Direct Give and Middle School Open House this Week

October welcomes the start of the STEM K-8 PTA Direct Give Campaign.   These donations make it possible for the PTA to support exceptional learning experiences for STEM students.  The Direct Give provides hundreds of STEM books, additional technology, tools, construction materials, scientific instruments, software and supports vital parts of our program such as Project Based Learning.  Funds are used to provide staff with additional planning, training, classroom resources, and support. The 2018-19 Direct Give campaign starts today! Please donate to the STEM K-8 Direct Give at whatever level you are able.

Thanks to all of you who were able to join teachers for the K-5 Open House last week.  This Thursday, October 4th, from 6-7:30 is our Middle School Open House.  With a number of classes for families to visit, the Middle School Open House schedule is tight.  Families head straight to classrooms without gathering in the cafeteria first.

We suggest middle school families check with students to decide which Pathway classrooms to visit. Students have three or four Pathway classes, and families will  have the opportunity to visit two of them.

6:00 Middle School Open House for Pathway Classes

There will be two 10 minute sessions with a few minutes to walk between rooms.

Class Name(s) Teacher  Room Number 
Maker’s Space and Media Lab Schmick 147
Physical Education Avery and Schiavo Gym
Senior and Junior Band Okun Band Room
Choir and Songwriting Holland Choir Room
Poetry Paulson 126
Evolution and History of Western Music Kincl 128
6th Grade Math Academy Martin 102
Art Des 109
7th /8th Grade Math Academy Bleeker 124
Reading Academy Giza 122

 

6:30 Middle School Open House for Core Classes 

All 6th grade families go to Mr. Des’s room, #109.  

7th and 8th grade families will visit core classrooms for 15 minute rotations.  

Time  7th Grade  8th Grade 
6:30 Paulson (Rm. #126) Humanities

Or

Bleeker (Rm. #124) Math 

Parsley (Rm. #117)

Science-CTE

or

Kincl (Rm. #128)

US History 

6:45 Paulson (Rm. #126) Humanities

Or

Bleeker (Rm. #124) Math 

Parsley (Rm. #117)

Science-CTE

or

Kincl (Rm. #128)

US History 

7:00 Parsley (Rm. #117)

Science-CTE

Bleeker (Rm. #124)

Math 

or

Kincl (Rm. #128)

English Language Arts 

7:15 Parsley (Rm. #117)

Science-CTE

Bleeker (Rm. #124)

Math 

or

Kincl (Rm. #128)

English Language Arts 

 

 

We continue to report to Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle regarding the homeless encampment that has returned to the woods above STEM K-8.  It has been assigned to the Seattle Navigation Team and Seattle Homeless Coordinator for support services and clean up.  Despite repeated cleanups, it continues to reappear.  It is an ongoing challenge that our city is struggling to meet in providing for basic human needs for everyone.

 

 

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SPS Staffing Reductions

 

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) announced last week that district-wide fall enrollment is lower than anticipated, necessitating fall staffing adjustments.  STEM K-8 is affected by a .5 FTE reduction in staffing.  Our circumstances were driven by lower middle school student enrollment than anticipated.  Last spring STEM was projected to increase enrollment in all middle school grades.  Our limited middle school history reflects stable, not increasing enrollment numbers.  Apart from the addition of new grades, we maintain approximately the same number of middle school students each year (we lose a few, gain a few).  The trend continued this fall. Compared to the overall SPS loss in enrollment, our enrollment remained stable.

STEM’s staffing adjustment will not affect classroom assignments or our middle school master schedule.  It creates a .5 reduction to our new school intervention position filled by Anhsaly Grant.  Ms. Grant will continue to be at STEM half-time supporting student intervention.

Staffing adjustments are disruptive and frustrating for staff, families and students. This year is especially challenging district-wide. Every year SPS sets aside funding to mediate enrollment changes at the school level. Unfortunately, the district’s actual enrollment for the 2018-19 school year is significantly lower than anticipated. For the first time in 10 years SPS enrollment is lower than the year before. District-wide there are 724 fewer students enrolled than were projected. District set-aside funds were not enough to cover the $7.5 million revenue loss from lower enrollment.  SPS is also constrained by the projection of a significant deficit next year due to restructured state education funding.  The outcome is that SPS must move staff from schools with lower-than-projected enrollment to schools that need additional teachers.  SPS is not alone in having fewer students. Districts near Seattle are also experiencing lower enrollment, while districts further south have seen an increase. Reasons vary, but the cost of housing in our area compared to wages is one likely factor. The appearance of charter schools has also affected secondary enrollment.  District staff are committed to analyzing and better understanding the shifts in enrollment. Enrollment planning staff will be working closely with other districts, the city and partners to produce more accurate student enrollment projections that consider new trends and variables in Seattle.

STEM K-8’s work with families to support student learning will continue move forward.  K-5 Curriculum Night/Open House is this Thursday, 9/27 from 6:00-7:30 pm. We will introduce staff in the cafeteria and then have two, 35 minute classroom sessions. Preschool will schedule a separate family night at a later date. Middle School Curriculum Night is October 4 from 6:00-8:7:30.

 

 

Week of September 10

School has started and we are going to be running full speed for a while!

I want to express a special thank you to our community and PTA who helped support vital staff trainings over the summer.  Thanks to your support we sent teachers this summer to Eurkea math trainings,  Next Gen science trainings at NatureBridge on the Olympic Peninsula, and held a Project Based Learning workshop for our entire teaching staff.  Project Based Learning (PBL) is one of the cornerstones of our vision and growing our PBL practices is an important priority given the number of staff we have added over the last few years.

A few key reminders as we start the year

Supervision starts in the morning at 8:35 am.  There is not supervision available for students before 8:35 am.

Please communicate any emergency changes to your child’s dismissal routine to the office before 2:00 pm.  With 560 scholars it’s impossible to guarantee that last minute plan changes can be communicated to your students.  With the various delays in bussing that plague the first couple of weeks each year I know many families choose to start the year transporting their children.  Communicate to us when that changes.

Dismissal is at 3:25.

The rest of the Wednesday’s this year are Early Release Days and school ends at 2:10 pm.

Back to school forms are available on the Seattle Public Schools website. You can also pick up hard copies at the school office, or ask your child to pick up one to bring home.

Forms needed from all families:FERPA, Emergency Information and Student Release

Others forms may be needed on an individual basis and are available on the Seattle Public Schools website: Free and Reduced Lunch Applications (these have to be turned in every year), Volunteer Background Check, Student Health Information for any students with special health needs, Housing Questionnaire, 504 Identification, Title VII, Advanced Learning applications, and many more. Hart copies are also available in the school office.

Don’t forget to join us at the 1st General PTA meeting of the year on Thursday, September 13th, from 6:30 – 8:00.

We’re glad you’re a part of the STEM community! Thanks for working with us to create powerful learning experiences for your children!

Ben Ostrom

STEM K-8 Principal