Elementary News and Updates (09/08/23)

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Director's Updates

A message from Mrs. McElroy, Elementary School Director

Dear Elementary School Families,

I cannot believe it is already September. The school year is in full swing with fantastic learning, fun activities, and great opportunities. I enjoy every day and am so thankful to each of you for entrusting your most precious treasures to me and the STEM staff daily. Please remember to contact your student’s teacher first if you have any questions or concerns about your student.


Attendance in school is required by law for all children under the age of 17. All students must be in school for a required number of days yearly. When a student is chronically absent from school, this results in the student being truant. The threshold for truancy is 10% of the school year or 18 days. When a student misses more than 10% of the academic year, they are at risk for a loss of learning. By law, STEM is required to send home truancy notifications to families of students who are over this 10% threshold at any point during the academic year. This includes all types of absences, excused or unexcused. Extended absences also fall into this category. STEM will approve up to 10 days for an extended absence. Anything over that will not be approved and may result in being unenrolled from STEM. You must reach out to me and the classroom teacher if you have an extended absence for anything over three consecutive days.

Homecoming Spirit Week

We are helping high school celebrate homecoming next week with an elementary spirit week and assembly. Our assembly will be on Thursday, Sept. 14. We will celebrate our beginning of the year accomplishments.

Below are our spirit days:

  • Monday – Pajama Day
  • Tuesday – Twin Day
  • Wednesday – Sci-Fi Character Day – Dress as your favorite sci-fi character
  • Thursday – Astronaut -v- Alien Color War (K-2 wear white; 3-5 wear – green)
  • Friday – Barbie Day – wear lots of pink

Lost and Found

Our lost and found is beginning to fill up, and each year, we donate hundreds of dollars worth of clothing and other lost items. Please help us return lost items to their owners by writing your child’s name on their items such as lunchboxes, water bottles, hoodies/sweatshirts and coats.

Important Dates

  • September 11 – 15 – Homecoming Spirit Week
  • September 14 – ES Assembly
  • September 22 – Professional Development Day – No School
  • October 5 – PTO Bubble Run
  • October 9-13 – Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 16-20 – Fall Break

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

In Partnership,

Amie McElroy, Elementary 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.

ES Homecoming Flier

PTO Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 6:30-8 p.m. – Middle School Cafeteria/Zoom

Join the STEM PTO for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Middle School Cafeteria or via Zoom.  STEM PTO is comprised of parents from the STEM community who work together to help foster a strong sense of community and provide enhancement activities for students, faculty, staff, and families while also helping to increase educational, social and emotional experiences for the members of their families.

STEM PTO is organized to enhance the quality of each student’s education, the school as a whole, and the entire community through the development of resources and the participation of parents, school staff, and the community. Meetings are open for anyone to attend.

Love and Logic Parent Night

Monday, Sept. 18, from 5-7 p.m. – via Zoom or in-person in the High School Commons

New for the 2023-24 School Year, our teachers and staff will incorporate guidance and curriculum from Love and Logic, a research-driven, whole-child philosophy founded in 1977 to support students’ social and emotional well-being. Throughout the school year, we will hold several Parent Information Nights to learn about Love and Logic, how it is being incorporated and implemented, and how it can be applied at home. We hope you’ll join us via Zoom or in-person.

Module 2: Teaching Responsibility without Losing Their Love

Participants will learn:

  • Why children fail to learn responsibility when their parents refuse to let them make affordable mistakes.
  • Why children also fail to learn responsibility when their parents rescue them from the consequences of their poor decisions.
  • Why consequences provided without empathy and love are ineffective.
  • Practical tips for remaining calm and empathetic when children do things that upset us.
  • Practical tips for building and maintaining positive parent-child relationships

SAC Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 5:30-7:30 p.m. – KOSON/P-TECH Building (Mechatronics Lab)/Zoom

The meeting will also be available to watch via Zoom. In-person participation is strongly encouraged to help build engagement. Additionally, those who would like to participate in Public Comment must do so in person.

The purpose of the SAC is to inform, encourage and provide opportunities for parent and community members to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school’s instructional program and quality improvement processes. The SAC makes recommendations concerning the School’s performance, improvement, priority improvement, or turnaround plan, and meets to discuss the implementation of the School’s plan and other progress pertinent to STEM’s accreditation contract with the Board of Education. The SAC makes recommendations to the director for prioritizing the spending of school money.

DEI Committee Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 21, starting at 4 p.m. – Room ES 206

STEM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will have its monthly meeting on September 21, starting at 4:00. We will meet in ES206. We welcome all parents, students, and teachers! Email kate.jackson@https://stemk12.org with any questions.

STEM PTO Skate City Night

Thursday, Sept. 21, from 5-7 p.m. – Skate City Littleton

This is a Private Skate City event just for STEM School Highlands Ranch at Skate City Littleton (5801 S Lowell Way, Littleton, CO 80123). Admission is $5 and skate rentals are $3. All waivers will be signed at Skate City drop-off. It’s also Game Card Night where your skater will receive a FREE $10 Game Card with admission. Email PTOevents@https://stemk12.org with any questions.

No School - September 22

Friday, Sept. 22 – No School for Professional Development

There will be No School on Friday, Sept. 22, as it is a staff professional development day.

STEM Unicef - Remember the Embers Maui Fundraiser

September 25-29 – Afternoon Driveline

The STEM Unicef Club will be collecting donations during driveline each afternoon during the week of September 25-29 to raise money for the Maui Fires. Click the button below to donate to STEM’s Go Fund Me campaign.

September 27, from 4-7 p.m. – Secondary Gym

STEM Unicef will be hosting a 3×3 Basketball Tournament in the Secondary Gym to raise money for the Maui Wildfires. Email nancy.szczekocki@https://stemk12.org or omar.rahin@s.https://stemk12.org with any questions.

STEM Blast Off 2023

News and Updates

Standards-Based Learning and Mastery Connect Update

A message from Mrs. Gasser, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Now that the school year is well underway, we want to share a bit about where we are with Standards-Based Learning and MasteryConnect. Our Teacher Support Team has been working with our staff on aligning instruction to standards, especially with the release of new 2022 State Standards. Additionally, our teachers have been analyzing data to align units better and ensure that we have data-informed instruction for our students.

Teachers have also been utilizing MasteryConnect K-12 and have been working with students to understand better what their grade represents. In secondary, Access teachers have had class lessons on how to understand MasteryConnect, how to access the grading for each class, and how to determine which lessons still need to be submitted or need to be redone.

All classes K-12 should have at least 1 grade in each subject area, not for each standard. Please make sure to log into Canvas to view your student’s MasteryTracker. The parent portal is very cumbersome. It is suggested that you log into your student’s account and view MasteryTracker in that way.

YANA-BackPack Society-Family Field Day

SpartMart needs your feedback!

The SpartMart is looking for feedback on apparel, accessories and food options that it currently sells and what it could sell in the future. Please click the button below to complete the feedback survey. You’ll be helping The Business Club Students improve what SpartMart has to offer so your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

DCSD News and Updates

B.A.S.E at STEM is hiring!

We are looking for 2 Program Leaders to work in a busy and fun after-school program. If you or someone you know likes working with kids, has some experience working with children ages 5-12, and is eager to develop and learn new skills in a growing program with a fun, experienced, and dedicated staff, this is the right move for you. Program Leader hours are M-F, 1:30-5:30/6 p.m. Part-time and full-time hours are available during school breaks. This position is a “Select Charter Position” and offers an additional 10% (to hourly base rate) monthly stipend. If you are interested but need more flexibility, we are hiring Program Leader substitutes. Substitutes can work 2-3 days each week. We are also happy to coordinate with STEM who are looking for more hours. Feel free to call or email me for more details or questions at amy.dupays@dcsdk12.org, or (720) 688-2928.

DCSD Board Unanimously Approves MLO/Bond for Ballot

On Tuesday, the DCSD Board of Education voted unanimously to place a $66M Mill Levy Override and $484M Bond on the November 2023 ballot (see the press release). All seven Board directors expressed their strong support and personal dedication to our students and our staff. During public comment the Board heard from students, teachers, neighborhood school principals, charter school principals, business leaders, elected officials and more – and all expressed strong support for additional funding. I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to the public comment – the support for YOU, our teachers and staff, from every part of our community was overwhelming.

  • Click here to watch the public comment portion of the meeting.
  • Click here to watch our presentation to the Board where we outlined staff recommendations for a Mill Levy Override and Bond.

The Board also unanimously adopted a compensation resolution that will automatically trigger if the MLO passes. For school district staff, this means pay increases would happen automatically should the MLO pass (with increases being paid retroactively back to July 1). For charter school staff, exact details about pay increases will come from your school’s board and leadership.

To learn more about how additional funding would benefit our schools and our staff, visit www.dcsdk12.org/funding. I also encourage you to read through our MLO/Bond plan.

Mental Health Resource

iMatter Program

The iMatter program can connect youth (and adults) with a therapist for up to six free virtual counseling sessions that are completely confidential.

Literacy Resource

Overdrive Kids via the Douglas County Libraries

Safely search e-books for readers 12 and younger, including read-alongs for preschoolers. Filter by format, subject, device or reading level.

Health and Wellness Resource

Introducing Family Health Resources on Your Mobile Device

Healthier Generation is excited to launch the Kohl’s Healthy at Home text messaging service, designed to help families prioritize healthy living and thrive. Sign up today to receive tips, activities, and resources for parents and caregivers.

A Project of the Douglas County Youth Initiative

Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. – Colorado State Capitol

Students, grades 9 – 12 are invited to attend Youth Congress. During this event, youth from around Douglas County get to weigh in on issues that affect youth and are of interest to youth. One of the missions of the Youth Congress is to communicate your thoughts, ideas, and solutions to elected and community leaders.

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