Elementary News and Updates (09/15/23)

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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.

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

Parent Resiliency Forum

Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 6-7:30 p.m. – Room E137

For former and current STEM families to discuss trauma in students’ lives from May 7, COVID, and/or other personal trauma. The goal is to support the community with recovery and build our resiliency identities as individuals and as a community. This event is for Elementary, Middle and High School Parents. Please park in the High School Staff Parking Lot or the Elementary School Parking Lot and enter through the Athletics Entrance.

Contact: Colene Birchfield (colene.birchfield@stemk12.org), Madison Grebe (madison.grebe@stemk12.org)

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@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 $7 and skate rentals are $4. All waivers will be signed at Skate City drop-off. Wear your Broncos gear to receive a FREE $5 Game Card with admission. Email PTOevents@stemk12.org with any questions. Teachers and Staff are free with a staff badge so don’t forget to show that!

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@stemk12.org or omar.rahin@s.stemk12.org with any questions.

Academic Advisement Committee Meeting

Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 3:30-5 p.m. – Mechatronics Lab/P-TECH Building

The Academic Advisement Committee will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 3:30-5 p.m., in the Mechatronics Lab of the KOSON/P-TECH Building. The goal of this committee is to provide feedback and suggestions for School Leadership in regard to academics and our curricular resources. If you have any questions, please contact michelle.gasser@stemk12.org.

STEM Blast Off 2023
STEM TSA Cookies and Cocoa Flier (Social Square)

News and Updates

Join the Academic Advisement Committee

The Academic Advisement Committee is looking for parent, student, and teacher members for the 2023-24 school year. The goal of this committee is to provide feedback and suggestions for School Leadership in regard to academics and our curricular resources. Our first meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the KOSON Building.
This year, our focus will be on the following:

  • Elementary math curriculum
  • Concurrent Enrollment Credits
  • Course Proposals for secondary
  • Updating our academic planning guide

If you want to join this advisory committee, please complete this form by Wednesday, Sept. 20. If you have any questions, please contact michelle.gasser@stemk12.org.

Update about printed School Photos

If you ordered school photos and selected to have them delivered to the school, you should start to receive them next week. Our photographer has indicated that we should receive them next week. It will then take us a day to distribute them to the appropriate teachers. Thank you for your patience.

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

Alliance Invitation

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.

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.

Mental Health Resource

Signs of Suicide (SOS) for Parents and Caregivers

When teens are struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, it is common for them to turn to each other. This is why it’s important for every student to know when to ACT. 1) Acknowledge signs of suicide, 2) show their friends they Care, and 3) Tell a trusted adult.

Literacy Resource

Experience Dyslexia(R) Simulation, Hosted by DCKID

Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Castle Pines Library

This hands-on simulation session lets participants experience some of the challenges and frustrations faced by people with language-based learning differences. Participants will be guided through different learning tasks commonly encountered in the classroom or workplace, including reading comprehension, fluency, writing, spelling, listening, and processing speed.

Health and Wellness Resource

Concussion Awareness Day

September 15th is Concussion Awareness Day. It is an opportunity for school professionals, community members, families, and peers to raise awareness around the signs, symptoms, and implications of concussions to foster discussions and plan support.

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