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Volunteer Requirements at K-5 STEM and SPS

We love volunteers!

Adults interested in volunteering, chaperoning field trips, tutoring, helping at lunch, etc… MUST first go through the SPS requirements. Click this link and follow the steps to be one of STEM’s best resources- a volunteer!

See you in the halls….

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Embroidered Owl Logos Free from Lands’ End – August 26 & 27 Only!

Lands’ End just announced another FREE LOGO sale starting August 26th for 2 days only!

Click on the Lands’ End logo below to shop. When checking out, use promo code FREELOGO3 and pin 5206.

Code: 900152018

Lands End Free Logo

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Pick-up/Drop Off Traffic Plan

There have been some changes this year in how the parking is set up for Pick-up and Drop-Off.  Below is the map and plan provided by Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Department of Transportation and Feet First.  You can download the plan here.

BorenTraffic1 BorenTraffic2





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Welcome Back Letter from Principal Ben Ostrom

STEM_logoProject Based Learning • A Culture of Accountability • A Celebration of the Whole Child


Dear STEM Families:

Hello and welcome back to K-5 STEM! We are meeting, planning, and working overtime to lay the foundation for an amazing school year.  As I have begun to collaborate with STEM families and staff, the level of commitment and engagement is thrilling!  I feel privileged to serve your children in conjunction with such dedicated community members.

I have been working on the answers to a multitude of questions.  The paragraphs below answer some.  As a new member of the K-5 STEM community, it has taken time to work with staff and families on priorities, systems, and procedures as we prepare for the start of school.

Some key information regarding the new year:

Slight Adjustment to K-5 STEM start and end Time:

The new transportation standards adjusted K-5 STEM’s start and end times by 5 minutes.  New start time: 9:25.  New end time: 3:40.

 Pick up/Drop off/Parking:

Supervision is provided starting at 9:10 a.m. Please do not bring your child to school before 9:10 am as there is no supervision.

K-5 STEM and Arbor Heights administrators, safety committees, PTA representatives, City of Seattle, and Seattle Public Schools staff met this summer to develop a Safe Routes to School plan for entry and exit and traffic patterns (click on the link to see map). Guidelines were developed collaboratively to help ensure the safety of our students and others. We ask everyone to follow the plans for entry and exit of the Louisa Boren building.

For Morning Drop off and Dismissal:  Students may be dropped off or picked up in the designated zone on the west end of the playground.   Parents may pull into the drop off/pick up zone and supervisors will direct children accordingly.  Parents wanting to walk and pick up their children may park in the visitor parking section of the parking lot, or the park and walk section designated “School Load and Unload only” along Delridge.  Students may not be dropped off on Delridge to walk to the playground.  To respect instructional time in a building serving more than 700 students, after the first day of school we ask that parents pick up and drop off outside (or in the office for late arrivals) rather than at classroom doors. On the first day of school students and parent may go directly to classrooms.

Classroom Assignments:

Classroom assignments will be posted August 28th by 4:30 by the office.

A few Upcoming Events:

Aug. 23:  4-7pm 3rd ANNUAL STEM BACK TO SCHOOL BASH at Lincoln Park! 

Aug. 25: 4:30-5:30pm Kindergarten Play Date on Boren playground

Aug.  26: 3rd grade back to school potluck from 5:30-7:30 at Fairmount Park

Aug. 28:

4-5pm 1st-5th grade New Student Orientation at STEM

5-6:30pm Kindergarten Open House at STEM

Sept. 3: First day of school! 

9:30-10:30am meet with other parents and school principal Ben Ostrom to celebrate/decompress.

Arbor Heights Co-location:

This summer I had the privilege of working
 with Arbor Heights Principal Christy Collins and staff and families from both schools to tackle plans and logistics around co-location.  We addressed issues including professional development, school security, safe movement of students throughout the building, emergency preparedness, and plans for school-wide Positive Behavioral Supports (PBIS) to align key school expectations.  I believe that the colocation of both schools in the Boren building for two years will create a number of benefits and opportunities for both schools! I am enthused to work with Principal Collins and the Arbor Heights staff and community to create a positive learning environment and experiences for our children.

Positive Discipline:

One outgrowth of our collaboration with Arbor Heights will be shared Positive Discipline professional development the week before school starts. Positive Discipline is a classroom management (and parenting) program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best selling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults.  Based on feedback from staff and community last spring, K-5 STEM’s staff made a collective decision to adopt Positive Discipline as a framework to create shared expectations for children across the building.  We were thrilled when Arbor Heights agreed to adopt the same program as we work together to support over 700 students.  More information will be provided regarding parent education opportunities in the weeks to come.

Uniform Expectations:

K-5 STEM is a uniform school!  Uniforms are adopted to build community, decrease inequalities and distractions, support safety, and many other reasons.  Visit the STEM PTA website for full details on uniform expectations and guidelines.  A uniform closet exists to support families requesting financial assistance to meet uniform guidelines, and also address short term needs.

Welcome to New and Returning Staff:

K-5 STEM welcomes several new staff members, and some staff changed assignments.  We were fortunate to add some outstanding educators to support our mission of nurturing Project Based Learning, A Culture of Accountability, and A Celebration of the Whole Child.  Names in italics are new to K-5 STEM.  Make sure to search them out and introduce yourselves.


Position Names
Kindergarten Whitney Cook, Alica Hardman
1st Soheyla Nur, Lisa Sweeney
1st/2nd Jean Wylie
2nd Jodi Williamson, Stacy Chung
2nd/3rd Ro Gluck
3rd Sunny Graves, Kent Daniels
4th Deborah Giza, Mo Newton
5th Craig Parsley, Travis DesAutels
Specialists Gretchen Gray, (PE), Julie Schmick (Technology), Marie Nelson (Performing Arts),  Mary Bannister (Library)
Special Education Chris Barrett (Resource), Veronica Gruber (SM4), Shamsah Rahim (SM4i)
Instructional Assistants Ronald Adams, Carmita Velasquez, Hayward Coleman, Greg Wolf, Clara Hanson, Luke Imboden, Craig Rankin
Support Renee Davis (.5 Counselor), Mary Bannister (.25 LAP Reading)
Office Cindy Baca, Fallon Kongsaeng
Custodial Tom Zech, Tony Dong



I am working with the PTA to support improved communication that also makes more effective use of the PTA and school websites, and School Messenger.  There are currently several efforts in the works.  There will be a weekly update going out through school messenger regarding upcoming events, a monthly newsletter, intermittent updates on important issues, and a monthly coffee chat on the third Friday of each month from 8:30-9:30 am.

K-8 Planning:

A K-8 Exploration team consisting of K-5 STEM staff and community members is meeting two times/month to plan and explore the feasibility of a 6th grade roll up for the ’15-’16 school year.  The final decision about whether 6th grade will be added for the ’15-’16 or ‘16-’17 school year will come from SPS senior leadership, not STEM. The biggest considerations include school readiness and building capacity. You can expect a larger update on this process sometime in September.

Arts Impact:

Thanks to generous Arts funding from the K-5 STEM community, staff will begin to receive Art’s Impact professional development on how to integrate arts education into day to day teaching on the early release day on September 24.

There’s a lot going on.  We will be gathering August 25-28 as a K-5 STEM staff to participate in professional development addressing Cultural Competency, Positive Discipline, and Math in Focus (Singapore Math); and spend time jumping into planning and details for the year to come.  We will have much to share and celebrate in the weeks ahead.  Thank you for joining me and our K-5 STEM Staff to create a powerful learning community filled with scholars who are aspiring, creating, and expecting.

I’ll close with a poem from Sheeneagh Pugh.



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 person aims high, and all goes well.


A people sometimes will step back from war;

elect an honest person, decide they care

enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.

Some people 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

K-5 STEM Principal


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Fundraiser Heads Up – Chinook Books available November 3rd

Chinook cover-profile-sm-seattle

The Chinook Book Fundraiser will start on November 3rd.  

We are giving you a heads up so you don’t purchase a Chinook Book from another vendor.  You will be able to purchase from this website starting on 11/3.

The  Chinook Book is packed with over 500 valuable coupons from local, sustainable merchants. It’s available as a print edition and app (for iPhone, iPad and Android).  Check out what’s inside.

Thanks for your participation and support.  Let’s make this a successful fundraiser!


Chinook Book Merchants


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Uniform Swap at the Back to School Bash – This Saturday



Saturday, August 23rd

(at The Back to School Bash, 4pm – 7pm)

Have your kids outgrown last year’s uniforms?  Want to exchange these gently used items or donate them to the uniform closet?  Bring them to the Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 23rd at 4:00 pm.

 This is a perfect opportunity for you to exchange or donate your outgrown uniforms.  If you don’t have any items to exchange, gently used items may be available for a cash donation.

Please only bring in gently used items that have been washed and are in good condition with no holes and no stains.

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Shop with your Target REDcard – Earn Money for our School!


TargetK-5 STEM is now registered with Target in their Take Charge of Education program. 1% of purchases by Target REDcard members will come back to our school.

If you already have a REDcard, visit or call 1-800-316-6142 to designate K-5 STEM.

If you would like to apply for a REDcard, learn more at or stop in a Target store to apply. The REDcard saves you 5% on Target purchases every day. So you can save money and benefit our school in the process!

Grandparents, friends and neighbors are all welcome to participate in the program. The more people we involve, the harder the program works for our school.

Our ID number is: 153701


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2014-15 School Supplies

Pencils CC

It has been decided by school staff that they will be ordering school supplies for our students in bulk so there will not be a school supply list.

Please bring cash or a check for $35 per STEM student (made out to K-5 STEM) to Open House on August 28 (4:00 – 6:30 pm) or in an envelope on the first day of school. Write your child’s name & grade on the envelope.

Students also should bring a backpack to transport lunch (if bringing a lunch), homework and information between school and home.
[Added 8/25/2014]  School staff also request your student brings a pencil box, one box of tissues, one pump bottle of hand sanitizer, and one container of disinfecting wipes.
Throughout the year teachers might ask families to donate specific items for their classrooms (more tissues in January!) and be prepared to budget approximately $10 a month for field trips.



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3rd Grade Back-to-School Picnic!

 Owl Picnic

Calling all incoming STEM 3rd graders!
3rd grade Back to School Potluck

Who: Incoming STEM 3rd graders and their families
When: Tuesday, August 26th – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fairmount Park (NE corner of park by the swings)
5400 Fauntleroy Way SW, 98136
Why: This co-hort had so much fun meeting up last year, we thought why not do it again this year. Provides a chance for students and families to get to know one another prior to the first day. Our teachers have been invited as well.
What is provided: A few families have offered to bring tables and I will bring paper plates and utensils.
What should you bring: Bring a dish to share, your own beverages, chairs or blanket, and excitement to kick-off the 2014/15 school year with a great 3rd grade co-hort.

Contact Susie Jarrett with questions.

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