5th Grade Promotion and Award Assembly – Thursday, June 19th, 10:00 AM

graduating owl

The assembly to celebrate our 5th graders will be Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

The awards:

  • K-5 STEM Certificate of Excellence (academic, teacher nominated): 1 boy and 1 girl per classroom.
  • Seymour Kaplan: 2 students from each classroom (classroom nominated). K-4 names read aloud, 5th graders get certificate.
  • Presidential Academic Awards (5th only, teacher nominated).
  • Habits of the Mind (teacher nominated): 1 boy and 1 girls from each classroom.

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/10/5th-grade-promotion-and-award-assembly-thursday-june-19th/


Shakespeare at STEM – THURSDAY 7pm


June 12th at 7pm: A Comedy of Errors

Mr. Parsley’s class would like to invite you all to the spring Shakespeare play- A Comedy of Errors! This production has been completely run by the students- from set design, lighting and props to direction on the stage. Come see this great (and funny) work this week on June 12th at 7pm in the cafeteria. Sure to be a wonderful night for all!


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/09/shakespeare-at-stem-thursday-7pm/


Shop for Dad + Donate to STEM

 AmazonSmile Org Central

In honor of Dad, shop at AmazonSmile through 6/15/14 and Amazon will donate an extra $5 to K-5 Stem PTA.

Click here to get started: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/45-5313405

Amazon will donate an extra $5

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/09/shop-for-dad-donate-to-stem/



So many items, so little time… left!

Please come to the Lost & Found (located between the gym and cafeteria) to see if anything there belongs to your student!

There are lots of winter coats, hoodies, polos, and lunch boxes.

Parent volunteers will try as best they can to return labeled items to students before year end, but all unlabeled/unclaimed items will be donated to charity.

Time is running out!

Remember: Sharing the building and playground with Arbor Heights next year means labeling clothing will be extra important. Let’s keep our Lost & Found happy and empty!

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/06/missing-items-found/


Singapore Math for all!

Math in Focus

From K-5 STEM PTA President, Robin Graham:

The Seattle School Board has voted to approve Math in Focus (Singapore Math curriculum) as the math curriculum for all Seattle Public Schools. The vote was 4-3.

Thank you friends for writing in and to the board who made math a priority for all students. Math in Focus – Singapore Math for everyone!

If you see Kathleen Voss around school – give the girl a high five. She has been tireless in her advocacy of Math in Focus for all SPS kids.


What this means for K-5 STEM

  • The same Singapore Math curriculum.
  • We no longer need a waiver from the school district to use Singapore Math
  • The K-5 STEM PTA no longer needs to fund our math curriculum – freeing up money to spend on other awesome projects and STEM curricula!

Math in Focus is the same Singapore Math curriculum we have been using, but published by a different company. We have been using Singapore Math published by Singapore Math, Inc.  In September, we will switch to Singapore Math published by Marshall Cavendish.

More Information on Math in Focus – Singapore Math by Marshall Cavendish

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/04/singapore-math-for-all/


ACTION NEEDED: SPS Board Votes On Math Curriculum Tomorrow

Please see today’s message from the Seattle Council PTSA. Your show of support for Math in Focus (Singapore Math) at tomorrow’s Seattle School Board meeting would be greatly appreciated!

You don’t have to testify or give a speech, just support our current curriculum.

Meeting info:
4:15pm – 8:00pm  (Public Testimony and general crowd sourcing starts around 5:30 p.m.)
at the John Stanford Center
2445 3rd ave S
Seattle, WA 98124-1165
PTA Leaders and Members,
On May 1, 2014 Seattle Public Schools announced the Math Adoption Committee’s recommendation for the enVision Math Curriculum (see here).  Tomorrow Wednesday, June 4th,  the Seattle School Board will vote on the adoption of this new elementary math curriculum to be used in Seattle Public Schools K-5 programs.  As announced May 1st, the initial recommended motion to the Board by the Curriculum & Instruction Policy Committee is the single adoptions of the enVision Math Realize 2015 edition (enVision) curriculum (see recommendation here).
School Board Directors Marti McLaren & Sue Peters have subsequently filed an amended motion recommending a dual adoption of both the Math in Focus (MiF) Singapore Math and enVision curriculum (see this amended recommendation here).
If the dual adoption amendment is approved by the full Board this Wednesday, principals will  have to choose one of the two options not later than June 20, 2014.   Each school may select only ONE curriculum to be implemented at their school and the adoption will be binding for a 7 year adoption cycle.
It is also possible that other amendments regarding math curriculum adoption will be presented tomorrow for a vote, but they have not been posted to the School Board agenda at this time.

PTAs should be aware of these impending decisions and are encouraged to talk with their principal or the School Board (schoolboard@seattleschools.org) about questions or concerns.  
While the Seattle Council PTSA does not have a specific recommendation regarding the math adoption proposals up before the board, we do have strong concerns regarding two elements of the process.
First, we believe the committees making recommendations around curriculum should consider empirical results obtained by other districts, ideally comparable to Seattle in size and diversity. In this specific evaluation, we further believe that teacher input should have been solicited and considered, as several schools in Seattle use the curricula under evaluation.
Second, we continue to be concerned that the District’s engagement of parents and communities in Seattle is severely inadequate and unrepresentative of our District.  With roughly 50,000 students in Seattle Public Schools, and 27,000 in the K-5 program, comments by fewer than 150 parents does not constitute significant or representative family engagement, nor should it be portrayed as such.  We thank those parents who did provide input, and will continue to call on parents throughout the District to provide their opinions.
Further, we call on the District, as we have in the past, to develop processes that successfully engage families and communities in gathering information and making decisions.



Katherine Schomer

President, SCPTSA

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/03/action-needed-sps-board-votes-on-math-curriculum-tomorrow/


“STEM and the Whole Child” – Dr. McKinney’s Article in Washington Principal Magazine

Dr. McKinney was asked to submit an article for Washington Principal Magazine.  This is the beginning of the article that was published in Spring, 2014.



My last writing of any substance, other than my weekly “What’s Happening at K-5 STEM?” emails, was my doctoral dissertation. When asked to write this article about hope, I found myself thinking in that dissertation writing mode again: How can I effectively communicate the degree to which our K-5 STEM school really does help students foster a sense of hope about themselves and their future? In structuring this article, I did a bit of research to uncover what the current thinking is on developing hope in children.

I uncovered several key themes that, loosely speaking, positively correlate with our experiences at K-5 STEM. What follows are examples of how we are “doing that.”… *

The full article can be accessed here.



*Washington Principal, Spring 2014

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/06/02/stem-and-the-whole-child-dr-mckinneys-article-in-washington-principal-magazine/


MORE Volunteers Needed for Field Day – June 13

Friday, June 13

9:45am – 2:45pm

Ms. Gray has an exciting day of events planned for our students!  Many volunteers are needed to supervise stations.

Please use the SignUp Genius link and choose a time to help.



11:15-12:15-2/3’s – MORE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!


Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/05/29/volunteers-needed-for-field-day-june-13/


ACTION NEEDED: K-5 STEM Math Curriculum is at Risk!

Dear K-5 STEM Families:

The Math Adoption Committee at Seattle Public Schools is recommending that ALL Seattle schools transition to EnVision math in September 2014.

What This Means to K-5 STEM
If the recommendation is passed without consideration of the dual-adoption of EnVision and Math in Focus (Singapore Math) as options for all schools, we may be stuck with an inferior math program for seven years. K-5 STEM at Boren currently has a waiver* that will allow us to continue using Singapore Math for two more years, but we do not know if another waiver will be granted after the current one expires.

We Need Your Help!
SPS needs to hear personal stories from families. Our students are thriving using Singapore Math. Our staff, teachers and BLT also support the continued use of Singapore Math. Tell SPS decision-makers why keeping Singapore as our math curriculum is important to you. You can help by sharing your family’s experience with Singapore Math:

  • How has your child been personally successful learning math via Singapore?
  • Have they achieved new heights in their learning?
  • Have they surpassed expectations and gained confidence?

Contact Seattle Public Schools Today
The vote is happening the first week of June (next week). Please write the school board in opposition to the Math Adoption Committee’s recommendation to implement the EnVision Math Program as the new math curriculum for all elementary schools in September 2014.

Please contact the following Seattle Public School Board members and staff by Friday May 30:

K-5 STEM PTA Executive Team

*Correction to Waiver footnote posted on 5/28: Our current waiver allows K-5 STEM to purchase the Singapore Math curriculum out of the operating budget. If Math in Focus is not one of the options, the school operating budget will have to continue to allocate funds to purchase Singapore Math materials as it has not been determined if there will be monetary credit given to K-5 STEM from Seattle Public Schools.

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/05/28/action-needed-k-5-stem-math-curriculum-is-at-risk/


STEM Spring Olympics Opening Ceremony


Kindergarteners representing Egypt in the STEM Spring Olympics

The Opening Ceremony for the first STEM Spring Olympics took place on Tuesday morning.

Each class chose a country to represent, and every STEM student took part.

Olympics Vuvuzela

Mr. Gluck and his vuvuzela.

After the Parade of Nations, the classes sang songs from their countries, and the Olympic flame was lit.

Olympic flame

Watch highlights of the Opening Ceremony below (make sure you watch until the end). Complete Opening Ceremony, including songs, to come soon.











4th Grade Performance

4th Grade Performance


Dancing Too

Dancing Too

Kindergarteners Performing

Kindergarteners Performing

Permanent link to this article: http://k5stempta.org/2014/05/28/stem-spring-olympics-opening-ceremony/

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