Elementary News and Updates (10/28/22)

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Building Director Updates

Update from Mrs. McElroy, Elementary School Director

Dear Elementary Families,

I can’t believe it is almost November and with Thursday’s snow there is no denying it, winter is coming. With the change in weather, please be sure students come dressed for it. While we will not go outside for recess when it is wet, we will send students outside when it’s cold and we want to make sure students are dressed appropriately. I also ask that you label your student’s coat and other belongings. It makes it easier to find its owner when there is a name on it.

Here are a few Elementary reminders:

Halloween on Monday

Costume Parade

The parade will start at 8 a.m. Students will exit out the front doors, turn right (north) and head down the sidewalk towards the old high school entrance (where all the construction is). The route will continue on the sidewalk around the entire school and students will enter back into the school through the main entrance. Please feel free to gather around the parade route to cheer our students on.

Classroom Parties

Please refer to communication from your student’s teacher about when they will be holding the class party. If you are volunteering you will need an ID to check in with the front office. When donating treats, keep in mind that there may be students with allergies. Only purchase items that were requested by the classroom teacher.

Costume Guidelines

Please adhere to the following costume guidelines for Halloween.

  • Costumes that would otherwise violate the Student Dress Code Policy will only be allowed if approved by an administrator prior to wearing to school.
  • For safety reasons, masks or makeup should not cover the student’s face in a manner that makes the student unrecognizable.
  • Toy or facsimile guns or weapons (knives, swords…) are not allowed. Including light sabers.
  • Costumes that are overly graphic, promote violence or otherwise might logically be assumed to be offensive to others are not acceptable.
  • Costumes should not include items with sound effects, lights or other components which would disrupt the classroom learning environment.

Reminder: Next Friday is a PD day for teachers; no school for students

Next Friday, November 4th, is teacher professional development day. Please be sure that your student stays home and enjoys a three-day weekend.

Annual Elementary Thanksgiving Food Drive

The Student Council is hosting its annual Thanksgiving food drive. The drive will start Monday, Oct. 31 and will run through Wednesday, Nov. 16. Please consider donating non-perishable food items or $20 grocery gift cards. Items can be dropped off at the main office or with Chelsea Bench. All donations will be delivered to the families of Doull Elementary on November 18th.

Fall Book Fair

The fall scholastic book fair will be on November 10-17. Students will have the opportunity to shop for books with their class throughout the week. Please be on the lookout for more information from your classroom teachers. We will also need volunteers to help run the book fair throughout the week. Please use the link to sign-up to volunteer.


School starts at 7:40 a.m. Students who arrive after this time are considered tardy. When students are tardy it increases their anxiety about coming to school, in addition, the student misses out on critical social-emotional lessons and it disrupts the learning environment of others. If your student arrives after 7:40 a.m, you will need to sign them in at the front office. Please have your students on time every day.

We want your feedback and to continue to build a strong family/school relationship. Please consider joining one of our Coffees with Admin that occur each month. It is a nice time to ask questions, express concerns, or have a nice chat with the admin team and other parents. The dates can be found on the calendar.

Have a wonderful weekend!

In partnership,

Amie McElroy, Elementary School 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.

STEM Elementary School Food Drive

October 31-November 16

We are collecting non-perishable Thanksgiving items (canned veggies, instant potatoes, pasta, etc) and $20 grocery store gift cards to donate to a local school in need. Donations may be placed in the box in the front lobby of the Elementary Schools. Gift cards to Ms. Bench or office staff. For more information, email chelsea.bench@stemk12.org.

KOSON/STEM Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 1, from 5:30-7 p.m – Mechatronics Lab (P-TECH/KOSON Building

The monthly STEM Board of Director’s Meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 1 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.

Prospective Spartan Showcase Night

Thursday, Nov. 3, from 5-7 p.m – Secondary Building

Our Prospective Spartan Showcase Night is the community’s opportunity to see what our STEM Secondary School is all about. Our teachers and students will be on hand to showcase all of the different opportunities and offerings that are available to students in our Secondary School (grades 6-12).

This event is open to any student/family who is interested in finding out more about our sixth through 12th grades. We’ll also be showcasing our Career Discovery program, which provides High School students with career-path development and opportunities.

Little Women Poster

STEM Theater Presents: Little Women

November 10 & 11, at 6:30 p.m., & November 12, at  3 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

Mark your calendars!

Jo March isn’t your typical Victorian lady. She’s indecorous and headstrong, and one day she will be a great American novelist. As she and her sisters grow up in the middle of the Civil War, they strive to be brave, intelligent, and imaginative young women. But as adulthood approaches, each sister must negotiate her private ambitions with society’s expectations. In a war-torn world defined by gender, class, and personal tragedy, Jo March gives us her greatest story: that of the March sisters, four dreamers destined to be imperfect little women.

Tickets are $10. Contact Max Schwartz (max.schwartz@stemk12.org) with any questions.

News and Updates

Parking and Loitering in the surrounding Business Park

The Building Manager for the Office Building where the Center for Strength is located has informed the Center, as well as STEM, that several students have been caught inside of the empty offices that are being renovated. They are asking us to inform families to please speak to their students about this behavior and to refrain from “hanging out” inside the building. Students should only be inside the building if they are visiting the Center. If this behavior continues, the Building Manager has indicated that it will ask the Center to vacate its offices and the building.

Additionally, the Building Manager has indicated that students and parents are parking in their lot in the morning, throughout the day and in the afternoon, which is in violation of their business park rules. If you or your student is doing this, please stop. They have indicated that they have been very understanding neighbors but they feel as if their requests to the community to stop this behavior have not been heeded. They do not want to resort to towing and ticketing cars because they do not want to put that expense on the student or parent, but if the behavior does not cease, they will be forced to move forward with ticketing and towing.

Please help be good neighbors and stop parking in their parking lot. This also goes for the Hotel Parking Lot.

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@stemk12.org to confirm your Free and Reduced Lunch Program status. Not sure if you qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch? DCSD recommends that you apply regardless so that they can assist you further. Click the button below to access the application.

Elementary Art teams up with Original Works

Our Elementary Art Department has teamed up with Original Works to provide families with the opportunity to purchase gifts with their student’s artwork on it. This is a fundraising opportunity for our Art Department and a great opportunity to get gifts in time for the holidays. Collaborating with Original Works helps to:

  • Deliver funding to our school
  • Builds self-esteem within our students
  • Rewards and encourages creativity
  • Promotes art education
  • Provides personalized gifts for family and friends.
  • Supports the Made in America initiative to help get American back on track.

Order forms were sent home with students this week. Deadline to place your order is Monday, Nov. 8. Contact kristy.smith@stemk12.org with any questions.

Don't forget to order your school photos

School photos have been uploaded for families to view. Families can access their photos by visiting the link below, selecting the School Portrait Proofs link, and when prompted enter their private password in the following format: studentid#.

Elementary Yearbook Information

Elementary Yearbooks for the 2022-23 School Year are now on sale! Use the link below to purchase a soft cover ($21), or a hardcover ($31) yearbook.

Updated Snow Day Policy

As the winter season approaches, we want to announce updates to the current Virtual School Day for Inclement Weather policy. Last spring, one of our STEM students presented a proposal and justification regarding changes to our current Virtual School Day policy. As a result, the administration and Board of Directors determined that a change is recommended to the Snow Day Policy. We appreciate the leadership and voice our STEM students display and are happy to announce that STEM will follow the DCSD Snow Day policy with a closure. STEM also reserves the right to modify the calendar, schedule, or this policy, due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or construction that interrupts the required instructional minutes as set forth by the Colorado Department of Education. The following is a reminder of the current policies.

Late Start Schedule

STEM does not mimic the Late Start Policy and schedule put forth by DCSD. In the event that Douglas County calls for a Delayed Opening, STEM’s Virtual School Day Policy will take effect.

Virtual School Day for Inclement Weather

If DCSD determines that the district should follow the Delayed Opening protocol, STEM School Highlands Ranch will abide by its Virtual School Day Policy. When it snows, our school’s operation and instructional expectations will be determined by one of these three scenarios:

  • Updated: Snow Day – Douglas County Schools calls a snow day – STEM is closed (check www.dcsdk12.org)
  • Late Start Day – Douglas County Schools calls a Late Start day – STEM is closed and implements a Virtual School Day.
  • All Schools Open – Douglas County Schools declare Highlands Ranch area schools open – STEM is open and operating to our regular schedule.

Connect with other Parents

In case you didn’t know, families have specific Class Pages on Facebook where they can connect with other families from their student’s grade. You can find all of the different class pages on our Get Connected page of the Parent section of our website. Click the button below to see them.

Please note that these pages are administered by other parents and not by STEM.

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)


Many families looking for the next school for their student find STEM School Highlands Ranch through the website Niche.com. Niche is offering a chance to win $1,000 to complete a short survey about why you love STEM to be included on our school profile. Click the button below to take the survey and enter for your chance to win. The survey is open to students, parents and recent alumni. The deadline is October 31, 2022.

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

The Early Childhood Mental Health Support Line is a no-cost, confidential resource for anyone who cares for children under six. The support line helps families and caregivers to better understand and support the wellbeing of young children in their care. The consultant on the line can discuss needs, brainstorm appropriate support resources, and connect you to consultation in your community.

Literary Resource of the Week

One Book. One District

The DCSD District Library Media Center is hosting the ONE BOOK event as a CELEBRATION of LITERACY & COMMUNITY, encouraging everyone to read & be inspired by the beautiful picture book If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall.

ChildFind Early Development Screenings

Thursday, November 10 | 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Early Childhood Center North, 9350 Teddy Lane, Lone Tree

Join the staff from Douglas County ChildFind for a free, quick developmental screening. For children ages 3-5 years old residing in Douglas County.

Parent University - Teenagers and Substance Use with Author Laura Stack

Hosted by Sky Ridge Medical Center and Douglas County School District

Wednesday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Join this very special Parent University Webinar hosted by Laura Stack, Author of “Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story: The Dangerous Truth about today’s Marijuana” as we discuss Teenagers and Substance Use (Marijuana, Fentanyl, Vaping, etc.) and Mental Health (effects on teenage brain development). This is a free event. Please register to receive information on joining the webinar.

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