Secondary News and Updates (10/30/20)

Secondary-School News

Checking in with Mr Dan Hoffman, Interim High School Director

During my time at STEM one of the things that sticks out to me the most is the passion, dedication and resolve of our students and staff. Both groups of stakeholders work in synergy together to build a culture of high expectations and high support. This year’s High School faculty team is brimming with talent, care, compassion and teaching prowess. New instructors are bringing a fresh perspective to teaching that is pairing powerfully with the local wisdom embedded in our veteran staff members. Meanwhile, our students are demonstrating their determination and grit.

Now is the Time to Think About Next Year for Your Student!

Please complete the Intent to Return to STEM form by November 30, 2020

Do you Intend to Return for the 2021/22 School Year?

For enrollment planning purposes, please let us know, either way, if your child plans to return to STEM School Highlands Ranch next year.

Please complete this form for each of your currently attending STEM students. If you are currently enrolled at STEM please let us know that your child is returning. You do not need to “open enroll” to remain at STEM. If your child is currently attending STEM, they will be automatically enrolled for next year. Please also complete the form if your student is planning to seek enrollment at another school so that we can have an accurate count of returning students.

Do you Have a Sibling Who Wants to Attend STEM Next Year?

Does your current STEM student have a sibling who is interested in attending STEM for the 2021/22 school year? Did you know that they have priority on our waitlist? Please add them to our waitlist now! STEM’s open enrollment is now open and we will begin notifying families of accepted spots for the 2021/22 school year beginning December 1st.

Now Accepting Names for the 2021/2022 School Year!

STEM is now accepting names for the waitlist for 2021/22 and beyond. Please spread the word to your family and friends. They can add their child to the waitlist here! We will begin notifying families of accepted spots beginning on December 1, 2020. Please note that STEM does not follow the Douglas County Open Enrollment process.

Intent to Attend Your Neighborhood School

If you wish to attend your neighborhood school, you must return this form to that school no later than January 5th. This will allow your child to attend that school in the fall of next year (2021/22).

Questions? Please call the MS office at 303-683-7836 or check the website for more enrollment information.

Volunteer News!

*Due to COVID 19, no visitors or volunteers are allowed inside the building at this time. Volunteer requirements will be adjusted as needed. If you are making a donation, please keep track of your donated items for the time being until we provide additional instructions on how to log your hours.

Volunteer opportunities below are all outside of the school building.

We need Driveline Volunteers

If you have some extra time in the mornings or afternoons, please consider signing up to volunteer for our Secondary School Driveline. We need volunteers to help from 7:20-7:50 a.m. with unloading students from their cars and directing cars through the parking lot. In the afternoon, we need volunteers to help from 2:30-3:15 p.m. to assist with student safety and traffic in the parking lot.

If you are interested, please enter through the Middle School lobby, register as a visitor and complete the health screening form. Masks are required.

Donations Needed!

Additionally, we have an ongoing need for classroom and healthroom donations. Click the link to the right to see all of the donation items that we are collecting for, and to sign up.

School Photos Update

To view your student’s school photo proofs, visit DR Photos and select the link School Portrait Proof. Use your student’s ID number to access their proofs and place any orders that you’d like.

Students may make an appointment to have a photo taken at our photographer’s studio. DR Photo – 8110 W Brandon Dr, Littleton, CO 80125. Click here to set up an appointment.

Calling All STEM Super Spellers in 4th through 8th Grade

The STEM School Highlands Ranch Spelling Bee is open to all students in grades 4–8. The classroom-level Spelling Bee is voluntary and is a paper and pencil test.

Fourth and fifth grade students will be offered the opportunity to take the assessment on Thursday, Nov. 12 during class time.

Middle School students who attend STEM in person will take the assessment on either Tuesday, Nov. 10 or Thursday, Nov. 12 after school with Mrs. Ridder in the Middle School Cafeteria. Students interested in taking the Spelling Bee Test, must sign-up in advance to be placed in your correct cohort. Mrs. Ridder will reach out to students with the day and time for the test.

100% Virtual/Online Learners in grades fourth through eighth who are interested in taking the assessment can do so at STEM on Friday, Nov. 13, however they must sign-up in advance. This test will be proctored by our Instructional Assistants in the Middle School Cafeteria with social-distance seating requirements and a limited number of attendees in each session.

The top four students from each grade level will be selected after this assessment to participate in the 2020-21 STEM School Spelling Bee after school on Thursday, Dec. 10. Due to COVID-19, we will only have our students and judges in attendance to provide a safer environment. Friends and families may only view the Spelling Bee via Zoom.

Students and/or parents may access study “word” lists at under the parents tab.

FREE Meals for Hybrid and Virtual Learners from DCSD

Nutrition Services is excited to announce that, effective immediately, ALL meals served in school are now free for all students. Free meals include all entrees (except Subway at High Schools) with fruit or veggies, and/or milk. As a reminder, STEM does not serve breakfast.

For Virtual/Online Learners, DCSD will be providing weekly remote meal bag pick-ups at all neighborhood Middle Schools in Douglas County (pick-up not available at STEM). These bags will contain five breakfast/lunches for Virtual/Online Learners and three breakfast/lunches for Hybrid learners. Meal pick-ups do NOT require pre-order. Simply pull up to our curbside pickup locations and request a meal for kids, just like our Summer Feeding sites. Kids do not need to attend DCSD Schools and do not need to be present for pickup. Please see the flier to right right for more information.

Enrichment News

Middle School Boys Basketball
As in previous years, we will be partnering with Highlands Ranch Rec Center to offer Boys Basketball through their youth league. Click the button to the right to express interest.

TSA – Middle & High School
TSA (Technology Student Association) Meetings have begun! It’s not too late to join. This year’s meetings and state conference will all be virtual. Click the button to the right to sign-up.

STEM College Advice Alumni Panel

Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 6-8 p.m. via Zoom

This event is for all secondary families interested in hearing advice about the college experience and application process from graduates of STEM. Students from both in-state and out-of-state universities will answer questions about the college application process and discuss their educational experiences at their respective universities. Click the button below to register. A Zoom link will be provided via email after registration.

STEM Alumni Panel

Opportunity for Women in Grades 9-12

Deadline to Apply is November 5

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) is a nation-wide program aimed at significantly increasing the meaningful participation of women and girls in tech and the award comes with scholarships from over 600 colleges and universities in the United States as well as jobs and internship opportunities both in your state and throughout the country from our 1,100 corporate and business partners. Awardees also receive, in addition to swag and some amazing prizes, an individual trophy AND a trophy for their school, so you can scoot over the basketball trophies and make some room for the next generation of tech talent at your school.

The Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) recognizes students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary in grades 9-12 for their passion in computing and tech and connects them to a community of like-minded individuals who care and are taking action to see the next generation succeed. Regional Winners and Honorable Mentions will be recognized at your local NCWIT Ceremony with prizes, trophies, and some amazing speakers. National Award Winners receive cash and a trip to the National Award Celebration in March 2021, hosted by Bank of America.

Each application requires an educator endorsement – so you play a key role in encouraging your students to apply and then endorsing their application. Fill out this form and NCWIT will email your student and encourage them to apply.

STEM PTO Restaurant Night at Freddy’s Steakburger

Thursday, Nov. 12, from 4-8 p.m.

Leave the cooking for another night and join us at Freddy’s instead! Join STEM PTO at Freddy’s in Highlands Ranch for a night of food, fun and fundraising. Show the flier via the button below either in print or on your phone, when you place your order. 15% of all earned sales through this fundraiser will be donated to STEM. Don’t forget to mention the STEMPTO Fundraiser to get proper credit. This offer is valid in the drive thru or as dine-in.

High Schoolers- Register for Virtual Field Trip- UCCS Ethics in Cybersecurity

Friday, Nov. 13

High School students are invited to take part in a Virtual Field trip to UCCS for an Ethics in Cybersecurity Event on Friday, Nov. 13. Click the link below for more information and to register.

Innovation Challenge

Attention Middle and High School students!

What if you could build a better world? The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego is calling for middle and high school students to join in their effort to make a local and global impact.  Through the Jacobs Teen Innovation Challenge in fall 2020 and spring 2021, students will develop an innovator’s mindset and the skills to create solutions to local or global problems. This is an amazing opportunity for you to apply for Innovation Challenge and win awards.

  • The 1st Place Team will be able to designate a charity* to receive $1000 in the team’s name.
  • The 2nd Place Team will be able to designate a charity* to receive $750 in the team’s name.
  • The 3rd Place Team will be able to designate a charity* to receive $500 in the team’s name.
  • The 4th and 5th Place Teams will be able to designate a charity* to receive $250 in the team’s name.

Deadline to submit your interest is November 10, 2020. If you are interested please email Ms. Simi Basu at simi.basu@ with below details:

  1. Student Complete Name
  2. Student Grade
  3. Why would you like to join this innovation challenge.

2020-21 Future Leaders Program Accepting Applications

Applications for the 2020-21 Future Leaders program presented by CBS 4 and PDC Energy are being accepted, to recognize Colorado High School students excelling in STEM. Teachers, parents, mentors and others are encouraged to nominate students who they believe will be Colorado’s future STEM leaders. Nominations will be accepted through April. One student will be selected each month for the award that includes $1,000 and a student profile on CBS4. Nominations should include basic information on the student and their STEM field of study/focus, and any extraordinary circumstances/obstacles that student has had to overcome in order to pursue their studies.

Secondary Yearbook Info

All Secondary Students can pick up their yearbooks from last school year at the Middle School Front Office. People who have yet to purchase their yearbooks from the 2019-2020 school year and would like one can email sherry.wise@ to request and get payment information.

Online ordering is now available for 2020-21 Yearbooks. Click here to purchase yours today!

Senior Photo Information

The last date to submit a senior picture for the yearbook is October 30, 2020. Aaron Guggenheim (aaron.guggenheim@ is our new Yearbook Advisor. Click here to view a helpful flier with important date and information on photos.

Class T-Shirt Ordering Now Available

Thank you for your patience! High School student government has created the order forms for students to sign-up and order their class t-shirts. Click on the respective links to the right to place your order today! Information on delivery will be provided at a later day. Orders will be submitted next Friday.

Canvas Parent Resources

The following resources should be helpful for parents who are using Canvas to observe their child:
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