Elementary News and Updates (03/24/23)

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Upcoming Events

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.

CMAS Testing for Grades 3, 4 & 5

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) Testing is coming up and we wanted to provide the following information to families. Testing for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will begin on Monday, March 27 and end on Wednesday, March 29

Monday, March 27

  • 8-9:15 a.m. – CMAS Math Unit 1
  • 10-11:40 a.m. – CMAS ELA Unit 1

Tuesday, March 28

  • 8-9:15 a.m. – CMAS Math Unit 2
  • 10-11:40 a.m. – CMAS ELA Unit 2

Wednesday, March 29

  • 8-9:15 a.m. – CMAS Math Unit 3
  • 10-11:40 a.m. – CMAS ELA Unit 3
Spring 2023 HipPOPs Gelato Truck

Fifth Grade Move-Up Day

Friday, March 31, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Fifth-grade students will be paired with sixth-grade students for half a day to experience the MS experience.

CMAS Testing for Grades 5

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) Testing is coming up and we wanted to provide the following information to families. Testing for 5th graders in science will be on Tuesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 13.

Tuesday, April 11

  • 7:50-9:20 a.m. – CMAS Science Unit 1
  • 9:30-10:55 a.m. – CMAS Science Unit 2

Thursday, April 13

  • 7:50-9:20 a.m. – CMAS Science Unit 3

KOSON/STEM Board of Directors' Meeting

Tuesday, April 4, from 5:30-7 p.m – Mechatronics Lab (P-TECH/KOSON Building)

The monthly STEM Board of Directors’ Meeting will be Tuesday, April 4, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Mechatronics Lab of the P-TECH/KOSON Building. The STEM BOD is comprised of parents and community members who volunteer their time. The Board’s role and purpose is to provide oversight of the Executive Director, who implements the policies set forth by the Board. The Board also provides support and direction of STEM’s long-term vision and mission. Additionally, the Board is active in making sure that STEM remains in compliance with all DCSD, state and federal compliance requirements, as well as STEM’s Charter Contract.

Meetings are open to anyone to attend. Anyone who would like to address the Board Members must sign-up in advance by completing the Public Comment Form no later than 12 p.m. the day of each Board meeting. If written testimony or a handout is submitted, presenters are asked to supply one (1) copy via email to communications@stemk12.org.

SteMed Safe Driving Carnival

Friday, April 7, from 3:30-5 p.m. – Secondary Gym

Mark your calendars for the SteMed Safe Driving Event on Friday, April 7, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Secondary Gym. This is a carnival event for students to learn more about safe driving habits and the dangers of distracted driving. More information will be shared in the coming weeks about the different events.

STEM Youth Lacrosse Night

News and Updates

Preparing for CMAS Testing

These assessments are administered under standardized conditions to ensure the reliability and validity of the results. Click below to see the complete testing schedule to reference testing times and class sessions for all students. PLEASE NOTE: certain grades will be virtual on certain days so please check the schedule carefully.

Important Reminders:

  • It is essential that students are present and on time on the days of testing. Any student who is tardy will not be able to take the test and will need to sit in a designated space until the test is complete.
  • Please avoid scheduling trips and appointments for your child during this day.
  • Also, ensure your child is well-rested and has had a good breakfast on testing days.

If you’d like to opt your student out, please click here to complete the form. Please click here to read the opt-out instructions.

Flexible Volunteer Opportunity – Seeking Volunteers for 7th Grade Investigation

Friends of STEM,

Our 7th graders will be investigating real-world biodiversity problems beginning on April 12th.

We hope to engage students with knowledgeable adults throughout this investigation. Your involvement can range from presenting information, sharing about your career, hearing student ideas and giving simple feedback, answering students’ questions, or a combination of these. Any level of experience with biodiversity, life sciences, or genetics will suffice.

This can be in-person or virtually (Google Meets) on any date/time that works for you! If this is something you are interested in, please share a date(s) and time frame that you would like to volunteer between the dates of April 12 and May 5. Please share this information with anyone else you might know who might be interested!

For questions and/or more information, you can contact the 7th-grade science teacher, Kathy Dwyer (kathy.dwyer@https://stemk12.org).

Seeking In-Person Panelists for MS and HS Students

Friends of STEM,

We are seeking panelists to listen to students’ ideas and provide simple feedback.

High school and 7th/8th grade students identified mental health problems facing teens and will propose their ideas for feasible solutions. As a panelist you would attend class in-person, listen to student ideas, ask questions, and share advice if applicable. View more information about being a panelist, and about problem based learning on the document attached.

There are 80-90 minute slots available on April 3rd or April 5th.

For more information about this PBL investigation, you can reach out to the students’ teacher – Nancy.Szczekocki@https://stemk12.org

PTO After Prom Fundraiser - Lazy Dog
After Prom Donations Flyer

Lunches will be FREE Next School Year

FREE lunches are back for students! Starting in August of 2023, students will once again receive free lunches. Students must chose an entree, fruit/vegetable a milk for the free lunch. Snacks are not free.

While lunches will be free, it is important for families who need additional financial support to still complete the Free/Reduces Lunch application. Those who qualify for FRL status will only receive the additional benefits (free/reduced school fees, free/reduced trips, priority for scholarships in non-FRL field trips or Enrichment programs, and/or graduation fee reductions, etc.) of the program if they complete the application.

In order to assure that the District and STEM receive accurate data, DCSD and STEM are requesting that ALL families complete the FRL application that opens on July 15, regardless of financial status. A new application must be completed each school year. Families can also still apply for this school year using the link below.

After Prom Butter Braid Fundraiser

Update your PikMyKid App

Attention Parents! Please make sure that you have the newest version of the PikMyKid App downloaded to your phone. The current app was released in June of 2021. The old app will be discontinued on April 1. Their usernames and passwords will remain the same, making the transition easy. Emails to families still using the old app will be sent directly to the email address on file in PikMyKid, from PikMyKid Support.

Mentors Needed for Business & Resume Workshop

Our high school entrepreneurship class is seeking in-person professionals for our Resume-Building Workshop on April 6th from 3-4 p.m. Please email mackenzie.harper@https://stemk12.org if you’re interested in participating.

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.

DR Photo Yearbook Graphic

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 ashley.westfall@https://stemk12.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 ashley.westfall@https://stemk12.org 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.

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)

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.

Center for Strength News and Events

DCSD News and Resources

District Accountability Committee Seeks Charter School Parent Member

DCSD’s District Accountability Committee (DAC) is currently accepting applications for a charter school parent member. The District Accountability Committee (DAC) meets monthly throughout the year and makes recommendations to the Board regarding spending District money, charter school applications, improvement plans and parent engagement plans. If you have a child in one of our DCSD charter schools and are interested in serving on this important committee please complete and submit the DAC Application.

Mental Health Resource of the Week

We Can All Prevent Suicide

Learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide. Help is available by calling or texting 988 – the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Literacy Tip of the Week

Literacy Tips for Parents of Adolescents

Here are some activities that parents can initiate at home to help ensure successful literacy outcomes for their adolescent students.

Health and Wellness Tip of the Week

DCSD Parent University: Nutrition – What Growing Bodies Need to Eat!

Wednesday, March 29, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and to prevent various health conditions. Do you feel like you can’t keep up with the latest nutrition news for growing children because it’s always changing? While it’s true that what is known about nutrition and diet is evolving, there are some nutrition basics that can help you sort through the latest research and advice. Join DCSD’s Nutrition Services Specialists in this informative webinar. This is a free online event made possible by a partnership between the Douglas County School District and Sky Ridge Medical Center. Please register to receive information on joining the webinar.

Lunch and Learn: The Facts About Fentanyl

Hosted by the Douglas County Youth Initiative

Tuesday, April 4 | 12-1:30 p.m., 100 Third St., Castle Rock – Miller Building Hearing Room

  • Complimentary Lunch is Available, please bring your own water
  • Limited seating. RSVP to malston@douglas.co.us
  • Speaker: Lindsey Simbeye, External Relations Strategist
  • Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
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