Secondary News and Updates (08/20/21)

Secondary-School News

Donation and Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering and giving to STEM are vital to the success of our school. Our school has a charter that requires a commitment of 30 volunteer hours per family (15 hours per single-parent family).

To make volunteering easy and seamless, please refer to the Volunteering Basics section that will allow you to set up your volunteer account and keep track of your hours. We are extremely grateful for the time and energy donated by STEM parents each year.

Volunteer Opportunities

Driveline (Earn Double Volunteer Hours):

  • Parent supervisors needed during AM & PM Driveline! sign up here. Arrive 5 minutes early to find parking and grab a vest. Extra incentive: Earn double hours ie: log 60 hours in Driveline. (that’s 30 actual volunteer hours). Click here to sign up.

Spartan Afternoon Program:

A great way to avoid waiting in the afternoon drive-line, and maybe even take your own child home with homework complete. This opportunity is after school and only requires volunteers to monitor students (no tutoring involved). If you are interested, please click here.

TSA Volunteers

To volunteer for TSA or to provide snacks please click here.

Driveline Volunteers

Classroom Wishlists

Click the buttons below to see our Teacher’s Classroom Wish Lists.

School Donations

Both our Elementary and Secondary Offices are always in need of donated items. Click the button below to see what we need and to sign up. Please bring the items to the appropriate front office with a label for what it is for.

Upcoming Events

Computer Science Honor Society Information Meeting

Tuesday, Aug. 24, from 3-3:45 p.m. – Room 145

If your student is interested in joining the Computer Science Honor Society, please have them attend the informational meeting in room 145 on Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 3-3:45 p.m. This is for High School Students Only. Have questions? Email sara.phelps@stemk12.org.

Middle School Best Robotics Information Meeting

Tuesday, Aug. 24, from 5-6 p.m. – Middle School Cafeteria

Do you have a student interested in Middle School BEST Robotics? Come learn more about the program on Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 5-6 p.m. in the Middle School Cafeteria. Meet this year’s coach Mr. Boen and learn more about this year’s challenge. This is for Middle School Students Only. Contact sara.phelps@stemk12.org with any questions.

School Accountability Committee Meeting

Tuesday, Aug. 24, from 6-8 p.m. – High School Commons

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. Join us for our first meeting of the year.

DECA/FBLA Interest Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 26, from 7-7:45 a.m. – Room 130

Do you want to go to the Broadmoor? How about the Gaylord? Atlanta? Chicago? Well, you can do all that and more with FBLA and DECA! Compete at the local, state, and national level and show your skills as the best and the brightest business minds STEM has to offer. Attend our first meeting on Thursday, Aug. 26 from 7-7:45 a.m. in Room 130 or email advisor Allison.Doe@stemk12.org if you’re interested. Meetings are held every other Thursday from 7-7:45 a.m. and are combined between both clubs. You can find out more at DECA.org and FBLA-PBL.org. We can’t wait to see you all.

CyberPatriot Interest Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 26, from 3-3:45 p.m. – High School Commons

Students! Are you interested in participating on the CyberPatriot team this year? Join us after school on Thursday, Aug. 26 for an information meeting about this upcoming season. Join us in the High School Commons. This is for Middle and High School Students only. The cost to be part of the club is $165. Click the button below to register. Contact Sara.Phelps@stemk12.org with any questions.

Coffee with Administration

Friday, Aug. 27, from 8-9 a.m. – Elementary School Picnic Tables

On Friday, Aug. 27 we will be holding a Coffee with Administration event at the Elementary School Picnic Tables on the West Side of the building from 8-9 a.m. This is our community’s opportunity to get to know our administration, ask questions and give feedback. Please sign-up via the form below so that we can plan for enough coffee and light pastries.

Middle School Assembly

Friday, Aug. 27, from 1:45-2:50 p.m. – High School Parking Lot

The Middle School will assemble at 1:45 p.m. in the High School parking lot. We will lead with introductions of key administration and staff, discuss culture, behavior, mental health, sources of strength, after-school clubs, MS Student Govt, and use of technology. This is for Middle School students only.

Club Rush

Friday, Aug. 27, from 3:15-5 p.m. – High School Parking Lot

Middle and High School Students are invited to attend our Club Rush event on Friday, Aug. 27 from 3:15-5 p.m. in the High School Parking Lot. This is an opportunity to introduce our students to all of the extracurricular activities at STEM. Tables for all the clubs will be set up so that students can find out more about them if they’d like.

News and Updates

Update on Mask Mandate for Kindergarten through 11-Years Old

While DCSD is going to require masks for students through sixth grade, regardless of age, STEM will be requiring masks for students in kindergarten through 11 years of age. Students, 11 years of age and younger will not need to wear a mask when outside or at lunch.

Our STEM Board of Directors and Leadership Team believe that since our youngest learners do not yet have the option of receiving the vaccine, this is a safe way for us to comply with the Tri-County Health Order.

The STEM Board of Directors and the Leadership Team strongly believe that keeping our doors open for in-person learning is so important for the mental health and wellbeing of our students and our staff. While they do not want to be restrictive to anyone’s personal choice, they do understand that in order for us to be able to remain open to in-person learning we must have enough staff who can support our students. If our teaching and non-teaching staff are out due to illness or mandated quarantine, it puts a great strain on our ability to operate safely and adds stress on our students and staff.

Click the button below for the complete announcement.

Spartan After School Program

All students not involved in a Club or Activity at STEM must be picked up by a parent, or in our Spartan Afterschool Program. Students are not allowed to be roaming the halls, waiting for their parents to pick them up.

Spartan Morning and Spartan Afternoon programs are open to all Middle and High School students on a drop-in basis. There is no need to schedule days. Both programs take place in the Middle School Cafeteria, on the West side of the building.

Our program is only offered on days when school is in session. We do not currently offer any care on school holidays. Cost is only $8 in the afternoon and $2 in the morning. Click the button below to learn more.

Check out the newest Clubs and Activities in our Enrichment Programming

We have so many offerings for our students to get involved in clubs and activities at STEM. Click the button below to see all of our offerings. Don’t see something that interests your student? Email Mrs. Sara Phelps (sara.phelps@stemk12.org) to see if that club could be added.

Here are the latest Middle School Clubs that have been added:

Here are the latest High School Clubs that have been added:

HS Ultimate Frisbee Starting Soon!

Our high school ultimate frisbee team is starting up soon! Come play, make friends, and learn new skills! New and experienced players are welcome. The team will practice twice a week as well as play in the Altitude Youth Ultimate league against other schools. Click the button to the left or email Sara.Phelps@stemk12.org.

Middle School Basketball Interest

We are collecting interest for the upcoming basketball season. Please complete the form below to express your interest in Middle School Basketball. Practices and games would be held at one of the local Highlands Ranch Rec Centers, and transportation would be up to the parents. This does not commit you to a team or guarantee you a spot, but is for us to gauge interest in sizes of teams. Spots will be given to families from this interest form.

All practices and games are coordinated through the Highlands Ranch Rec Center (HRCA).

Girls Program:
HRCA (Highlands Ranch Community Association)
Season: October – December 2021

Boys Program:
HRCA (Highlands Ranch Community Association)
Season: January – March 2022

Email Sara.Phelps@stemk12.org with questions.

High School Game Club Starting Soon!

High Schoolers! Are you interested in board games, anywhere from Codenames to Magic: The Gathering? Announcing the new Board Games Club. We are meeting on Thursdays, starting August 19 in Room 134 (Mr. Rubin’s Room) from 3-3:45 p.m. Hope to see you there. Contact ryan.levisky@s.stemk12.org or gavin.rubin@stemk12.org with questions.

Update to our Virtual Weather Day Procedure

In the event that DCSD determines that the district should follow the DCSD Delayed Opening protocol, STEM School Highlands Ranch will abide by its Virtual School Day Policy. When it snows, our school’s operation and instructional expectations will be determined by one of these three scenarios:

  1. Snow Day – Douglas County Schools (check www.dcsdk12.org) calls a snow day – The STEM building is closed and implements a Virtual School Day with 20% of the learning being synchronous. (NEW; STEM will not have Snow Days morning forward)
  2. Late Start Day – Douglas County Schools calls a Late Start day – STEM is closed and implements a Virtual School Day with 20% of the learning being synchronous.
  3. All Schools Open – Douglas County Schools declare Highlands Ranch area schools open – STEM is open and operating to our regular schedule.

Join our STEM Secondary Team

We’re hiring! We need Educational Assistants to join our Secondary Staff for the 2021-22 School Year. We’re also looking for a part-time After School Care Programming Assistant. Click the button below to find out more about each position. We’ve also got an opening in our Elementary School. Click the button below to see all of our job openings.

How to apply

STEP 1: If you are interested in applying for a position, please click here.
STEP 2: Please submit the following to careers@stemk12.org.
  • Application Note, you will need to download this application form, fill it in and save it locally to your computer, then return it via email with the following items:
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • References

Secondary Driveline Placard Request

Every car that enters our East Driveline needs to use a placard. Placards will be pre-printed at the start of the school year and will be made available for pick-up on Thursday, Aug. 5 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Placards must be visible in the front window to assist our driveline staffers with identifying that your car should be in the driveline at that time. In order to be good neighbors, we need to divide our Secondary pick-up into two groups to prevent stacking on Ridgeline Blvd. The first timeslot is from 2:55-3:05 p.m. The second timeslot is from 3:05-3:15 p.m. Please do not enter the parking lot prior to your designated time.

How do I get a placard?

For Secondary only families, please complete the Secondary Driveline Placard Sign-Up form to request your timeslot. Placard Pick-Up is at the Secondary Main Office (formerly Middle School Office). If you would like to take part in our Secondary Carpool Program, please follow the steps below. If you are a family with students in our Elementary and Secondary schools, please reference the Driveline information in the Elementary News/Updates Section.

Secondary Carpool Program

Carpools enjoy special Driveline perks! There is a carpool “express” lane in the East (Secondary) 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. The school has partnered with “Way To Go: School Pool” to help families find carpool groups. In order to register, follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into DCSD Infinite Campus Parent Portal, select a student and then click on transportation on the left menu.
  2. Use the secure link to get to the Way To Go site and create an account. For security reasons, this link is the only way to enter the system for STEM School Highlands Ranch. You can register with a nearby intersection instead of your home address.
  3. Using the Way To Go website, create an account to find interested STEM families in your area.
  4. Click the button below to request a Carpool Placard if you will be the one picking up the carpool.

Notifications for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

We are aware that some members of our community are receiving notifications directly from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that they’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID. Please know that those messages are not coming from STEM. If we have a positive case, we will notify our families based on the criteria outlined on our COVID-19 Information Hub.

Reminder about Dress Code

Our staff has noticed that many students are not adhering to the STEM Dress Code that is outlined in the Student/Parent Handbook. Please make sure that your students are following the outlined procedure below. Click the bottom to access the complete policy in the Student/Parent Handbook.

The students’ general appearance should be crisp, clean, and sharp. Attire should not be distracting to the educational process. Clothing should not be torn. At no time are pants to be worn below the waist or hanging from the hips nor should undergarments be visible. It is the parent’s responsibility to buy pants that fit properly. Pajamas and slippers are not allowed.

Hats may be worn outside during fall and winter months, but never inside the building.

All skirts and shorts must reach below the student’s fingertips when their arms are fully extended and their hands are placed on their thighs. Students should not show any midriff area, undergarments (including bra straps) and shall not wear clothing with spaghetti straps or any other apparel that shows cleavage. Leggings/yoga pants should not be worn unless needed for physical education classes, or under shorts or skirts.

Clothing that has offensive or distracting language or graphics is not permitted. Clothing may not advertise or promote any product or activity that is subject to age restrictions, i.e. alcohol products, guns/weapons, tobacco products, adult-only behaviors or products.

Did you know?

Lunch

Lunch is FREE so please remind your student that if they want a DCSD lunch, they must go through the line and use their lunch number for inventory purposes.

Entrances to the School

We will not longer have a High School Entrance. In order to better serve our students, our High School Office has been transformed into the Counseling Offices. This means that our Middle School entrance will now be the Main Secondary Entrance, and our Middle School Office will now be our Secondary Office Suite. All Secondary Students should enter and exit through the Secondary Doors.

Forgotten Items Table

If your student forgets something in the morning and needs it for that day, there is a table in the lobby on which you can leave something for your student. Please make sure that their name is on the item. If it is electronic in nature, please bring it to the office. Please remind your student to check that table or the front desk if they are expecting you to bring an item. So as to not interrupt the classroom, we will not call them to get the item from the table. It is the student’s responsibility to retrieve the items you leave for them.

Lost and Found

Please put your student’s name on everything. If an item (other than electronics) is lost, it can be retrieved from the Lost and Found table outside of the Middle School Cafeteria. Electronic items that are found will be at the front desk. We donate the items not retrieved before Fall Break, Winter Break, Spring Break and at the end of the school year (or as needed).

2020-21 Secondary Yearbook Information

2020-21 Secondary Yearbooks are ready for pick up!

Families can pick up their yearbooks from the Middle School Office starting the second week of school. We thank you for your patience as we help students and staff adjust back to school. If you didn’t purchase a yearbook and would still like to, we have a limited supply still available. Please bring a check for $55 to the Middle School Office to purchase your yearbook.

Senior Yearbooks Update! If you moved out of state, please email your new address to communications@stemk12.org so we can mail it to you. 2021 Seniors can pick up their yearbooks from the Middle School Front Office.

Whatever you are going through, AllHealth is here to help

AllHealth Network offers mental health services for students and families onsite at STEM School Highlands Ranch with a licensed professional counselor, Kathleen Shook. Kathleen uses evidence-based treatment approaches to talk and play with kids of all ages to help them with anxiety, depression, trauma, and adjusting to life’s changes. Sessions happen during school hours for your convenience and most insurances are accepted.

Additionally, AllHealth Network offers free services such as counseling, support groups and opportunities for social connection to students, families, and community members affected by May 7th at the STEM Center for Strength located at 640 Plaza Dr., Suite 130.

To get connected to any of the services AllHealth has to offer, contact Kathleen at 720-462-9645 or the STEM Center at 720-980-5761.

2021-22 Secondary Yearbook Information

STEM School Highlands Ranch_2022 Senior Important Yearbook Dates and Deadlines
STEM School Highlands Ranch_2022 Yearbook Sales

DCSD Nutrition Services Information

Nutrition Services is excited to start the new 2021-2022 School Year. After a year of so much change, we too are looking forward to a return to “normal” operations. We wanted to make sure all Building Leaders were aware of how Nutrition Services will be operating this year. Below are some highlights of what you can expect from this upcoming year:

  • USDA has extended Meals at No Cost through June 30, 2022. This means that breakfast (where offered) and lunch will continue to be provided at no cost to all students.
  • Remote meal bags will no longer be provided once the school year begins. All meals will be served in school cafeterias to students.
  • Nutrition Services will resume use of our Harvest Bars, allowing self-serve bulk fruit and vegetable options for kids at all levels to increase consumption. Self-Serve procedures are all Tri-County Health Department approved. Hand Sanitizer stations and gloves will be available on all serving lines for customer use.
  • Nutrition Services has raised our starting wages for Kitchen Assistants to $15 per hour and Kitchen Managers to $18.26 per hour to assist in our hiring. Central Office
  • Age-Appropriate Smart Snack-approved Ala Carte items will be served at all school sites in conjunction with breakfast and lunch. Parents can opt-out as well as add limits to their child’s account at any time by contacting Nutrition Services at paula.wilson@dcsdk12.org.

In addition to these operational changes, Nutrition Services will be resuming our fun, in-person events, such as Colorado Proud Day on September 15th, our Turkey Day feast on November 17th, National School Lunch Week October 12-16th and our Nutrition Services Taste of DCSD Open House (timing TBD). We hope to see more of you all this year as we work to provide delicious, nutritious meals alongside a sense of normalcy for our students.

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