Secondary News and Updates (05/12/23)

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.

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: 5/16

STEMShares ChalkEvent

Monthly STEM SAC Meeting

Tuesday, May 16, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. – P-TECH Mechatronics Lab (KOSON Building)

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.

2023 Senior Honor Night
2023 Senior Graduation Ceremony

Monthly DEI Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 25, from 4-5:30 p.m. – Room E215

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 amie.mcelroy@ with questions.

Secondary Last Day of School
STEM Summer Hours

News and Updates

Student Fees Reminder

Our Business Office would like to remind families to please check their MySchoolBucks accounts prior to the end of the school year to pay any remaining balances that may be in your account. The Business Office will be contacting families over the summer individually who still have an outstanding balance but would like to request families to please log into their account now and either pay or set up a payment plan now to reduce the number of families that they have to reach out to.

The summer months are a busy time of year for the Business Office as they close out the 2022-23 school year and get everything in order for the new year. Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated. Please email ashley.westfall@ if you have any questions about fees or your MySchoolBucks account.

In partnership,

The STEM Business Office

Adjusted High School Schedule on May 24

On Wednesday, May 24, our Middle School students will be holding a Field Day. Since some of our teachers teach both Middle and High School, I’ve had to make an adjustment to the class schedule for our high school students to ensure that their instructional time is not interrupted.

All Secondary students will follow a shortened Blue Day schedule in the morning (see below). Starting at 11 a.m., High School students will then follow an abbreviated Gold Day schedule (also shown below). Students will still go to their normal lunch period.

Thursday, May 25, is a half day, and the high school students will spend the day at the park welcoming our new rising 9th graders to High School. Please let me know if you have any questions. This information was also shared with students directly.

Thank you,

Ryan Alsup, High School Director

Wednesday, May 24
Period 2 (Blue Day) 7:50-8:30 a.m. (All Secondary Students)
Period 4 (Blue Day) 8:35-9:20 a.m. (All Secondary Students)
Period 6 (Blue Day) 9:25-10:10 a.m. (All Secondary Students)
Period 8 (Blue Day) 10:15-11 a.m. (All Secondary Students)
11 a.m.-2:55 p.m. – Middle School Students will start Field Day
Period 7 (Gold Day) 11-11:30 a.m. – A Lunch (HS Students)

11:35 a.m.-12:05 p.m. – B Lunch (HS Students)

12:10-12:40 p.m. – C Lunch (HS Students)

Period 3 (Gold Day) 12:45-1:25 p.m.
Period 5 (Gold Day) 1:30-2:10 p.m.
Period 9 (Gold Day) 2:15-2:55 p.m.

Still Time to Buy a Secondary Yearbook

Yearbooks are here! Yearbooks were available for pick-up starting on Thursday, May 11, and will be available for pick-up through Wednesday, May 17, during lunch in both the Middle School Cafeteria and the High School Commons. Didn’t get your yearbook yet? Not to worry! Yearbooks will be sold through Spart Mart. Click the button below to purchase.

Let's Journey to Mars!

What are your summer plans? Are you wondering what to do with your time this summer? Why not participate in the International Mission to Mars: Design Class and Competition? Join others in a virtual program led by experts in the industry and explore life on Mars. As part of the program, you will work as a virtual team to design your own mission to Mars.

If you want to learn more about the program, please email Nicole Ryan at nicole.ryan@ You can review the flier via the button below for information on the program and the summer schedule. Also, take a peek at the following video from the 2022 teams.

Friday, May 19, is a Gold Day

Due to graduation on May 18, Friday, May 19 will now be a Gold Day for Secondary Students. Please make sure that your calendars are updated accordingly.

Stem Grad Online Order Flyer

Attention Aerospace Enthusiasts!

Mark your calendars for the Pathfinder Aerospace Conference being held at the Colorado School of Mines being held on Saturday, Sept. 16. The conference is open to all high school and college students. For more information, see the flier or visit the conference site via the buttons below.

Summer Internships Now Available

Are you looking for a summer internship? We currently have summer internships available and they need your expertise! Internships are a great opportunity for you to learn essential job skills while complementing your resume. We currently have paid internships available with Calibre Engineering and Baccara Automation & Controls. Please see the attached flyers and reach out to Nicole Ryan at nicole.ryan@ for information on how to apply. We also have potential opportunities to explore other career interests in business and healthcare. Reach out for more information.

STEM Partners with The Backpack Society

We are excited to be able to continue our partnership with Backpack Society, a Douglas County based nonprofit that provides meals for students and families with food insecurity or with temporary need. We are one of several schools in the Highlands Ranch area to partner with this organization that provides a wonderful service for our community. This program is available to all families grades K-12 at STEM with a need. Families are not required to live in Douglas County to be eligible – as long as they have a student attending STEM.

Backpack Society offers 2 programs that require registration:

  • 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 Thursday afternoons in the front office.
  • Family 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 at 213 W County Line Road, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Your information is kept confidential within Backpack Society and STEM’s point of contact, Julie Fletcher. If a family has registered, does not have transportation, and would still like to participate, please contact Julie Fletcher at julie.fletcher@ and we can arrange for pick up.

For more information and to register, click the button below.

TIn Partnership,

The STEM Mental Health Team

Dr. Jistine Harrison, Colene Birchfield, Michael Link, Lisa Clay, Libby Rivera, Katie Bouchard

Internship Opportunities

Are you looking for a Summer Internship? Are you a junior or senior looking for a Fall or Spring Internship? If so, this message is for you!! Internships are an excellent opportunity for our Juniors and Seniors to explore various career fields while earning high school credit!

We are now interviewing for Summer internships for the following companies (see flyer for more information):

Calibre Engineering

Panther Electronics

If you are interested in any of the summer internships above or an internship within the Sheriff’s department, please contact Nicole Ryan at nicole.ryan@ Please do not reach out to the company directly.

For Fall and Spring internships, please schedule an appointment with Nicole Ryan to discuss industry interests and next steps at nicole.ryan@

SOAR (Seeing Our Adolescents Rise) is Accepting Referrals for Therapy

SOAR is excited to announce that we are growing our Clinical Team and Adventure Therapy program to meet the needs of youth in our community. Here are some major highlights:

  • SOAR now accepts Medicaid (Colorado Access) for individual therapy services.
  • SOAR is accepting individual therapy client referrals. Individual therapy will utilize an adventure-based modality in connection with other clinical theoretical orientations.
  • SOAR has 3 Adventure Group Cohorts starting soon, for middle school & high school. SPACE IS LIMITED!
    • Due to various funding supports, SOAR is able to minimize the cost of this service. Please reach out to to learn more.
  • SOAR’s Engagement Coaching services support our Adventure Therapist’s work with clients and aligns with our regular service fees.
  • SOAR offers bilingual adventure therapy services. SOAR’s team offers therapy and coaching in English and Spanish.
SOAR Adventure Therapy

The Adventure Therapy program provides therapy services in a creative way using the principles of learning through experience. This program focuses on building youth’s ability to manage challenges in their life through developing resilience. The adventure therapy program supports adolescents in developing skills to navigate home and school successfully.


Youth participate in weekly adventure group sessions involving activities such as group team building, hiking, outdoor exploration, and more, designed to help build community and work on group & individual goals.


Youth participate in two (2) individual therapy sessions per month with a Mental Health Clinician in order to support and process group and coaching sessions as they progress toward their goals for therapy.


Youths regularly work with an Adventure Engagement Coach 1:1 to get support, practice skills, and stay focused on their goals. These are in-person sessions in their school, their home, or in the community or check-ins by phone or a virtual meeting platform. *minimum of two (2) per month


Youth are challenged through an all-day adventure filled with activities to cohesively work on the clinical goals they have focused on each month. This is an opportunity for community, growth, and skill-building as youth navigate varied levels of engagement.

All-Call for Parents to Join the SAC for 2023-24 School Year

Do you want the community to know what’s great about our school and why their kids should attend here? Have you ever had a concern or frustration about our school but didn’t know what you could do to address it or change it? Do you know how to have a voice in what’s going on in our school? Do you know how to actually make a difference in our school? The School Accountability Committee may be the place for you!

The purpose of 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. SAC meetings give parents and community members a forum to discuss improvements and opportunities for the school.

What does that mean exactly? It means we discuss things like:

  • Budget Priorities
  • Staffing needs
  • Technology
  • Principal Evaluation Tools
  • Community Concerns and Opinions
  • Unified Improvement Plans (the school’s academic goals and action plans The Annual Report
  • Safety Issues
  • Testing
  • Calendars
  • Other items that may be impacting our school

The SAC makes recommendations to the Executive Director and STEM Board of Directors about the above priorities. This is how we can impact what happens in our school. We help influence the decisions that ultimately impact every student in the school, and possibly the district.

We need parent representatives that reflect our school’s amazing diversity to be a part of the SAC. That means you!

Becoming a member of the SAC means:

  • attending the SAC meeting which occurs monthly. The SAC typically meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7 p.m., and the time qualifies for volunteer hours.
  • becoming informed about school programs and budgets – specialists may be invited to SAC meetings to help educate the members.
  • becoming a voice for our school.

Each elected member serves a two-year term; however, your role on the committee may change from one year to the next within the elected term. We are currently assembling our SAC Committee for the next school year. The more parents involved, the better!

If you are interested in nominating yourself or another person for SAC, please email sac@ by Friday, May 19. We look forward to your participation in our SAC!

T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge

T-Mobile Foundation Changemaker Challenge

Do you know a young person with a bold new idea to transform your community for the better?

T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation, and Ashoka are teaming up for the fifth Changemaker Challenge, a nationwide contest that gives young leaders the opportunity to take their ideas for creating a more connected, equitable, and sustainable future to the next level.

Now, through May 18, 2023 (8:59 pm PT / 11:59 pm ET) anyone between the ages of 13-18 located in the US or Puerto Rico with bold ideas for driving digital empowerment, putting equity into action, and supporting a thriving planet can enter the Changemaker Challenge.

Why should they apply?

Fifteen finalists will be selected to win up to $15,000 in seed funding and an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile headquarters to participate.

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.

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@ 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.

Center for Strength News and Events

C4S - Summer Hours

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

SAFY Mobile Crisis Response

SAFY Mobile Crisis Response is the crisis team, contracted through Colorado Crisis Services / 988, to provide mobile crisis services for five counties including Douglas County. They respond to crisis calls within an hour of dispatch from the crisis hotline and respond to any self-defined mental health crisis. They can respond to schools, residences, and anywhere in the community for clients of all ages.

Literacy Tip of the Week

25 Resources and Idea to Help Students Read More During the Summer

During the past school year, your child’s school has supported and encouraged independent reading to build your child’s fluency, vocabulary, and enjoyment of reading. And you’ve likely done the same thing at home. Summer is the perfect time to think about how to support your child’s independent reading through the hot weeks ahead.

Health and Wellness Resource of the Week

Local Farmers Market and Pick-Your-Own Guide

If you haven’t shopped at a Farmers Market before, you are in for a treat. Wear comfortable shoes, bring your own bags and plenty of water, and don’t forget sunscreen. Some stands don’t accept credit cards, so stop at the ATM before you go.


Youth Activation Committee Open House

Hosted by Special Olympics Colorado

Sunday, May 21 | 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Boondocks, Parker

Come learn how Douglas County youth can get involved in Unified Sports partnerships via Special Olympics Colorado. Lunch will be provided.

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