STEM All-Events Calendar
Please take a moment to check the STEM All-Events Calendar on our website.
There are lots of events already scheduled so please take a moment to take a look at the calendar to familiarize yourself with some of the events at the start of school. This calendar will continue to be updated throughout the summer as we get closer to the start of school.
STEMShares Clothing Drive
January 10-31 – Homeroom Teacher (Elementary)/6th-Period Teacher (Middle School)
STEM Shares is hosting one event every month to give back to our community after May 7th. For the month of January, STEM Shares is hosting a Clothing Drive. We will be collecting clothes from January 10-31. Donations should be in wearable condition and students can donate their clothes to either their homeroom teacher (ES Students) or 6th-period teacher (MS Students). All donations will be given to local homeless shelters.
The class with the most donations will win a pizza party! Please email any questions to email@example.com.
National Honor Society Thrift Stor
Monday, Jan. 23, from 4-6 p.m. – Room 230 in the High School Building
National Honor Society is holding a thrift store next Monday, on January 23rd from 4-6 pm in room 230. We would absolutely love it if you could come to support our NHS chapter! All profits will go towards funding our Wish Week at the end of February.
Science National Honor Society Craft Fair
Friday, Jan. 27, from 3:30-5 p.m. – Elementary School Gym
Join the S.N.H.S. (Science National Honors Society) for a Craft Fair on Friday, Jan. 27, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Elementary School Gym. It is a Winter-Themed event that encourages students to show their creativity in various arts and crafts. This includes snowflake origami, decorated pine cones, food crafts, and much more! If you want to donate, click the button below to sign-up for donations.
STEM's Got Talent Auditions
Wednesday, Jan. 25 & Thursday, Jan 26, from 3-6 p.m. – Room 149
Our 11th annual STEM’s Got Talent Show will occur on March 2, 2023. We are looking for 20 incredible acts. The night will also feature the STEM Staff Annual Lip Sync Performance!
Auditions will take place on January 25 and 26. It is open to all students K-12. To audition for the show, you need to do three things:
Elementary Sweetheart Dance
Friday, Feb. 3, from 6-8 p.m. – Elementary Cafe and Gym
Join us for Dancing Through the Decades STEM Elementary School Dance. This is NOT a drop-off event. Elementary students- bring your favorite adults and dress your favorite decade. $5 per person. Games, selfie stations, dancing, and fun.
News and Updates
Academic Scheduling Parent Information Night for Grades 5-7 Recording/Presentation
On Thursday, Jan. 19, the Student Support Services Team presented to families and students in grades 5-7 on the Academic Scheduling Process for the 2023-24 school year. The video recording is to the right. Click the button below to access the slide presentation. Counselors will be working with students the week of January 23 to review courses and to make course selections for next year.
SBL Update from Mrs. Gasser (01/13/23)
Welcome Back! I hope that everyone had a great break and is ready to start 2023 off right!
I wanted to provide an update on Standards Based Learning and some expectations for the second semester.
For Elementary Parents
You can review your student’s progress on MasteryConnect by following the link that was emailed to you in September. The trackers are designed to keep the student data from the first semester so that we can track growth. You should be able to see the progress that your child is making in each subject area.
You can switch from subject to subject to see your student’s mastery and to determine areas for growth. These are great conversation starters for you and your child. Most elementary school classrooms have students set goals using their MasteryTracker. Be sure to ask your student to share their progress with you.
For Secondary Parents
This week teachers will be sharing second-semester expectations with students regarding SBL through a canvas announcement. Although these expectations were in place at the beginning of the year, teachers provided students with support and scaffolds as there was a natural learning curve with SBL.
- Learning Opportunities – If a student does not do well on a Demonstration of Knowledge assignment, they will need to complete the learning opportunities before having the opportunity for a retake. It is in the best interest of the student to complete the learning opportunities when assigned so that they do not have to go back and complete them to have a retake.
- Deadline – teachers will communicate unit deadlines to students via a Canvas announcement. Most deadlines will be two weeks after the end of the unit so that students have opportunities for retakes or resubmissions. Once the deadline has passed, the student will not be able to submit an assignment or retake the demonstration of knowledge unless they have permission from the teacher.
- Observer in Canvas – You must become an observer in Canvas to receive email notifications when teachers post announcements. This will let you know when the unit deadline is and how your student can make sure they have their work submitted.
In each unit, the teacher will determine which standard or standards they are assessing and then will provide feedback to students along the way. Teachers will collect assignments and assessments throughout the unit that demonstrate knowledge of the standard and enter them into the Canvas grade book. Students should monitor their grade book for feedback and to see their demonstration of knowledge grades.
Please have grace with our teachers while they are learning our new grading systems, as there might be a few hiccups along the way. We ask students to politely email their teachers with grading questions and clarification. If you have any questions about grading or Standards Based Learning, please click here.
Secondary MasteryConnect Update
We currently have 12 teachers in secondary who have begun piloting MasteryConnect. I will be reaching out to parents and students in those classes in the next few weeks to walk through what the pilot will look like. We will be gathering feedback from students and parents throughout this process to determine if MasteryConnect meets our needs moving forward.
Michelle Gasser, Director of Professional Development
Doodle for Google
Calling all creative K-12 students! Doodle for Google is officially open for its 15th year. We are excited to share that this year’s prompt is “I am grateful for…”. Students are encouraged to take a moment to reflect on what’s most important to them.
Students should be prompted to think about:
- What moments, people, places and things are special to them
- What or whom can they not imagine living without
- What are the things that get them through the day
Not sure where to start? Head to doodle4google.com for details on how to enter and to find lesson guides and videos to spark creativity!
Submission deadline is March 7 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Elementary Yearbook Reminder
Don’t forget!! Order your Elementary Yearbook today using the link below. Soft-cover yearbooks at $21 and hard-cover yearbooks are $31.
Student Fees Reminder
Reminder!! If you haven’t yet, please log into your MySchoolBucks account to pay your student’s fees. We currently have approximately $30,000 in outstanding student fees, and we anticipate that is due to the technical issues at the start of the school year with Express Check-In. If you have questions about your student’s fees or want to get on a payment plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder about Early Pick-Up Times
Reminder STEM Families! If you’re coming to pick up your student early, please do so before 1:45 p.m. Please do not come after 1:45 p.m. to pick up your student early. Exceptions will only be made for parents picking up students in the health room or who were called by the front office to pick up their student.
Unscheduled pick-ups after 1:45 p.m. interfere with driveline operations, as well as make it difficult for the front office to assist. Thank you for your understanding in helping to make our operations in the front office run smoothly.
Free Chromebooks for Free-Reduced Lunch Students
We are happy to share that we will be offering students who are part of the Free and Reduced Lunch program the opportunity to get a Free Chromebook if the following parameters are met:
- Chromebook is signed out by a parent
- The student must remain enrolled at STEM for three years. (if the student leaves STEM during those three years, they will need to return the laptop)
Laptops can be kept over the summer. For more information, please email email@example.com to confirm your Free and Reduced Lunch Program status. Not sure if you qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch? DCSD recommends that you apply regardless so that they can assist you further. Click the button below to access the application.
Don't forget to order your school photos
School photos have been uploaded for families to view. Families can access their photos by visiting the link below, selecting the School Portrait Proofs link, and when prompted enter their private password in the following format: studentid#.
A Message from the School Nurse
Click the button below to read an important letter from CDPHE about immunizations. This information was also sent to all families via School Messenger.
Winter Bike to Work Day with waytogo!
Keep your car on ice on Winter Bike to Work Day!
With 300 days of sunshine a year, the Denver region is a great place to bike — even in winter months! Join thousands of commuters on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, for Winter Bike to Work Day, and do your health a favor by pledging to swap a ride in your car for a ride on your bike.
Register to ride at BikeToWorkDay.co and be automatically entered to win prizes to keep you cozy during the chilly winter months. Working from home? You can still participate with folks across Colorado by rethinking how you get to the grocery store, the gym or the school drop-off line!
Updated Snow Day Policy
As the winter season approaches, we want to announce updates to the current Virtual School Day for Inclement Weather policy. Last spring, one of our STEM students presented a proposal and justification regarding changes to our current Virtual School Day policy. As a result, the administration and Board of Directors determined that a change is recommended to the Snow Day Policy. We appreciate the leadership and voice our STEM students display and are happy to announce that STEM will follow the DCSD Snow Day policy with a closure. STEM also reserves the right to modify the calendar, schedule, or this policy, due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or construction that interrupts the required instructional minutes as set forth by the Colorado Department of Education. The following is a reminder of the current policies.
Late Start Schedule
STEM does not mimic the Late Start Policy and schedule put forth by DCSD. In the event that Douglas County calls for a Delayed Opening, STEM’s Virtual School Day Policy will take effect.
Virtual School Day for Inclement Weather
If DCSD determines that the district should follow the Delayed Opening protocol, STEM School Highlands Ranch will abide by its Virtual School Day Policy. When it snows, our school’s operation and instructional expectations will be determined by one of these three scenarios:
- Updated: Snow Day – Douglas County Schools calls a snow day – STEM is closed (check www.dcsdk12.org)
- Late Start Day – Douglas County Schools calls a Late Start day – STEM is closed and implements a Virtual School Day.
- All Schools Open – Douglas County Schools declare Highlands Ranch area schools open – STEM is open and operating to our regular schedule.
Connect with other Parents
In case you didn’t know, families have specific Class Pages on Facebook where they can connect with other families from their student’s grade. You can find all of the different class pages on our Get Connected page of the Parent section of our website. Click the button below to see them.
Please note that these pages are administered by other parents and not by STEM.
DCSD News and Resources
Mental Health Resource of the Week
How to keep a mental health journal by Mental Health America
Journaling has long been recognized as a way to reduce anxiety, regulate emotions, and break away from obsessive thinking and rumination. Not sure where to begin?
Health and Wellness
As we navigate the colder months, some of us may be struggling with the “winter blues.” For over 10 million Americans, these mood changes can significantly affect feelings, thoughts, and daily activities. Learn more about seasonal affective disorder and how you can get support or help support a loved one.
Parent University: License To Survive
Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Online
This is a free online event made possible via a partnership between the Douglas County School District, Sky Ridge Medical Center, and South Metro Safety Foundation. Please register beforehand to receive information on joining the webinar.
This webinar is offered to parents and teens who are ready to start the driving permit process. All beginning drivers are welcome to attend.
- A better understanding of the learn-to-drive process.
- How to become more effectively involved in the driving process.
- What to teach, where, and how.
- A clearer perspective of the driving process.
- How to keep your driver’s license.
- How to survive the greatest potential risks of driving.
Apply to Volunteer on the Mill Bond Ad-hoc Exploratory Committee (MBEC)
If you are interested in joining the MBEC, we encourage you to apply! The MBEC membership intentionally reflects a wide variety of experience, involvement, and perspectives from community members across the school district. For example, candidates who are not involved in school activities are encouraged to apply, as are those who are. Candidates who are uncertain whether they support funding or have opposed past funding initiatives are welcome to apply, as are those who support them. We want a range of voices at the table. Click below to learn more and to apply. The deadline for applications is Sunday, Jan. 22.