Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,
You may be aware that there is a growing trend around the country of a TikTok challenge that involves vandalizing and destroying bathrooms inside of the school. This trend has not bypassed STEM. Several of our bathrooms over the last two weeks have been impacted on multiple occasions.
Our Safety and Security Team at STEM has been investigating and addressing the issue with the responsible parties to not only get restitution but also explore criminal charges when necessary.
We want all of our families and students to know that this behavior and these actions will not be tolerated. It does not model what it means to be a STEM Spartan following our Formula for Character. Please speak to your students about this when you can, sharing how these behaviors negatively impact everyone.
Our safety and security team at STEM consists of our building directors, deans, security manager, facilities Team, our Douglas County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer, Deputy Gabe Uribe, and DCSD Security Office. This team works collaboratively every day to ensure that we are safe, that we have the latest technology available, and that we are following all procedures defined as best practices for schools.
When an issue arises with student behavior or a safety concern, members of our Administration Team (based on their specific role) work to assess, investigate and resolve it based on best practices, procedures and guidelines, in conjunction with the rest of the Safety and Security Team.
Our STEM Administration Team has extensive training and experience and completes regular training throughout the school year and Officer Uribe trained this summer at the National Conference of School Resource officers. Our STEM Administrators must have an Administrator’s license, which involves exhaustive training in areas such as Standard Response Protocol, Threat Assessment, Mandatory Reporting and more.
Additionally, at the start of the school year, our staff received information training through the ILoveYouGuys.org Foundation on Standard Response Protocol, as well as training from DCSD on what to do in various situations. Additional in-person training happens during the year, along with monthly drills to ensure that everyone understands what to do.
Some of the technology that ensures safety and security that is incorporated into the school building that we can share with our community includes the Guardian Indoor Shooter Detection System that was funded through a grant from the Douglas County Commissioners.
STEM not only meets but also exceeds all recommendations for school safety and we can assure you that STEM is a safe environment to not only learn in but to work in.
Earlier this week we were informed that our Security Manager, Jeff Martinez had decided to end his contract with STEM. We are sad to see him depart, but we want to thank him for his commitment to our students, our families and our staff. In his time as Security Manager, he helped to lead our drill team, assist with investigations, monitor the campus, create relationships with our students and more. While we search for his replacement, STEM will work with a contracted Safety and Security company to provide additional assistance for our school. STEM has a long practice of employing contract security to supplement STEM staff security and our SRO.
Thank you for your support of our school, our students and our staff.
Your STEM Administration Team
P.J. Eucker, PhD., Executive Director
Dr. Karen Johnson, Director of Curriculum and Accountability
Christina Wu, Director of Student Support
LynAnn Kovalesky, Elementary School Director
Maura Ridder, Middle School Director
Ryan Alsup, High School Director
Amie McElroy, K-8 Dean
Parag Patel, 6-12 Dean