Elementary News and Updates (12/09/22)

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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.

NHS Holiday Toy Drive

November 28-December 19

This year our National Honor Society chapter is organizing a toy drive! We will collect toy donations from Elementary, Middle, and High Schools from November 28th to December 19th. After all the donations have been collected, they will be donated to the Toys for Tots foundation. We hope everyone is willing to send in their donations!

Please drop off new toys at either the Elementary or the Secondary School Lobby.

Contact: Lasya Gudur: at lasya.gudur@s.https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org or Mischa Dvoretsky: at mischa.dvoretsky@s.https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.org with any questions.

NHS Holiday Toy Drive

Elementary Spirit Week

STEM Elementary Spirit Week

STEM PTO Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 6:30-8 p.m. – 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.

Parent Coffee Connection at the Center (Sponsored by STEM PTO)

Thursday, Dec. 15, from 7:30-9 a.m. – Center for Strength

STEM PTO will be hosting a Parent Coffee Connection at the STEM Center for Strength. Stop by after you drop off your students to meet other parents, tour the Center and create lasting connections.

Kindergarten Holiday Concert

Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. – ES Gym

We are so excited to be performing some fun Holiday songs and sharing our solutions for our PBL unit. We hope to see you there!

STEM PTO Cookie Exchange - A Merry & Bright Gathering

Wednesday, Dec. 21, from 5-7 p.m. – Prost Brewing

Join STEM PTO on Wednesday, Dec 21, from 5-7 p.m. at Prost Brewing for a STEM cookie exchange. Bake or buy three dozen of your favorite cookies. Stay for a snack or a drink. Let’s chat and be merry. Bring a container if you want to take cookies home. We’ll pack boxes for the teachers and deliver them to the school on Thursday, Dec. 22, for the Staff Professional Day.

News and Updates

PLEASE CHECK LOST AND FOUND

Our lost and found is very full. If your child is missing anything, feel free to come to check our lost and found located in the front lobby or remind your child to check it. We will donate any items left at the end of the semester during the break.

Snow Mountain Ranch Parent Info Meeting Recording

Intent to Return/Not Return Form

It’s that time of year! We’re starting to prepare for the 2023-24 School Year (can you believe it?!?) and we need our CURRENT STEM Families to complete the Intent to Return/Not Return process.

This information will help our Leadership Team plan for the new school year as it pertains to budgeting, facility use, staffing and more. This process also helps us to know how many new students we will have openings for in the upcoming school year so that we can invite students off our waitlist in December.

Please complete a separate form for each of your CURRENTLY ATTENDING STEM students so that we know your student is either returning or not returning to STEM. Completing the form does not require your student to attend STEM for next year should you change your enrollment plans. The form allows you to update your submission should you change your mind over the next few months.

Current Families with Siblings Wanting to Attend STEM

Does your current STEM student have a sibling who is interested in attending STEM for the 2023-24 school year? Did you know that they have priority on our waitlist? Please add them to our waitlist now. STEM’s open enrollment is open and we will begin notifying families of accepted spots for the 2023-24 school year beginning December 1, 2022.

DCSD Open Enrollment Window Information

The Douglas County School District’s Open Enrollment Window is now open, however current STEM families who wish to stay at STEM for next year DO NOT complete that process. Your student(s) will be automatically enrolled. The DCSD Open Enrollment Process (via their website) is if your student is interested in attending their neighborhood school, or another school that uses the DCSD Open Enrollment Process.

The First Round of the Open Enrollment Window for DCSD will close on December 1 at 4 p.m. The Second Round of the Open Enrollment Window will open on January 23 at 8 a.m. and close on August 1, 2023, at 4 p.m.

(Note: Parents of any students who wish to go back to their neighborhood middle school for their 7th-grade year must file an intent to return form, by January 10, 2023; applicable also for parents of 6th-grade students whose attendance area is within the Cimarron Middle School, Rocky Heights Middle School and Sagewood Middle School boundaries.)

Way to Go December Challenge

The weather outside is frightful!

So why not keep your car off the dangerous, icy roads? During December, telework or commute by transit, carpool, foot or bike. By skipping a solo car trip during your morning commute, you’re doing a favor for the environment and your mental health!

This month, commuters who track at least eight eco-friendly trips by modes like foot, bike, transit or carpool (anything but driving alone) will be automatically entered by Way to Go into a drawing for prizes from Boulder-based BOCO Gear! At the end of December, 10 clean commuting champions will win socks and winter hats to help them stay warm through the Denver region’s frigid winter.

Joining the December Challenge is simple:

1. Log in to MyWayToGo.org.

2. Track your eco-friendly commutes throughout the month — whether you’re teleworking or traveling by bike, bus, train, foot, scooter, carpool or vanpool.

3. That’s it, you’re automatically entered to win.

WaytoGo-December Challenge

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@https://stemk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/blog-1.jpgk12.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.

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)

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.

Center for Strength News and Events

Rays of Resilience with vendors
Rays of Resilience Wellness Fair

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Parent University Recording: The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana

Watch the recording of this very special Parent University Webinar. Laura Stack, Author of “Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story: The Dangerous Truth about today’s Marijuana” discusses Teenagers and Substance Use (Marijuana, Fentanyl, Vaping, etc.) and Mental Health (effects on teenage brain development). This recording will only be available until the end of December.

Literary Resource of the Week

Top 10 Family Reading and Writing Ideas for the Winter Holidays

The winter holidays are a great time to create low-key learning opportunities centered around books, storytelling, writing, and family adventures.

Health and Wellness

Tips to Keep Kids Warm All Winter

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the following tips can help keep your children safe and warm.

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