Secondary News and Updates (09/24/21)

Secondary-School News

Please help us with Official Student Count Day

Douglas County Pupil Count Day is Friday, Oct. 1. Please be sure to have your student in attendance for the full day whether it be in person or virtual. If possible, we ask that you avoid scheduling any appointments for your student on that day. We want to have all of our students present and counted. This will affect the overall funding for our school. We appreciate your help!

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.

Lunchroom Volunteers:

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

Lost and Found Coordinator

We’re seeking a Coordinator for our Elementary and Secondary Lost and Found. The coordinator would need to:

  • Tidy lost and found as needed
  • Help get Elementary items with names on them back to their owners (coordinate with Volunteer Coordinator)
  • Organize remaining items to get them ready for donation (at school breaks)

Have questions? Email Want to sign-up to be the coordinator? Click here.

Classroom Wishlists

Teachers always need additional supplies throughout the year in order to enhance their students’ experiences. Consider making a donation to a teacher’s classroom by getting something off their Wish List. You can view all of our teachers’ wishlists on our Parent Get Involved page, or by clicking the button below.

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

P-TECH Enrollment Sign-Up Deadline

Sunday, Sept. 26 – Enrollment Deadline

For those who may not know, STEM School Highlands Ranch is one of only seven schools in the State of Colorado that has the P-TECH Program. P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology, Early College High Schools and is a program that works in partnership with industry partners and Arapahoe Community College to offer students an opportunity to head on a Mechatronics pathway, which involves aspects of mechanical, computer and electrical engineering.

The P-TECH program is designed to prepare students for high-potential careers in STEM industries by enabling them to graduate with a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree. Students may also earn pre-apprenticeship certificates and other industry-recognized certificates in addition to an associate degree.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting

Monday, Sept. 27 from 5-7 p.m. – High School Commons

The DEI Committee at STEM meets monthly in the High School Commons from 5-7 p.m. to discuss how STEM can ensure equity and inclusion. Anyone is welcome to attend and be part of the discussion.

STEM Sketch and Improv Comedy Show!

Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 6-7 p.m.

It’s Saturday Night Live, but on a Wednesday! It’s like Who’s Line is it Anyway?, and we REALLY don’t know who’s line it is! Come see STEM’s brand new sketch and improv comedy show. You’ll see hilarious original comedy sketches, witty improv from STEM’s brilliant middle school and high school minds, and an original comedy video to top it all off. Tickets are $5 each.


Senior Parent College Night Session

Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 5:30-8 p.m. in the High School Commons

College application information session for High School seniors that includes financial aid presentation for seniors and their parents. Email with any questions.

8th/9th Grade Boston Trip Parent Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. via Zoom

This year, we are offering 8th and 9th graders a four-day STEM-based field trip to Boston in May. The trip is custom-tailored to our STEM students and will include a variety of fun activities designed to challenge students and allow them to see what a future in a STEM field might look like. It is important that parents attend a short information meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, via Zoom to get more details and have an opportunity to ask questions. Email with any questions.

Middle School Assembly

Friday, Oct. 1, starting during 6th period

Middle School Director Maura Ridder and her team will be holding a Middle School Assembly on Friday, Oct. 1 in the afternoon. The assembly will cover behavior rules and expectations, as well as introduce the new consequences for breaking the rules.

8th/9th Grade Boston Trip Parent Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. via Zoom

This year, we are offering 8th and 9th graders a four-day STEM-based field trip to Boston in May. The trip is custom-tailored to our STEM students and will include a variety of fun activities designed to challenge students and allow them to see what a future in a STEM field might look like. It is important that parents attend a short information meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, via Zoom to get more details and have an opportunity to ask questions. Email with any questions.

PSAT 8/9 Coming Up for 7th and 8th Graders

Thursday, Oct. 7, from 7:40-11 a.m.

On October 7, 2021 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. Students in grades K-6 and 9-12 will follow their typical schedules.

School Picture Retakes

Families can access their photos by visiting the link below or going to, selecting the School Portrait Proofs link, and when prompted enter their private password in the following format: Student ID#

Friday, Oct. 8 – Photo Retake Day

  • Elementary students will go in small groups with their homeroom teacher.
    • Parents MUST sign-up their Elementary Student for retakes (so that we know which student will need to go down with an EA to have their picture taken)
  • Secondary students will go during their study hall.
    • If a student does NOT have a study hall, they can get their photo during their lunch break.

For virtual students, appointments will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. from September 14 – October 21. Click the link to the below to schedule your appointment.

PSAT/MNSQT testing for Juniors and SAT testing for Seniors set for October 13

Wednesday, Oct. 13

Juniors will be taking the PSAT/MNSQT test on Wednesday, Oct. 13, along with seniors who signed up for the SAT. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.

News and Updates

Water Fountains now Water Bottle Filling Stations

In an effort to minimize the spread of germs the ES & MS water fountains will be water bottle filling stations only. Please remind your students to bring a water bottle (labeled with their name).

Senior Information from Jostens

It’s time for the Senior Class of 2022 to place their Graduation Order anytime during SENIOR WEEK! The Deadline has been extended to Sunday, Sept. 26. Please proceed by clicking the appropriate button to the right, to place your order for Cap & Gown, Graduation Announcements & Senior Class Jewelry.

After Prom Parent Committee 2022 Needs You!

After Prom Logo

Help us create a memorable After Prom.  The After Prom PTO/Parent Committee is seeking volunteers to assist with planning, coordinating, and help at the actual event in April. A few years ago, we started the tradition with parents of juniors planning the event and we would like to continue that custom, but we welcome any and all help. We want to create a themed evening of fun, food, and activities in a safe environment for our amazing juniors and seniors. If interested, please contact

Code Quest Academy

Your Quest Awaits…

Explore new horizons in computer programming as you work to solve problems from Lockheed Martin’s Code Quest® events as well as never-before-seen problems. Problems range in difficulty, so there’s something for everyone, no matter if you’re just joining the expedition into programming, or if you’re a seasoned explorer. Should you get lost along the way, volunteers from Lockheed Martin are standing by to help get you back on track. Share your results with others and help inspire each other to even greater heights. Start your journey, and see what your quest can achieve!

Order yearbooks while prices are low!

Attention Middle School and High School students!

Don’t forget to purchase your yearbooks. Go to to buy your yearbook for $45. Buy it while you can because come October 31 the price goes up to $55. Additionally, if you would like your photo in the yearbook, you can share your photos with us. You can share them using the Yearbook Snap app using the code STEM22. It’s available on the App Store and Google Play Store, download it today and share those photos. If you have any questions about the yearbook or how to use Yearbook Snap, please email one of the yearbook editors-in-chief at and or stop by room 110 after school.

AI Enrichment program by MIT Graduates

Inspirit AI, an artificial intelligence enrichment program, is looking for middle or high school students interested in working on AI projects run by MIT graduates. Projects can range from subjects in STEM, arts, social sciences, business, and more. If you’re interested, the application deadline is September 30. You can email Aidan Goltra ( for more information. The link to apply is below.

Seeking DECA / FBLA Parent Volunteer

Mrs. Doe is seeking parent volunteers to support DECA and FBLA. Consider your time as an Advisory role to the Business Department (Mrs. Doe). Industry support keeps relevancy and career-centered skills as the focus of our mission. The two student-led business organizations are run together. We meet Tuesdays after school, first and third Tuesdays of each month, at STEM, Room 130, 3 p.m. Volunteers can come to each meeting, once a month, or on specially arranged visits. Any level of support would be appreciated. Volunteers must check-in at the Secondary Front Office and be badged through our Raptor system so please bring a valid ID with you.

Your support allows you to make a real difference in the preparation of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. Whether it’s through judging competitive events and discovering the detail and depth members put into their projects or sitting down with graduating members to answer their questions on college and careers, you’ll begin to see how DECA and FBLA members are ready to make an impact in our world.

We’re also seeking snack donations. Please being snacks, and drinks to the Secondary office. Label them for DECA/FBLA. Your donation will help make our meetings feel like a welcome place to work on projects.

Please contact Mrs. Doe ( if you are interested.

Business and Industry Mentors Needed

We are asking our STEM community to help us find businesses and industries willing to be mentors for the STEM Career Discovery Mentorship and Internships. On our “Building Ships” page of the STEM website, you can find a link to a survey we use to match student interests to subject matter experts. Our community partners help us find the best fit for students seeking mentorships and internships.

Our industry, business, and educational partners at STEM School Highlands Ranch are essential to student success. They help us understand real-world problems and solutions. As subject matter experts and community partners they empower student learning, support teachers, and help us prepare students for the future.

Click the button below for more information. For more information, contact Gregg Cannady (

Join the Math Honor Society

Hello STEM Spartans, do you like math or solving complex problems? If you do, Math Honor Society is for you! We compete in math competitions, have our annual PI day event, and many more new and exciting math-related, school-wide events. There is only one requirement to join MHS: a 3.0 GPA in two years of HS math. If you meet this requirement and want to participate in MHS, reach out to Isabelle McCall ( anytime until September 30 with a short paragraph on why you want to be a member and a copy of your transcript (reach out if you have any questions). Please let us know if you have any questions!

Mentorships and Internships for High School Students

Attention STEM High School students. We are so happy to announce mentorship and internship opportunities. Your first step is to fill out the Career Discovery Application. Click the button below to access the form.

Did you know?

Reminder on Early Dismissals

Students will need to be signed out by a parent at the respective office (Elementary or Secondary). The steps below outline the steps to follow in order to cause the least amount of disruption to the classroom:

  • Secondary:
    1. Pick your student up during the passing period. (Secondary)
    2. Send a signed note in with your Secondary student to receive an Early Dismissal Pass from the front office (students will be able to show this to their teacher before class begins, and leave at the appropriate time).
  • Elementary:
    1. Call ahead to the Front Office so that they are aware that you are coming.
    2. Elementary students will be released upon the arrival of their parents.

NO unscheduled early pickups are allowed after 1:15 p.m. This is to minimize disruption to the last period of the day. Additionally, for Elementary, please avoid picking up your student after 2 p.m. so that you are not impeding the Elementary Driveline. For Secondary, please avoid picking up your student after 2:30 p.m. so that you are not impeding the Secondary Driveline.


Spart Mart is open! The store will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays starting at 2:50 p.m. for Secondary and 2:25 p.m. for Elementary students (Not all Elementary students will be able to access the store so we strongly encourage using our online store). We have new merchandise for STEM spirit week and we have new food products such as Hi-Chew and Takis. Click the link below to order online and we will deliver it to the student during school hours, or leave it in the respective Front Offices for parent pick-up. Thank you for your support!

Resources and News from DCSD

Mental Health Resource of the Week

How to Help Kids Persevere at Hard or Boring Tasks

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley shows how kids can use a science-backed technique to help them persevere during hard or boring activities.”

Literacy Resource of the Week

Early Literacy Tips from the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Check out the simple ways caregivers can support early literacy development in young children using a day-by-day calendar with suggested activities and interactions.

DCSD Panel Discussion

Safety, Mental Health, and Social-Emotional Wellbeing

This week we hosted our first session in a series of Community Engagement events with a Panel Discussion featuring DCSD subject matter experts on mental health, social and emotional wellness, and security.

DCSD Parent University

Youth Vaping: Recognition, Prevention, and Intervention

Wednesday, September 29 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Teens may think e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco products, but research links vaping to health and behavioral risks that can affect a young person for years to come. Would you recognize if your child began vaping? Would you know how to prevent e-cigarette use? How would you intervene if your child is already vaping?

Learn how to answer these questions in a special 30-minute webinar with Dr. Katrina Iverson, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Director at Sky Ridge Medical Center. She will guide you on how vaping impacts a young person’s health, how it affects the broader community, and what you can do to make a difference today. Plus, learn how vaping can affect COVID-19 infections and other respiratory issues. The presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.

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