Secondary News and Updates (04/08/22)

Secondary-School News

A Message from Ms. Kovlesky, Interim Executive Director

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Secondary Families,

Thank you so much for your support as I transition to the role of STEM K-12 Executive Director. I am extremely passionate about building strong relationships and partnering with all of our stakeholder groups to ensure student success.

I am looking forward to supporting your children during such a critically important time in their lives. My goal is to work closely with our team of directors and highly-effective teachers to ensure that STEM continues to provide rigorous learning experiences, extracurricular and athletic opportunities, and unique pathways that help them fulfill their educational dreams.

I remember when my son was going through secondary school and how that time was filled with a lot of milestones, memories and celebrations. I understand how special and important this time is in our young innovators’ lives and I am excited to join them in their journey.

I am excited to work closely with Mrs. Maura Ridder and Mr. Ryan Alsup to support all the work that they’ve been doing this year in our Secondary School.
During these remaining weeks of school, I hope to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as I can. Please reach out to say hi if you see me in driveline or around the school. Additionally, I’d like to extend an invite to any families who have decided to leave STEM for the next school year to reach out to me so that I can learn why you are choosing another option for your student.

As I stated during the interview process, I want every student and family to feel welcomed and included. One of the first steps in accomplishing that is learning why we didn’t meet the needs of some of our families and work to make any improvements that we can. If you are a family that has chosen to leave STEM, please reach out to me at lynann.kovalesky@ to set up time with me so that I can hear your concerns.

We are #STEMStrongerTogether!

Thank you,

LynAnn Kovalesky, Interim Executive Director

Upcoming Events

DPS Virtual Community Meeting for STEM School Denver

Tuesday, April 12, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. – High School Commons

The next step in our replication efforts includes holding a Virtual Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 12 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This is an opportunity for the DPS community to learn more about our new school and to get to know what we’re all about. We hope you can join us via Zoom.

2022 NQS Community Meeting Flier

STEM Monthly PTO Meeting

Wednesday, April 13, 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.

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

Colorado Youth Career Fair flyer

SAC Monthly Meeting

April 20, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. – STEM Center for Strength

The SAC meeting will be held at the STEM Center for Strength, to draw attention to the center and have an opportunity to learn about mental health and what the center does for the community. There will be a tour if time permits.

There will be no Zoom for this meeting, as we want to encourage everyone to come in person for the benefit of learning about the Center. Please request ahead of time to participate in Public Comment by emailing sac@

Our upcoming meetings:

April 20th – at the STEM Center for Strength

May 18th – Standard meeting w/ Zoom

The purpose of the SAC is to inform, encourage and provide opportunities for parents 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.

News and Updates

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Secondary Families,

Each year STEM reviews classes that we offer K-12 to ensure that there is still interest by our students to take them. As we are in the planning stages now for next year, we are looking at which electives students are enrolling in when they make their course selections (Secondary), and which electives students in Elementary School are responding positively to.

One area that we’ve identified where we will be making a change is by not offering Chinese as a foreign language in Elementary School next year. Over the last few years, we have tracked the enrollment and interest of our various foreign language classes and witnessed a decline in enrollment in Chinese beginning in sixth grade.

The enrollment for Chinese has declined significantly and is no longer sustainable. For this reason, students requesting enrollment in Chinese classes will meet with their counselor to determine appropriate options, in the next few weeks.

French and Spanish will continue to be offered in grades 6-12. With the addition of American Sign Language at the Secondary School, the Administration Team would like to explore growing that program over the next few years.

We understand that this news might lead to many questions. We will provide an additional update in the coming months.

Thank you,

Karen Johnson, Director of Curriculum and Accountability

Impurtant Dates for Seniors

  • Wednesday, May 18 (6-7:30 p.m.) at HRCA Southridge Recreation Center – Senior Honor Night
    • Event for those students receiving academic honors.
    • Seating is limited to honor students and two guests
  • Thursday, May 19 (10-11 a.m.) at Echo Park Stadium – Graduation
    • No tickets are needed
    • Students arrive at 9 a.m. for rehearsal
    • Parents enter at 9:30 a.m.
    • Please park in the east parking lot.

Email Karen.Adam@ with any questions.

Virtual Learning Interest for 2022-23 School Year

In the spirit of Never Stop Innovating, STEM is exploring some creative scheduling ideas for the 2022-23 school year. Please complete this survey related to your interest in a Virtual Friday option, in addition to, the potential interest in a 100% online option for the upcoming school year.

Athletics Coaches Needed for 2022-23 School Year

Do you have an interest in coaching? We’re looking for a Boys Soccer Coach, a Girls Basketball Coach and an eSports Coach for the 2022-23 School Year. If you’re interested, please reach out to Ryan.Alsup@ to get more information. We have head and assistant coach positions open as well.

STEM PTO After Prom Donation Request

STEM PTO After Prom Committee is in need of donations for Decorations, Food, Door Prizes and Monetary Donations for After Prom on Saturday, April 23. Click the sign-up buttons below put your name down. Please email https://stemafterprom@ to arrange the drop-off of item donations.

U.S. Young Leader Summit 2022

Modeled after an international summit in Singapore, Colorado will be the first in the U.S., an initiative backed by Governor Polis. This is a great opportunity for young people eager for leadership opportunities and who want to tackle big issues in our society – a major resume and network-building opportunity!

Reach out with any questions: Madison Knapp, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Colorado Succeeds,

The opportunity:

U.S. Young Leader Summit, a youth civic engagement, leadership, and sustainability initiative that is commencing later this year in Colorado. The primary goal of the initiative for 2022 is to engage youth and tap into their enthusiasm, creativity, and self-driven mindset.

Our hope is that through non-partisan collaboration and experienced mentorship, the young leaders of this summit will be able to address some of Colorado’s most critical needs, with the outcome being an actionable set of recommendations that will be submitted to the Governor’s office for review and potential implementation at the end of the summit.

The Streams (key focus areas):

  • How we consume (manufacturing, supply chain, food security, plastic, etc.)
  • How we live (green/sustainable spaces)
  • How we move (transportation, clean energy, etc.)
  • What and how we learn (jobs of the future, curriculum of tomorrow, cross-sector collaboration)Why businesses exist (corporate purpose and more purpose-led organizations)
  • How we engage (community-based change, productive political dialogue, mobilize participation in democracy)

The vision is to provide students (aged 17 to 25 years old) with a forum in which to collaborate with and be inspired by a diverse network of experts, as well as each other, to play a part in shaping their future in a meaningful and tangible way.

How the selection process works:

  • The current deadline for applications (Google Form) is EOD May 1st.
  • After applicants/students submit the Google Form, a 7-part application that includes two submitted letters of recommendation speaking to the applicant’s quality of leadership, the USYLS Core Team staff will review the applications.
  • Based on applicant responses to questions, interest in the program Streams (see website), and individual capacity of the Summit, an email response in the form of an acceptance, waitlist, or denial to participate in the Summit by May 8th.

Internet access for participation:

  • The last two years have brought into the stark reality that not all students and homes have access to the internet for meeting their educational and work needs. This should not and will not be a barrier for applicants applying or participating in the U.S. Young Leader Summit, particularly if they have the motivation and aspiration to bring about change in their communities.
  • Given that the USYLS is, for the time being, remote for each of its sprints, meetings, and panel discussions, we believe that it is essential for all participants to be given equal access to the Summit and a stable internet connection. This is a major challenge that the USYLS seeks to tackle, and we will coordinate with each applicant that is selected by providing the resources and assistance they require to participate in the Summit.

College and Career Newsletter

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

Wings Over the Rockies Summer Camp Opportunities

Wings Over the Rockies will be having summer camp at both the museum and at our Exploration of Flight Campus at Centennial Airport. Below are links for staff and students who are interested in summer jobs.

Airventure Internship Flier

Airventure - Summer Aviation Opportunity

Falcon AeroLab has designed an immersive experience for students interested in aviation, including an airplane, glider, and helicopter flight.

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 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#

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Six Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Big Feelings

How are we as parents to respond to children’s distress? How are we to coach children to regulate their emotions when we have our own emotions to manage? Here are some simple tips for helping children feel heard, which will help to resolve their distress and keep your home calmer.

Literacy Resource of the Week

DCSD Digital Resources

While the school library is only open during school hours, our DCSD digital resources are available 24/7! Douglas County students and staff have access to amazing digital sources like the renowned World Book Encyclopedia, as well as an extensive collection of popular magazines and many other eBooks and audiobooks through Sora. For more literacy resources for both educators and students, be sure to also check out TeachingBooks. Talk to your school librarian for help accessing these resources.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Six Ways to Deal With Parental Burnout

A year and a half into the pandemic, exhausted parents need healing. A mother explains how parents can move beyond burnout.

Community Events

Sources of Strength Community Night
Monday, April 11 | 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PACE Center, Parker

This event will provide an overview and highlights of the Sources of Strength program, and share about the amazing work that is happening across our school district. There is no cost to attend. The night will feature student peer leaders, school staff and our Guest Speaker, Jarrod Hindman, Chief Operating Officer at Sources of Strength.

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