Elementary News and Updates (11/19/21)

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Upcoming Events

STEM PTO's STEMGives Campaign Underway

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October 4 through December 7

STEMGives! is your opportunity to support your school, teachers, students and staff! Your donations help the STEM PTO to provide money directly to the school for teacher and school grants/requests and fund the STEM PTO’s activities, fundraisers and events. The campaign will run from October 4 through December 7 and all donations can be made online or via check.

WAYS TO GIVE:

  • The PTO will be accepting online donations through Colorado Gives at the link below. Colorado Gives is an online donation site that accepts credit cards, debit cards and bank account transfers. Donations can be made one time or recurring/monthly. $200/family or $20/month will make a great impact!
  • Donors can also pay by check. Checks should be made out to STEM PTO (write STEM Gives! in the memo) and delivered to the STEM Middle School office. Checks can also be mailed to the STEM Middle School Office at:

STEM School Highlands Ranch
℅ STEM PTO Treasurer
8773 S Ridgeline Blvd
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

STEM Center for Strength: Paws 2 Read

Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 3:15-3:45 p.m. for Read-Along; 3:45-4:15 p.m. for Independent Readers

On Tuesday, Nov. 16 the STEM Center for Strength will be holding a Paws 2 Read event for Elementary Students. Come and read with our much-loved pups, Chama and Haku. The event starts at 3:15 p.m. for the Read-Along portion. The Independent Readers portion begins at 3:45 p.m. This event will be at the STEM Center for Strength (640 Plaza Dr., Suite 130, Highlands Ranch, CO. 80129).

COVID Testing

Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the morning

STEM will be offering COVID Testing for students and staff again on Tuesday, Nov. 30 in the morning.

ELEMENTARY FAMILIES: Elementary students whose parents have consented to testing will be pulled from their classes by the Health Assistant. No sign-up form (aside from the Consent form) is needed.

State of STEM

Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 5:30-7 p.m. – Elementary School Gymnasium

The State of STEM is STEM’s annual report to the community on a reflection of the previous school year, as well as a look ahead for the current school year. Please join us in person for the great event. We’ll have a presentation by each of the department leads and an opportunity to meet and greet afterward. Please join us on Tuesday, Nov. 30 starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Elementary School Gymnasium. Please park in the Elementary School Parking lot and enter through the Elementary School Entrance.

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 10-11 a.m – Secondary School Entrance

Each Wednesday, STEM opens up its doors from 10-11 a.m. for a building tour to interested families who would like to learn more about our school. We’d like to encourage our families to spread the word to anyone they know who might be interested in having their student(s) attend STEM. Interested tour participants should arrive 10 minutes early to get checked in and badged. They must bring a valid ID in order to get checked in.

Elementary Assembly

Friday, Dec. 3, from 8:15-10:15 a.m. – Elementary School Gymnasium

Elementary will be holding their monthly Assembly on Friday, Dec. 3. Below is the schedule:

  • Kindergarten-first grade: 8:15-8:45 a.m.
  • Second-third grade: 9-9:30 a.m.
  • Fourth-fifth grade: 9:45-10:15 a.m.

Assemblies are for students only and will be held on the Playfield in the Secondary Parking Lot during nice weather. If the weather is bad, the assembly will be moved inside to the Elementary School Gymnasium.

STEM Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 5:30-7 p.m – High School Commons

The monthly STEM Board of Director’s Meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the High School Commons. 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.

STEM PTO Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6:30-8 p.m – Middle School Cafeteria

The monthly STEM PTO Meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Middle School Cafeteria. STEM PTO is comprised of parents from the STEM community who work together to help foster a strong sense of community, 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 for the purpose of enhancing the quality of each students’ education, the school as a whole, and the entire community through the development of resources and participation of parents, school staff, and the community. Meetings are open for anyone to attend. Please park in the High School Parking lot and enter through the High School doors.

Youth Education & Safety in Schools Event

YESS Program

STEM SAC Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 5:30-7 p.m. – HS Commons

The monthly STEM School Accountability Committee (SAC) meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the High School Commons. The meeting will also be available to watch via Zoom as a trial. 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. Please park in the High School parking lot and enter through the High School Entrance.

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.

News and Updates

Do you intend to return to STEM?

For enrollment planning purposes, please let us know, either way if your child plans to return to STEM School Highlands Ranch next year. Please complete the Intent to Return Form for each of your currently attending STEM students. If you are currently enrolled at STEM please let us know that your child is returning. You do not need to “open enroll” to remain at STEM. If your child is currently attending STEM, they will be automatically enrolled for next year. Please also complete the form if your student is planning to seek enrollment at another school so that we can have an accurate count of returning students.

Intent to Return

Online Butter Braid Fundraiser

Help support STEM PTO in raising funds for the STEM After Prom 2022 event by purchasing from our online Butter Braid fundraiser. Items available include:

  • Butter Braids
  • Gluten Free products
  • Coda Coffee.

The online store is open now through December 6. Products will be delivered to STEM on the afternoon of December 13. More information will be shared soon. Contact Susan Montgomery at stemafterprom@stemk12.org.

Butter Braid After Prom Flyer 2022

Accessing STEM as a Walker/Bike Rider

Elementary Walker/Bike Rider Access

It is so important that our walkers use the Cross Walks when coming to school. In addition to it not being safe to cross where there is no crosswalk, it causes delays in getting cars in and out of our parking lot as they have to wait for pedestrians to cross the street.
See the image to the right to see the suggested route and where to cross and not cross.

If you are picking up your student via our Walker Pick-Up, please do not park in the surrounding businesses, where it is clearly marked that you cannot park. The surrounding businesses are private businesses and STEM families are not allowed to park in their parking lots to pick up their students. These local businesses have informed us that they will begin ticketing and requesting towing of any vehicles that should not be there.

Secondary Walker/Bike Rider Access

It is so important that our walkers use the Cross Walks when coming to school. In addition to it not being safe to cross where there is no crosswalk, it causes delays in getting cars in and out of our parking lot as they have to wait for pedestrians to cross the street.

See the image to the right to see the suggested route and where to cross and not cross for our Secondary School.

If you are picking up your student via Walker Pick-Up, please do not park in the surrounding businesses, where it is clearly marked that you cannot park. The surrounding businesses are private businesses and STEM families are not allowed to park in their parking lots to pick up their students. These local businesses have informed us that they will begin ticketing and requesting towing of any vehicles that should not be there.

West Walker Pick-Up
Walking Path and Do Not Cross
Secondary Walking-DO Not Cross copy

Important Driveline Reminders

  • Every family who is dropping off a student in a car should be using either our West or East Driveline. PLEASE DO NOT drop students off on the sidewalks in an active roadway.
    • If you are dropping off a Secondary Student on the West side of the school, please use the West Driveline for drop-off. It is the safest option for all families.
  • Crossing the street should only be done at designated crosswalks. If you are crossing where there is no crosswalk, please kindly make the appropriate adjustment to use the crosswalks moving forward.
  • No families and students should be parking their cars for any length of time in the parking lots of the surrounding businesses if they are coming to STEM for any reason.
    • We’ve received numerous complaints from the businesses and hotel around us and they have shared that they will move forward with requesting cars to be ticketed and towed if it continues.  

Crosswalk Advisory Part 1

Crosswalk Advisory Part 2

Important Message from our SRO Deputy Gabe Uribe

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

Please click the button below to read a message from our School Resource Officer Deputy Gabe Uribe about an incident that happened this past week during drop-off. Please read it carefully. The STEM Leadership Team supports and echos what is being shared by Deputy Gabe.

Future impact on Parking at the STEM Campus

Following the groundbreaking of the new CHSAA Gym/Building Remodel Project, the High School Staff Parking Lot will be fenced off to allow the construction company to stage all their equipment. No staff parking or vehicle access will be allowed in this parking lot. We are sharing this information because we know that several parents are using this lot as a pick-up and drop-off area, which is not permitted via our Transportation Management Plan. We are asking all families to please use the approved avenues for pick-up that are outlined in our TMP.

Elementary Yearbooks are Now on Sale!

Click the button below to access the prepayment site for the Elementary Yearbook. Soft Cover books are $20 and Hard Cover books are $30.

IT News: Canvas Observer Accounts

If you have not set up your observer account for your student(s), please do so as soon as possible. This is one of the ways that teachers use to let parents know about what is happening in classes. You can go to the Technology Support page and click on the “Quick Guide to Systems.” You will see a video in this area that shows you step by step in creating an observer account.

If you run into difficulty, please email the IT team at support@stemk12.org and they can help with any technology issues that arise.

Thank you Book Fair Volunteers

Book Fair Volunteers

Battle of the Books Teams Forming!

We are thrilled to host our first year of Battle of the Books teams. Teams of 3rd/4th and 5th/6th graders will read a selection of books and prepare to compete against other schools in the Douglas County Libraries Battle of the Books. Click the button below to read more and sign up! Space is limited to 7 students per team.

Check Out the SpartMart!

New SpartMart Hours

STEM’s SpartMart is your go-to place for all STEM apparel, gear, and more! Are you hungry for a bag of chips or want a drink? SpartMart has the perfect selection of food and beverages! Would you like a brand new hoodie? Or how about a new shirt to show off your spartan pride? We have perfect merchandise for all ages and groups from teachers to parents to students!

Come to the SpartMart in-person on Monday and Wednesday after school, or on Wednesday mornings. You can also visit our website to place on online order via the button below.

School Picture Retakes and Orders

Families can access their photos by visiting the link to the right or going to dr-photo.com, selecting the School Portrait Proofs link, and when prompted enter their private password in the following format: Student ID#

For virtual students, appointments will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. from September 14 – October 21. Click the link to the right to schedule your appointment.

Donation and Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering and giving to STEM are vital to the success of our school. Our school has a charter that requires a commitment of 30 volunteer hours per family (15 hours per single-parent family).

To make volunteering easy and seamless, please refer to the Volunteering Basics section that will allow you to set up your volunteer account and keep track of your hours. We are extremely grateful for the time and energy donated by STEM parents each year. Please click the button below to see the latest Volunteer Opportunities at STEM.

  • Elementary and Secondary Driveline
  • Lunchroom Volunteers
  • Spartan Afternoon Program
  • TSA Volunteers

Volunteer of the Month

Suzanne Savolainen is our volunteer of the Month for October, logging 141.5 hours dedicated to BEST Robotics. Thank you so much for all your time given to our Robotics Team Suzanne, we appreciate you!

Classroom Wishlists

Teachers always need additional supplies throughout the year in order to enhance their students’ experiences. Consider making a donation to a teacher’s classroom by getting something off their Wish List. You can view all of our teachers’ wishlists on our Parent Get Involved page, or by clicking the button below.

School Donations

Both our Elementary and Secondary Offices are always in need of donated items. Click the button below to see what we need and to sign up. Please bring the items to the appropriate front office with a label for what it is for.

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

In this exclusive video series, join DCSD partner Dr. Scott Cypers for simple and proven ways parents can help their kids overcome anxiety. The first two segments are now live!

Literacy Resource of the Week

Did you know parents can play a key role in building future bookworms! If you want to help your child build literacy skills by reading together, watch this Parent University webinar recording and download reading resources for grades PreK-5.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Feel like you’re too busy to take care of yourself? Check out some TED Talks for some ways to keep yourself emotionally and physically healthy. Find this and more resources with DCSD Healthy Schools.

Apple Award Nominations

We value and appreciate all of our outstanding educators and staff here in DCSD and are thrilled that the Foundation for Douglas County Schools is gearing up to host the 16th Annual Apple Awards on April 2, 2022. Nominations for Apple Awards are now open until Sunday, December 12! Please consider nominating a DCSD educator or staff member who is inspiring a love of learning in students.

Nominate a Teacher for Broncos’ Touchdowns for Teachers Program

The Denver Broncos and Delta Dental of Colorado have teamed up to recognize local MVTs (Most Valuable Teachers) for outstanding service to their schools and communities. Do you know a game-changing teacher who goes the extra yard to educate and inspire? All members of the Douglas County community are invited to nominate an educator (K-12) to be considered for this recognition. Ten honorees will be selected each semester by a panel of community members, the Denver Broncos and Delta Dental of Colorado. Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

DCSD Community Events

Castle Rock Starlighting

Stop by DCSD’s booth at the annual Castle Rock Starlighting event tomorrow (Saturday), November 20, from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce’s “Lighting of the Star” has been a favorite community event shared by residents dating back to 1936. The same spirit of volunteerism, generosity and love of tradition exists today as Castle Rock businesses and residents prepare to kick off and celebrate the holiday season! The actual Star lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m., with the star being lit at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Park Meadows Mall Holiday Activities and Events

Park Meadows Mall is hosting a variety of fun, family holiday events ranging from gingerbread decorating to storytimes.

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