K-5 STEM Transition to K-8 10-14-14
Letter from Principal Ostrom
Dear K-5 STEM Community,
I’m writing today to update you on our progress toward rolling up K-5 STEM into K-8 STEM. I know there has been some conflicting information regarding when the district will begin the roll up and there is a strong desire to begin the process as soon as possible. The district’s top priority is to implement the roll up in a way that is least disruptive to all students at the Louisa Boren building and as fiscally responsible as possible. With all of this in mind, the district is reviewing several critical factors in order to determine the best course of action.
Arbor Heights Elementary is scheduled to remain in the building until the 2016-17 school year, with a contingency plan to remain longer as needed should delays occur in their new school’s construction. Knowing that, we are currently conducting reviews of three critical areas that will affect a start date decision: enrollment, capital management and space utilization, and budget.
As you may know, this school year Arbor Heights’ kindergarten enrollment was well above projections, resulting in the need for a third kindergarten classroom and aids to help with larger second grade classes. Looking forward, West Seattle elementary schools are expected to experience the highest kindergarten enrollment in years in the 2015-16 school year. What’s more, boundaries will likely change slightly for schools next year and Arbor Heights is expected to potentially gain additional students. With this information, we expect Arbor Heights will continue to have three kindergarten classes again next year, and could have demand for additional classrooms in other grade levels.
Seattle Public Schools is conducting a capital management and space utilization review based on this projected enrollment. Currently there is one classroom at Boren available to Arbor Heights in the portables. All things remaining equal at Arbor Heights in terms of enrollment, this room will be put into use next year to house a third first grade classroom to accommodate this year’s kindergarteners. At that point, there will be no additional classroom space available to Arbor Heights.
Currently there are two rooms available in Boren for K-5 STEM that can be repurposed as classrooms, a fully outfitted high school-level science lab and a reading room. A budget and space utilization review is underway to look at the cost of repurposing these rooms as sixth grade classrooms. Should they be repurposed and sixth grade begin in 2015-16, there will be no additional space available in the Louisa Boren building to accommodate growth until Arbor Heights moves, which again, could be later than Sept. 2016 if there are construction delays. This also is being considered.
We know it has been suggested additional portables be brought onto site to house increased Arbor Heights classes. At this time, preliminary reviews have indicated an additional portable is not an option based on space requirements and overall land use. This is being reviewed so we can all be certain.
Seattle Public Schools’ reviews are still preliminary and we’ve not come to a final decision at this time. However, I wanted you to know the issues at hand and that we’re looking at them from every angle. I am meeting with Seattle Public Schools Senior staff on 10-20 to discuss the latest information. Should building and enrollment evaluations conclude the least disruptive and most fiscally responsible decision is to postpone the K-8 roll up until 2016-17, the district will address this issue directly with K-5 STEM families and the school board.
In the meantime, we’ve heard your concerns for our current fifth grade class. We have begun discussions with school leaders regarding advanced math courses available in West Seattle middle schools for graduating STEM students. Should we be in a position where we are unable to start the roll up in 2015-16 school year, we are working to assure these graduating fifth graders can continue on their advanced trajectory throughout their middle school careers.
Please feel free to come to our coffee chat , 10-17 at or connect with me if you have further questions. I will share more as soon as it is available.
K-5 STEM Principal
"Feather The Nest" Direct Give Campaign is Live
PTA's Fall Fundraising Event is a Direct Give
The Direct Give is the K-5 STEM PTA's first fundraiser of the year and your first opportunity to help STEM students and staff get the resources they need for an enriched school year.
State and local funding is inadequate to support the vision of our school and provide the level of services we want for all of our students. The PTA works for school improvements by advocating locally and nationally, but our voices do not provide the dollars we need, so we ask for support from you, our community. We chose a Direct Give so that each dollar you spend goes directly to the school. We do not ask our students and families to sell products or gather pledges. Each donation is tax deductible, and many employers will match donations, increasing your gift to our community.
View more information about the PTA’s goals and where your generous donations go.
Direct Give 2014