STEM School Highlands Ranch

Never Stop Innovating

Elementary News and Updates (04/30/21)

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Elementary News and Upcoming Events

Volunteer and Donation News

Volunteering and giving to STEM are vital to the success of our school.  Our school has a charter that requires a commitment of 30 volunteer hours per family (15 hours per single-parent family).

To make volunteering easy and seamless, please refer to the Volunteering Basics section that will allow you to set up your volunteer account and keep track of your hours.  We are extremely grateful for the time and energy donated by STEM parents each year.

With COVID 19, and visitors or volunteers not being allowed in the building this year, STEM has continued volunteer needs as the year finishes.
Please consider what your family can contribute with time or donations.

Upcoming Events

Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-6

Teacher Appreciation Week is Monday, May 3 through Thursday, May 6 and STEM PTO would like to invite the entire community to leave messages of thanks and support for our whole staff. Click the button below to access the Flip Grid sheet that has a link for each of our staff members.

STEMShares coming up May 3-7

May 3-7, 2021

STEMShares is our opportunity to bring our community together to give back and share what being #STEMStrong really means. Our community showed an amazing amount of support for us in our time of need, and giving back is a great way to honor the heroic actions of our students and staff. Click the button below to learn more.

Specials Day (Field Day)

May 17, from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Specials Day is the new version of field day and will be on May 17. It will function a little differently than past field days because we can only do one grade level at a time (to keep with covid policies and cleaning procedures). During specials time for each elementary grade level, that grade will come out to the playfield and rotate between activities designed and run by the specials teachers.

Kindie Continuation

Friday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The 2021 Kindie Continuation Webinar will be held on Friday, May 21 starting at 11 am. This year we will compile the Kindies and Graduating Seniors aspirations into a celebration video. This will be aired on a Zoom webinar that families and friends can attend virtually. Click the button below to join.

News and Updates

Registrar News

Please check Infinite Campus to make sure we have your current address. If you have a change of address please email Tiffany Klenke (tiffany.klenke@stemk12.org), K-12 Registrar, with a proof of residency. Douglas County School District and STEM School Highlands Ranch only accept the following legal documents as proof of residence:

  • warranty deed
  • deed of trust
  • lease agreement
  • tax notice
  • county assessor
  • notarized letter

Join the School Accountability Committee (SAC)

Are you looking to get more involved with the school, but not sure where to start? Are you interested in learning about STEM and the impact we as parents, teachers, and staff have on our students? Or are you just curious how our school runs and what goes into making our school a success? If you said yes to any of these questions please consider joining the STEM School Accountability Committee, SAC. All parents are welcome to attend our meetings, but we are currently looking to fill three parent voting member positions for the 2021-2022 school year. You can submit your letter of interest to sac@stemk12.org.

We are looking for a diverse representation of our school, which can be grade level, culture, committees, or anyone that has a direct impact on a large population of our school. We currently have parent representation at each of the school levels, elementary, middle, and high school. Each elected member serves a two year term; however, your role on the board may change from one year to the next within the elected term. The SAC time commitment is minimal and qualifies towards volunteer hours. The SAC typically meets the third Wednesday of the month from 6-8 p.m.

The SAC is an advisory committee to the Director(s) about things such as…

  • Discuss results of State testing
    • School Performance Framework
  • Provide input regarding
    • School Budget
    • Unified Improvement Plan (UIP – the school’s academic goals and action plans)
    • Staffing Needs
  • Parent Survey
    • Distribution
    • Collection
    • Data Analysis
  • Collaborate with the PTO and reports to the Board of Directors
  • SAC provides feedback to the DAC (District Accountability Committee) regarding:
    • Spending district money
    • Charter applications and renewals
    • School improvement plans

If you have any questions or are interested in becoming an advisor on the SAC please submit your intent to participate to SAC@stemk12.org by Friday, May 7. The election will be held May 10-17 via electronic ballot. To know your school is to love your school!

Nominations Open for 2022 CDE Colorado Teacher of the Year

Do you know an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 teacher? Nominate one of your colleagues to apply for the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year award. The nomination form is now open. When you nominate someone, they will be notified of their nomination by CDE and encouraged to take the next step to apply.

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in the state. The selected teacher will automatically become Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition.

This special teacher also gets to attend the following events:

  • The National Teacher of the Year Induction, an opportunity for the country’s teachers of the year to come together and understand their individual identities in their new roles.
  • Washington Week, an opportunity to go to the nation’s capital for recognition. Teachers will get to visit the White House and meet the president as well as attend the National Teacher of the Year gala.
  • NASA Space Camp, where teachers participate in a version of astronaut training designed specifically for educators to take strategies and concepts back to their classrooms.
  • College Football Playoff National Championship Game to participate in the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers event, which elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering quality teachers.

All this can be possible for one exceptional Colorado teacher so tell the one you’re thinking of right now to apply. Nominate them using this form via the button to the right by June 15, 2021.

iReady Assessment Information

Students have been completing the iReady Diagnostic assessment within language arts and math classes during this week and through May 14. The information gathered from this assessment will assist staff in identifying gaps in learning and areas of acceleration as we plan for the upcoming school year. If your Virtual Learner is taking the assessment at home, please support your student in completing the assessment on their own to the best of their ability in order to allow for an accurate picture of student needs. Please do not spend an enormous amount of time on this task, an hour is the average. If you would like a copy of your student’s results, please complete the form via the button below and it will be emailed to you.

Learn more about Standards-Based Learning at STEM

STEM School Highlands Ranch is moving toward Standards-Based Learning and Reporting to measure and communicate students’ learning and academic growth and achievement with greater accuracy. By switching we are able to provide clearer feedback to students based on specific learning goals.

In a traditional hundred-point grading system, grades are generated from the work assigned to students. These scores often include points for extra credit or deductions for behavior, such as turning work in late, and are an average of all of these things. This system does not take into account the learning process and doesn’t accurately show what a student can do. There are also biases within this system since teachers apply points differently. Students often do not know what a grade means and grade meanings can vary from class to class. Earning points becomes the motivating factor for students, causing them to chase points instead of knowledge.

Standards-Based Learning focuses on the mastery of essential content.

STEM Using School Messenger

To help expand our ability to communicate with our families, we will be rolling out the use of the Douglas County School District’s School Messenger platform to send notifications to families. The use of School Messenger allows for us to add text messaging and phone calls to the emails we already send through Infinite Campus. We will be implementing School Messenger to assist with communications around COVID-19 quarantine notifications. Currently, members of our admin team make individual calls for each quarantine. Implementing School Messenger will allow the team to notify families more efficiently.

Elementary Lost and Found

It’s that time of year. If you think your student is missing items, please stop by our Lost & Found to look through what has been left behind. The Lost & Found is located in the Elementary School Lobby. All items not picked up will be donated at the end of the school year.

Student illustrator contest!

Do you like to draw? Have you ever dreamed of illustrating a children’s book? Mrs. Ridder is looking for a budding student artist to illustrate an upcoming children’s book. If you are interested, please contact Mrs. Ridder (maura.ridder@stemk12.org) for more information.

Special Offer from DR Photo

STEM families, we have partnered with DR Photo to offer our families yard signs and banners to celebrate your student’s graduation (Kindergarten or High School). If you would like to order a sign or banner please click the button to the right.

We also are offering graduation portrait sessions. You can schedule a private session at their Littleton studio by clicking the link to the right.

School Photos Update

STEM had picture Day on February 16 & 17 for students needing a current school photo.

Elementary Students:

  • There will be a Class Composite created for each class
  • Parents will have the opportunity to purchase individual and class composite photos.

If your student was unable to take advantage of the picture days at STEM, please set an appointment to have their picture taken at the photographer’s studio. Check out the buttons to the left to schedule an appointment, or order photos.

New Gear available for sale in the SpartMart

Don’t Delay! Show your STEM Spartan Pride by ordering from the NEW gear that is available in the SpartMart Store. Check out the flier to the right for more information. The SpartMart is operated by STEM students and the gear is designed by STEM students as well.

February 2021 SpartMart Sale

Enrichment Update

Summer Camps at STEM

We are excited to host a variety of summer camps this upcoming summer.

  • Camp Invention (K-6) | June 7-11, 2021
  • Cyber-SPY Camp (K-2) | June 14-18, 2021
  • Cyber Detectives (3-5) | June 21-25, 2021
  • FRC 4418’s Lego Mindstorm Camp (K-5)
  • Peter Pan Theater Camp (K-5) | June 21-25, 2021

Please visit our Enrichment page to view current openings and sign up.

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