Elementary News and Updates (08/26/22)

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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.

STEM Board of Director's Meeting

Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 5:30-7 p.m – Mechatronics Lab (P-TECH/KOSON Building

The monthly STEM Board of Director’s Meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Mechatronics Lab of the P-TECH/KOSON Building. The STEM BOD is comprised of parents and community members who volunteer their time. The Board’s role and purpose is to provide oversight of the Executive Director, who implements the policies set forth by the Board. The Board also provides support and direction of STEM’s long-term vision and mission. Additionally, the Board is active in making sure that STEM remains in compliance with all DCSD, state and federal compliance requirements, as well as STEM’s Charter Contract.

Meetings are open to anyone to attend. Anyone who would like to address the Board Members must sign-up in advance by completing the Public Comment Form no later than 12 p.m. the day of each Board meeting. If written testimony or a handout is submitted, presenters are asked to supply one (1) copy via email to communications@stemk12.org.

News and Updates

Update from DCSD on Mill Levy/Bond

Happy Friday DCSD Families and Staff! This past Tuesday our Board of Education voted unanimously to place a $60M Mill Levy Override and $450M Bond on the November 2022 ballot. All seven board members expressed their strong support and personal dedication to our students and our staff. There was also a lot of support and unity among community members that provided public comment – even community members that typically have opposing viewpoints came together in support of additional funding for our school district.

If passed by voters, an MLO would enable DCSD to provide pay that is more competitive with other school districts to retain teachers and staff. Should an MLO pass, DCSD teachers, on average, would receive a 9% pay increase, as reflected in these salary schedules. Classified staff members, such as bus drivers, educational assistants, custodians, etc., would receive a 9% increase. Other staff, including school principals and administrators, would receive a 6% pay increase. See page two of this document to review exact ballot language for the MLO.

A $450 million Bond would help DCSD construct three new neighborhood elementary schools and create additions to two existing middle schools to reduce crowding and plan for growth. The Bond would also assist DCSD in implementing safety and security upgrades, and updating and repairing its existing school buildings, to provide safe, efficient, quality learning environments for students and staff. Click here for details on what each of DCSD’s existing schools would receive should the Bond be approved by voters. See pages two and three of this document to review exact ballot language for the Bond.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Erin Kane
Douglas County School District

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

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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

Showing Teens Healthy Ways to Cope

Megan Miccio, a school health professional at Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School, says adults can help the teens in their lives deal with stress — and avoid using harmful substances to cope — by doing two important things: 1) talking about substance use and 2) modeling healthy coping skills.

Literary Resource of the Week

The Challenge of Learning to Read

No other skill taught in school and learned by school children is more important than reading. It is the gateway to all other knowledge. If children do not learn to read efficiently, the path is blocked to every subject they encounter in their school years.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Internet Safety – Parent’s Guide to Discord

If you’ve got a teen in your house, there’s a good chance you have Discord. We don’t mean bickering—we’re talking Discord with a capital D, the chat app that’s especially popular with teens.

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