Secondary News and Updates (02/18/22)

Secondary-School News

Upcoming Events

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.

STEM's Got Talen Auditions Rescheduled

Tuesday, Feb. 22 and Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 3-5 p.m. – Room 149

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 for an alternative date.

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 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.

CyberPatriot Award Ceremony

Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 3:15-4:15 p.m. – High School Commons

What an amazing end to the Cyberpatriot season for this year. It’s time to celebrate our Cyberpatriot Participants, Semi-finalists, and State Awards winners. HS students (Who fulfilled the Lettering criteria) will also be getting their STEM Letters to close the season. We are so excited to see all the teams and parents to celebrate with us. Please enter through the Secondary Entrance and park in the Secondary Parking Lot.

Contact: Simi Basu at

DEI Committee Meeting

Monday, Feb. 28, 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 with questions.

STEM Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 1, from 5:30-7 p.m – High School Commons

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

Career Discovery Night

Wednesday, March 2, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. – High School Commons

The Career Discovery Program Information Night will cover opportunities available for high school students to participate in mentorships, internships and the P-Tech program. Hear from program leaders and students about these opportunities and how to start the process to join these programs! We encourage all students and parents of 8th-11th graders to attend.

STEM Theater Presents "She Kills Monsters"

Thursday, March 3, from 7-9 p.m. – Middle School Cafeteria

Friday, March 4, from 7-9 p.m. – Middle School Cafeteria

Saturday, March 5, from 3-5 p.m. & 7-9 p.m. – Middle School Cafeteria

A dramatic comedy about the world of fantasy role-playing games, SHE KILLS MONSTERS tells the story of Agnes Evans as she comes to terms with the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When she finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she embarks on an adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. Tickets are $10.


Concurrent Enrollment Information Session

Monday, March 7 & Tuesday, March 8, from 3:15-3:45 p.m. – Zoom

Wednesday, March 9 & Thursday, March 10, from 3-3:30 p.m. – High School Cafeteria

We would like to hold several concurrent enrollment information sessions for students and parents that want to join. The purpose of these sessions is to better inform students and parents on how CE courses work and the new process that needs to be followed to sign up for CE courses for Fall 2022.

The same information will be covered in each session so please pick on that best fits your needs.

  • Monday, Mar. 7 – 3:15-3:45 p.m. – zoom call led by Amelia Reinkensmeyer
  • Tuesday, Mar. 8 – 3:15-3:45 p.m. – zoom call led by Sheri Langston
  • Wednesday, Mar. 9 – 3-3:30 p.m. – in-person meeting led by Alyssa Woodward in HS cafeteria
  • Thursday, Mar. 10 – 3-3:30 p.m. – in-person meeting led by Kelli Myrick in HS cafeteria

Middle School- STEM/Lockheed Martin event

Wednesday, March 9, from 4-5:30 p.m. – Zoom

Lockheed Martin is celebrating National Engineers Week by hosting a virtual event for STEM middle school students! Join us for interactive Arduino, 3D modeling, and other fun activities and bring questions for Lockheed Martin panel of engineers! We can only have 45 students so Hurry and sign up now! Signup closes on March 2nd. For any questions, please contact Mrs. Basu at

STEM PTO Meeting

Wednesday, March 9, 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, 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.

SBL Parent Information Session

Wednesday, March 23, from 5-6 p.m – Zoom

This webinar will focus on our implementation of SBL for next year. We will answer the following questions:

  • What is Standards Based Learning?
  • Why are we making the switch?
  • What does this mean for my student?
  • How will grades be reported when we implement SBL?
  • What does SBL mean for college acceptance?”

Contact: Michelle Gasser, with any questions

News and Updates

Wish Week T-Shirts are Here

Every March, STEM celebrates a week-long fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation called Wish Week!

This year, STEM is proud to represent Samuel, a five-year-old battling leukemia from Morrison, Colo. His wish is to visit Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, inspiring this year’s Wish Week theme: Animals!

Help us reach our goal of $15,000 by buying your Wish Week shirt via the button below. Please make sure that you are signed into your MySchoolBucks when ordering. Please let them know to not check out as “Guest.”

The deadline to buy Wish Week shirts has been extended! You have until Wednesday, February 23 to get your 2022 Wish Week shirt, but don’t wait! Order yours for $20.

Give back, get back! Thanks to STEM’s Spartmart, our 100th and 200th orders will win a $10 gift voucher to Spartmart. These milestones come fast, it could be you!

Remote students, staff, alum, and community members are welcome to buy their shirts, too. Send an email to with the name on your order and we’ll contact you when your shirt is ready for pick up!

Thank you to everybody who has contributed to this cause so far! We know this Wish Week will be the best one yet!

For any questions, email

Wish Week T-Shirts

STEM has partnered with Backpack Society

We are excited to announce that STEM has partnered with Backpack Society, a Douglas County based nonprofit that provides meals for students and families with food insecurity or with temporary need. We are the 26th school in the Highlands Ranch area to partner with this organization that provides a wonderful service for our community. This program is available to anyone with need (families or staff) grades K – 12 at STEM. Families of our students are also receiving this information and the registration links.(Families do not have to live in Douglas County to be eligible – as long as they have a student attending STEM).

Backpack Society offers 3 programs:

  • Student Program: Students who register will receive a bag with 6 meals, drinks, and snacks each week.Students will pick up their bags at STEM on Thursdays after school. Student registration link.
  • Family & Staff Program: Families who register for this program will receive a box of groceries, including perishables to help through the weekend. This program requires a family member to pick up the box at Backpack Society headquarters drive-thru: •213 W County Line Road, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. In addition to the families of our students, any staff member with a need may also register for this program. Your information is kept confidential and is NOT shared with the school. If a family (or staff member) has registered, but does not have transportation, and would like to participate in this program, please let a counselor know and one of us can arrange for pick up. Family/staff program registration link.
  • Food Pantry at STEM: More details to come soon on this program.

STEM Counseling Team

CSHS (Computer Science Honors Society) Tutoring Opportunity

Hello STEM High Schoolers! The Computer Science Honor Society is offering computer science tutoring services for all middle schoolers and high schoolers. You can sign up to help students from MS and HS Computer Science classes. Tutors and student pairs work out how they’d like to meet, including during CSHS meetings. Get the student sign-up link from Mrs. Basu or CSHS leaders Tavin Turner and Aragorn Wang if you are interested. Also, high schoolers can sign up to be a tutor, and get volunteer hours from Mrs. Basu and CSHS. Ask your teachers for the volunteer sign-up link!

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!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Survey

Please take a moment to complete this survey is to get feedback on the list of holidays that you’d like to see represented on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Web Page. We are also collecting feedback on our DEI Committee purpose statement.

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 We hope to see you there!

Construction Impacts to Elementary and Secondary Driveline

**Please note: While this directly impacts Elementary (West) Driveline, this message is for All Families as it will indirectly impact Secondary (East) Driveline.**

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

Due to the construction, the West side of the Elementary Parking Lot (active loading zone area in front of the Elementary School Doors) will be closed from Tuesday, Feb. 22 through Friday, Feb. 25. There will be a large crane that will be installing the precast walls for the new building addition and it will need to be in that part of the parking lot for the entire week. It will impact the Elementary morning and afternoon driveline.

Elementary Driveline will be rerouted through the parking lot, along the East side of the Elementary Building, exiting through the Secondary exit.

This will cause delays during the morning and afternoon driveline. Elementary drop-off in the morning begins at 7:10 a.m. Secondary Driveline begins dropping off at 7:30 a.m. We are asking all Elementary families to please arrive prior to 7:30 a.m. to avoid a conflict with the Secondary Driveline. In the afternoon, we are asking parents for patience during pick-up as students and staff will be getting used to a different pick-up pattern.

Elementary Driveline Morning Directions to follow:

  • Enter ES driveline through the West Entrance (normal entrance)
  • Families will either be direct to go straight and stack or turn to the right to snake around the parking lot (like normal)
  • Please follow all directions from the driveline attendants.
  • Cars will be stacked in the Unloading Zone on the East side of the Elementary School Building and attendants will come to unload students; Please do not unload students anywhere other than the unloading zone.
  • Once cars are unloaded, driveline attendants will direct cars to proceed forward along the East side of the building to then exit the Secondary Parking Lot.
  • Cars will merge several times throughout this process so please be patient, show kindness and allow cars to merge for the driveline to proceed efficiently.
  • Cars will only be allowed to make left and right turns in both directions out of the Secondary Driveline onto Ridgeline, Directed by a Sheriff deputy heading south.
  • All ES students will be let into the elementary school cafeteria once dropped off.  Students will be picked up by their teachers at 7:30 a.m.

Elementary Driveline Afternoon Directions to follow:

  • Enter ES driveline through the West Entrance (normal entrance)
  • At 2:10 p.m., families of K-1 students will be allowed to enter the parking lot and go straight and stack, following the instructions of the driveline attendants.
  • At 2:25 p.m., families of students in grades 2-5 will be allowed to enter the parking lot. Driveline attendants will direct families to either go straight or go right to stack.
  • Only cars in the Active Loading Zone on the East side of the Elementary School Building will be loaded.
  • Please make sure that you are using PikMyKid and that your account is updated.
  • Once cars are loaded, driveline attendants will direct cars to proceed forward along the East side of the building to then exit the Secondary Parking Lot.
  • Cars will merge several times throughout this process so please be patient, show kindness and allow cars to merge for the driveline to proceed efficiently.
  • Cars will only be allowed to make a right turn out of the Secondary Driveline onto Ridgeline, heading south.

Walker Pick-Up: Walker pick-up will be from the front of the Elementary School Building (West Side).

Access to the Elementary School Entrance will still be accessible for BASE and for normal operations, however, only parking in the front half of the west side of the building will be allowed. Visitors should park in any available parking spot on the south side of the building.

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 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.

STEM BASE is Hiring

My name is Amy Dupays. I am the elementary BASE Manager for STEM. The STEM BASE team is looking for additional staff to support the after-school child care demand in our Elementary STEM community. If you or someone you know is looking for a fun job after school, is great with kids and ready to work with a dedicated, fun team this is the job for you. We need you 3-5 days each week 3-6 p.m. Full-time hours are available during school breaks and summer. NO WEEKENDS – Yay!

Please email me for more information or submit your application using the following link: DCSD STEMBASE Program Leader Position.

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.

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 and 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#

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

Colorado Youth Career Fair

April 18-21, from 4-7 p.m. (virtual event)

The second annual statewide Colorado Youth Career Fair is taking place virtually on April 18-21. This educational event is intended to expose Colorado youth to a broad sampling of career fields. Registration is now open for youth, families, and educators as well as career panelists. Free, virtual event for youth, families, and educators. This event is sponsored by the Colorado Workforce Development Council. Visit for more details and registration

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Emotion Chart: A Simple Way to Check In On Your Child’s Feelings

Figuring out what your child is feeling, and why they feel that way, can be hard. It may be even more difficult for your child. An emotion chart can help your child express themselves, and help you check in on them.

Literacy Resource of the Week

Family Literacy Tips: From A to Z

Encouraging literacy in your home and community starts with small steps every day. Get some helpful tips from Reading Rockets.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate

The Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate is a visual guide to help educate and encourage children to eat well and keep moving.

Community Events

DCSD Parent University – Postsecondary Readiness: Preparing for Life After High School
Wednesday, February 23 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Free virtual event
Register here >>

Postsecondary Readiness [PSR] programming prepares students for what is next after high school, whether it be a career, college, military, advanced training, and/or continued education. Learn from the DCSD Postsecondary Readiness team about pathway programs and how they help students make informed decisions about their future, develop necessary skills, and potentially save time & money.

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