Secondary News and Updates (02/04/22)

Secondary-School News

Upcoming Events

High School Winter Formal

Saturday, Feb. 5, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. – HS Commons

High School Student Government will be holding the Winter Formal on Saturday, Feb. 5, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in the High School Commons. The theme is 1920s so students should come dressed in their best 1920s themed attire. Tickets are $10 at the door. To help raise money, Student Government is requesting donations for food and beverages. Click the button below to see the sign-up. Please drop off items labeled “Winter Formal” to the Secondary Front Office.

STEM Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 5:30-7 p.m – High School Commons

The monthly STEM Board of Director’s Meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 8 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

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 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's Valentine's Roller Skating Party

Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 6-8 p.m – Skate City (5801 S. Lowell Blvd.)

All staff, families and students are welcome to attend a private Valentine Roller-Skating Party at Skate City on Wednesday, Feb. 9 from 6-8 p.m. STEM’s Elementary Student Government is planning a fun night of activities for all K-12. Admission is $7 and skate rental is $3.

STEM PTO Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 6:30-8 p.m – STEM Center for Strength

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.

Vision and Hearing Screening

Thursday, Feb. 10 and Friday, Feb. 12, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day

Colorado law (C.R.S. 22-1-116) states that grades K,1,2,3,5,7 and 9th shall be tested for sight and hearing. We also screen students that are new to a school district and any referrals. Click here to learn more.

Virtual Learners can also be tested in person via the dates and times below. Please check-in at the respective Front Office.

  • ES (K,1,2,3,5) – February, 10 at 7:30 a.m.
  • Secondary (7 & 9) – February 11 at 7:30 a.m.

Want to volunteer?

We are in need of 12 volunteers on those dates, from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be a 30-minute training session from 7-7:30 a.m. because volunteers will be completing the vision/hearing screening and need to be comfortable doing so. We will also be asking for lunch donations for our volunteers and workers. Click here to access the sign-up sheet.

Parent Coffe with Administration

Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 8-9 a.m – Elementary School Cafeteria

On Tuesday, Feb. 15 we will be holding a Coffee with Administration event from 8-9 a.m. at our Elementary School Cafeteria. We are asking our families to sign up in advance so that we can plan for coffee and light pastries.

STEM SAC Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 5:30-7 p.m. – STEM Center for Strength

The monthly STEM School Accountability Committee (SAC) meeting will be on Wednesday, Feb. 16 from 5:30-7 p.m. 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.

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.

STEM's Got Talent Auditions

Do you have talent? Do you sing? Dance? Play and instrument? Are you a comedian? Do you do improv? Please come audition for the 10th annual Stem’s Got Talent. Prepare an act that does not exceed 3-5 minutes. All students should come with their acts polished! No karaoke or sing-alongs. If you are singing to music, please bring the music with you. If your act is too complex to audition in person, contact Mrs. Ridder about submitting a video audition. Remember, this being our 10th year, the competition is heavy. We usually have about 100 – 150 acts audition, and can only place around 20 in the show.

We are also looking for 1-2 masters of ceremonies to host the show. If you would like to audition for that role, please prepare a one-minute monologue on how you would open the show.

If you cannot make the audition day, contact Mrs. Ridder at maura.ridder@ for an alternative date.

Secondary Student Information Session

Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 3-3:45 p.m. – High School Commons

The next Secondary Student Information Session will be on Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 3-3:45 p.m. in the High School Commons. The topic of this information session will be on Standards-Based Learning. Topics include:

  • What is Standards-Based Learning?
  • How is STEM implementing it?
  • What will be the impacts to Teachers?
  • What will be the impacts to Students?

This session will also be available to watch via Zoom.

News and Updates

Colorado Kids Create Art Contest

Honoring The Masters, Encouraging The Young

Welcome to Colorado Kids Create Inc., a trade-marked, 501(c)3 and member of the Colorado Art Education Association. We hope you all enjoy this year’s 9th annual, state-wide contest and the opportunity to become a published illustrator! Remember to carefully follow the instructions found in the Contest Details. This year there is a mail-in entry option. Be proud that YOU are doing your part to see Art education flourish in the beautiful state of Colorado.

2022 Prizes

Grand Prize

  • A Blick Art Gift Certificate
  • Tickets to The American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection
  • One month of Monart Online EduArt Studio Class

1st Place (1 winner from elementary, middle, and high school)

  • A Blick Art Gift Certificate
  • Tickets to The American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection
  • One Monart Project from the Monart Store

2nd – 4th Place (1 winner from elementary, middle, and high school)

  • A Blick Art Gift Certificate
  • Tickets for The American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection

NoCo Regional Prize

  • Hayride for 20 people at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

For further information, contact Rachel Casale, Executive Director, at

Contest Details

Be inspired by Colorado’s rich, Western heritage. Read the 2022 contest stories here!

Contest requirements:

  1. All children must be residents of Colorado.
  2. Children must be between the ages of 5-18 years old.
  3. Artwork must be horizontal (landscape).
  4. Artwork must be done with markers or paint. We like bright and colorful images!
  5. Artwork must be scanned and electronically submitted through our submission form. Please scan and upload at the highest possible resolution. DO NOT SEND PHOTOS OF ARTWORK. ARTWORK MUST BE SCANNED AND SENT AS PNG OR JPEG.
  6. Parents or teachers must sign an electronic permission form for entry to be valid.
  7. Deadline – March 7th, 2022
  8. There will be a grand prize winner, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winner for elementary, middle, and high school entries. Awards will be sent through the mail to the participant’s Art Teacher.
  9. Winning artwork and honorable mentions will be posted on this website on April 11th, 2022.
  10. Mail in option: send to Colorado Kids Create 852 Welch Ave Berthoud Colorado 80513 along with signed permission form.

To enter, please visit the Artwork Upload/Permission Form page. Thank you for participating in this year’s contest!

College and Career Newsletter

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

New Enrichment Club - Heritage Club

Hello STEM Spartans!

The STEM Heritage Club is looking for new members. We are a group of students grades 6-12 that are working toward representing different cultures within our school community. We will also provide volunteer opportunities as we plan to organize school-wide events related to heritage and culture. We will be meeting every Thursday from 3-3:45 p.m. If you are interested, join us in Mr. Voorn’s room (Rm. E222). If you have any questions please feel free to contact student.advisory@s. We hope to see you there!

National English Honor Society Book Drive

STEM’s National English Honor Society is putting on a Book Drive This Month! All of the books that we collect will go to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Denver which promotes getting books in the hands of everyone who wants to read. New and Used books can be donated at the Secondary School Front Office until Monday, Feb. 28.

NEHS Book Drive

Valentine's Day Fundraiser for After Prom

STEM PTO is fundraising for our Senior’s After Prom. Consider purchasing your loved one an item from Touchstone Crystals and a percentage of the proceeds will go to support After Prom. Click the button below to order.

Donate to STEM's After Prom

STEM PTO wants to help give our seniors the best After Prom experience. Our students have been through so much and this is a great way to show them how much we support them. Scan the QR Code below to donate through MySchoolBucks.

After Prom MySchoolBucks Fundraising

National English Honor Society Writing Center

The National English Honor Society is excited to announce that STEM’s Writing Center will be open to all Middle School and High School students. Students looking for additional help on English assignments can join us every other week after school on Mondays via Zoom from 3:45-4:15 p.m. and on Wednesdays after school in Room 105 from 3-3:30 p.m. You can use the QR code found on our posters to sign up for a fifteen-minute slot during which we can help you with any essay, assignment, or project.

NEHS Writing Center

Summer 2022 ULA Rocket Payload Program

Do you want to begin learning how to launch a car into space? Interested in some hands-on Aerospace and Electronics project learning this summer, while having fun?

This spring and summer, STEM has been given the opportunity to participate with the ULA Intern Heavy Future program. The ULA Launch is tentatively scheduled for July.

OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS 6th Grade and Up, in the South Metro area.

This program is led by Jeff Dunker, who has led our summer ULA Payload Program for the past several years.​

Reach out to Sara.Phelps@ with interest.

Rising Leaders Initiative

The Rising Leaders Initiative is a one-year advocacy training program for charter high school students who want to become active participants in education policy decisions in their local community and state and develop skills to guide their educational and professional pathways. Learn more and encourage your students to apply today.

HPE CodeWars 2022 Registration Open Now!

There is no charge to compete in HPE Code Wars. For any questions please email Mrs. Basu at simi.basu@

We would like to invite all High School students to make a team and sign up 25th annual HPE Code Wars event on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Space is limited, and registration will close on February 18 or when we have filled all spaces. If you are not familiar with Code Wars (or if you need additional information), please click on This year, Colorado will have virtual contests. When you register your teams, you will be able to choose to have them compete in one of the following contests:

  • Colorado (Fort Collins) Local Virtual Contest – due to delays in remodeling at HPE’s campus, we will not be able to hold this in person – contest runs 9:00AM-Noon Mountain Time
  • National Virtual Contest – this will be open to teams that are unable to travel to any of the in-person contests (restricted to schools in the United States and Canada) – runs three hours starting at 11:00 Eastern/10:00 Central/9:00 Mountain/8:00 Pacific

At each contest, we will have:

  • Advanced and Novice levels
  • Trophies for top teams at each level – teams will only compete against other teams in that contest
  • Prize drawing open to each student participant
  • Contest T-shirt for each participant

Registration Process –

1. Students create and manage their own accounts, and they select their teacher as part of their account registration process. Please select Mrs. Basu (simi.basu@ or talk to your Computer Science teacher and provide their name as the sponsor teacher. Teachers then must accept the student’s request to join their student roster before the student will show up in their list from which they can create teams.

2. New accounts are not enabled right away and cannot be used/logged into until these things happen:

  • If you already have an account from last year, we strongly encourage you to use that again (your email address is your logon). You can ask to reset the password if you have forgotten it.
  • For new accounts, you will get a verification email from which you must click on or visit the link (remember to look in any SPAM filters if you haven’t seen this within about 15 minutes).
  • For new teacher accounts, our admin team must review and approve the requests.

3. E-mails will not arrive instantaneously. They take a few minutes, and they may end up in the SPAM folder. Please be patient and check those SPAM folders. If nothing has arrived 15 minutes later, go to to request another email. If that still doesn’t work, then your school district, ISP, or personal email rules may be blocking our emails. You will need to work with your local support team to address this issue.

Registration is at then click Register/Login. We encourage you to see the whole registration process

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.

College Night for Juniors Recap

On Thursday evening, families of STEM juniors attended a College Night for Juniors with College and Career Counselor Kelli Myrick. Click the button below to access the PDF of the presentation with the notes.

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.

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@

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

Nominate a Student for Douglas County Youth Awards

Please nominate a student and pass along to others! The Youth Award recognizes teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 who have overcome personal adversity and created positive change in their lives. The Youth Awards focus on teenagers who have triumphed over great odds and serve as inspirations and role models. If you know young people who would be good candidates for the Youth Award, please help us identify them by completing the nomination form, link is below.

Nomination forms are due by March 4, 2022

The reception honoring our award winners is April 25, 2022, 6-8 p.m., Douglas County Miller Building, Castle Rock, CO.

Questions? Call 303-814-5327 or email

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

The Best Peaceful Parenting “One-Liners”

Want to parent with more empathy but can’t think of what to say? Here are some no-fail sentences to get you started in any situation.

Literacy Resource of the Week

Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (READ Act) Resources

The Colorado READ Act was passed in 2012 and provides the guiding philosophy, structure, and resources to get children reading at grade level by the time they enter the fourth grade. Find out how parents can support literacy in elementary and secondary readers.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

The Family Dinner Project

No matter your family make-up, where you live, or what your dinners are like right now, you can be a part of The Family Dinner Project. The only thing you need to do is share a meal with the people closest to you. Choose from many free resources to help you improve your family dinners and meet your mealtime goals.

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

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. – 9:00 p.m.
Rock Canyon High School
More information >>

Parents, guardians, students and community members are encouraged and welcome to attend this free event. Breakout sessions will include topics like Social Emotional Wellness and Learning, The Role of the School Counselor, Calming Strategies and Interactive Sensory Experiences, and more

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