8 was invoked. We asked principal Dr. McKinney about that afterward, and she told us emphatically that there is no potential plan being pursued – just a pie-in-the-sky concept people bring up then and again.

Meantime, the school is looking ahead to its second year – and according to a district report from last week, its waitlist already has more than 50 students (28 of them waitlisted for kindergarten).

And while, as we reported atop this story, decisionmaking for the school’s permanent location might not come till fall, McLaren indicated the public-outreach process was likely to start sooner – so watch for word on that, possibly in the weeks ahead.

41 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your report and for attending this meeting. We are really excited about what we are doing, how we are getting there, and the future!

    Comment by wsMama3 — 11:59 am April 24, 2013 #

  2. Does anyone know how difficult it is to get into STEM? For example, if you have a child entering K and you list STEM as your first choice school, is there a 50% chance you’ll get in? 25%? 95%?

    I know nothing about SPS but have a two-year old so I should start educating myself.

    Comment by skeeter — 12:09 pm April 24, 2013 #

  3. Pathfinder was our first choice and we ended up #31 out of 46 on the waitlist. STEM was our second choice, and they have a 28 on the K waitlist. Our assigned school is Schmitz and that has 9 on the waitlist. The capacity issues in West Seattle are very, very serious…

    I’d put your odds as very low for STEM especially, since it has a very large geo-zone and many siblings in it already.

    Comment by RS — 12:53 pm April 24, 2013 #

  4. Thank you RS. That’s interesting data.

    We may have to move. Our assigned school is West Seattle Elem. I think it has the lowest test scores in the state. I’m not convinced that would be a good environment for learning.

    Comment by skeeter — 1:08 pm April 24, 2013 #

  5. @skeeter – The likelihood of gaining an assignment to an Option School such as K-5 STEM will change from year to year. Factors that impact assignments will include whether your address is within the geo zone for the school (and the geozones are one thing that can be adjusted from year to year), how many siblings of students currently in the school will be entering K the same year as your child, the demographics of how many children throughout W Seattle will be entering K that fall, and of course how many families apply for the school during the open enrollment period. The starting point for Enrollment Information is at http://www.seattleschools.org – choose Schools from the menu, then Enrollment.

    Comment by Alkigirl — 1:16 pm April 24, 2013 #

  6. Getting into the STEM school is a lottery which is open to the entire Seattle Public School community. Having said that, there are a couple of tiers of priority. First, having a sibling who already attends the school. Second, living in the West Seattle school zone. Third, anyone else in the rest of the SPS zone.

    Basically, Good luck!

    Comment by HA — 1:20 pm April 24, 2013 #

  7. Skeeter – it will just depend on how things shake down and where we go. There is not a % break down and each year is different (how many openings, what grade, how many applied). Both option schools have wait lists and the next 2-3 years and with the opening of schools / rebuilds / move of STEM to a forever home will all determine how many STEM can hold. Teachers and our community are advocating for 3 classes per grade – we hope SPS gives us a school that can hold that.

    Comment by wsMama3 — 2:01 pm April 24, 2013 #

  8. Thank you all!

    I did some reading during lunch and found out some additional useful information.

    I think, but can’t seem to verify, that our assigned school, West Seattle Elem, is a Title I school. No Child Left Behind gives parents/students of Title I schools special rights. One of them is to send your child to a school within the district with higher scores.

    So I could be very wrong, but I think it is possible that our child would be given preference to attend another school such as STEM or whatever other school. I also think the school system is required to provide transportation.

    I’ve been doing research at the playground. One kid goes to Lafayette. One to Alki. One to etc, etc etc. I wondered how this is possible. I think I figured it out. If your assigned school is West Seattle Elem you get to go anywhere you want. Again I could be totally incorrect and obviously I have more work to do.

    Comment by skeeter — 2:35 pm April 24, 2013 #

  9. The chances of getting into K-5 STEM in future years will depend on variables that we do not yet know the answers to. These include:

    - Will it remain an option school? There’s the potential of converting to a neighborhood school with access limited to the neighborhood. There’s also the potential of being a small “program” co-located in another school. In my opinion, either option drastically reduces equitable opportunity and chances of getting in.

    - Where will we be? There are a few options for our permanent home including Fairmount Park, current Schmitz Park and EC Hughes. Fairmount Park will have a capacity of about 500, the others are around 300. We are already at 300 and that capacity does not accommodate 3 classes per grade.

    Fairmount Park will accommodate the greatest number of students and give more families across West Seattle a fair shot.

    If you are a family hoping to attend K-5 STEM in the future, you need to speak up NOW because our future will either be limited or expanded based on community input. Email and talk to Marty McClaren, our current school board member, Carmella Dellino our are E.D., and Pegi McEvoy (staff). Attend the meetings. They need to hear what our community wants loud and clear.

    My personal opinion is that equitable access means keeping K-5 STEM as an option school, centrally located at the largest facility (Fairmount Park).

    We have so many exciting things happening, it would be a tragedy and short sighted to limit the possibilities. As you can see from the timeline presented by Mr. Parsley, there is a lot of work that goes into creating a successful school with a unique approach, we need many hands and voices in support.

    Heidi (co-PTA president)

    Comment by Heidi A — 2:38 pm April 24, 2013 #

  10. If you’re assigned at Schmitz Park, its better than STEM.

    Comment by george — 2:42 pm April 24, 2013 #

  11. I wouldn’t be so pessimistic about getting into STEM.

    Though there are 28 on the wait list for Kinder there, there were (something like) 78 accepted already, and that waiting list WILL move during the summer and even early fall.

    Comment by ChrisSouth — 2:57 pm April 24, 2013 #

  12. Skeeter – don’t bet on it. Children go to different schools now because of the old assignment plan and sibling preference. The district is trying to eliminate choice and pushing neighborhood schools to eliminate busing (the rationale now being given is that this will ultimately improve failing neighborhood schools).

    I’m not an expert in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but it does give some options for addressing “failing schools” not meeting annual progress, which is not necessarily the same thing as a Title I school. One option is to offer placement at a different school, another is tutoring or after school extras. This means the district may offer you an alternative school where there is space, but you do not get to choose it, they don’t make space, and it doesn’t have to be in West Seattle. OR, the district might make other accommodations, West Seattle elementary has an extended school year and note that WA is subject to a NCLB waiver. Bottom line is that NCLB is not considered in the open enrollment tie-breakers.

    Comment by Heidi A — 3:33 pm April 24, 2013 #

  13. Skeeter,

    There are a couple of things in flux right now.

    1. When they open a new neighborhood school in a couple years the boundary lines will change. Your neighborhood school could become either Fairmont or they may use E.C. Hughes Elementary on Holden St.

    2. I don’t remember the exact NCLB rule, but West Seattle Elementary was “restructured” two years ago because they had missed their “Measure of Student Progress” target for at least 3 years in a row, which is the trigger you were referring to.

    Because of the restructuring, West Seattle Elementary has had a lot of federal funding poured into it the last 2 years. Some of that money was used for a longer school day (or year?). Some of the money went for tutoring. I’d expect the test scores to improve some in the near future.

    You should keep yourself informed about what is happening. Tracy does a great job with the schools, you should also look at http://www.saveseattleschools.blogspot.com. I don’t agree with everything they say, but they do keep on top of things like schools opening/closing, boundry changes and curriculum adoption.

    Comment by west seattle steve — 4:43 pm April 24, 2013 #

  14. I agree with ChrisSouth. The waiting list will change a lot in the next few months. Maybe there is someone who got into STEM but are on the waiting list for another school? Well, if they get into their first choice then there will be a spot open. Or people move or decide on private school. A lot can happen.

    Also skeeter, the lines are going to change so you may not be in West Seattle Elementary after next year. We don’t know how they are going to change the lines. When STEM moves to another location the geozone will most likely change too.

    Comment by Bonnie — 4:46 pm April 24, 2013 #

  15. HA – i don’t think being in the west seattle school zone improves your chances. the few others i know on the waitlist (3 or 4 total) are all from west seattle. it’s an option school so after siblings, i thought it was straight up lottery.

    now the only way you get transportation to STEM is if you live in the west seattle school zone and that may be a drawback for those outside of west seattle.

    Comment by beef — 4:53 pm April 24, 2013 #

  16. skeeter – as I understand it, the WS elem geozone is the same as STEM, so if you stay where you are (and STEM remains there when your child is ready to attend K AND they don’t alter the geozone, etc) you’ll have just about the highest priority you could hope for beyond a sibling.

    Comment by RS — 5:01 pm April 24, 2013 #

  17. Now I’m curious to hear from an actual parent of a child at West Seattle Elementary about their opinion of the school (not to thread jack!).

    Comment by The Original MB — 5:07 pm April 24, 2013 #

  18. ChrisSouth – really? I believe they have 3 K, 1 combined 1/K class and 1 combined K/pre-K class at STEM which does add up to ~78 (depending on the split in the combined classes). Unless they add a K class (not happening, I assume?) that list won’t move much…maybe a few will decide not to attend and a few others will move but we’re reasonably certain that we have no shot at Pathfinder at #31 so I doubt anyone below #5 has much of a chance at either option school…that was the impression I got from the 2012 parents, anyway.

    Comment by RS — 5:10 pm April 24, 2013 #

  19. Skeeter, I would not worry too much about it all yet. So much is going to change in the next couple of years who knows what will happen or even whether you will be in the WS reference area. I can tell you that if you are in the geozone for stem, it will give you a good advantage. This is the case with my neighborhood and Pathfinder. I have no doubt this is why we got in. So hang tight and keep yourself aware of developments, but know that a lot will change in the near future!

    Comment by Delridge Mom — 5:25 pm April 24, 2013 #

  20. At what point does one get their child onto a waitlist? Is it the spring before they would start? I have a 2.5 year old, so we’re a ways from K, but were interested in STEM and we’re right in the neighborhood. I have a lot to learn about the complexities of the school system here. Thanks for any advice.

    Comment by girliehammer — 7:37 pm April 24, 2013 #

  21. Skeeter- right now any student in WS elementary school zone has priority for STEM, 2nd only to siblings. When the school moves the Geo zone will change. We were assigned to WS and got in to STEM, and I spoke to the district to confirm this before putting in my choices. So excited to join STEM!

    Comment by Qforrest — 7:50 pm April 24, 2013 #

  22. Girliehammer,
    You will get a letter the winter before your child starts K stating that you have been assigned to your default school. Then, there’s an open enrollment period mid-winter, during which you can apply to an option school or another neighborhood school. If you don’t get into your first choice, you are put on the wait list in early spring until, the fall. The waitlist dissolves in September and we start over each year.

    Comment by Heidi A — 8:53 pm April 24, 2013 #

  23. GirlieHammer – the option period (when you apply) was early March this year and we found out last week. The school tours were all before the application deadline in January and February…they were very useful for us although now we’re bummed our son won’t be going to either in 2013. Both schools are really doing something special…

    Comment by RS — 9:04 pm April 24, 2013 #

  24. What gets me is why should this school be any different?! All of the schools should have this kind of curriculum. And for those there don’t be so trusting of SPS. You may not actually be a school but only a program within a school one day. They have alluded to that before. We’ll see.

    Comment by S. — 9:14 pm April 24, 2013 #

  25. S – I hope we never see the day when all schools are forced to follow a watered down, cookie cutter model. Should all schools have strong math and science curriculum? Of course and Sps is supposedly addressing that in the current round of curriculum review. But K-5 stem isnt just about having strong curriculum in certain subjects.
    It’s about interdisciplinary learning and project based learning, it’s a different approach. Children are unique and engaged by different approaches, that’s why charter schools are popular elsewhere and Sps has allowed schools to apply to be creative approach schools.
    The approach being developed at k-5 stem won’t be right for every child or desired by all. Some want a Montessori approach, some want language immersion. I hope that we retain choice to allow children opportunity to access an approach that works for them.

    Comment by Heidi A — 9:41 pm April 24, 2013 #

  26. RS – To my knowledge, there will only be 3 Kindergarten classes at STEM next year. Currently, we have 3 K classes and a combined K/1 (12 K’s and 12 1st Graders). There will not be a K/1 next year.

    I started writing a post on how much easier it is to get into STEM than Pathfinder (3 kindergarten classes, no geo-zone) THEN, I happened to check the SPS website and discovered we do have a geo-zone this year, and that it’s the entire WS Elementary attendance area. Wow! If you don’t have sibling priority or are not in the WS Elementary area, then it will be very difficult.

    I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I think it’s good for the WSE area to have another option as that school is performing poorly (WSE used to be our assigned school until the boundaries changed and it became Gatewood). On the other hand, I feel badly for parents in other areas of West Seattle, who don’t have the option we did. We chose STEM over Gatewood, as a great many parents did last year (I think Gatewood had the highest number of “defectors”).

    Our child’s experience at STEM has been terrific so far. The school has had some growing pains, sure … but the teachers and parents in the school community are wonderful and I highly recommend it. Good luck to everyone on the wait list!

    Comment by Brontosaurus — 11:39 pm April 24, 2013 #

  27. On the other hand, you can save yourself $3,100 by going to WS Elementary for kindergarten.

    Comment by george — 12:02 am April 25, 2013 #

  28. I have a friend who has 2 daughters who go to WSE and they are happy and thriving. Very smart. I think you get out what you put into it, as with every school situation.

    Comment by Bonnie — 8:14 am April 25, 2013 #

  29. Thank you all for the feedback.

    Particular thanks to Qforrest. It sounds like if West Seattle remains our assignment school then we have priority to get into STEM if that’s what we want.

    Our daughter will be attending pre-school so we can get some feedback from the teacher as to what type of learning environment might be best for her.

    Also agreed with the many comments about waiting a while. A lot could change in three years.

    I will share this about the young children at Highpoint. They are mostly very poor (living in Seattle Housing Authority Housing) but they are absolutely delightful. They smile, laugh, play well together, share toys, etc. We just need to convince them to not litter so much. They come from countries with very different social practices.

    Again thanks all for the feedback.

    Comment by skeeter — 9:41 am April 25, 2013 #

  30. Does anyone know how STEM ended up with a geozone? I thought part of the intent was to be open to ALL students.

    Comment by AlkiMom2.0 — 1:38 pm April 25, 2013 #

  31. AlkiMom, the only reason we didn’t have a Geo-Zone this year was because it was our first year in existence. EVERY other option school in SPS has a geozone. I would understand it more if it were, say, equivalent to a walk-zone. At least that would make sense as far as transportation savings. It doesn’t make sense, it isn’t equitable, and you should contact Director McLaren and let her know you want MORE, not less, access to STEM.

    Comment by StringCheese — 3:23 pm April 25, 2013 #

  32. Brontosaurus,where did you learn that they (STEM) are dropping the K/1 class next year? I feel a little misled. We were told during the open house and during the school tour that they expected 10-12 1st grade slots to open up for the 2013-14 school year. If what you’re saying is true, I don’t know how they would have had that many slots available to new families.

    Comment by pagefive — 4:15 pm April 25, 2013 #

  33. Pagefive, I don’t know if this is how they calculated the 10-12 spots for 1st grade next year, maybe they expect that many kids leaving/moving, but just mathematically speaking, if they are dropping the K-1 split and creating separate K and 1 classes then they would need half a class for each to make whole classes. That is to say, dropping the K-1 split might be creating more spots.

    Again, I’m speaking from just a numbers point of view not at any official capacity.

    Comment by MercyMoi — 5:10 pm April 25, 2013 #

  34. Page 5 – MercyMoi guessed right. By eliminating the K/1 split we gain a 1st grade class that needs 10-12 to fill it. Siblings, geo zone get priority then it’s lottery.

    And to second StringCheese – you should contact Director McLaren and let her know you want MORE, not less, access to STEM.

    Comment by wsMama3 — 5:37 pm April 25, 2013 #

  35. We were told they had 3 1/2 Kindergarteners moving up to 1st grade, leaving 1/2 a 1st grade class to fill with new students. That makes sense and factors into why we chose STEM over Pathfinder – better odds. Still, our kids are on the waitlist – but we’ll just have to see how things play out over the next few months.
    I agree with Bonnie. Parent involvement is so important. No matter where our children end up, I know they’ll be just fine. :-)

    Comment by pagefive — 5:48 pm April 25, 2013 #

  36. Sorry to chime in again and I don’t mean to sound like a crazy broken record, but please consider that what is said at the building level (e.g. at open houses and tours) is based on the information available to us at the time.

    At the building level we have to rely on what SPS central office is saying or not saying to us at any given time, but the central office ultimately determines (perhaps limits) our ability to have a K/1 split or three classes per grade. The central office is not exactly well known for transparent decision making and consistent information.

    So, again, if you don’t like what you see – please contact our school board members and staff and tell them you want STEM to be a choice with a larger capacity and available to all of West Seattle. A lot changes in SPS based on what is vocalized (squeaky wheel syndrome). We’re not powerless and we can create something amazing, but we have to prove there is political will and community support.

    Comment by Heidi A — 10:06 pm April 25, 2013 #

  37. Skeeter,

    There are going to be some big changes with regards to boundaries being redrawn and the rebuilds of two schools. Arbor Heights Elementary School will have an ESTEM curriculum, (Environmental, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The curriculum will still include the strong Art and P.E. classes that are currently in place.

    WSE is a good school and I know families at the school and they are very pleased. It is unfair to judge schools and base opionions on test scores and free and reduced lunch numbers, because they do not tell the whole story.

    Comment by AH Parent — 10:48 pm April 25, 2013 #

  38. Hi AH parent. I am wondering where you got the information that Arbor Heights elementary is moving to an ESTEM curriculum…..it is not listed on their website. Is that in their long term plans? Thanks.

    Comment by WS Jade — 12:49 pm April 27, 2013 #

  39. Here is a post about Arbor Heights turning into eStem.

    http://arborheightses.seattleschools.org/

    Comment by AH parent — 8:10 pm April 29, 2013 #

  40. on their website

    http://arborheightses.seattleschools.org/

    Comment by no name — 8:21 pm April 29, 2013 #

  41. yes, just appeared there today and I’m writing about that shortly. thanks.

    Comment by WSB — 8:33 pm April 29, 2013 #

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