Secondary News and Updates (10/08/21)

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.

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.

Elementary Library Organizer

We are in need of at least (2) volunteers to help organize the ES Library for possibly a couple of days. Mornings, after the driveline, would be the ideal time, about 8-9 a.m. starting time. Volunteers will need to be able to use an iPad with an app (provided by us) to scan books and organize them by reading levels to be shelved in our “library”. If you are interested, contact Mona Loptien (

Lego Organizer

We are looking for parent volunteers to help organize all of our Lego materials. Please contact Michelle Gasser ( if you are interested.

Volunteer of the Month

Our volunteer of the Month for September is Terri Irish with 68 logged hours to date. Terri’s dedication to the Drive-Line is amazing, and we are more than grateful. Thank you Terri!!!

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

STEM PTO's STEMGives Campaign Underway

October 4 through December 7

STEMGives! is your opportunity to support your school, teachers, students and staff! Your donations help the STEM PTO to provide money directly to the school for teacher and school grants/requests and fund the STEM PTO’s activities, fundraisers and events. The campaign will run from October 4 through December 7 and all donations can be made online or via check.


  • The PTO will be accepting online donations through Colorado Gives at the link below. Colorado Gives is an online donation site that accepts credit cards, debit cards and bank account transfers. Donations can be made one time or recurring/monthly. $200/family or $20/month will make a great impact!
  • Donors can also pay by check. Checks should be made out to STEM PTO (write STEM Gives! in the memo) and delivered to the STEM Middle School office. Checks can also be mailed to the STEM Middle School Office at:

STEM School Highlands Ranch
℅ STEM PTO Treasurer
8773 S Ridgeline Blvd
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

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. Click the button below for more information.

Secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thursday, Oct. 14, from 3:30-7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 15, from 12-3:30 p.m.

Secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 3:30-7 p.m., and will be held again on Friday, Oct. 15 from 12-3:30 p.m. While conferences are open for anyone to attend, teachers will be communicating directly with parents of students who may be struggling, to set up a time during these two windows so that teachers can share with parents areas for their students to improve. Teachers will have 10-minutes sessions with each parent(s) and student (if the student attends).

Colorado Free Application Days

Tuesday, Oct. 19 through Thursday, Oct. 21

In 2021, Colorado’s Free Application Day has expanded to become “Free Application Day$.” The fourth annual state-wide initiative has grown from one day to three days. Applicants who submit their admission applications to Colorado’s colleges and universities during this three-day period can do so for free. Just follow the application instructions listed at the link below.

And remember, while the application must be submitted during this three-day period to be eligible for the fee waiver, applicants can begin working on their admission applications now. Just save your online work and submit the admission application October 19 – 21.

Advent Health University Fall Open House

Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 5-7 p.m. 

Learn about AHU degree programs, meet their dedicated faculty and staff, and have your questions answered. Join them for the Virtual Open House and receive a voucher to waive your application fee*.

*Undergraduate programs only.”

Contact Cece Carrico, Marketing and Lead Strategist, AHU Denver at with any questions.

News and Updates

School Picture Retakes and Orders

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

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 right to schedule your appointment.

8th/9th Grade Boston Trip Registration and Meeting Video

If you couldn’t make it to the informational meeting that was held this week, click the button below to watch the video. Any more questions should be directed to Mrs. Heather Dillon ( or our WorldStrides representative, Kaitlyn Maulick (, for assistance.

Interested in registering for the trip?

Be sure to do so no later than Tuesday, Oct. 13. Click the button below to access the registration form. Use the Trip ID 199209. You can sign up by phone with customer service at 1-800-468-5899. It is only a $99 deposit to sign up.

Additional details to know about our trip:

  • FLAG financial assistance may also be available to help offset your trip price. Learn more about FLAG by calling 800-468-5899.
    Fundraising is also available. Learn more at
  • Payment plans, including Extended Payment Options (pay through December of 2022!), are available to help lower your monthly payments. Call customer service to inquire about our extended payment options.
  • The health and safety of our travelers have always been and always will be our top priority. This is especially true now more than ever. Our dedication to health and safety has allowed us to successfully depart about 55,000 students on travel programs this past summer. Learn about the health and safety measures that will be in place for your trip at to ensure you have the best trip ever.

October College and Career Newsletter

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

STEM Scholar Community Service Requirements

In order to earn the STEM Scholar recognition, students are required to log 100 hours of community service. For the graduating Class of 2022, we are modifying that requirement to 75 hours, due to the covid restrictions in place during the 2020-21 school year.

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 Checklist for Graduation

Visit the High School section of the Secondary Academic Counseling and Support page of our website to find the Senior Checklist information and important dates as you prepare for graduation.

Secondary Student-Discipline Update from STEM Directors

While not our most trying year, this year has not come without its share of challenges. In order to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, the Secondary Building Directors have developed additional guidelines for student behavior, effective immediately. This plan will give every student the opportunity to manage his or her own behavior and will be in effect at all times. Students will always be given an opportunity to tell “their side of the story.” All student behavior will continue to be tracked in our tracking forms and we will start to document it in Infinite Campus.

The STEM Staff will continue to applaud appropriate behavior with positive reinforcement; however, if a student chooses to misbehave, the Discipline Plan will be utilized.

High School Students! Need Counseling Support?

Attention High School Students! You may have seen the neon orange signs around campus and in your classrooms with a QR code. If you need to see Mrs. Woodward or Mrs. Langston for any reason, please use the QR code on the sign, which will take you to a quick google form. We will then call you down to the High School Counseling office during the period you requested or as soon as we can. If you have an urgent matter or an emergency during school hours, you don’t need to complete the form, just come on down. If you would like to visit with Mrs. Myrick about college applications, post-grad plans, etc, you may use this code for that as well.

If you are concerned about a friend or peer who may need some extra support, you may also use the form for that. Please note that this form is not monitored 24 hours a day and should not be used in an emergency situation.

STEM QR code

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.

Yearbook Staff Student Survey

The yearbook staff would like STEM students in grades 6-12 to complete the Student Survey via the button below, to share more about the languages they speak at home. The staff would like to use the information to create a spread in the yearbook to celebrate our diversity and the number of cultures that are represented at STEM. The survey is for students only.

Nominate a High School Student for CBS Denver Future Leaders Scholarship

Nominations are now open for the CBS Denver Future Leaders Scholarship. If you know a High School student who is thriving in the STEM core subjects please consider nominating them for this $1,000 scholarship.

Click the button below to access the nomination form and to find out more. One student will be selected each month to receive this special recognition award that will include a $1,000 award along with a student profile on CBS4. The nomination window will run through April 22, 2022.

Information about Course Credits and Transcripts - Juniors & Seniors

For students who are interested in dropping any High School credits that were earned in Middle School (because it will negatively affect their GPA), please complete the form via the button below.  Please note, the course will still show up on your transcript, but the credit and GPA calculations disappear. Students must make sure that they still have the required credits in that content area.

  • Juniors must turn the form in by the end of this semester.
  • Seniors must turn the form in by Friday, March 11.

Career Discovery Information fort STEM HS Students

We are excited to announce mentorships and internships for STEM High School students. By simply filling out the Career Discovery application, High School students’ interests will be matched with subject matter experts in mentorships or internships.

Finding Industry Partners

One way to help Career Discovery support mentorships and internships is to share the Building Ships webpage with subject matter experts in businesses and industries. Please direct any prospective industry or business mentors to the survey. LINK We are inviting industry, community, and businesses to join us in making sure every student has the kind of “ships” that promote kindness, readiness for future careers, and passion for infinite opportunities to help humanity.

Internship Beyond STEM Career Discovery

Students are encouraged to research internship opportunities outside of STEM. Many of these may qualify for STEM Internship Credit. Our Career Discovery team is available to help students navigate opportunities outside of STEM as well as the policies and paperwork required by DCSD and the state.

What Makes STEM Career Discovery Unique?

We are able to work with subject matter experts to design mentorships and internships that align with our student’s interests. Our Building Ships Executive-Level Advisory Board works with us to make sure our efforts prepare students to thrive in their future careers and lives. We collaborate with other schools, educational organizations, and state organizations like Colorado Workforce Development to make sure our students are connected with an entire network of support.

Student and Parent Voices

We would like to create HS Student and Parent Advisory Committees to inform our efforts. If you are a high school student or parent that would like to be involved in an advisory committee, please complete this interest survey.

For more information about mentorships and internships, please contact Gregg Cannady (


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!

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.

Resources and News from DCSD

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Douglas County Youth & Family Resource Guide

If you and your family are looking for local resources on psychiatric support, childcare, human services, emergency assistance, and more, check out this guide from the Douglas County Youth Initiative.

Literacy Resource of the Week

Helping Children Build Language Skills

Parents can help their children develop their language abilities by tuning in to what they say and responding in ways that result in more talk.

Total Wellness Resources of the Week

Did you know that your child’s brain will stop functioning efficiently after about 20-30 minutes of sitting still? Set a timer during homework time and work in easy brain breaks! Take two to five minutes to do jumping jacks, a spring in the backyard, or quickly play with the dog. When it’s time to return to homework, have your child balance on one foot and take three deep breaths. They will be ready to focus on homework again.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across our Nation, ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. Check out the DCSD Information Technology department website for weekly ways you can implement stronger security practices.

Student-Led Board of Education Candidate Forums

DCSD students will be hosting three Board of Education Candidate Forums to give parents, staff and community members the opportunity to get to know the candidates running for four seats on the DCSD Board of Education. These forums will be led by student groups at each school, including members of the DCSD Student Advisory Group, and community members will be able to watch them in-person or online. All candidates running for the DCSD Board of Education have been invited to participate.

Monday, October 11
ThunderRidge High School
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
1991 W. Wildcat Reserve Pkwy., Highlands Ranch
Click here to view on YouTube | Click here to RSVP

Wednesday, October 13
Castle View High School
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
5254 N Meadows Dr, Castle Rock
Click here to RSVP | Click here to view on YouTube

Monday, October 25
Legend High School
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
22219 Hilltop Rd, Parker
Click here to RSVP | Click here to view on YouTube

DCSD Parent University

How Parents Can Support Psychological and Physical Safety in Schools (In-Partnership with Sky Ridge Medical Center)

Wednesday, Oct. 27 | 5-5:45 p.m. – Online

Join DCSD Director of Mental Health, Dr. Stephanie Crawford-Goetz, and DCSD Director of Safety and Security, Jonny Grusing, for an overview of district safety procedures. They will discuss the ways safety drills like the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) are done with psychological safety in mind. They will also cover methods and procedures for suicide safety and threat assessment in schools. Finally, you will walk away knowing how parents are vital in contributing to a culture of safety, security and well-being.

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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