Elementary News and Updates (04/08/22)

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A Message from Ms. Kovlesky, Interim Executive Director

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Elementary Families,

Thank you so much for our partnership over the last three years and your support as I transition to my new role as the K-12 Executive Director. My hope is that the relationships I have built with your children continue to grow and I am viewed as a trusted adult they will call upon until graduation day. I promise that my passion, heart, and enthusiasm for the love of learning will continue to be present in the Elementary School each day.

Throughout my career as an educator, I have wanted to help build stronger communities and believe it starts with creating positive partnerships with our parents. I ask that you continue to embark on this journey with our staff and Leadership Team in an effort to strengthen our STEM community and ensure that our children reach their full potential.

As I stated during the interview process, I want every student and family to feel welcomed and included. One of the first steps in accomplishing that is learning why we didn’t meet the needs of some of our families and work to make any improvements that we can. If you are a family that has chosen to leave STEM, please reach out to me at lynann.kovalesky@https://stemk12.org to set up time with me so that I can hear your concerns.

We are #STEMStrongerTogether!

Thank you,

LynAnn Kovalesky, Interim Executive Director

Upcoming Events

DPS Virtual Community Meeting for STEM School Denver

Tuesday, April 12, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. – High School Commons

The next step in our replication efforts includes holding a Virtual Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 12 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This is an opportunity for the DPS community to learn more about our new school and to get to know what we’re all about. We hope you can join us via Zoom.

2022 NQS Community Meeting Flier

STEM Monthly PTO Meeting

Wednesday, April 13, from 6:30-8 p.m. – Zoom

STEM PTO is comprised of parents from the STEM community who work together to help foster a strong sense of community, provide enhancement activities for students, faculty, staff and families, while also helping to increase educational, social and emotional experiences for the members of their families.

STEM PTO is organized for the purpose of enhancing the quality of each students’ education, the school as a whole, and the entire community through the development of resources and participation of parents, school staff, and the community. Meetings are open for anyone to attend.

SAC Monthly Meeting

April 20, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. – STEM Center for Strength

The SAC meeting will be held at the STEM Center for Strength, to draw attention to the center and have an opportunity to learn about mental health and what the center does for the community. There will be a tour if time permits.

There will be no Zoom for this meeting, as we want to encourage everyone to come in person for the benefit of learning about the Center. Please request ahead of time to participate in Public Comment by emailing sac@https://stemk12.org.

Our upcoming meetings:

April 20th – at the STEM Center for Strength

May 18th – Standard meeting w/ Zoom

The purpose of the SAC is to inform, encourage and provide opportunities for parents and community members to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school’s instructional program and quality improvement processes. The SAC makes recommendations concerning the School’s performance, improvement, priority improvement, or turnaround plan, and meets to discuss the implementation of the School’s plan and other progress pertinent to STEM’s accreditation contract with the Board of Education. The SAC makes recommendations to the director for prioritizing the spending of school money.

News and Updates

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Elementary Families,

Each year STEM reviews classes that we offer K-12 to ensure that there is still interest by our students to take them. As we are in the planning stages now for next year, we are looking at which electives students are enrolling in when they make their course selections (Secondary), and which electives students in Elementary School are responding positively to.

One area that we’ve identified where we will be making a change is by not offering Chinese as a foreign language in Elementary School next year. Over the last few years, we have tracked the enrollment and interest of our various foreign language classes and witnessed a decline in enrollment in Chinese beginning in sixth grade.

The enrollment for Chinese has declined significantly and is no longer sustainable. For this reason, Chinese will be phased out over the next year at STEM K-12. French and Spanish will continue to be offered in grades 6-12. Your Administration Team will be working with student and teacher groups, as well as the School Accountability Committee (SAC), to determine an alternative Elementary School specials class for the Fall of 2022.

With that in mind, we’d like to request that you please complete the Elementary Specials Survey for the 2022-23 School Year, to help us gather data on what specials we should take into consideration for next year.

Please reach out with any questions.

Thank you,
LynAnn Kovalesky, Interim Executive Director/Elementary School Director

STEM PTO After Prom Donation Request

STEM PTO After Prom Committee is in need of donations for Decorations, Food, Door Prizes and Monetary Donations for After Prom on Saturday, April 23. Click the sign-up buttons below put your name down. Please email https://stemafterprom@https://stemk12.org to arrange the drop-off of item donations.

Parent Teacher Request Form

Creating class lists for the next school year is a collaborative and thoughtful process that involves input from multiple perspectives. Teachers know your students best and will be an integral part of this process in order to place your student in the best learning environment. We appreciate your thoughts and insights into your student and their specific needs.

Throughout this process, we consider a wide range of student variables. Parent input is one of many factors that are taken into consideration. In order to achieve a balance among classes other factors include the academic, social, and behavioral characteristics of all students, gender
balance, and other diverse learning needs.

STEM School Highlands Ranch cannot guarantee parent requests for specific classroom teachers and we request that you please refrain from discussing potential class placement with staff. We strive to optimize student learning with a class placement process, and ask that you trust and respect the professional advice and perspectives of our committed and caring staff.

We will inform everyone of class assignments in early August as part of our school registration process. Thank you for your engagement and partnership in your child’s education!

Elementary Yearbook Deadling is Fast Approaching

Click the button below to access the prepayment site for the Elementary Yearbook. Soft Cover books are $20 and Hard Cover books are $30. The deadline to order your yearbook is Friday, April 1.

School Picture Retakes and Orders

Families can access their photos by visiting the link to the right or going to dr-photo.com, selecting the School Portrait Proofs link, and when prompted enter their private password in the following format: Student ID#

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Six Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Big Feelings

How are we as parents to respond to children’s distress? How are we to coach children to regulate their emotions when we have our own emotions to manage? Here are some simple tips for helping children feel heard, which will help to resolve their distress and keep your home calmer.

Literacy Resource of the Week

DCSD Digital Resources

While the school library is only open during school hours, our DCSD digital resources are available 24/7! Douglas County students and staff have access to amazing digital sources like the renowned World Book Encyclopedia, as well as an extensive collection of popular magazines and many other eBooks and audiobooks through Sora. For more literacy resources for both educators and students, be sure to also check out TeachingBooks. Talk to your school librarian for help accessing these resources.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Six Ways to Deal With Parental Burnout

A year and a half into the pandemic, exhausted parents need healing. A mother explains how parents can move beyond burnout.

Community Events

Sources of Strength Community Night
Monday, April 11 | 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PACE Center, Parker

This event will provide an overview and highlights of the Sources of Strength program, and share about the amazing work that is happening across our school district. There is no cost to attend. The night will feature student peer leaders, school staff and our Guest Speaker, Jarrod Hindman, Chief Operating Officer at Sources of Strength.

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