Secondary News and Updates (03/03/23)

Secondary-School News

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.

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.

NEHS Writing Center Dates for Middle and High School Students

Tuesdays from 3-3:30 p.m., in Room 103 and on Google Meets

We are excited to announce that STEM’s Writing Center will be open to all Middle and High School students. Students looking for additional help on their English assignments can join us either in person (Room 103) or over Google Meets after school on Tuesdays from 3-3:30 p.m. Students can sign up for a 15-minute slot during which we can help them with any essay, assignment, or project.

We can’t wait to see you all!

Dates: 3/7, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16

KOSON/STEM BOD Parent Interest Meeting

Monday, March 6, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Mechatronics Lab in P-TECH/KOSON Building

Are you interested in joining the KOSON/STEM Board of Directors? Come join us on Monday, March 6 for a KOSON/STEM BOD Parent Interest Meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Mechatronics Lab of our P-TECH/KOSON Building.

KOSON/STEM Board Elections will take place this spring and this information meeting is a great opportunity to learn what being on the Board encompasses and what you could expect as a member. No sign up is necessary. We hope to see you there! Email communications@stemk12.org with any questions about this event.

KOSON/STEM Board of Directors' Meeting

Tuesday, March 7, from 5:30-7 p.m – Mechatronics Lab (P-TECH/KOSON Building)

The monthly STEM Board of Directors’ Meeting will be Tuesday, March 7, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Mechatronics Lab of the P-TECH/KOSON Building. 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.

Student Forum/Information Session

Tuesday, March 7, from 3:15-4 p.m – HS Commons

Calling all students in grades 6-12! Join us for the first Student Forum/Information Session on Tuesday, March 7, from 3:15-4 p.m. in the High School Commons. This is your opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at STEM and get to know our STEM Administration Team. This event is organized by our Student Advisory Council.

STEM PTO Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, March 7, 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.

HipPOPs Ice Cream Truck at STEM

Thursday, March 9, from 2-4 p.m. – Secondary Parking Lot

Kick-off Spring Break with a sweet treat from the HipPOPs Ice Cream Truck. The truck will be at STEM on Thursday, March 9, from 2-4 p.m. in the Secondary Parking Lot. Pre-orders are strongly encouraged to reduce wait times and impact to driveline. Click the button below to view the menu and to pre-order. Just put the items in your cart and make sure that you have March 9 as the pick-up date, and any time between 2-4 p.m. as your pick-up time.

Secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thursday, March 9, from 3:30-7 p.m. & Friday, March 10, from 8-11:30 a.m. – Secondary School

Our spring conferences will take place on Thursday, March 9, from 3:30-7 p.m. and Friday, March 10, from 8-11:30 a.m. Please look for invites from your student’s teachers. Conferences are open house style.

Middle School core teachers (ELA, Social Studies, Science, and Math) will be located in the Middle School Cafeteria, and High School core classes will be in the Secondary Gym. Electives will be located in the Secondary Commons area.

Spring Break 2023

Welcome Back to School Tom's Coffee Truck Event

Monday, March 21, from 7-8 a.m. – High School Staff Parking Lot

The STEM Administration Team would like to welcome back our community from Spring Break with a morning treat! Tom’s Coffee Truck will be on campus on Monday, March 20 from 7-8 a.m. selling coffee to students, staff and families. See the attachments below for the menu.

The truck will be located in the High School Staff Parking Lot on the West side of the School. Cars may only park in the High School Parking Lot temporarily if they are purchasing from the Coffee Truck. (students may not be dropped off here)

Spring School Picture Retake Day

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#.

News and Updates

College and Career News

Seniors: Make sure you are filling out the college acceptance form in the newsletter! Later in April, a new form will be created for you to list your after-graduation plans that will be read at graduation, but the current form is for every school you have been admitted to.

Juniors: Make sure you are completing your After Grad Packet and sending that to me. Once I have received this, we can schedule your first official college meeting. More information is in the newsletter!

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

ACC Accuplacer Exam

Friday, April 21, from 9-11 a.m. 

Arapahoe Community College will be at STEM to administer the Accuplacer Exam. The Accuplacer is needed for any student (grades 8-11) who would like to take Concurrent Enrollment courses.

Contact Nicole.Ryan@stemk12.org with any questions.

Enrichment: Girls Middle School Basketball - Registration Deadline

Middle School Girls! Sign up for girls’ basketball! The season goes from April 7 to May 24. Games are Friday evenings at the brand new South Suburban Sports Complex, and practices are once a week at our new gym Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Come be a pathbreaker and have some fun! No basketball experience required – we would love to see you start a new tradition at STEM! Registration deadline is March 9, 2023. Cost is $200 for the season and covers everything from uniforms, fees and more. Contact Coach John.Griffin@stemk12.org with any questions.

After Prom Butter Braid Fundraiser

Lunches will be FREE Next School Year

FREE lunches are back for students! Starting in August of 2023, students will once again receive free lunches. Students must chose an entree, fruit/vegetable a milk for the free lunch. Snacks are not free.

While lunches will be free, it is important for families who need additional financial support to still complete the Free/Reduces Lunch application. Those who qualify for FRL status will only receive the additional benefits (free/reduced school fees, free/reduced trips, priority for scholarships in non-FRL field trips or Enrichment programs, and/or graduation fee reductions, etc.) of the program if they complete the application.

In order to assure that the District and STEM receive accurate data, DCSD and STEM are requesting that ALL families complete the FRL application that opens on July 15, regardless of financial status. A new application must be completed each school year. Families can also still apply for this school year using the link below.

Applications now open for spring 2023 session of Civic Academy

Applications are now open for the spring session of Civic Academy, which begins Tuesday, April 18. This free, seven-week course of study is hosted bi-annually by the Denver Regional Council of Governments and invites Front Range residents to learn more about regional issues, such as transportation, economic vitality, affordable housing, planning and development. Each week is led by a variety of community leaders, with sessions that range from interactive workshops to site tours of facilities like Denver Union Station. At the end of Civic Academy, students create an action plan of their continuing public engagement. Academy alums have gone on to campaign for elected office, become employed in the transportation sector or contribute to nonprofit work.

Applications close March 24, and you can apply online via the button below. Civic Academy (formerly Citizens’ Academy) began in 2007 as a program of the nonprofit corporation Transit Alliance. Since 2018, DRCOG has organized and hosted Civic Academy.

Mentors Needed for Business & Resume Workshop

Our high school entrepreneurship class is seeking in-person professionals for our Resume-Building Workshop on April 6th from 3-4 p.m. Please email mackenzie.harper@stemk12.org if you’re interested in participating.

Doodle for Google

Calling all creative K-12 students! Doodle for Google is officially open for its 15th year. We are excited to share that this year’s prompt is “I am grateful for…”. Students are encouraged to take a moment to reflect on what’s most important to them.

Students should be prompted to think about:

  • What moments, people, places and things are special to them
  • What or whom can they not imagine living without
  • What are the things that get them through the day

Not sure where to start? Head to doodle4google.com for details on how to enter and to find lesson guides and videos to spark creativity!

Submission deadline is March 7 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Doodle for Google

Student Laptops Being Charged in IT Offices

Our IT department has been graciously allowing students to charge their computers in their offices; however, lately, it has become overwhelming for them. We are asking all parents to help support their students in bringing their computers to school charged each day and ensuring that they bring a charger with them to school. Starting Tuesday, Jan. 17, students cannot charge their computers in the IT department.

Student Fees Reminder

Reminder!! If you haven’t yet, please log into your MySchoolBucks account to pay your student’s fees. We currently have approximately $30,000 in outstanding student fees, and we anticipate that is due to the technical issues at the start of the school year with Express Check-In. If you have questions about your student’s fees or want to get on a payment plan, please email ashley.westfall@stemk12.org.

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)

Learn about the NEW Career Discovery Program at STEM

After Care Program for Secondary Students

Did you know that STEM has an affordable and safe option for your middle or high school student(s) when they need to remain on campus after school or after their club/activity? With the freezing winter temperatures upon us and Colorado’s often unpredictable weather, After Care is peace of mind that your student(s) is warm, able to access water and bathroom, and with a trusted adult in case of an emergency that can be utilized as needed. Drop-ins are welcome!

The After Care program is operated by STEM Enrichment in the Middle School Cafe and is available from 3-6 p.m. every day, school is in session throughout the school year. The cost is only $8/day.*

SmartCare allows parents to know that their student(s) are safe, as well as make easy payments online. Contact hiroko.ichijo@stemk12.org to get your student registered with After Care today.

*Students that receive FRL benefits can attend After Care at no cost to the parent. FRL contact ashley.westfall@stemk12.org.

Secondary Yearbook Information

This school year will live forever in your yearbook. Buy a yearbook. It’s easy.

Yearbooks may be purchased at yearbookforever.com

Enter STEM School Highlands Ranch and click on Buy a Yearbook. Follow the directions online. Enter your name and credit card, debit card or PayPal information, and click
Submit.

Cost: $55 

If you want to personalize the book, name stamping starts at $6 extra and must be purchased before January 29, 2022.

Questions?

Contact Michelle Vitale, the STEM Secondary Yearbook Advisor at michelle.vitale@stemk12.org.

After purchase, you will be emailed a confirmation receipt. You may also verify your order at yearbookforever.com by entering your email in the “Find an Order” field.

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@stemk12.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.

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.

Update about Secondary Student IDs

Your School Directors (Mrs. Ridder and Mr. Alsup) wanted to share the following information with you in regards to Student IDs, Lanyards and the ID pouches.
  • Replacement IDs if lost/stolen: Students who have lost their ID should complete the Secondary Student ID Replacement Form to order a replacement. IDs are free for the first one and $5 for any duplicates. Duplicates will be printed by the front office and students will be notified when they are ready for pick up.
  • Lanyards and pouches: Lanyards and pouches can be picked up at the Secondary Front Office. Please show your student ID to receive one.
Starting on September 19th, all students must have an ID badge visible while on campus.

Center for Strength News and Events

STEM Center - Permission to Feel
STEM Center - Body Keeps the Score

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Let’s Talk Colorado offers many resources to use as a guide for teaching, sharing, learning, and speaking about mental health.

Health and Wellness

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Together we can help bring about awareness to prevent brain injuries and assist those living with brain injuries to have a good quality of life. Our Douglas County School District BrainSTEPS committee is committed to supporting school teams with ideas for supporting students who need assessment and intervention after a brain injury. Please visit our website DCSD BrainSTEPS and reach out when you have a question or a case you want to discuss.

Nominations for Douglas County Youth Awards Due March 3

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 Awards, please help us identify them by completing the nomination form. Nomination forms are due by: March 3, 2023.

The reception honoring nominators and award winners is: April 24, 2023, 6-8pm, Douglas County Miller Building, Castle Rock.

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