Secondary News and Updates (07/18/22)

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.

Meet the STEM School Highlands Ranch Administration (Virtual Meet 'n Greet)

Thursday, July 28, starting at 6 p.m. – Zoom

We are so excited for the 2022-23 school year and we wanted to provide our families the opportunity to meet some of the members of the STEM Leadership/Administration Team that will be working with your students this upcoming school year. This is going to be an informal opportunity to meet and get to know them.

If you have specific questions about your student’s needs, please email the leaders directly or reach out to so we can help you get those questions answered directly.

We’d love to have this event in person, however, due to construction, we do not have a space available quite yet. We’ll offer break-out rooms for each department so that you can get to know some of our Directors and Deans.

Staff that will be in attendance include:

  • LynAnn Kovalesky, Executive Director
  • Ryan Alsup, High School Director/Athletics Director
  • Maura Ridder, Middle School Director
  • Amie McElroy, Elementary School Director
  • Sean Kavanaugh, K-8 Dean
  • Parag Patel, 6-12 Dean
  • Dr. Jistine Harrison, Director of Student Support
  • Mallory, Jimenez, School Nurse
  • Melanie Fitzroy, Enrichment Director
  • Nicole Bostel, Communications Director

Welcome Back to School Zoom Sessions

Welcome to the 2022-23 School Year

To help our new and returning families be as prepared as possible for the start of the new school year, we will be offering five Welcome Back to School – Parent Info Sessions the week of Monday, Aug. 1 through Friday, Aug. 5 from 12-1 p.m. each day. Each session will cover important topics, outlined below, that all families should know in order to start the school year off on the right foot. Following a brief presentation on each topic, we will allow families to ask questions related to that topic. Each session will be over Zoom. We will record each session so that it will be available on the website for those who couldn’t attend.

  • Monday, Aug. 1 (12-1 p.m.) – Driveline Procedures & PikMyKid (Elementary Families)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 2 (12-1 p.m.) – Getting Informed (Attendance line, using IC, visiting STEM, Student/Parent Handbook, Fees, School Photos, etc.)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 3 (12-1 p.m.) – Getting Connected (Communications Pathways, who to contact when?, communications at STEM, etc.)
  • Thursday, Aug. 4 (12-1 p.m.) – Getting Involved (volunteering, donating, STEM PTO, STEM SAC, etc.)
  • Friday, Aug. 5 (12-1 p.m.) – The STEM Experience (Enrichment and Athletics)

News and Updates

Important Medical Forms for 2022-23 School Year

We am very excited to welcome back our students to STEM for the 22-23 school year. We want to make sure all students with medication needs have the proper forms on file at the beginning of the school year. Please review the DCSD medication policies for Elementary students and for Secondary students (updated 07/2021). If your child requires medication while at school, their physician will need to fill out the following forms prior to the first day of school. These forms can be returned to our K-12 school nurse Mallory Jimenez at or turned into one of the health offices along with the medication starting on August 1.

Below is the list of forms for each category:

Life Threatening Allergies

  • Allergy Action Plan
  • Medication Release and Request Form


  • Asthma Care Plan
  • Medication Release and Request Form


  • Provider Medication Authorization Form
  • Medication Release and Request Form


  • Seizure Action Plan
  • Medication Release and Request Form

OTC Medication (Benadryl, Tylenol, Motrin etc.)

  • Provider Medication Authorization Form
  • Medication Release and Request Form

*** Self Carry Form (secondary students only) – This form will also need to be completed if your student is in sixth grade or higher at STEM and will self-carry their medication. It requires a student, parent and a physician’s signature.

If you have any questions regarding these forms or STEM’s medication policy please send an email directly to our nurse and she will get back to you as quickly as possible.

News from DCSD about Funding Challenges

Do you know how STEM gets funded? Not many people know. As a free, public charter school in the Douglas County School District, we receive funding through Per Pupil Revenue (PPR). That means for each student we get a predetermined (by the State) amount of money. That money is then used to cover our operating costs, which include facilities, teacher/staff salaries and more. DCSD is one of the lowest-funded school districts in the state.

Any funding for capital improvements like the CHSAA Gym/Building Remodel Project is funded through Bond money that STEM receives from investors. Teacher/staff salaries cannot be paid using that money.

In order for STEM, and the other schools within DCSD, to provide competitive teacher/staff salaries, DCSD must find other ways to find funding. One avenue is through a Mill Levy Override (MLO) or a Bond. DCSD has established a committee to explore these funding options and we wanted to provide our community with information in order to stay informed and to help spread the word.

Student Parking Pass Waitlist

We have a limited number of parking spaces available for High School students.

Student Parking Passes are $50 per pass. Students must have a current driver’s license to apply for a parking pass.

While the initial sign-up window closed on Wednesday, July 6 at 12 p.m., students can still put their names on the list for a pass. After the priority list has been processed, we will go down the waitlist to assign passes on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Students who have been assigned a parking pass will receive an email after Monday, July 11. Notification emails will go out to parents and students. Payment must be made through Express Check-In on the Parent Portal before the pass can be given out. The student will be required to show a driver’s license to pick up the parking pass. Passes will be available for pickup in the Secondary School office beginning on the first day of school. If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Wise at

Locker Waitlist

Please place your student’s name on the waitlist for a locker. The fee for a locker will be $5.00 Lockers will be assigned beginning July 15th. PLEASE NOTE, THAT DUE TO CONSTRUCTION, WE WILL HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF LOCKERS FOR AT LEAST THE FIRST SEMESTER.

Lockers are separated by grade level and will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will be able to pay for the locker fee through Express Check-In on the Parent Portal. Parents and students will receive an email with their locker number and combination. If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Wise at

School Lunches will NOT be Free Next Year

Over the last two years, the USDA has provided school waivers that provide meals at no cost to the students. Those waivers will expire after the 2021-22 School year ends. This means that a return to paid meals will begin August 8, 2022 for students that do not qualify for Free or Reduces Meal Benefits. DCSD is asking that ALL families please complete the Free or Reduced Lunch Application by July 25, 2022.

If a family does not qualify for FRL, the meals will cost the following:

$3.25 – Elementary

$3.75 – Middle School

All meal prices include an entree, fruit, veggies and milk. Ala carte options are available at all schools and prices vary by option. Students pay for school lunches through their MySchoolBucks account.

Secondary School Supply Lists

Secondary students do not have school supply lists for their grade. Each teacher will provide a supply list for their class within the first week of school in their Canvas class. Families should familiarize themselves with the Laptop Requirements that is available on our IT page.

STEM B.A.S.E. is Hiring

STEM BASE is URGENTLY hiring! We are looking for 1 Program Assitant Manager, and 2 Senior Program Leaders to work in a busy and fun program. If you or someone you know is looking to develop management skills and gain experience in a growing program with a fun, experienced, and dedicated staff, this is the right move for you. The Assistant Manager position is a “Select Charter Postion” with offers an additional 10% monthly pay stipend, 30 hours per week and full time hours on school breaks. Sr Program Leader hours are M-F 1:30-5:30/6. Part-time and full-time hours are available during school breaks. Happy to coordinate BASE managers who have staff looking for more hours. Feel free to call or email me for more details or questions. /(720) 688-2928.

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