Secondary News and Updates (05/07/21)

Secondary-School News

Secondary News and Events

Volunteer and Donation News

Volunteering and giving to STEM are vital to the success of our school.  Our school has a charter that requires a commitment of 30 volunteer hours per family (15 hours per single-parent family).

To make volunteering easy and seamless, please refer to the Volunteering Basics section that will allow you to set up your volunteer account and keep track of your hours.  We are extremely grateful for the time and energy donated by STEM parents each year.

With COVID 19, and visitors or volunteers not being allowed in the building this year, STEM has continued volunteer needs as the year finishes.
Please consider what your family can contribute with time or donations.

The hummingbird represents an ancient symbol of joy and happiness. Its colorful appearance brings good luck and positive energy to our lives.

Thank you for sharing your energy!!

We would like to thank these volunteers, who even though we have not been able to have volunteers in our school, have found a way to fulfill our charter commitment.

Elizabeth Banko
Olena Beck
MacClain Figueroa
Jane Kim
Brett Kingman
Jeong Lee
Jane Parsons
Julie Prince
Amy Winans
Jan Zhu-Gilje


Upcoming Events

Senior Honor Night

Wednesday, May 12 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Senior Honor Night will be Wednesday, May 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Honor night is an opportunity for STEM Staff to recognize our amazing seniors with special awards. Click the button below to access the Zoom Webinar.

Spring Musical: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Thursday, May 13 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Civic Green Park

Thursday, May 13 from 6-8 p.m. at Civic Green Park

Friday, May 14 from 6-8 p.m. at Civic Green Park

The Spring Musical is ON!!!! Tickets for the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are on sale now for just $10. Six awkward spelling champions learn that winning (and losing) isn’t everything.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “”ding”” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

Contact Max Schwartz with any questions.

Spring Musical Poster


Friday, May 14 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Are you interested in chemistry and biology? Do you want to talk to a professional about their career? Then we have the event for you! On Friday, May 14 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. the Science National Honors Society will be hosting a Skype-A-Scientist event on Zoom with a Chemist. Look for more information from SNHS regarding zoom links and potential updates. Email Kent Schnacke ( with any questions.

Important Senior Dates

May 20 at 2 pm at EchoPark Stadium

We just received news that each graduate can get up to 15 tickets to graduation. Seniors will receive information on how to sign-up for tickets the week of May 10. Please make sure you have completed your ICAP and paid all your senior fees (required to walk for graduation). If you haven’t had the chance to fill out the Phonetic Spelling of Your Name, so Mr. Ryan and Dr. Leddy can pronounce them correctly, and are attending graduation please do so by Wednesday, April 14. Reach out to Karen Adam ( to get that form.

Middle School Fairytale Dance

Saturday, May 22, from 2-4 p.m. in the Middle School Parking Lot

Spring Fairy Tale Dance Poster

Middle School Ice Cream Social

Tuesday, May 25, from 3-4 p.m. in the High School Parking Lot & Middle School Commons

Middle School Ice cream social

News and Updates

Registrar News

Please check Infinite Campus to make sure we have your current address. If you have a change of address please email Tiffany Klenke (, K-12 Registrar, with a proof of residency. Douglas County School District and STEM School Highlands Ranch only accept the following legal documents as proof of residence:

  • warranty deed
  • deed of trust
  • lease agreement
  • tax notice
  • county assessor
  • notarized letter

2019-20 Yearbooks Available

It’s the last chance to get your 2019-2020 Yearbook and they’re on sale! Grab one from the Middle School Office for $10 (checks only). There’s no better way to preserve your 2019-2020 memories.

Nominations Open for 2022 CDE Colorado Teacher of the Year

Do you know an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 teacher? Nominate one of your colleagues to apply for the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year award. The nomination form is now open. When you nominate someone, they will be notified of their nomination by CDE and encouraged to take the next step to apply.

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in the state. The selected teacher will automatically become Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition.

This special teacher also gets to attend the following events:

  • The National Teacher of the Year Induction, an opportunity for the country’s teachers of the year to come together and understand their individual identities in their new roles.
  • Washington Week, an opportunity to go to the nation’s capital for recognition. Teachers will get to visit the White House and meet the president as well as attend the National Teacher of the Year gala.
  • NASA Space Camp, where teachers participate in a version of astronaut training designed specifically for educators to take strategies and concepts back to their classrooms.
  • College Football Playoff National Championship Game to participate in the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers event, which elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering quality teachers.

All this can be possible for one exceptional Colorado teacher so tell the one you’re thinking of right now to apply. Nominate them using this form via the button to the right by June 15, 2021.

CyberPatriot XIV - Registration - Interest Form

Registrations for CyberPatriot XIV are now open. Please complete the Interest form via the form below if you are interested to register for the next academic year. Once we get the interest number, teams will be registered so the teams can access the practice/training/exhibition rounds during summer as well. For any questions: please email Ms. Basu at

HS Leaders Needed for Camp Invention

Are you a High School student looking to complete some community service hours this summer? Come volunteer with Camp Invention during the week of June 7t-11! As a leadership intern, you help to guide elementary students through various fun and engaging modules throughout the day and build relationships with some amazing kids! Reach out to for more information.

Student Illustrator Contest!

Do you like to draw? Have you ever dreamed of illustrating a children’s book? Mrs. Ridder is looking for a budding student artist to illustrate an upcoming children’s book. If you are interested, please contact Mrs. Ridder ( for more information.

Secondary Lost and Found

It’s that time of year. If you think your student is missing items, please have your student stop by our Lost & Found to look through what has been left behind. The Secondary Lost & Found is located outside the Middle School Cafeteria Doors. All items not picked up will be donated at the end of the school year.

Learn more about Standards-Based Learning at STEM

STEM School Highlands Ranch is moving toward Standards-Based Learning and Reporting to measure and communicate students’ learning and academic growth and achievement with greater accuracy. By switching we are able to provide clearer feedback to students based on specific learning goals.

In a traditional hundred-point grading system, grades are generated from the work assigned to students. These scores often include points for extra credit or deductions for behavior, such as turning work in late, and are an average of all of these things. This system does not take into account the learning process and doesn’t accurately show what a student can do. There are also biases within this system since teachers apply points differently. Students often do not know what a grade means and grade meanings can vary from class to class. Earning points becomes the motivating factor for students, causing them to chase points instead of knowledge.

Standards-Based Learning focuses on the mastery of essential content.

Buy Your STEM Class Shirts Today!

As is a tradition at STEM, your class shirts for the 2021-2022 school year are now available for purchase! Please use the links below corresponding with your incoming class to order today! All orders close on May 5, so make sure to order soon. If you have any questions, you can email

STEM Using School Messenger

To help expand our ability to communicate with our families, we will be rolling out the use of the Douglas County School District’s School Messenger platform to send notifications to families. The use of School Messenger allows for us to add text messaging and phone calls to the emails we already send through Infinite Campus. We will be implementing School Messenger to assist with communications around COVID-19 quarantine notifications. Currently, members of our admin team make individual calls for each quarantine. Implementing School Messenger will allow the team to notify families more efficiently.

Reminder of Senior Fees

The STEM Business Office would like to remind families of seniors, that if there are any outstanding fees on a student’s account, they must be paid for prior to graduation. Emails have been sent to families who have an outstanding balance. Fees can be paid for through MySchoolBucks.

Advanced Placement Exams begin Monday, May 3, 2021

Your child and their teachers have been working hard throughout this unprecedented year to support their success. Each high school has a plan to allow for in-person and remote Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Please review the following resources to help prepare and encourage your child to check their email for updates from The College Board:

Live and Recorded Review

Some students may be unsure of their readiness for the AP Exam. Students can access recordings of every session on AP Classroom.

Digital Testing App – for REMOTE Testing ONLY

The College Board recommends ALL students download the remote testing mobile app and take the practice test in case there is a need to move to a remote exam.

  • Please encourage your child to follow the links below to access the App, practice with example questions, try tools and features, and confirm that their technology works as expected.

Exam Terms and Conditions

All students must accept AP Terms and conditions prior to taking each exam.

The College Board will send AP students email reminders to review these terms and conditions at before the exam administration.

iReady Assessment Information

Students have been completing the iReady Diagnostic assessment within language arts and math classes during this week and through May 14. The information gathered from this assessment will assist staff in identifying gaps in learning and areas of acceleration as we plan for the upcoming school year. If your Virtual Learner is taking the assessment at home, please support your student in completing the assessment on their own to the best of their ability in order to allow for an accurate picture of student needs. Please do not spend an enormous amount of time on this task, an hour is the average. If you would like a copy of your student’s results, please complete the form via the button below and it will be emailed to you.

Grading Scale Change for Semester 2

STEM School has decided to adjust the second-semester grading scale for our secondary level, as outlined below (with the exception of Concurrent Enrollment courses).

STEM Secondary Grade Scale – Second Semester 2020-2021

  • 88 – 100% = A
  • 76 – 87% = B
  • 64 – 75% = C
  • 52 – 63% = D
  • below 52% = F

We strongly feel this decision is the right thing to do for our secondary school students to ensure that their future plans are not derailed due to a pandemic that is out of their control. Thank you again for your continued patience and support for the STEM community.

Colorado League of Charter Schools Parent Trainings

STEM is excited to partner with the Colorado League of Charter Schools and their ACT Advocacy Network to bring you a series of family trainings. Alison Rausch will continue with trainings that will build your charter school knowledge and your advocacy skills so we can leverage our collective power as a school and Colorado charter school community to protect what we have and make sure our school and others have what we need and what our students deserve. In this second series of trainings, we will spend one hour learning about How to Be an Effective Charter School Advocate, you will learn who makes decisions about charter schools, how to share your personal charter school story and how to effectively ask decision makers for exactly what you want. Please join us!

Tuesday, May 11

Wednesday, May 12

Special Offer from DR Photo

STEM families, we have partnered with DR Photo to offer our families yard signs and banners to celebrate your student’s graduation (Kindergarten or High School). If you would like to order a sign or banner please click the button to the right.

We also are offering graduation portrait sessions. You can schedule a private session at their Littleton studio by clicking the link to the right.

School Photos Update

STEM had picture Day on February 16 & 17 for students needing a current school photo. If your student was unable to take advantage of the picture days at STEM, please set an appointment to have their picture taken at the photographer’s studio. Check out the buttons to the left to schedule an appointment or order photos.

Athletics News/Updates

Season D Registration is LIVE

Registration is LIVE on the website for Season D sports – if you are planning to participate please register! If you have any questions you can reach out to Mrs. MH ( or any of the head coaches for your sport! ( -Track and Field, – Lacrosse, – Girls Soccer).

Lacrosse Season has started!

We’re so excited! The Spartan Lacrosse Team has finally started practicing. Practices are at Plum Valley Park Monday through Friday from 3:30-4:45 p.m. The season began on April 26 and is comprised of ninth through 12th-grade students. See the photos to the right to see our team!

Ultimate Frisbee Photos

Fundraising Opportunities for STEM Track and Field

There are several ways our community can help to support our STEM Track and Field Team this season.

King Soopers Community Rewards!

  1. Log in to your account and locate the Community Rewards section.
  2. Add the following Organizational Number: XG949
  3. Save and start shopping!
King Soopers Community Rewards

Enrichment Update

Summer Camps at STEM

We are excited to host a variety of summer camps this upcoming summer.

  • Camp Invention (K-6) | June 7-11, 2021
  • Cyber-SPY Camp (K-2) | June 14-18, 2021
  • Cyber Detectives (3-5) | June 21-25, 2021
  • FRC 4418’s Lego Mindstorm Camp (K-5)
  • Peter Pan Theater Camp (K-5) | June 21-25, 2021

Please visit our Enrichment page to view current openings and sign up.

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