Secondary News and Updates (01/14/22)

Secondary-School News

Upcoming Events

COVID Testing

Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the morning

STEM will be offering COVID Testing for students and staff again on Tuesday, Jan. 18 in the morning.

SECONDARY FAMILIES: Secondary students whose parents have consented to testing will need to sign-up to be scheduled for a testing time on Tuesday. Please sign up your Secondary student for COVID testing at the link below. The sign-up will close at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 17. Only students that are signed up will be tested. You will receive an email late on Monday, Jan. 10 to let you know your student’s scheduled time for testing.

Replication Informational Session for STEM Community

Tuesday, Jan. 18, from 5:30-7 p.m – High School Commons

The STEM Board of Directors has tasked Dr. Eucker and the Strategy Team of the Strategic Plan with taking the next steps toward replication the KOSON Instructional Method of Problem-Based Learning. Dr. Carletta Stewart is leading the efforts toward replication in the Sterling Ranch and within the Denver Public Schools communities. We’d like to invite interested STEM School Highlands Ranch Families who would like to get involved in helping to replicate the STEM magic with other families, to an Informational Session on Tuesday, Jan. 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the High School Commons. Dr. Stewart will be on hand to answer any questions. Even if you’re not sure if you want to get involved, we invite you to attend to find out more information.

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 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.

STEM SAC Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 5:30-7 p.m. 

The monthly STEM School Accountability Committee (SAC) meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 5:30-7 p.m. Due to the increase in COVID cases, the January meeting will be conducted via Zoom only. If you would like to participate in Public Comment, please submit requests prior to the start of the meeting to sac@

Our upcoming meetings:

  • February 16th – held in the STEM Center for Strength
  • March – No meeting scheduled (Spring Break)
  • April 20th – Meeting to discuss SAC elections

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 executive director for prioritizing the spending of school money.

STEM Spelling Bee

Thursday, Jan. 20, from 3:30-6 p.m. – ES Gymnasium

The STEM Spelling Bee will take place on Thursday, Jan. 20 from 3:30-6 p.m. in the Elementary School Gymnasium for all Middle School Students who have qualified. The winner will advance to the DCSD Spelling Bee.

TSA Fleece for Fighters

Thursday, Jan. 20, from 3-5 p.m. – Engineering Labs

High School TSA will host a blanket-making event where we make fleece blankets for Fleece for Fighters through Colorado TSA. After the blanket making, we will have a restaurant fundraiser at Torchy’s Tacos. Either bring 1.5-yard x 1.5-yard fleece, or a $10 donation to cover the cost of fleece. Contact mike.shall@ with questions.

TSA Restaurant Night at Torchy's Tacos

Thursday, Jan. 20, from 5-9 p.m. – Torchy’s Tacos

Join TSA at Torchy’s Tacos (1515 Park Central Dr Ste. 100, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129) on Thursday, Jan. 20 from 5-9 p.m. for a Restaurant Night to raise money.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting

Monday, Jan. 24, from 5-7 p.m. – High School Commons

If you’re interested in getting involved in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at STEM, we encourage you to attend to find out more information. Email Amie McElroy (amie.mcelroy@ with any questions.

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 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.

After Prom STEM PTO Spirit Night at Torchy's Tacos

Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 4-8 p.m. – Torchy’s Tacos

STEM PTO is hosting a spirit night fundraiser for After Prom at Torchy’s Tacos (1515 Park Central Drive, Suite C-200 Highlands Ranch, CO 80129) from 4-8 p.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Proceeds will go to help fund After Prom. Contact Susan Montgomery at STEMAfterProm@ with any questions.

STEM PTO After Prom at Torchy's Tacos

News and Updates

Message from Mrs. Ridder, Middle School Director to Middle School Famiiles

Dear Middle School Families,

As you are aware, our 6th- and 8th-grade classes are currently in outbreak status. Our teachers are doing their best to provide a quality education for both their in-person students as well as their quarantined students. The way this is accomplished is through Canvas. Each day, our Middle School teachers post an agenda on Canvas. All students, in class and at home, should pull up the agenda for each class and follow the instructions. If they have attempted a lesson or assignment and have questions, they are always welcome to email their teacher. Currently, our 6th-grade teachers are receiving an inordinate amount of emails asking them what they should do. The teachers are reiterating each day that students should check the agenda and follow their instructions. If you could reinforce this concept at home, that would be wonderful!

Please know that our teachers are doing the best they can to ensure that all of our students are learning and growing. We have endured so much here at STEM, and we know this too shall pass.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at (303) 683-7836,

Wishing you all good health!

Maura Ridder, Middle School Director

Message from Mrs. Wu, Director of Student Support About Safe2Tell Assembly

Dear STEM Middle School Parents,

Your students participated in a presentation on Safe2Tell. Safe2Tell Colorado allows students and adults in Colorado to anonymously report safety concerns. This letter includes a summary of the student presentation as well as additional information for parents/guardians.

Safe2Tell 2018-2019 statewide data:

  • 19,861 actionable tips
  • 3668 suicide tips, 2164 drug tips, 1871 bullying tips

The presentation emphasized 5 main ideas:

  1. Students know safety and mental health concerns about their peers before adults.
  2. As part of a healthy community, students have a duty to inform others about safety concerns.
  3. As a first step, students should always try to talk to a trusted adult.
  4. If that’s too hard, or it’s after school hours, Safe2Tell is a backup plan.
  5. Safe2Tell is anonymous to encourage students to report safety concerns.

What do parents need to know about Safe2Tell?

  • Tips can be submitted by calling 1-877-542-7233, at, or on the Google Play and Apple Store Apps.
  • Parents can make a report themselves as well as with/on behalf of their child(ren).
  • After submitting a report, a Safe2Tell dispatcher will always respond with their name and ask follow-up questions. Please wait and engage in a conversation with Safe2Tell.
  • Safe2Tell relays concerns to local law enforcement and schools. Safe2Tell itself does not investigate tips.
  • If you and/or your child(ren) have a mobile device, add the Safe2Tell app to it.

What Safe2Tell Can/Cannot Do For You:

  • Safe2Tell does not notify the Reporting Party of the report outcome. All outcome information is private and autonomous to Safe2Tell.
  • If you have previously reported the situation to your school staff and are not satisfied with the outcome, Safe2Tell cannot enforce a different outcome. Please find the process within your school district for escalating these concerns.
  • Safe2Tell is not a resource for keeping a “record” of your school or child’s history.
  • Safe2Tell is a successful violence intervention and prevention program for students to anonymously report threats to their own, and others’, safety. Safe2Tell is not an emergency response unit nor mental health counseling service provider; it is a conduit of information for distributing anonymous tips to local law enforcement and school officials pursuant to state law.

For more information, visit, call the Safe2Tell administrative office at 720-508-6809, or email

Thank you,

Mrs. Christina Wu, Director of Student Support

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 form below 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.

Reminder of our Virtual Weather Day Procedures

In the event that DCSD determines that the district should follow the DCSD 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:

  1. Snow Day – Douglas County Schools (check calls a snow day – The STEM building is closed and implements a Virtual School Day with 20% of the learning being synchronous. (NEW; STEM will not have Snow Days morning forward)
  2. Late Start Day – Douglas County Schools calls a Late Start day – STEM is closed and implements a Virtual School Day with 20% of the learning being synchronous.
  3. All Schools Open – Douglas County Schools declare Highlands Ranch area schools open – STEM is open and operating to our regular schedule.

Impact on Parking at the STEM Campus

The time has finally come! We received word that the High School Staff Parking Lot will be fenced off and no one will be able to enter and/or park there starting on Monday, Jan. 17. The High School Staff Parking Lot will need to be reallocated to the construction company and fenced off. Access to this lot will be restricted to construction site activity only. The lot will be closed for the remainder of the year. Please start to familiarize yourself with the parking map so that you know where you can and can’t park. Additionally, please review our Driveline Procedures so that you know where you can and cannot drop-off and pick-up students. As a reminder, there is no drop-off or pick-up on the sidewalk around the campus. Drop-off and pick-up must be done through our Elementary and Secondary Drivelines.

Nominate a High School Student for CBS Denver Future Leaders Scholarship

Nominations are now open for the CBS Denver Future Leaders Scholarship. If you know a High School student who is thriving in the STEM core subjects please consider nominating them for this $1,000 scholarship.

Click the button below to access the nomination form and to find out more. One student will be selected each month to receive this special recognition award that will include a $1,000 award along with a student profile on CBS4. The nomination window will run through April 22, 2022.

MIT Solve’s Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge

Have you heard about MIT Solve’s Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge? It’s for young people 24 and under like you who want to make a positive impact in your communities and the world. Now through January 18, 2022, you can submit a solution to the challenge for a chance to be selected as a Solv[ED] Innovator and share among the $200,000 in available prize funding.

More information, frequently asked questions, and the link to apply can be found via the button below. You can read more about Solv[ED] on their website here. Several application clinics are scheduled to answer your questions, but if you can’t wait until then, email I hope that you consider submitting a solution and looking at the resources Solv[ED] has to offer!

CSNA Summer Conference One Plate Challenge

The Colorado School Nutrition Association will be holding their annual conference this summer on June 15-16. Part of the conference is the One Plate Challenge at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colo. Check the flier to the right for more information.

CSNA One Plate Challenge

Order yearbooks while prices are low!

Attention Middle School and High School students!

Don’t forget to purchase your yearbooks. Go to to buy your yearbook for $45. Buy it while you can because come October 31 the price goes up to $55. Additionally, if you would like your photo in the yearbook, you can share your photos with us. You can share them using the Yearbook Snap app using the code STEM22. It’s available on the App Store and Google Play Store, download it today and share those photos. If you have any questions about the yearbook or how to use Yearbook Snap, please email one of the yearbook editors-in-chief at elizabeth.noethlich@s. and cadence.coan@s. or stop by room 110 after school.

School Picture Retakes and Orders

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

Information about the Optional SAT with Essay in Colorado

Attention Families of Juniors!

Please read the flier to the right from The College Board regarding how to register for the SAT optional essay. Registering for the essay is a student’s choice. By default, registration for all juniors is the SAT without the essay. The essay registration window is January 17-February 15. This is a firm deadline.

If you miss the registration window they cannot add you at a later time. You may add the essay to your registration through your online College Board account. Please note that the essay is scored separately from the SAT. Your score on the essay will not improve or reduce your score on the SAT. If you have questions regarding the benefits of taking the essay or are unsure about whether it is required by the colleges you plan to apply to, please reach out to your College and Career Counselor Kelli Myrick at kelli.myrick@

SAT-CO-Essay-Optional-Flyer 2022

CS@Mines Coding Competition - For HS Students

Do you like problem-solving and programming? Then this competition is for you.

On April 9, 2022, the Colorado School of Mines will hold its annual coding competition! Teams of two to four students will compete in one of four competitions: in-person beginner, in-person advanced, virtual beginner, and virtual advanced. This is for HS students only.

Anybody can compete and there is no limit on the number of competitors, so if you want to help carry on STEM’s legacy at the CS@Mines Coding Competition, please complete the form via the button below by February 11, 2022.

For any questions, please send an email to Mrs. Basu at simi.basu@

Great start to Girls Persist at STEM

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Helping Kids to Understand and Overcome Anxiety with Dr. Scott Cypers

In this exclusive video series, join DCSD partner Dr. Scott Cypers for simple ways parents can help their kids overcome anxiety.

Literacy Resource of the Week

Literacy Tips for Parents of Adolescents

Discover ways to increase vocabulary, build fluency, and improve reading comprehension with your young reader. Based on 20 years of research on literacy programs and practices!

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

San Diego Zoo Live Cams

Even if you can’t make it outside, watching nature can still help calm the mind and body. Sneak a peek into some fascinating exhibits at the San Diego Zoo!

Nominate a Teen for DC Youth Award

The Youth Award recognizes teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 who have overcome personal adversity and created positive change in their lives. Nominations are due Friday, March 4.

Community Events

DCSD Parent University – License to Survive: Teen Driving Survival & Graduated Drivers Licensing
Wednesday, January 26 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Free virtual event
Register here via Eventbrite

Parents, is your teen ready for their driver’s permit? Learn more about the process, what to teach, and the potential risks of teen driving. All beginning drivers are welcome to attend.

Save the Date! Supporting Our Students Forum: Mental Health Resources and Supports in DCSD Schools
Hosted by the DCSD District Accountability Committee (DAC)
Thursday, February 17 | 5:30 p.m.
Rock Canyon High School

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