Elementary News and Updates (08/19/22)

Elementary-School-News Image

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.

Join the DCSD Equity Advisory Council

Dear DCSD Families and Students,

The Equity Advisory Council serves to support and advise the Superintendent (or Superintendent’s designee), and the School Board on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Equity Advisory Council meets once per month during the school year. If you are interested in serving on this council, please complete the Equity Advisory Council Membership Application. For membership and other details, see the Equity Advisory Council Bylaws and Addendum 1: Inaugural Year Processes and Procedures. Applications are due by the close of business on August 23, 2022. Members will be selected and notified no later than September 2, 2022. Meetings occur once per month, and the next meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2022, from 4:30-6 p.m. Additional information is available on the DCSD website’s Educational Equity page.

Thank you,

Douglas County School District

Elementary Placards

The remaining Elementary Driveline Placards that have not yet been picked up have been placed in each teacher’s mailbox. If you need additional placards, please submit a support ticket to support@https://stemk12.org. If you’ve already submitted one, please resubmit so that we can make sure to fulfill your request. All placards must be displayed on the dashboard throughout the driveline to assist our Driveline aides and volunteers with the loading and verifying process.

Elementary Reminders

We want to thank our families for their efforts in helping to make driveline run smoothly. Monday will be our first day with Kindergarten students getting picked up during driveline. Please know that this is their first time going through dismissal and while we practice with them, it can be daunting for them. Please be patient.

Also, if you are picking up a student via our Walker Door, please know that the Walker Door shuts down at 2:50 p.m. Students who are not picked up prior to 2:50 p.m. will be dismissed to their stones at 2:55 p.m. and families can pick them up there.

Elementary Morning Tardy Reminder

Please remember that the Elementary tardy bell is at 7:40 a.m. If you are pulling into the parking lot at 7:40 a.m., you MUST park and sign your student in at the front office. Our driveline attendant shut down Driveline at 7:40 a.m. and head inside the building to begin working in classrooms.

Update on Lightning Delay/Dismissal Procedures

A reminder to all students and families that if we have to call a Lightning Delay, we have to hold students and staff inside the building until our Incident Commander calls the All Clear. A Lightning Delay is called when there is a lightning strike within 6 miles of the campus. The delay is only lifted when there is no lightning strike for a period of 30 minutes within the 6-mile radius of the campus. The incident commander can adjust the policy as needed after consultation with the administration team.

One more reminder: Students 18 and over can leave campus independently. Students under the age of 18 can only leave if written permission by the parents is in IC. Secondary siblings cannot pick up Elementary siblings until the delay has been lifted. Parents can come to the school to sign-out their student.

WayToGo Carpool Information

WayToGo Logo

Join STEM School Highlands Ranch’s Schoolpool program to connect with other families to drive, walk or bike to school together. 

Looking for help getting your student to and from school to after-school activities, or want to find a buddy to commute to school with? STEM School Highlands Ranch is pleased to once again partner with Schoolpool, a free program to make it easier to get to school.

School Lunches will NOT be Free This Year

Over the last two years, the USDA has provided school waivers that provide meals at no cost to the students. Those waivers expired 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:

$3.75 – Elementary

$4 – 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.

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.

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.

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

I-Matter Mental Health Support Extended to June 2023

Free therapy sessions are available for Colorado youth 18 and younger, or those 21 and younger if receiving special education services.

Literary Resource of the Week

Introducing Kids to Filmmaking (Adobe)

What’s special about filmmaking is that it combines creativity, teamwork, and technology. From screenwriting to storyboarding to video production and beyond, it takes a tremendous variety of skills to make a movie. But, thanks to the evolution of education and technology, today’s kids have a rich body of opportunities to flex their filmmaking muscles. With a little bit of guidance and a lot of creative license, even small children can dip their toes in animation and film.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

An Age-by-Age Guide to Nutrition for Kids (Parents Magazine)

Your pediatrician, along with a pediatric registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), can help you understand your child’s nutritional requirements, and what tools you can use to help them get the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to thrive. Here are some of the top nutrients to make sure babies, toddlers, and kids are consuming every day.

Comments are closed.