Rocket Toward Reading Success – Tuesday, April 22nd

Kindergarten, First & Second Grade families are invited to

Rocket Toward Reading Success!


A fun night of games, reading, and learning with your STEM student – includes a Pizza Pi dinner.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 22nd  6pm – 8pm (pizza is served at 6pm)


*$10 suggested donation per family for pizza*


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/21/rocket-toward-reading-success-tuesday-april-22nd/


May Days Fundraising at ‘zaw

Spread the word !    ’zaw will give back $5* to our school when you order a pizza to bake at home and mention our school on any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in May.  See the menu here.

*$20 minimum order

zaw deal

West Seattle Location (View map)

4151 Fauntleroy Way SW
(corner of Fauntleroy and 35th)
Sunday – Thursday: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Other Locations


zaw logo


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/21/may-days-fundraising-at-zaw/


Sign Up to Help at the Book Fair Fiesta & Literacy Night!


It’s Book Fair Fiesta and Literacy Night on Wednesday, May 7th!

Whether you would like to decorate, be a cashier, or help Librarian Debora Hare with the Literacy Night presenters, there’s plenty to do.

Please click on the SignUp Genius logo below to sign up.


And click here to sign up to bring a dish to the bake sale.


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/20/sign-up-to-help-at-the-book-fair-fiesta-literacy-night/


A Thank You from Ms. Gray

Ms. Gray would like to thank everyone who sent in Christmas lights for Cosmic Bowling. The kids had a lot of fun!

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.25.22 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.23.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.24.53 PM

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/20/a-thank-you-from-ms-gray/


Letter from Incoming Principal, Ben Ostrom

Ben Ostrom has asked K-5 STEM PTA to share this letter:


Photo courtesy: West Seattle Blog

To K-5 STEM Staff and Community:

I wanted to take a few moments to reach out to K-5 STEM staff and community.  I am enthusiastic about joining you for the fulfilling and challenging journey ahead.  K-5 STEM has taken some huge steps in advancing successful, curious, caring, creative learners.   I look forward to hearing what you have accomplished and learned. Guided by your mission of nurturing critical thinkers with project based learning, a culture of accountability, and a celebration of the whole child, you have moved mountains to open and grow a new school.


I know changes in leadership create uncertainty.  Communities worry over how a new leader thinks and feels, and what changes may be in store.  Please know that my first intention is to spend as much time as possible the next several months listening and following.  I will work to discern what is important, what has been learned, and coalesce from the K-5 STEM community the next steps in our journey.  I believe a principal foremost must be a leader in learning; learning about K-5 STEM is what I will set out to do.

I will be transparent about who I am as a leader during the transition ahead.  I fall back upon three core values: equity, learning, and compassion. My definition for equity revolves around each and every–I view school practices through the lens of serving each and every child.  I believe learning for students and adults must be at the center of everything schools do.  Two important vehicles for learning are failure (which I define as not obtaining the results you want, and an opportunity for reflection and growth), and identifying the next step in a scholar’s, staff member’s, or community’s ongoing growth and development.  Compassion is action based on empathy.  These basic values will be raised over and over during the months and years to come.

The details of transition opportunities will emerge over the next several weeks.  I will figure out times to meet your scholars, visit your classrooms, and meet with staff and community members.  I may or may not be able to participate in hiring new staff and other key decisions this spring.  Officially my new assignment begins July 1st; however I will join you as I am able before then.   Highland Park (HP) has a full plate the next few months, and my first priority will be supporting the needs of HP students and staff to meet their learning goals.  At the same time, I will try to keep abreast of what is happening and learn about K-5 STEM at Boren.

In sum, hello!  I’m exited to become a part of the K-5 STEM community.  I will close with a poem, a habit that you will become used to.  We all need more poetry in our lives!  “Sometimes,” by Sheenagh Pugh, captures some hopes I have for the coming months.


Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen:  may it happen for you.

I look forward to getting to know you all in person.


Benjamin Ostrom

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/20/letter-from-new-principal-ben-ostrom/


Lots of Events = Lots of Fun (and Learning)!

We are lucky to have several events coming up – be sure to add them to your calendar!


WHAT: Rocket Toward Reading Success!

For Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grades. (3rd-5th graders – please volunteer to help)

A fun night of games, reading, and learning with your STEM student – includes a Pizza Pi dinner.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 22nd  6pm – 8pm (pizza is served at 6pm)


*$10 suggested donation per family for pizza*




WHAT: Math & Science Mashup Night

The Pacific Science Center and Zeno present Math & Science Mashup Night.

Math and Science Mashups provide an informal, fun experience that fosters a curiosity in the relationship we have with math in our everyday lives. Each event encourages parents to understand how they can nurture their own child’s success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.

From: pacificsciencecenter.org

WHEN: Wednesday, April 30th  6pm –  7:30pm


*$10 suggested donation per family for pizza.*


WHAT: Book Fair Fiesta & Literacy Night

Join us for our Scholastic Book Fair and Literacy Night featuring local authors, story drama, a Children’s Librarian and more.  We will also have a Book Nook (comfy place for kids to read) and bake sale.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 7th 5pm – 8:30pm 

(Additional Book Fair hours – Thursday, May 8th 8:30am – 4:30pm)

WHERE: K-5 STEM Library and other locations TBA

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/12/lots-of-events-lots-of-fun-and-learning/


K-5 STEM Principal News

Dear STEM Friends,

Big news!  As announced this afternoon, Dr. McKinney is taking a leave of absence after this school year concludes, and Ben Ostrom (currently at Highland Park) will be interim principal at STEM. Mr. Ostrom has a long history in many different roles within SPS. Most notably, he was the principal at Orca K-8 for 7 years, and was a Golden Apple Award recipient for his work in the classroom.

We’ve asked to have a meeting soon with Mr. Ostrom and will invite him to all the upcoming PTA events and meetings. We are confident that his enthusiasm for technology, willingness to try new and exciting things, and his dedication to working in a team are all assets to STEM that will be well used as we move to K-8.

Dr. McKinney will leave a lasting vision that teachers can and will carry forward. She has advocated for Project Based Learning. She hired and supported a strong and independent community of teachers who see the potential in every student. As a PTA, we will be forever grateful for her leadership these first years.

Mr. Ostrom will do things differently, but we hope you join us in welcoming him to Year 3. Big, amazing, interesting, creative, crazy, messy, learning is going to be happening! As a PTA, we will continue to support our teachers and we will work with Mr. Ostrom to continue moving the vision of STEM forward.

You can read more about Mr. Ostrom in today’s letter from Seattle Public Schools, and can also check out this video:

We wish you a very happy break – stay safe and see you soon for the rest of a great year!

Your PTA Execs,

Robin, Wendy, Lisa, Kathleen, Lily & Anne

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/11/k-5-stem-principal-news/


Presentation – Toileting Concerns Ages 2-10


Our school nurse asked us to post information about this presentation.

“Toilet Training and Beyond: Toileting Concerns in Children Ages 2-10, with Dr. Tom DuHamel”

WHERE:  Thornton Creek Elementary (NE Seattle)

7711 43rd Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98115

Telephone: (206) 252-5300

WHEN:    April 22nd, 4 pm for staff and 7 pm for parents

LOCATION:  Library


Dear Parents/Staff

You are invited to attend a presentation about a little-known and rarely discussed problem that causes serious physical and emotional problems for more than 4 million preschool and school aged children in the US:  functionalconstipation or “encopresis.”

Our speaker is Dr. Thomas R. DuHamel, a child psychologist who has specialized in children’s toileting issues for over 25 years. Dr. Tom will speak to us and answer questions about the preferred methods of toilet training, post-toilet training issues such as waiting until the last minute to go to the bathroom and what all parents and teachers should know about functional constipation and how to prevent it. He is the author of the recently published book “The Ins and Outs of Poop: A Guide to Treating Childhood Constipation” which has been widely praised by parents and pediatric health care providers.

If a child exhibits any of the following, you may find Dr. Tom’s presentation helpful:

  • Withholds or refrains from pooping
  • Soils underwear (skid marks) and/or has poop accidents
  • Poops only in a diaper or pull-up and/or hides when pooping
  • Large diameter stools; sometimes blocking up the toilet
  • Complains that pooping “hurts” or that it is “hard to push”
  • 4 or fewer bowel movements per week

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/08/presentation-toileting-concerns-ages-2-10/


Science Fair/Invention Convention Information

When:  Tuesday, April 8  6:30 – 8:00

Parents and Guardians:  Download guidelines here  Invention Convention Guidelines

We are also looking for volunteers to help on April 8th, the day of the Fair.  

Click on the SignUp Genius logo below:


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/02/help-needed-for-science-fairinvention-convention/


First Auction was a Success!


 Dear STEM Friends,

Thank you so much for attending and supporting the first ever STEM Auction!

It was a huge success bringing in around $50,000! We have a lot of
math to do (invoices are still coming in) but it’s important that you
know that Arts Impact Training will happen
(http://www.arts-impact.org), Project Based Learning projects will
continue to be developed and implemented, and the PTA is committed to
supporting arts, safety, students, teachers, and our community because
of your donations and support.

Thank you Mrs. Bilanko for MC’ing the event, Mr. Des reminding us
why art is so important for our kids, and to all the teachers and
staff who attended.

Thank you Kimberly McDonald, Heidi Alessi, and the entire Auction
Committee for making this a huge success. We are lucky to have experts
who donate hours of their time to the PTA.

Thank you everyone who raised their bid numbers high. $13,025.00 was
donated during the “fund a need”!

Thank you to everyone who made or brought in a dessert for dessert
dash. $2,168.22 was donated and they were out of this world delicious!

Thank you room parents and volunteers who made the classroom art
projects. They made $10,500.00 and were beautiful.

Thank you Christine Southam for the amazing pictures. You can see them

Thank you Helen Green for the video and Dave Skaggs for the original

music (with STEM kids Aulden, Hagen, and Roman lending their voices!).  (Watch below)

Thanks to our friends at Gatewood and Arbor Heights for the help
volunteering and letting us borrow supplies.

Thank you to our sponsors Titan, Ventana Construction and Dunn Lumber.

We are so very lucky to be at a school where families donate their
time, treasure and talent.

As always, you can get information at www.k5stempta.org.
Congratulations to Deborah Atkinson and Helen Green for being named
“Top Parent Group Website for 2013″ by Digital PTO!

Can’t wait for the next auction, hope to see you there.

With deep appreciation,
PTA Execs

Watch this fantastic video which was presented at the auction:


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/04/01/first-auction-was-a-success/

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