Design team chosen for K-5 STEM at Boren; 1st meeting Wed.

As promised, Seattle Public Schools has announced its design team for the new school it’s opening in West Seattle this fall, K-5 STEM at Boren. They’ve also confirmed that the team – whose job will be to start working out details for the new school’s operations – will have its first meeting 6 pm this Wednesday; that meeting will be at district HQ in SODO. We asked the district today who was on the team, and here’s what we received:

Members of the Design Team for the new K-5 STEM at Boren were announced Monday. The 15 members, chosen from 62 total applicants, include six parents, three community members and six Seattle School District staff members.

Candidates, The new members, listed below, were scored on the following criteria:

– An interest in K-5 STEM at Boren, with West Seattle parents with children enrolled in STEM scoring highest.
– A Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics background (either via education or career).
– Past/current leadership and committee participation.
– An awareness of need for diverse representation of people and ideas.

The first Design Team meeting will be Wednesday, March 14 from 6-8 p.m. at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence, Room 2776. All meetings will be open to the public, but only design team members can participate in the decision-making process. Future meeting dates will be set at the March 14 meeting.

Community members: Anthony Davis, Melissa Edwards, Faith Iverson

District members: Eric Caldwell, Mary-Elizabeth Ezenwaka, Dan Gallagher, Mary Kunce, Aurora Lora, Elizabeth Shields

Parents: Robin Graham, Susan Jarrett, Mark Johnson, Naheed Nizam, Manya Ralkowski, L’Nayim Shuman-Austin

The new school’s principal, Dr. Shannon McKinney, is scheduled to be in West Seattle for a “meet-and-greet” tomorrow (Tuesday, March 13), 6:30 pm at Madison Middle School.

17 Replies to "Design team chosen for K-5 STEM at Boren; 1st meeting Wed."

  • B March 12, 2012 (2:19 pm)

    I am SO irritated with this school. As a taxpayer I do not want my money going to fix this school up for this option school. WS needs neighborhood schools, not an option school. Shouldn’t all kids be taught science, technology and math???

  • evergreen March 12, 2012 (2:36 pm)

    Fantastic! I hope they advocate for cool engineering projects (ex. building robots, rockets, bridges, electronics), real science experiments (ex. actual chemistry and physics), lots of outdoor time (collecting/observing nature on hikes) and Singapore math! Kids should get up from their desks and do active hands-on learning, not just sit at their desks and complete boring worksheets. The worksheet drudgery has almost killed my SPS 1st grader’s love for learning…

    So excited about the possibility of a new kind of curriculum.

  • Deb March 12, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    Congratulations Design Team! That is quite the project you volunteered to take on. My son and I want to thank you for helping to design a school that is innovative, progressive and encourages students to wonder, take initiative and to question without fear of judgment.

  • Hmmmm March 12, 2012 (5:55 pm)

    I teach in an SPS elemenatary school and I can tell you that I don’t do worksheets! My kids are up and out of their desks all day! And we do EDM!! Gasp! I also hear from my students how much they love math! Isn’t that what we want from our kids? A love of learning?

  • evergreen March 12, 2012 (7:30 pm)

    Definitely, hmmmm. But my child is not having the same experience, unfortunately.

  • Oliver March 12, 2012 (8:17 pm)

    hey evergreen – are you also a TESC alum? I am and have a boy going into 2nd, so everyone keeps asking if I’m evergreen on the WSB.

  • Harry March 12, 2012 (8:46 pm)

    Right on for Elizabeth Shields. As a Madison parent who’s child is getting an excellent education, I know she knows what truly matters for kids of all classes, races, grades, and motivations.

  • Rd2mbrce March 12, 2012 (8:46 pm)

    Congrats to the design team, especially Elizabeth Shields. She’s a woman of integrity & is passionate about our educational system. The design team as well as the new school will be blessed by her ideas & insights.

  • evergreen March 12, 2012 (9:53 pm)

    B — option schools ARE neighborhood schools, in that they are for the entire neighborhood. After this year, priority will be only for WS kids. It’s great that families (including yours) have a choice, don’t you think? Two “neighborhood” schools within any given geographical region (including in WS) can differ widely based on the income levels and PTSA participation of the parents, creating disparity for one school in comparison (since PTSA’s can fund multiple enrichment courses) — since option schools are based on lottery, poor and wealthier kids have an equal chance of getting in. Option schools provide more opportunity for kids who do not live in a privileged zip code. And of course all schools have math & science. This school just may offer a slightly alternative approach. My child is currently at an option school, and it is very similar to every other school — still primarily the SPS curriculum//

    Oliver — I am not a TESC alum, but glad to hear another boy has applied for 2nd!

  • Nick March 13, 2012 (8:42 am)

    I like this idea but the lack of information and the short timeline to apply made not able to sign my son up who is currently at highland park. Not to mention the previous info sessions were a waste of my evening. This sounds like a great option for stay at home parents but for those of us that rely on before and after school care it was simply not feasible to send my kid there based on two meetings where parents bitched the whole time and the district did not know much about the school itself. Why don’t they spend the money on improving existing schools highland park could use additional support

  • HPMom March 13, 2012 (11:20 am)

    Twice in the past year a thread has been posted asking for first hand experience on Highland Park Elementary school. To my knowledge, no one with a student at Highland Park replied. If you don’t mind sharing, I would love to know what your experience has been like at Highland Park? Is your child happy there? Is your child challenged? Are you making connections with other families? Any insight would be much appreciated.

  • Jen March 14, 2012 (10:17 am)

    Has any one else noticed how hard it is to find information about the meetings–both the meet and greet with the principal last night and the first Design Team meeting tonight–on the K-5 Stem website? I cannot find the information anywhere. Am I just missing it? I have found the information via the West Seattle Blog and I find it crazy that I have to go to an outside source to get information on public meetings.

  • HPMom March 14, 2012 (11:25 am)

    Will the WSB be covering the meeting tonight?

    • WSB March 14, 2012 (11:31 am)

      Wouldn’t miss it. We’ve covered design teams in other circumstances – Sealth renovations, Denny demolition site (since it is school district property, that project even had a design team!) – and wouldn’t miss this one for the world. Got somebody else assigned to handle breaking news :) I can’t promise live updates – but check the site around 6 and see if that worked out … TR

  • "design" March 14, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    every time I see these headlines, I think it’s an actual DESIGN team. so, as a side note, is there an actual design team working on renovations to the building? I know it has been used an overflow school for other schools while they were under construction, usually middle schools and high schools. is the school going to be renovated to fit the users of the K-5 variety ?

    I am just wondering if there is another design team working on that currently as well. I thought I saw an RFP in the DJC a while back.

  • Melisssa March 14, 2012 (9:35 pm)

    Jen- I agree that the website is hard to find…but it is
    As part of the design team (and as a SPS WS elementary school parent) I am committed to making sure that families know what is going on in the planning process. I know that since the WS Blog was at the meeting tonight there will be plenty of coverage from them. The minutes from our meeting will be posted on the K-5 STEM at Boren website and there will be an avenue for parents and community members to learn about what has been decided by the design team and also to send comments/suggestions to the design team members. As for the Boren building, it will be modified to accommodate the size requirements of elementary students and there will be two playgrounds, we just aren’t clear where exactly on the campus they will be. Those who are unsure about what the school will be like before you want to commit, remember that if there is room after open enrollment, you have until September to choose to attend…so please keep checking the website for news and updates. After meeting our new principal and the rest of the design team I feel very excited and optimistic about the road ahead.

  • Jen March 17, 2012 (10:48 pm)

    Thank you for your response Melissa! I still do not see any place on the K-5 STEM website that specifically lists when and where meetings will be held. I did see the meeting minutes. Has an avenue for parents/community members to send comments/suggestions to the design team members been established yet? I know you all have a lot going on. My husband and I just want to stay involved as much as possible since we are hoping that our son will be enrolled in a kindergarten class there in the fall!

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