Secondary News and Updates (08/19/22)

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.

Middle and High School Back to School Nights

Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 5-7:30 p.m. – Middle School Commons/Classrooms

Thursday, Aug. 25 from 5-7:30 p.m. – High 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.

News and Updates

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 Student Government Applications

HS Student Government is now taking applications for the 2022-23 school year. High School students, please fill out the application, read the student government handbook and sign the code of the student government handbook and sign the code of conduct. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 2. No late applications will be considered. If you have any questions, please contact Tjaden Litwiler ( or Brinda Malik (

Girls' Persist at STEM

Girls’ Persist at STEM Flier

Join the DCSD Equity Advisory Council

Dear DCSD Families and Students,

The Equity Advisory Council serves to support and advise the Superintendent (or Superintendent’s designee), and the School Board on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Equity Advisory Council meets once per month during the school year. If you are interested in serving on this council, please complete the Equity Advisory Council Membership Application. For membership and other details, see the Equity Advisory Council Bylaws and Addendum 1: Inaugural Year Processes and Procedures. Applications are due by the close of business on August 23, 2022. Members will be selected and notified no later than September 2, 2022. Meetings occur once per month, and the next meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2022, from 4:30-6 p.m. Additional information is available on the DCSD website’s Educational Equity page.

Thank you,

Douglas County School District

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)

Secondary Tardy Policy Update/Reminder

Thank you for your patience and positivity during our first two weeks of school. Our students are genuinely excited to come to school, and it is absolutely wonderful to see their smiling faces each day.

This year, I am proud to report that most of our students are arriving at school and to their classes in a timely manner. Starting Monday (baring any impacts from weather), our new breezeway will connect the two buildings, resulting in shorter paths between classes. Now that students have a feel for the distance between their classes, our staff has been instructed to implement STEM’s Tardy Policy.

Middle School School ID Lanyard Distribution

On Friday, Aug. 26, Middle School students with a Student ID can pick up their lanyard and ID sleeve from Mrs. Nason during their study hall. Students who have not yet taken their school photo and do not have a student ID will have an opportunity to get their photo and ID on Monday, Sept. 12, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Elementary Gymnasium.

Students who received their ID, but have lost it, can obtain their one-time free replacement from the Secondary Front Office starting on Friday as well.

As a reminder, Secondary students will be required to wear their student ID cards throughout the school day this school year. Details on when that will go into effect will be released soon.

High School School ID Lanyard Distribution

Details on when High School students can obtain their lanyards and sleeves will be released this week via email directly to students.

Update on Lightning Delay/Dismissal Procedures

A reminder to all students and families that if we have to call a Lightning Delay, we have to hold students and staff inside the building until our Incident Commander calls the All Clear. A Lightning Delay is called when there is a lightning strike within 6 miles of the campus. The delay is only lifted when there is no lightning strike for a period of 30 minutes within the 6-mile radius of the campus. The incident commander can adjust the policy as needed after consultation with the administration team.

One more reminder: Students 18 and over can leave campus independently. Students under the age of 18 can only leave if written permission by the parents is in IC. Secondary siblings cannot pick up Elementary siblings until the delay has been lifted. Parents can come to the school to sign-out their student.

NMSQT, SAT and PSAT 8/9 Coming Up on October 12

Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 7:50 a.m. to 12 p.m.

On October 12, 2022, STEM juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT and STEM seniors that signed up will take the SAT. These assessments are not part of state-mandated accountability testing, but an opportunity for students to improve SAT scores or practice for the SAT. The NMSQT is used as a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program. For more information about these assessments please visit

Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 7:40-11 a.m. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022 STEM 7th and 8th grade students that did not opt-out, will take the PSAT 8/9. This assessment is not part of state-mandated accountability testing, but an opportunity for parents, students, and teachers to see what skills students need in order to prepare for High School and college. More information about the PSAT 8/9 can be found here. Following testing, students will resume their daily schedule. Students in grades K-5 will follow their normal schedule.  Students in 6th, 9th, 10th and those 12th graders not testing  will follow their typical schedules virtually.

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

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.

Powderpuff and Powderpuff Cheer info!

Info below about Powderpuff and Powderpuff cheer! If you have any questions about Powderpuff or Powderpuff cheer feel free to contact Alex Rogers at

Calling all High School girls!

Do you want to participate in the most exciting battle of the classes in school? Join STEM’s powderpuff team where the freshmen and juniors will take on the sophomores and seniors in a game of flag football! Show your school spirit by playing in this thrilling game during the week of Homecoming, Wednesday, Sept. 21!

If you are interested in participating, fill out this survey which will be open until Wednesday, Aug. 31. After you have signed up, a follow-up email will include the amount in cash you must bring to Mrs. Myrick (Room 124) no later than the September 5. This will cover a personalized powderpuff shirt with your name and number on the back.

We will have a team meeting on September 2 after school, so please attend. Details will be sent out in a future email to those who have signed up.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Spartan Boys,

The time for honor has come again. Powderpuff is coming on September 21, and you know what that means: cheer time!

Join the magnificent Powderpuff cheer crew today to cheer on our wonderful teams!

If you are interested, click here to fill out a form to sign up. Registration will be open until Wednesday, August 31st! Emails on an informational meeting will be sent out after sign-up closes.

Let’s go, cheerleaders!

Mrs. Myrick

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 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.

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:

$3.75 – Elementary

$4 – 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.

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

I-Matter Mental Health Support Extended to June 2023

Free therapy sessions are available for Colorado youth 18 and younger, or those 21 and younger if receiving special education services.

Literary Resource of the Week

Introducing Kids to Filmmaking (Adobe)

What’s special about filmmaking is that it combines creativity, teamwork, and technology. From screenwriting to storyboarding to video production and beyond, it takes a tremendous variety of skills to make a movie. But, thanks to the evolution of education and technology, today’s kids have a rich body of opportunities to flex their filmmaking muscles. With a little bit of guidance and a lot of creative license, even small children can dip their toes in animation and film.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

An Age-by-Age Guide to Nutrition for Kids (Parents Magazine)

Your pediatrician, along with a pediatric registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), can help you understand your child’s nutritional requirements, and what tools you can use to help them get the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to thrive. Here are some of the top nutrients to make sure babies, toddlers, and kids are consuming every day.

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