Elementary News and Updates (07/29/22)

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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.

Welcome Back to School Zoom Sessions

Welcome to the 2022-23 School Year

To help our new and returning families be as prepared as possible for the start of the new school year, we will be offering five Welcome Back to School – Parent Info Sessions the week of Monday, Aug. 1 through Friday, Aug. 5 from 12-1 p.m. each day. Each session will cover important topics, outlined below, that all families should know in order to start the school year off on the right foot. Following a brief presentation on each topic, we will allow families to ask questions related to that topic. Each session will be over Zoom. We will record each session so that it will be available on the https://stemk12.org website for those who couldn’t attend.

  • Monday, Aug. 1 (12-1 p.m.) – Driveline Procedures & PikMyKid (Elementary Families)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 2 (12-1 p.m.) – Getting Informed (Attendance line, using IC, visiting STEM, Student/Parent Handbook, Fees, School Photos, etc.)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 3 (12-1 p.m.) – Getting Connected (Communications Pathways, who to contact when?, communications at STEM, etc.)
  • Thursday, Aug. 4 (12-1 p.m.) – Getting Involved (volunteering, donating, STEM PTO, STEM SAC, etc.)
  • Friday, Aug. 5 (12-1 p.m.) – The STEM Experience (Enrichment and Athletics)

Elementary Driveline Placard Pick-Up

Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Elementary School Lobby

Thursday, Aug. 4, from 1-5 p.m. – Elementary School Lobby

Every car that enters our Elementary (West) Driveline in the afternoon for pick-up needs to use a placard. Placards will be pre-printed at the start of the school year and will be made available for pick-up on the dates above. If you cannot make any of those dates, don’t worry. You’ll have opportunities to pick up placards during the first week of school.

Placards must be visible in the front window to assist our driveline staffers with identifying the student that needs to get into that car.

Our Elementary School Driveline will use the PikMyKid App for the 2022-23 School Year. PikMyKid is a dismissal program via an APP that provides an additional layer of safety and security to ensure that our students are dismissed to the appropriate parent/guardian on the correct day. Click the button below to find out more about PikMyKid. If you haven’t already, please download the PikMyKid app from the Google Play or Apple store. Please see the PikMyKid page on our website for instructions on how to set up your account.

Elementary (Grades 1-5) Spartan Launch Set for Monday, Aug. 8

Spartan Launch for Grades 1-12

All new to STEM Elementary School students are invited to spend a portion of their day on Monday, Aug. 8 at STEM to kick off the year. Students will meet all the teachers and staff, tour the school, and engage in STEM activities. No sign-up needed.

  • Students in grades first and second will be invited to attend the morning session from 9-11 a.m.
  • Students in grades third, fourth and fifth will be invited to attend the afternoon session from 12-2 p.m.

School Picture Day

Tuesday, Aug. 9 & Wednesday, Aug. 10, during school hours

Mark your calendars! School Picture Day is the first and second day of school. We want to capture our students looking their best as they come back to school. Families can pre-order photos using the link via the button below.

This is a preordering site and will shut down following the last picture day we have scheduled (Make-Up days in October and in the Spring). Following that families will have an opportunity to view and order their photos online and have them directly shipped to their home. Additional information will be shared in the future.

Kindergarten Spartan Launch Sign-Up Now Open

Kindergarten Spartan Launch Presentation

Welcome Kindergarten Families,

I hope you have been having a wonderful summer. I can’t believe the start of the school year is right around the corner. I know you are probably eager to know what the first week of school will look like for you incoming kindergarteners. All incoming kindergarteners will be assessed during the first week of school and placed in teacher classrooms. Therefore, you will not know your teacher until Thursday, Aug 11. Our delayed kindergarten start aims to ensure that our classrooms contain a heterogeneous mix of learners, so our teachers can provide exceptional instruction to all students. Please read the information below regarding our Kindergarten Spartan Launch. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
In Partnership,

Amie McElroy, Elementary Director

All STEM kindergarten students are invited to Kindergarten Spartan Launch. This is an abbreviated school day where students will meet all the teachers and staff, tour the school, engage in STEM activities, and be informally assessed for classroom placement. We ask that all kindergarten students attend ONE SESSION on either of the dates below.

Available session options will be:

August 9

  • AM Session from 8:30-10 a.m.
  • PM Session from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

August 10

  • AM Session from 8:30-10 a.m.
  • PM Session from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

August 11

  • AM Session from 8:30-10 a.m.

Please use the link below to sign-up for one of the sessions listed above. If you have more than one child entering kindergarten, please sign-up for each student individually.

Parents will receive classroom and teacher notification on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug.11. The first day of kindergarten will be on Friday, Aug. 12. To ease parents and students in the initial drop-off and the transition into kindergarten, Friday, Aug. 12 will be a half day from 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

The first full day of kindergarten will be Monday, Aug. 15 (7:40 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.). Teachers will meet students out front of the Elementary School Entrance driveline drop-off area. Please be on the lookout for an email from our kindergarten team of teachers later this summer.

News and Updates

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. While you’re completing the application, please make sure to check the box that allows for the information to be shared with your student’s school. Sharing this information with STEM allows for your student to be eligible for more benefits throughout the school year.

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.

Student Fees Update

Student fees have not yet been loaded into MySchoolBucks. As you complete Express Check-In, you will notice no fees listed. As soon as those fees are loaded, you will receive an email notification that there is a New Invoice in your MSB Account. To receive this notification, please ensure that your email address is accurate in your MSB account. You will not be charged a late fee.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Enrichment Update

Registration for Fall Enrichment is open for the following Elementary programs:

  • Ballet
  • Chess
  • Fencing
  • HipHop
  • Theater
  • Yoga

More registrations coming soon!

We are looking for interested coaches/parent volunteers to help facilitate the following Elementary clubs at STEM this fall:

  • First Lego League (Lego Robotics)
  • Destination Imagination

If you want more information on coaching/volunteer opportunities with our school-based clubs, contact Melanie FitzRoy at melanie.fitzroy@https://stemk12.org. Click the button below to start registering for clubs.

Important Medical Forms for 2022-23 School Year

We am very excited to welcome back our students to STEM for the 22-23 school year. We want to make sure all students with medication needs have the proper forms on file at the beginning of the school year. Please review the DCSD medication policies for Elementary students and for Secondary students (updated 07/2021). If your child requires medication while at school, their physician will need to fill out the following forms prior to the first day of school. These forms can be returned to our K-12 school nurse Mallory Jimenez at nurse@https://stemk12.org or turned into one of the health offices along with the medication starting on August 1.

Below is the list of forms for each category:

Life Threatening Allergies

  • Allergy Action Plan
  • Medication Release and Request Form


  • Asthma Care Plan
  • Medication Release and Request Form


  • Provider Medication Authorization Form
  • Medication Release and Request Form


  • Seizure Action Plan
  • Medication Release and Request Form

OTC Medication (Benadryl, Tylenol, Motrin etc.)

  • Provider Medication Authorization Form
  • Medication Release and Request Form

*** Self Carry Form (secondary students only) – This form will also need to be completed if your student is in sixth grade or higher at STEM and will self-carry their medication. It requires a student, parent and a physician’s signature.

If you have any questions regarding these forms or STEM’s medication policy please send an email directly to our nurse and she will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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.

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.

STEM B.A.S.E. is Hiring

STEM BASE is URGENTLY hiring! We are looking for 1 Program Assitant Manager and 2 Senior Program Leaders 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. The Assistant Manager position is a “Select Charter Position” that offers an additional 10% monthly pay stipend, 30 hours per week and full time hours on school breaks. Sr Program Leader hours are M-F 1:30-5:30/6. Part-time and full-time hours are available during school breaks. Happy to coordinate BASE managers who have staff looking for more hours. Feel free to call or email me for more details or questions. amy.dupays@dcsdk12.org /(720) 688-2928.

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