K-5 STEM at Boren: Feb. 15 meeting for new West Seattle school

As promised by Seattle Public Schools when we contacted them for the followup published here yesterday, they have shared the letter they’re sending out about the new STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) “option” elementary that will open this fall at the former Boren Junior High School in Delridge. And the letter includes news that the informational/input meeting they promised is set for 7 pm February 15th, one week from tonight, at Schmitz Park Elementary. Full text of the letter, ahead:

STEM is Coming to West Seattle
Seattle Public Schools Announces K-5 STEM at Boren

In response to strong enrollment growth in West Seattle, Seattle Public Schools will be opening a new elementary program for fall 2012: K-5 STEM at Boren.

The new STEM program will be housed in the Louisa Boren Building (5950 Delridge Way SW). It will be a K-5 option program and will open with all six grades in September 2012.

Family Information & Input Night: There will be a K-5 STEM at Boren information meeting on Wednesday, February 15 from 7:00-8:30 PM at Schmitz Park Elementary (5000 SW Spokane Street). Interested families are invited to learn about STEM and help identify program priorities as this new educational option is developed.

Because STEM at Boren will be an option program, it will be open to any student in Seattle who will be entering grades K through 5 in September 2012. Bus transportation will be provided for students who live within West Seattle. Families who wish to apply to K-5 STEM at Boren can do so during the district’s Open Enrollment process from February 27 through March 9, 2012. Families can also apply after Open Enrollment through September 30. School Choice forms will be available at www.seattleschools.org beginning February 27.

What is STEM? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These subjects are an increasingly popular focus for elementary students because:

· STEM is engaging and interactive. The STEM fields are a natural fit for elementary age students who have incredible imagination and natural curiosity about the world and how it works.

· STEM helps students succeed. Mastering STEM subjects in elementary school will give students the basic technological, scientific and mathematical literacy they will need to succeed in middle school, high school, and college.

· STEM helps students prepare for the future. Washington State is increasingly becoming a high tech economy. Students who have the skills to become scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians will be prepared for the exciting economies and careers of the future.

20 Replies to "K-5 STEM at Boren: Feb. 15 meeting for new West Seattle school"

  • madashell February 8, 2012 (10:31 am)

    “Mastering STEM subjects in elementary school will give students the basic technological, scientific and mathematical literacy they will need to succeed in middle school, high school, and college”

    What about the REAL literacy, reading and writing, that they’ll need in MS and HS to get to college?

  • Active WS Parent February 8, 2012 (10:42 am)

    There’s no doubt that our children need a stronger math and science curriculum to be competitive in tomorrow’s world. However, STEM should a part of EVERY elementary school curriculum, not just available for a few. I hope this program will eventually evolve to ALL elementary schools!!

  • Tom February 8, 2012 (10:49 am)

    Sounds like great news. Will this be a permanent site or just temporary?

    • WSB February 8, 2012 (11:15 am)

      The district has reiterated that this is intended to be temporary. However, they have not specified a permanent location – maybe a renovated “closed” school like Fairmount Park, maybe a brand-new one that could be built on one of their remaining sites (ex-Denny or Genesee Hill) – The BEX IV levy plan that’s to be hashed out later this year will likely bring an answer … TR

  • a February 8, 2012 (11:44 am)

    This location is not set up for young children. Its open to all Seattle kids – how is this helping alleviate the overcrowding of WS schools? It’s not!

  • Bonnie February 8, 2012 (11:58 am)

    They aren’t going to turn around in 3 years and close the school because they have ‘bad numbers’ again are they?

  • KDub February 8, 2012 (12:21 pm)

    I am a parent that is interested in this program for my little one. Unfortunately, I cannot make this information night. Does anyone happen to know if they will be using the Everyday Math curriculum? Or, will they be applying for a waiver? (fingers crossed for the waiver)

  • w. sea interested February 8, 2012 (1:12 pm)

    I am fairly certain that the STEM school will have the waiver. I believe they will be using Singapore math just like Schmitz park. I would like to know where their permanent location is to be as well. If we apply during open enrollment, when do I have to decide to switch to the STEM, or keep My child in her current school?

  • Public School Advocate February 8, 2012 (2:01 pm)

    @w.sea interested – my understanding is by applying to STEM (or any other “option” school) during open enrollment (and getting in) you are “giving up” your seat at your current school. If you decide right before school starts in the fall you want back in to your old school (provided it’s you neighborhood school) you would only get a seat if space is available.

  • can not make it February 8, 2012 (3:01 pm)

    Will the great folks at WSB be onsite to record this for those that can not attend but need the information? :)

    • WSB February 8, 2012 (3:05 pm)

      Planning on it. (But anybody who can possibly make it, PLEASE do, it’s not just a briefing but also an input meeting, and what you say in person tends to count vastly more than via e-mail etc.) Meantime, we’ll be writing up our notes in the hours ahead from the midday Marty McLaren meeting today, at which this came up. No bombshells but certainly an intense meeting on this topic and others. – TR

  • Cori February 8, 2012 (4:04 pm)

    With the capacity problem that is forcast for Denny MS in the next couple of years why not a K-8 option for STEM?

  • ws parent February 8, 2012 (4:12 pm)

    Why not a Pathfinder K-8 as well as the STEM program!

  • Mama3 February 8, 2012 (4:56 pm)

    I’d like actual answers:
    1. How many students in?
    2. What time will school start?
    3. Who is the principal?
    4. Are they sure they will get STEM approval before the start of the year?
    5. What funding usually from the PTA will they get?
    6. and about 15,000 more questions!

  • JWox February 8, 2012 (5:10 pm)

    Will there be a Spectrum program available?

  • ttt February 8, 2012 (5:35 pm)

    Can’t make the meeting, but want to know how an option school alleviates ws school overcrowding? Sure it will pull some students, but will it be enough? Where will the permanent location be?

  • WS Parent February 8, 2012 (6:54 pm)

    Just Thoughts:
    I like the K-8 option…something the new STEM school could grow into. It seems like the Option school would attract students from all of West Seattle, both North and South, helping reduce capacity in the peninsula. It also seems like it would fill at all grade levels, not just Kindergarten (assumption on my part for a neighborhood school). A neighborhood school would require boundary changes and if you wanted to pull in all grades, you would have to eliminate grandfathering (meaning all within the new boundary would attend the new school). The last time we did boundary changes a few years ago, it was quite painful. I also heard that when BEX IV comes up next February and if SPS build new schools for West Seattle, we’d have to do boundary changes for that…I personally do not want to go through that effort twice.

    On the permanent location, I think I read somewhere that it would be determined later this year, once the long term West Seattle plan was developed.

  • Public School Advocate February 8, 2012 (9:49 pm)

    Where has a solid K-12 liberal arts education rooted in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences gone? Are the early elementary years going to become professional and technical training camps?

  • Jon Grant February 9, 2012 (10:17 am)

    @w. sea interested The new enrollment rules are that you are guaranteed a spot in your neighborhood school. If you apply for STEM and get in, you do not lose your spot in your neighborhood school. If you decline the STEM program, you will be reassigned to your local school, which may bump another student out if they were optioned in. If you are not currently going to your local school, e.g. you live in Arbor Heights but your student goes to Alki or Gatewood etc, you would probably not be guaranteed your spot. Double check with Seattle Public School enrollment office.

  • OK OK February 11, 2012 (7:43 pm)

    The opening baloney in the letter needs a little truthing – “In response to strong enrollment growth in West Seattle…” should changed to “Because we closed three West Seattle elementary schools leaving the remaining schools too crowded…”

    Mind you, I like STEM, support the idea and hope it’s a success. I’ve heard good things about how Thornton Creek elementary uses outdoor observation to weave in math, writing and art, and think a similar idea emphasizing STEM be such a good fit for W.S.

    I like the Fairmount Park proposal to help relieve the pressure from badly overcrowded elementary schools in North West Seattle.

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