Elementary News and Updates (07/10/22)

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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.

News and Updates

News from DCSD about Funding Challenges

Do you know how STEM gets funded? Not many people know. As a free, public charter school in the Douglas County School District, we receive funding through Per Pupil Revenue (PPR). That means for each student we get a predetermined (by the State) amount of money. That money is then used to cover our operating costs, which include facilities, teacher/staff salaries and more. DCSD is one of the lowest-funded school districts in the state.

Any funding for capital improvements like the CHSAA Gym/Building Remodel Project is funded through Bond money that STEM receives from investors. Teacher/staff salaries cannot be paid using that money.

In order for STEM, and the other schools within DCSD, to provide competitive teacher/staff salaries, DCSD must find other ways to find funding. One avenue is through a Mill Levy Override (MLO) or a Bond. DCSD has established a committee to explore these funding options and we wanted to provide our community with information in order to stay informed and to help spread the word.

Express Check-In Coming Up!

Express Check-in is an online application that ALL FAMILIES, new and current, use to verify their student’s contact and household information and to complete district and STEM School required forms before each new school year. All families MUST complete the Express Check-in Process to ensure that they receive communication from the school. Failure to complete the Express Check-in process will result in significant limitations to internet service at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

No tentative date has been set yet for Express Check-In, but we anticipate it to be around Wednesday, July 13. Families will receive an e-mail from STEM with a link to access Express Check-in. You will also find a link to Express Check-in on our website. Registration fees are also paid electronically at this time and this is the only avenue to pay fees next year.

In order to complete Express Check-In, all families will need to use their Parent Portal log-in credentials. If you have not yet set up your Parent Portal account, please reference the YouTube Tutorial to the right to begin that process. Please also visit the DCSD Self Service Portal to set up your account.

Elementary Quick Start Guides and School Supply List

Each year our grade levels put together Quick Start Guides for families to use as a reference to prepare for the start of school. Please take a moment to review each guide prior to the start of school.

School Lunches will NOT be Free Next Year

Over the last two years, the USDA has provided school waivers that provide meals at no cost to the students. Those waivers will expire after the 2021-22 School year ends. This means that a return to paid meals will begin August 8, 2022 for students that do not qualify for Free or Reduces Meal Benefits. DCSD is asking that ALL families please complete the Free or Reduced Lunch Application by July 25, 2022.

If a family does not qualify for FRL, the meals will cost the following:

$3.25 – Elementary

$3.75 – Middle School

All meal prices include an entree, fruit, veggies and milk. Ala carte options are available at all schools and prices vary by option. Students pay for school lunches through their MySchoolBucks account.

STEM B.A.S.E. is Hiring

We desperately need to hire to support the STEM community, any assistance is greatly appreciated.

We are looking for two Senior Program Leaders and one Program Lead to work in a busy and fun program. If you, or someone you know, is looking to develop management skills and gain experience in a growing program with a fun, experienced, and dedicated staff, this is the right move for you. Hours would be M-F 1:30-5:30/6. Part-time and full-time hours are available during school breaks. I am happy to coordinate with BASE Managers who have staff looking for more hours.  Feel free to call ( (720) 688-2928) or email (amy.dupays@dcsdk12.org) for more details or questions.

Thank you,

Amy Dupays

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