Arbor Heights Elementary to implement "eSTEM" curriculum in coming years

Arbor Heights Elementary is making changes to their curriculum model that Principal Christy Collins said will be in full swing by the time their new school is built in 2016. The curriculum is called eSTEM, which stands for Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This will be the second elementary school in West Seattle (the first being K-5 STEM) to build a curriculum focused on giving students an early leap in technical fields.

Collins said eSTEM will provide, "clear pathways to STEM opportunities in middle school and high school." It will be interesting to see if more structured STEM pathways do indeed emerge in middle and high school settings.

Here is the letter from Collins to the parents and students of Arbor Heights Elementary explaining the new model:

"Dear Arbor Heights’ Families,

I am very excited to announce Arbor Heights’ Elementary School will begin the transition to eSTEM beginning the fall of 2013 with full implementation of the eSTEM curriculum and instructional practice in 2016 when our new school opens. eSTEM stands for Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

eSTEM will provide an engaging and challenging science- and technology-based learning environment for elementary age students. There will be support for students who are behind, extra challenge for those who are ready for more advanced work, and clear pathways to STEM opportunities in middle school and high school.

The fields of environment, science, technology, engineering and mathematics are key to our students’ academic success. They are also the underpinnings of modern life, with many future career opportunities in a wide variety of exciting fields. Be assured, we will provide an equal emphasis on literacy, social studies, physical education and the arts. All are considered an important component of your child’s well-rounded and engaging education here at Arbor Heights Elementary School.

We will begin the transition next fall when teaching staff implements the new Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Literacy (ELA). The recently released Science and Arts Standards will be a part of our professional development training beginning next year, too.

As we begin this exciting journey, I will provide regular updates through our website, The Arbor Heights Communicator, principal coffees and community forums. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email me at cacollins@seattleschools.org or attend our next principal coffee, Wednesday, May 8 at 9:15 a.m. in the library.

I look forward to parent involvement during the process of defining our shared-beliefs around evidence-based instruction and eSTEM.

Sincerely,

Christy Collins
Principal, Arbor Heights"

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