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.
Secondary Spirit Week
Parent Coffee with Administration
Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 8-9 a.m. – Elementary Cafeteria
Join us for our first Parent Coffee with Administration gathering on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 8-9 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 you can be provided with a Visitor Badge.
Student Resource Connection Event
Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. – High School Commons
Attention STEM Students! Do you want to know about all of the mental health resources available to you at STEM? Come take part in our Student Resources Connection Event on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the High School Commons. The YouthLeaderBoard run through DCSD is hosting the event with the assistance of several of our staff members and the Sources of Strength students. It will consist of 6-8 booths. Each person who attends will get a “passport” and get stamps at each booth. Booths will include: connect with a counselor, LGBTQIA+, suicide prevention resources, burnout prevention tips, etc. We hope to see you there.
STEM SAC Meeting
Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Mechatronics Lab of P-TECH/KOSON Building
The meeting will also be available to watch via Zoom as a trial. In-person participation is strongly encouraged to help build engagement. Additionally, those who would like to participate in Public Comment must do so in person.
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.
STEM PTO Blast-Off Community Event
STEM Theater Presents: Little Women
November 10 & 11, at 6:30 p.m., & November 12, at 3 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars!
Jo March isn’t your typical Victorian lady. She’s indecorous and headstrong, and one day she will be a great American novelist. As she and her sisters grow up in the middle of the Civil War, they strive to be brave, intelligent, and imaginative young women. But as adulthood approaches, each sister must negotiate her private ambitions with society’s expectations. In a war-torn world defined by gender, class, and personal tragedy, Jo March gives us her greatest story: that of the March sisters, four dreamers destined to be imperfect little women.
Tickets are $10. Links to purchase tickets will be provided soon! Contact Max Schwartz (email@example.com) with any questions.
News and Updates
A Message from our School Nurse
Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Parents,
The following are suggestions that will aid in helping to maintain a healthy school environment, keep children well, and stop the spread of illness.
You should be aware of the early signs and symptoms of illness, such as:
- Decreased activity – droopy, tired appearance
- Irritable behavior – sleepy
- Sore throat/swollen glands
- Runny nose/cough
- Skin eruptions/rashes (students with undiagnosed rashes are not allowed to be in school)
- Eye drainage (excessive drainage and/or significant discomfort)
- Abdominal pain
- Fever (100º or higher is considered a fever in Douglas County Schools and student is not allowed to be at school)
- Loss of taste and/or smell
You can help:
- Check student’s health before they leave home
- Do not give fever-reducing medication to a child with a fever and send them to school
- Keep students home when they have signs/symptoms of illness.
- Be sure your student knows where you are
- Give the school office current emergency contact information
- Make arrangements with relatives/friends to take care of sick children if unable to do so yourself
Please contact the school if your child comes down with a contagious illness such as strep throat, chicken pox, etc. Thank you for your help in providing a safe and healthy school environment.
Mallory Jimenez RN, BSN
Don't forget to order your school photos
School photos have been uploaded for families to view. Families can access their photos by visiting the link below, selecting the School Portrait Proofs link, and when prompted enter their private password in the following format: studentid#.
It's time to order your student's Cap and Gown
Please proceed by clicking the appropriate button below,to place your order for your Cap & Gown, Graduation Announcements & Senior Class Jewelry.
*Receive FREE SHIPPING & HANDLING on all Graduation Announcement Orders by placing your order online at jostens.com before Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Update about Secondary Student IDs
- Replacement IDs if lost/stolen: Students who have lost their ID should complete the Secondary Student ID Replacement Form to order a replacement. IDs are free for the first one and $5 for any duplicates. Duplicates will be printed by the front office and students will be notified when they are ready for pick up.
- Lanyards and pouches: Lanyards and pouches can be picked up at the Secondary Front Office. Please show your student ID to receive one.
Secondary Mental Health Screener Coming up in Two Weeks
This year STEM will be taking a proactive approach to addressing student mental health by administering a broad mental health screener to all secondary-level students! The survey is called the Behavior and Emotional Screening System or BESS and was developed by Pearson Assessments, a nationally recognized assessment organization.
This screener is not meant to diagnose or determine immediate service intentions but for the support team to identify broad support needs and patterns across our school. We hope this will also help us catch kiddos before they “fall through the cracks.” Data collected will be housed securely through our evaluation system and will not be released to anyone outside of the Student Support team or STEM Center for Strength.
During fifth period on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and during 6th period on Wednesday, Sept. 28, teachers will pause class for about 10 minutes so that students may access the survey via email. A make-up time will be provided during study hall periods on Friday for those who were absent or did not have the opportunity to take the assessment.
Once all students have had the opportunity to take the BESS, the support team will sit down and determine how best to intervene on a whole school level, on a grade level, in small groups, and on individual levels if needed. Small group and individual support from this survey are expected to begin after fall break. Consent forms and parent communication will be ensured before any students are placed in skill-building groups or met individually.
For further questions or information, please contact Katie Bouchard, LMSW at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$50,000 Niche.com Scholarship Opportunity
Covering the cost of college without writing a single essay? Sounds too good to be true! Niche is giving one student $50,000 to help pay for tuition, housing, books, and other educational expenses. Apply below for your chance to win so you can focus on what matters instead of worrying about finances. Good luck!
WTS Colorado Scholarship Opportunity
The WTS Colorado 2022-2023 Scholarship applications are now being accepted and are due October 15, 2022. WTS Colorado is excited to o ̃er six scholarships
to female students interested in pursuing a career in the transportation field. We are excited to o ̃er two graduate-level scholarships ($5,000), two undergraduate-level scholarships ($4,000), a junior college/trade school scholarship ($1,500), and a high school-level scholarship ($1,500) to motivate students eager to make a meaningful contribution in the transportation arena.
Scholarship winners will receive recognition at the WTS Colorado Annual Awards Luncheon and Gala as well as consideration for WTS International scholarships with
awards up to $10,000. For additional information, please email the WTS Colorado Scholarship and Student Outreach Committee: WTSCoScholarships@gmail.com.
A Message from Mrs. Gasser about Standards-Based Learning
I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Michelle Gasser and I am the Director of Professional Development. Part of my role is providing support to our community on Standards Based Learning (SBL). Over the past two years, we have worked hard to support our parent community on why we are switching our grading system to Standards-Based Learning and what that will mean for your students.
For our elementary school students, not much is going to change. Our K-5 teachers have done SBL in some form or another since the elementary school opened its doors. What we will be doing differently this year is that we will provide more details as to which standards students have mastered and which standards they are still struggling with. Through the use of MasteryConnect, an SBL grade book through Canvas, teachers can report on each standard for each subject area. This allows a teacher to determine exactly what a student needs to work on and communicate that with parents.
For our secondary parents, I have created this handout that helps break down what you will see on canvas for your child. In each unit, the teacher will determine which standard or standards they are assessing and then will provide feedback to students along the way. Teachers will collect assignments and assessments throughout the unit demonstrating knowledge of the standard and enter them into the Canvas grade book. Students should monitor their grade book for feedback and their demonstration of knowledge grades.
Please have grace with our teachers while they are learning our new grading systems, as there might be a few hiccups along the way. We ask students to politely email their teachers with grading questions and clarification. If you have any questions about grading or Standards-Based Learning, please check out our webpage for more information. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.
Connect with other Parents
In case you didn’t know, families have specific Class Pages on Facebook where they can connect with other families from their student’s grade. You can find all of the different class pages on our Get Connected page of the Parent section of our website. Click the button below to see them.
Please note that these pages are administered by other parents and not by STEM.
Hiring for an IT Help Desk Technician
Our IT/Technology Support Team is hiring! They’re looking for a part-time IT technician to help during the school year from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and then from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday in the summer months. If you or someone you know is a good fit for this position, please check out the job description via the button below and follow the steps to apply.
Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!
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.
Girls in Aviation Day at Wings Over the Rockies
Girls in Aviation Day event will be at Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport on Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Unlike some of the past events that had structured activities, a large portion of this year is geared more toward giving girls the opportunity to get a closer look at career opportunities in aviation and aerospace. There will be representatives from airlines, flight schools, and aerospace colleges and companies to talk one on one with and learn from like a career fair. This event is free for girls 8-18, so please RSVP, any parents who wish to accompany them throughout the event will need to pay the $12 entrance fee for Wings Over the Rockies.
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 www.collegeboard.org.
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 yearbookforever.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
After purchase, you will be emailed a confirmation receipt. You may also verify your order at yearbookforever.com by entering your email in the “Find an Order” field.
School Lunches are NOT 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. email@example.com /(720) 688-2928.
DCSD News and Resources
Mental Health Resource of the Week
We Can All Prevent Suicide
Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.
Literary Resource of the Week
Nominate Your School Librarian for the “I Love My Librarian” Award
Up to ten exceptional school, public, and college/university librarians will be selected to receive $5,000 in recognition of their service to their communities through the American Library Association’s “I Love My Librarian” Award. The deadline for submissions is September 30.
Total Wellness Resource of the Week
HEADS UP to Youth Sports
To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, CDC developed the HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The HEADS UP initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion.
2023 U.S. Senate Youth Program Application available
The United States Senate Youth Program application for Colorado students is available. The 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week is being planned for March 4–11, in Washington, D.C. Each delegate will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.
High school juniors or seniors with demonstrated leadership by serving in elected or appointed positions in which they are actively representing a constituency in organizations related to student government, education, public affairs and community service are eligible to apply.
Applications are due on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
CDE Blended and Online Learning Survey
The Colorado Department of Education is seeking to understand public perception – from parents, students, educators, and education leaders on the need and desire for blended learning opportunities for students in the years ahead. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 23. Feedback gathered will help CDE prepare for the second part of this work, which will be to conduct regional, in-person focus groups.
Youth Congress - Friday, Oct. 7
Calling all DCSD high schoolers! The Douglas County Youth Initiative invites you to attend Youth Congress, an event where adult leaders work with youth on issues that affect the lives of Douglas County youth. This year’s topics will include: Mental Health Classes, Youth Criminal Justice, Pressure to Succeed, School Safety, Dogs in Schools, Youth Voice, Finances, and Trade School. The event takes place on Friday, October 7 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at the DCSD Legacy Campus in Lone Tree.