Secondary News and Updates (10/15/21)

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.

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

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.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting

Monday, Oct. 25, from 5-7 p.m. – High School Commons

STEM’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, Oct. 25 from 5-7 p.m., in the High School Commons. Reach out to K-8 Dean Amie McElroy ( with any questions.

STEM Improv and Sketch Comedy Show

Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 6-7 p.m – Middle School Cafeteria

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 original comedy video to top it all off!!! Tickets are $5 and you can contact with any questions.

Volleyball Senior night

Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 6-8 p.m – Panorama

Come to the final home game of the season for the Spartans. Seniors will be honored for their hard work before the game begins. The game and celebration will be at Panorama 1060 Plaza Dr. Highlands Ranch 80129.

Trunk or Treat

Friday, Oct. 29, from 4:30-6:30 p.m – Elementary Parking Lot

Join us as STEM’s clubs, staff and community will show their Halloween spirit by decorating their trunks for STEM’s Annual Trunk or Treat. Anyone can walk around the Elementary Parking Lot and gather treats from the trunks.

Have questions? Contact Brinda Malik or Karen Adam

Want to donate candy? Click the button below to sign-up. Please mark the candy Trunk or Treat and bring it to the Secondary Office no later than Thursday, Oct. 28.

DCSD Career and College Exploration

Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

To prepare DCSD students for postsecondary success, DCSD’s Postsecondary Readiness Department is hosting a Postsecondary Readiness Expo for all DCSD students. Students will have the opportunity to visit virtually with representatives within a specific industry or field to learn about career pathways and postsecondary options.

Just A Few Of The Scheduled Industry Representatives

  • NV5
  • RTD

*There will be several college, university, and military branch booths to explore.  *Virtual Q&A meetings have been scheduled, however most engagement will take place during targeted CTE courses. Times and links to the meetings will be located in the “Q&A Schedule” tab on the Expo website (access link will be shared on the morning of Oct. 1 – pass along to your interested students for them to explore). For additional information: contact Kathy Frommer, PSR WBL Specialist, at

STEM Student Forum

Friday, Nov. 5, from 3-3:45 p.m. – High School Commons

Join the STEM Student Advisory Committee and members of the STEM Administration Team at the first Student Forum of the school year. We’ll be in the High School Commons on Friday, Nov. 5, from 3-3:45 p.m. Click the button below to sign-up.

Parent Coffee with Administration

Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 8-9 a.m – Elementary School Cafeteria

On Wednesday, Nov. 17 we will be holding a Coffee with Administration event from 8-9 a.m. at our Elementary School Cafeteria. We are asking our families to sign up in advance so that we can plan for coffee and light pastries.

News and Updates

CoGAT Testing Coming Up for Fifth and Sixth Graders

DCSD is committed to implementing equitable practices to increase access to advanced/gifted learning opportunities. Based on state and national recommendations and requirements, we implement Universal Screening for students in 2nd grade (February) and 5th the student’s final year of elementary school (November).

5th/6th Grade Universal Screen

As part of this process, ALL students in 5th grade not identified for gifted programming will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) the week of November 1st for 5th grade and November 8th for 6th grade. This assessment indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to grade and age mates. These general reasoning abilities, which start developing at birth and continue through early adulthood, are influenced by experiences gained both in and out of school.

If your child missed their regular universal CogAT screening last year, they will be assessed during this window. This would pertain to students currently in 3rd and possibly 6th or 7th grade (depending on the last grade in elementary).

If your child is already identified for gifted programming, they will not participate in this universal screen testing. Your Gifted Education Facilitator will contact you directly with information about this process.

Gifted Identification Referral Testing

  • If your child is in grades 3, 4, and you believe he/she needs evaluation for Gifted Identification and Services, you may refer your child for testing by initiating the Gifted Identification Process.
  • NOTE: Requesting this assessment automatically initiates the process to evaluate for Gifted Identification.
  • Please request CogAT testing for your child by completing the Referral for Gifted Identification via the button below.
  • Upon receipt of this form, the Gifted Education Facilitator, Jon Jennings, will connect with you to discuss the next steps in the gifted identification process.

Congrats to Middle School Student Government Officers

Congratulations to the following students who were voted in as Middle School Student Government Officers.

  • President: Emery Doser
  • Vice President: Shaivi Koul
  • Treasurer: Arshia Koul
  • Secretary: Misha Parikh

Winter Sports Start Soon!

Girls’ and boys’ basketball season is just around the corner. The first practice will be on Monday, Nov. 15. The cost of participation is $350, and all student-athletes will need to submit an updated physical when completing registration. The registration window will open on Friday, Oct. 22, and we will take registrations until the beginning of the season. It is important that we get enough students to field a team, so please help us get the word out!

Please contact High School & Athletics Director Ryan Alsup at for more information.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (

Future impact on Parking at the STEM Campus

Following the groundbreaking of the new CHSAA Gym/Building Remodel Project, the High School Staff Parking Lot will be fenced off to allow the construction company to stage all their equipment. No staff parking or vehicle access will be allowed in this parking lot. We are sharing this information because we know that several parents are using this lot as a pick-up and drop-off area, which is not permitted via our Transportation Management Plan. We are asking all families to please use the approved avenues for pick-up that are outlined in our TMP.


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

The Happily Family Conference is a free, online conference taking place now through October 18, which features guest speakers on topics related to promoting mindful parenting and mental wellness. Join over 100 thousand parents, professionals, researchers, and authors sharing the science of parenting. Get practical tools to make everyday family life easier.

Literacy Resource of the Week

Want to keep your children reading during Fall Break, but not sure which books are best to match your child’s reading level and foster growth in literacy? Check out these great resources!

Total Wellness Resources of the Week

It’s well known that proper sleep is essential to a child’s development. But for the 15–25 percent of kids and teens who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, getting adequate rest can feel daunting. This article from the Sleep Foundation provides some great Sleep Strategies for Children. Find this and more resources from DCSD Healthy Schools.

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 are hosting 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. Two forums took place this week at ThunderRidge High School and Castle View High School. Click the links to view the recordings. The final Candidate Forum takes place at Legend High School after Fall Break.

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.

Elementary Literacy: The Importance of Reading Aloud With Your Child

In Partnership With Sky Ridge Medical Center
Wednesday, October 27 | 5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Free Online Webinar

Join Kathy Tirrill, DCSD Literacy Interventions Coordinator, to discover simple ways you can help your child engage with language. You will learn why reading aloud is important, what kind of questions to ask your child, and how to choose the right books to expand their independent reading. Moreover, you will find ways to strengthen your parent-child relationship through quality time spent reading together.

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