Secondary News and Updates (07/22/22)

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)

Secondary Spartan Launch Set for Monday, Aug. 8

Spartan Launch for Grades 1-12

Monday, Aug. 8, from 9-11 a.m. or 12-2 p.m.

New students to STEM who will be entering secondary school (grades 6-12) are invited to participate in our Secondary Spartan Launch! (this includes first-time students at STEM and first-time students entering Secondary who were in STEM Elementary last year)

Come meet new friends, learn about STEM School’s culture and student expectations, team building, and tour the school. Participation in Spartan Launch will help prepare all new students for their first school day on Tuesday, Aug. 9. This event is for students only. Please enter through the Middle School Doors. Click the button below to sign-up for one of the two sessions being offered.

News and Updates

Secondary Schedule Change Information

Secondary Student Schedules will be sent out the first week of August so that students can see them before the start of the school year. If a student wants to request a schedule change, they must complete the Schedule Change Request Google Form. This form will be sent out following the release of schedules.  Schedule changes will not be accepted any other way this year. The counseling team is creating the most efficient syhttps://stem possible to accommodate all requests.

If your student has emailed any STEM staff member about a schedule change prior to this point, they will still need to complete the google form. Initially, we will only be accepting scheduled changes for Required Classes. Required Classes for High School would be any classes that are needed to graduate and any dual enrollment courses.

Required Classes for Middle School would be Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Engineering/Robotics/ TSA, Computer Science, and Study Hall. Other schedule change requests will need to wait. Schedule changes will close on Thursday, August 18.

Math Placement Testing Information

The Middle School Math Placement Assessment will be on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m., and then again at 1 p.m. The assessment should take about 45 minutes to complete. This assessment is only for New Incoming Students if they have not submitted their iReady, STAR or MAP Scores to STEM.

Please complete the sign-up form below for the Middle School Math Placement Assessment. Returning students do not need to complete this assessment. Please email with any questions about the Math Placement Assessment so that we can direct you to the appropriate person.

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 nurse@ 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.

A message from the High School Counseling Team

Hello Juniors and Seniors Parents,

This message went out to all rising juniors and seniors on June 3, 2022, but we want to make sure that the information was shared with our families.

We wanted to warn you about a newer graduation requirement in case you haven’t heard of it yet. This information is good to keep on your radar as your student enters their junior and senior years.

It is called “graduation competencies,” and the district implemented it beginning with the 2021-2022 senior class. The state of Colorado wants to ensure your student has the minimum skills in Math and English before graduation so that they are more successful in college and/or the workforce.

There are many ways to show these minimum proficiency skills. A “catch-all” is to take British Lit senior year. The Capstone project in Brit Lit will count for English and Math proficiencies. Additionally, many students will get these proficiencies by getting a C or above in a CE Math and/or English class, passing the minimum scores required on the SAT or ACT, or obtaining a score of a 2 or higher on an AP Math and/or English AP test.

All of the ways a student can obtain the minimum scores required are listed via the button below.

Please have your student talk with their counselor to see if they have met these scores OR what they need to do to get these scores. We highly encourage them not to wait until their second-semester senior year to obtain these scores. We encourage them not to rely on one class or test score the semester before graduating. For example, if they are planning on taking CE ENG 131 second semester senior year, and they do not pass the class, this may put them in danger of not graduating on time.

Please have them reach out to their assigned counselor if they have any questions.

High School Fall Athletics Registration is Now Open

Hello Spartans!

I hope this newsletter finds you well and you are all enjoying the summer. While the school year is still a few weeks away, this is an exciting time to be a Spartan. As you know, we are about to begin our first CHSAA competition. We will have boys’ soccer, golf, and cross country in the fall. For the girls, we will have volleyball and cross country as well. If you are interested in playing, it is important that you register now as the seasons are ready to begin. Golf is the first sport to start, and the first official practice will be on Monday, Aug. 1. The rest of the teams will begin on Monday, Aug. 8. To participate in practice, you must officially register and submit an updated physical. Below are links to the registration platform and the physical form. You can also find these on our school website under the School Experience tab.

Please note that practices begin prior to the first day of school. For golf, it is over a week before the school year starts. While we may accept late registrations, each CHSAA sport has a minimum number of practices a student must participate in prior to the first competition. That means that people who register late may not be able to play in the first couple of games. Also, we cannot allow a student to participate without an updated physical. Even if you submitted an up-to-date physical in the spring, please resend it to us to avoid confusion so you or your student don’t miss a practice. Please send all physicals to Nicole Rost at nicole.rost@


Our athletic and activity programs are sustained through student fees. The registration fees you pay for athletics cover the cost of coaches, officials, equipment, uniforms, and field/facility rental. The athletic fee is $350 (plus registration fees) and must be paid during registration on the SportsEngine site. You cannot complete the registration process without paying and cannot practice or play without registering.

The fee for eSports registration is $150. This covers our administrative costs, which include our team fees to participate on the eSports platform. We would like to create a school-wide booster program to provide fundraising opportunities to help cover some of our costs. Please stay tuned for more information on that.

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 sherry.wise@

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 sherry.wise@

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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