Secondary News and Updates (08/12/22)

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.

Parent Coffee with Administration

Tuesday, Aug. 16, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. – Elementary Cafeteria

Join us for our first Parent Coffee with Administration gathering on Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Elementary School Cafeteria. You can meet our STEM Administrators and have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about them. We’ll have coffee and light pastries.

Please park in the Elementary School Parking Lot and check-in at the Elementary School Front Office. Please bring your ID so that you can be provided with a Visitor Badge.

Bond Mill Levy Q&A with DCSD Superintendent and STEM Leadership

Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Elementary Cafeteria (Zoom option available)

Join us for a Q&A Session with Dr. Karen Johnson (Interim CEO of KOSON Schools), LynAnn Kovalesky (STEM Executive Director) and Erin Kane (DCSD Superintendent) as they discuss the proposal for the Mill Levy/Bond issue that is expected to be on November’s Ballot.

All three panelists will take questions from those in attendance. Please park in the Elementary School Parking Lot and Enter the Elementary School Cafeteria.

High School and Middle School Back to School Night

Tuesday, Aug. 16, from 5-7:30 p.m. – High School Commons/Classrooms

Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 5-7:30 p.m. – Middle School Cafeteria/Classrooms

Our High School and Middle School Back to School Nights are your opportunity to build communication and connection between teachers and families. Families will begin in the respective locations listed above. School Directors will kick things off with a 20-minute presentation before dismissing families to follow their student’s class schedule. Each teacher will conduct a 10-minute presentation that provides an introduction about themselves, an overview of the course, procedures and expectations, how parents can help and the best way to contact them.


  • Director’s Welcome: 5-5:20 p.m – MS Cafeteria (MS) or HS Commons (High School)
  • Period 2 – 5:30-5:40 p.m.
  • Period 3 – 5:47-5:57 p.m.
  • Period 4 – 6:04-6:14 p.m.
  • Period 5 – 6:21-6:31 p.m.
  • Period 6 – 6:38-6:48 p.m.
  • Period 7 – 6:55-7:05 p.m.
  • Period 8 – 7:12-7:22 p.m.
  • Period 9 – 7:29-7:39 p.m.

Parent Coffee Connection at the Center (Sponsored by STEM PTO)

Thursday, Aug. 18, from 7:30-9 a.m. – STEM Center for Strength

STEM PTO will be hosting a Parent Coffee Connection at the STEM Center for Strength. Stop by after you drop off your students to meet other parents, tour the Center and create lasting connections. The STEM Center for Strength is located at 640 Plaza Dr., Suite 130, right across the street from STEM.

News and Updates

WayToGo Carpool Information

WayToGo Logo

Join STEM School Highlands Ranch’s Schoolpool program to connect with other families to drive, walk or bike to school together. 

Looking for help getting your student to and from school to after-school activities, or want to find a buddy to commute to school with? STEM School Highlands Ranch is pleased to once again partner with Schoolpool, a free program to make it easier to get to school.

How do I get a Secondary Carpool Placard?

Carpools enjoy special Driveline perks! There is a carpool “express” lane in each Driveline Loop. Carpools (meaning three or more students or three or more families riding together) will need to obtain a carpool sticker to use the carpool lane.

To receive a Carpool Placard, please complete the form via the button below. You must list the names and contact information for the other riders in your carpool. Carpool placards will be available for pick-up during the times listed above.

Secondary Driveline Placards

All families going through our Secondary Driveline in the afternoon MUST have a 2022-23 Placard. Families using a placard from a previous school year must get a new one each year. Please sign up for a Secondary Driveline Placard by clicking the button below. Placards can be picked up from the Secondary Front Office during school hours or by having your secondary student pick them up.

Reminder: Secondary Driveline is for families who are picking up Secondary Students ONLY. If you pick up an Elementary Student, you must do so through our Elementary Driveline.

Secondary Yearbook Information

This school year will live forever in your yearbook. Buy a yearbook. It’s easy.

Yearbooks may be purchased at

Enter STEM School Highlands Ranch and click on Buy a
Yearbook. Follow the directions online. Enter your name and credit card, debit card or PayPal information, and click

Cost: $45 until October 31, 2022, $55 thereafter

If you want to personalize the book, namestamping starts at $6 extra and must be purchased before January 29, 2022.


Contact Michelle Vitale the STEM Secondary Yearbook Advisor at michelle.vitale@

After purchase, you will be emailed a confirmation receipt. You may also verify your order at by entering your email in the “Find an Order” field.

College and Career Newsletter

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

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.

Setting Up your Parent Canvas Account

All parents should set up their Parent Canvas account in order to see their student’s coursework, grades and more. Watch the video below that shows you how to link your account with your student’s account, in particular how to access the Paring Code that is needed.

Enrichment Update

Registration for Fall Enrichment is open for the following Secondary programs:

  • Middle School Fencing
  • Middle and High School Girls Persist

More registrations coming soon!

We are looking for interested coaches/parent volunteers to help facilitate the following Secondary clubs at STEM this fall:

  • Middle School Best Robotics
  • Middle School Cross Country
  • Middle and High School Dungeons and Dragons
  • High School Ultimate Frisbee

If you want more information on coaching/volunteer opportunities with our school-based clubs, contact Melanie FitzRoy at melanie.fitzroy@ Click the button below to start registering for Clubs.

Spartan Before and After School Care Program through Enrichment

The Spartan Before School Care Program is for Secondary students who are dropped off between 7-7:30 a.m. Students will not be permitted to wait outside of the school building between that time and must be part of the Spartan Before School Care Program. The cost for the Before School Care Program is $2 per day.

The Spartan After School Care Program is an affordable, safe place at STEM for secondary students when their parents cannot pick them up after school or after their club. The cost for the Spartan After School Care Program is $8 per day and last pick-up is at 6 p.m. (late fee for students picked up after 6 p.m. is $1/minute)

Both programs occur in the Middle School Building on the West side of the school.

Families register through our SmartCare Childcare Program. If you do not have an account or are not sure you have an account, please email Hiroko Ichijo (hiroko.ichijo@ with the subject “SmartCare.” If you do have an account, please use the button below to log in.

After 3:15 pm, all students that remain at school must either be registered in a club or activity, or they will have to go to the Spartan After School Care Program.

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.

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.

School Lunches will NOT be Free This Year

Over the last two years, the USDA has provided school waivers that provide meals at no cost to the students. Those waivers expired 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. While you’re completing the application, please make sure to check the box that allows for the information to be shared with your student’s school. Sharing this information with STEM allows for your student to be eligible for more benefits throughout the school year.

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.

Student Fees Update

Student fees have been uploaded to MySchoolBucks. Families should see all fees in their account when they log in. If you have any questions about your account, please email Ashley.Westfall@

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.

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

988 – Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

“988” is the new three-digit, nationwide phone number for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. It makes it easier to connect people in need of confidential support to the existing network of more than 200 local crisis call centers around the country, with the hopes of also decreasing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues. People can also call the number if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

Literary Resource of the Week

Supporting Your Child’s Literacy at Development Home

Take part in literacy experiences at home. Taking part can develop your child’s reading ability, comprehension, and language skills. It could also improve your child’s interest in reading, attitude towards reading, and focus.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Helping Kids Stay Active and Eat Healthy

Healthy eating and physical activity are important ways to support your child’s growth and development. Parents can help their children make necessary changes to ensure they are eating healthier and staying active by making mindful choices each day. The healthy habits your child learns now can last a lifetime.


“I Voted” Digital Sticker Contest

All high school students throughout the state can submit their designs for a new “I Voted” digital sticker. Visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website for more details.


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