I hope you had an amazing summer, and were able to spend some time relaxing and reconnecting as a family. I am very excited for the upcoming school year. I can’t wait to see our returning students and hear about their summer experiences, and to get to know our students new to STEM. I am also thrilled to be serving our community, continuing my role as principal. We have made great strides in improving the graduation rate of our students and I am eager to improve upon that even more. Our staff along with our community of families and partners will continue to refine and improve the educational experience for all of our students.
You may have noticed it has been busy at STEM Launch this summer. The updates and renovations to STEM Launch financed through the 2016 bond initiative have been put into place this summer. Among the exciting changes is a new gym floor, additional elementary classrooms, a complete renovation of the art classrooms, and new technology for all teachers and classes. With this scale of upgrades made to the school, there will be some work ongoing into the fall. I apologize for any inconvenience ahead of time and look forward to working with you to minimize impact.
With the remodel comes more spaces for our primary students. We are currently open for choice in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. Please fill out an online choice application, or drop by the school and we can assist you with the enrollment process.
There are a number of staff changes I would like to highlight. First, please welcome Kate Klaver as our new assistant principal. Kate has worked at STEM Launch for the past few years as our STEM Coordinator, and before that taught at our sister school STEM Lab. Her knowledge of the model is unsurpassed and I am excited to work with her in her new role. You will also notice a new face at our front door. Maria Araujo is our new receptionist. She started at the end of last year, and we are very happy to have her back. She is bi-lingual and is an excellent starting place for any questions you might have.
Every year we work to improve our practices at STEM Launch. This year we will focus on increasing the number of Problem Based Learning units students are interacting with, as well as improving the learning opportunities within those units. These units are a fundamental piece to our model and are a leverage point for greater success for our students. Additionally we are looking to find ways to strengthen our STEM community. This year we will continue to refine our restorative justice practices. Restorative justice practices empower students to resolve conflicts on their own and in small groups. These practices are guided by an adult, and the problem solving skills are taught to students. Resolving conflict teaches students to control their emotions and behavior, pay attention to others’ feelings and words, and to be aware and respect others’ differences. These are also the precise “soft” skills that lead to success in the work place.
Our mission, to inspire achievement through rigorous, innovative, and authentic experiences, will drive us to achieve excellence for our students in the classroom and beyond. Our staff and I cannot wait to get started! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the last weeks of summer and go Innovators!
STEM Launch K-8