Elementary News and Updates (04/19/24)

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Director's Update

A message from Mrs. McElroy, Elementary School Director

Dear Elementary School Families,

We’ve completed another fantastic week at STEM filled with learning, laughter, and love! Thank you for your ongoing support in making our school community thrive. Let’s continue to inspire and empower our students through these final weeks of school. Have a fantastic weekend.

Teacher Request Forms

Teacher request forms are due next Friday, April 26. Please get in touch with Bailey Phetchamphone or your classroom teacher for any questions or a copy of the form.


Drop-off for students is no earlier than 7:10 a.m. There is no adult supervision before 7:10 a.m. Please wait to drop your student off until the driveline team is out and ready to go. Please pick up your student at the appropriate time. Next year, we will reinstate the late pick-up charge for any student not picked up at their designated time.

  • Kindie and 1st – 2:25 p.m.
  • 2nd through 5th – 2:35 p.m.
  • Students with secondary siblings -2:55 p.m.

Only students with secondary siblings should be picked up after 2:55 p.m. If your elementary student does not have a secondary sibling, they must be picked up before 2:55 p.m.

Lost and Found: Our lost and found is overflowing with items. Please have your students check the lost and found for missing items.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • April 23 – 1st grade to Denver Zoo
  • April 25 – PTO STEM Fest
  • April 26 – Professional Development Day – NO SCHOOL
  • April 29 – 5th grade Revolutionary War Practice
  • April 29 – May 10 – Spring iReady Testing
  • May 1 – 4th-grade field trip World of Waves
  • May 2 – 4th-grade field trip World of Waves
  • May 2 – 5th grade Revolutionary War Day at Chatfield
  • May 6 – New to STEM Parent Night
  • May 6-10 – Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 7 – No School
  • May 8 – Field Day (K-2)
  • May 9 – Field Day (3-5)
  • May 10 – 3rd-grade field trip to Golden History Museum
  • May 13 – STEM Art Show
  • May 14 – STEM Board Meeting
  • May 15 – SAC Meeting
  • May 15 – Kindergarten field trip to Children’s Museum
  • May 16 – DEI Committee Meeting
  • May 17 – 4th grade field trip to Civic Green Park
  • May 20 – Graduation Day
  • May 21 – Kindie Continuation
  • May 21 – Fifth Grade Continuation
  • May 22- Last Day of School (half day)

Have a wonderful weekend. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

In Partnership,

Amie McElroy, ES Director

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.

2024 STEM Geography Bee

Thursday, May 2, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. – Elementary Gym

The Geography Bee is a competition similar to the Spelling Bee, but instead of correctly spelling words, students must answer questions on the spot about world geography, regions, people, and events. The event looks similar to a Spelling Bee: students are on stage and a presenter will read them questions. Up to 20 students grades 4-8 may qualify for the Bee and will take a qualifying test with their Social Studies teachers in April. To study, start hitting the atlases and lists of largest countries, national capitals, or longest rivers.

This event is for Elementary and Middle School students and families.

Please park in the parking lots on the West side of the campus and enter through the Elementary School Entrance.

Contact: Evan.voorn@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org

The Addams Family! - STEM Theater Production

Thursday, May 2 & Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m. – Secondary Gym

Saturday, May 4, at 3 & 6 p.m. – Secondary Gym

Get ready to celebrate the eccentricities of every family with our smash-hit Broadway musical, The Addams Family! Join us as we bring the beloved characters to life.

Witness Wednesday Addams, the iconic princess of darkness, navigating the complexities of young love. When she falls for a charming young man from a conventional family, she enlists her father Gomez in keeping it a secret from her mother Morticia. For the first time, Gomez finds himself in uncharted territory – keeping a secret from his cherished wife.

Experience the uproarious twists and turns as the Addams family hosts a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents. Brace yourself for a night where everything changes for this delightfully unconventional family.

Please park on the West Side of campus and enter through the Athletics entrance. Tickets are $20 each, free for staff members.

Scholastic Book Fair

Thursday, May 2-Friday, May 10 – Elementary School IA Room

The Scholastic Book Fair is back! More information on store hours and how to purchase and load your eWallet will be shared in soon. Click the button below to sign up to volunteer.

Elementary Game Night

Friday, May 3, from 5-7 p.m. – Elementary Gym and Elementary Classrooms

Come join the Student Council for a fun-filled night full of laughter and games! Student Council is excited to welcome you to their first-ever Minute-to-Win-It party!  You will also be able to rent all different types of games and play them with your family for a fun game night experience. The price is right. We will be offering two different deals.

Play unlimited games for just $7, or play unlimited games and get a snack bundle for $17. The snack bundle includes 4 slices of pizza and four drinks.

We will also be having snacks, food, and treats for sale. Contact Vanessa.Sanchez@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org with any questions.

ES Family Game Night (Instagram Post)
ES Book Fair (Instagram Post)
ES Spring Book Fair (Instagram Post)
Kindie Continuation Ceremony (Facebook Post)
Fifth Grade Continuation (Instagram Post)

News and Updates

A Driveline update from Mrs. McElroy

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Elementary Families,

As we returned from Spring Break, I shared a message with all of you about the work we were embarking on with our afternoon Driveline. It has been two weeks, and we’ve seen a significant increase in our processing and dismissal times, so much so that we have our last large wave of cars loaded by 3:05 p.m.

We are incredibly proud of the team’s internal work, as well as the improvements that our parents have made in making sure they are announcing and displaying their placards. All of this has helped us to be more efficient, and we are incredibly grateful. 

I wanted to provide our Elementary Parent Community with an update on some additional areas we will be focusing on, as well as the next steps for what we need our parents to do. 

  • We are finally fully staffed and do not have to pull staff from other positions to assist with the afternoon driveline. We are still in need of volunteers to assist us in stacking cars and getting students to their cars, so if you’re interested in volunteering, please email volunteer@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org.
  • As a reminder, the driveline process starts at 2:15 p.m. when we open the parking lot. The driveline process ends at 3:15 p.m. All students should be picked up prior to 3:15 p.m.
  • Please make sure you are picking up your student(s) at the appropriate time. Your pickup time is based on your oldest student at STEM. Forgrades  K/1, pick up starts at 2:25 p.m. For grades 2-5, pick up starts at 2:35 p.m. Pick up past 2:55 p.m. is only for families who have Secondary Students as well as Elementary Students.
    • If you only have Elementary students and are picking up at 2:55 p.m., please begin to make the adjustment to pick up during your designated time.
    • All students must be picked up by 3:15 p.m. Families who do not pick up their students within the Driveline timeframe will receive a phone call outlining next steps if it continues. One step includes charging for the timeframe in which the student remains at school after 3:15 p.m. 
  • It is imperative that parents please stay in their car during pick up. We’ve seen an uptick in parents getting out of their cars to load their students, and or look for their students. This slows down driveline.
  • We’ve noticed that the changeover from the Orange to the Yellow placard is less efficient than we’d like it to be because we are not able to find students quickly as they are heading down to their class stones. 

The team will reassess in two weeks to see how the improvements have been going and provide feedback to the parent community. 

That will mean that the first phase of our driveline improvements is complete and we will begin to move into our second phase. 

Our second process includes the following:

  • Enforcing our TMP requirements off of our campus. 
  • Identifying the cars that are lining up on the street before their designated pick-up time.
    • Cars will receive up to 3 warnings before receiving a fee assessed in the student’s MySchoolBucks account.
    • This process is outlined in our TMP, which is located on our website. 
  • Identify cars that are parked in our surrounding businesses.
    • Cars will receive up to 3 warnings before receiving a fee assessed in the student’s MySchoolBucks account.

Our goal in this second process is not to penalize families but to encourage families not following the TMP to start making adjustments so that we do not have to issue tickets.

We’ve received a few questions as to why it matters when cars stack on the street before their pick-up time, and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Green placard cars get stuck in line and cannot pick up their student during their designated pick-up time. When green placards cannot access their pick-up time, it then overflows into our orange placards, which overloads our dismissal capacity during that time frame.
  2. Forces cars to use the center turn lanes as an active driving lane, posing a safety hazard.
  3. Blocks driveway entrance and exits for our neighbor businesses; inconveniences them; creates a dangerous situation when cars attempt to exit those business parking lots due to obstructed visibility.
  4. If an emergency happens and first responders need to access our campus, they need to be able to do so safely. 
  5. Violates our TMP.

Thank you for your patience with all of this information. We hope that by sharing this with enough notice, we can all make the necessary changes together to improve our efficiency and all pull in the same direction. 

You may see an officer out during driveline this week to start assisting us with moving cars off of Barrons Blvd., who are stacking on the street prior to their pick-up time.

Please reach out with any questions.

In partnership,

Amie McElroy, Elementary School Director

District Accountability Applications Open

The DAC is currently accepting applications for membership for 4 Parent Representatives. Please click below to apply.

Elementary Yearbook Order Reminder

Early Bird pricing is over, but you can still place your order online for an Elementary School Yearbook by Friday, March 29. Click the button below to place your order.

Driveline Reminders for Elementary Families

  • Please remember that Driveline opens at 7:10 a.m. and that students should not be dropped off prior to that time. The Elementary Aides will come out to open the car doors when we are prepared to receive students.
  • School starts at 7:40 a.m., so all students should arrive prior to that time. Any students who arrive at 7:40 or later must be signed in by their parent/guardian.
  • In the afternoon, please ONLY come at your designated pick-up times. Click here to review your pick-up times.
    • For families who are coming to pick up for the 2:30 p.m. time frame, please do not park on the street and/or block the business driveways along Barrons Blvd. Prior to break, we noticed many cars blocking driveways and trying to access the driveline prior to 2:30 p.m. If this continues, we will request for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to come out to issue tickets to anyone stopping/standing on an active roadway. Please help us be good neighbors by following the Traffic Management Plan.
  • Please make sure that your PikMyKid information is up to date and that you have your student’s pick-up mode updated in the app. If someone other than you is picking up your student, please make sure to have your delegations set prior to pick-up time.
  • If you are in need of a new placard, please email support@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org to request a placard. Please include your student’s name, teacher’s name and number of placards requested.

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Elementary Families,

We’re emailing all Elementary School Families to request the following support from ANY ADULT who is coming to pick up students during the afternoon driveline.

PikMyKid App Update

  • PikMyKid pushed out an update to their app, and some families are not seeing their students any longer.
  • Please take a moment to log out and log back into your app.
  • If you still do not see your student after logging out and logging back in, please complete the PikMyKid Help Request form.

Delegating in PikMyKid

  • If your student is getting picked up by someone else, please remember to delegate your student to that other adult.
  • Students who are not delegated will result in us pulling the car out of the driveline so that we can confirm with the parent that the student is allowed to go home with the other adult waiting in driveline.
  • When students are not delegated, this creates major delays and inconveniences.
  • If you’re unsure how to delegate, please see the tutorials on our PikMyKid webpage.

Announcing in PikMyKid

  • Due to the time of year, we have several staff who are out sick, resulting in us being short-staffed for the afternoon driveline. We are pulling staff from other positions to assist.
  • Additionally, we are anticipating inclement weather tomorrow during the afternoon driveline.
  • It is incredibly important that you announce your student once you arrive to assist our staff and to help keep driveline efficient.
  • Announcing your student speeds up the inputting process and allows teachers inside the building to release students quickly.

Driveline Placards

  • Please display your placards on your dashboard from the time you enter the driveline to the time you leave.
  • Doing so helps our staff during the inputting process in PikMyKid and also helps volunteers make sure that the right student gets in the right car.
  • If you do not have a placard, please email support@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org with the following information:
    • Student Name
    • Student Grade
    • Student Teacher
    • Number of Placards Needed

Coming at the right time

  • We’ve asked several times to please only come at your designated time, and we would like to please ask for your assistance with this again.
  • Lining up on the street before your pick-up time is not allowed and violates our Transportation Management Plan. It also slows down our driveline because Green Placards get stuck behind those blocking traffic.
  • We are understaffed and cannot dedicate a staff member to ensure that cars are not stacking on the street before 2:30 p.m.
  • We’ve requested that a Douglas County sheriff’s Deputy assist us with this, and we’ve been informed that any additional assistance will require us to pay to have a deputy come out. We do not have the budget to accommodate this request on a continuous basis and believe that our funds should be better spent on the instruction of our students.
  • We are ASKING NICELY FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE to please STOP stacking on Barrons Blvd and only approach the Orange Placard timeslot at 2:30 p.m.
  • We cannot say thank you enough to those who are abiding by this and assisting us with following our TMP. We truly appreciate your support and thoughtfulness.

Please reach out with any questions to communications@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org.


Nicole Bostel, Communications Director

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