Secondary News and Updates (11/03/23)

Secondary-School News

Directors' Updates

A message from Mrs. Ridder, Middle School Director

Dear Middle School Families,

Two weeks until Thanksgiving Break! Our 7th-grade Seacampers are heading home. A wonderful time was had by all. Our second group of Seacampers heads out to San Diego next week. A big shout out to Ms. Dwyer for leading these terrific trips. Another big shout out to Ms. Dillon for taking our 8th graders on their third annual Boston trip. All the students I spoke to enjoyed an incredible experience! Please join us in encouraging all students to turn in any missing assignments over the next two weeks. Wishing you all a peaceful, relaxing Thanksgiving break. Here are a few updates and reminders from the Middle School:

The Prospective Spartan Showcase Event was a success!

THANK YOU to all of the staff, students, parents, families, PTO, SAC, Board, Enrichment clubs, and visitors for coming out to support our annual Prospective Spartan Event. It was a terrific turnout, and we are excited to watch our enrollment grow!

Please join us for a PTO meeting!

You are all always invited and welcome to join our monthly PTO meetings. You can join from the comfort of your home. They take place monthly via Zoom. Our next one is next Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. Please click this URL to join. Passcode: 190617

Annual Food Drive

Each year, our Elementary School collects canned foods to assemble Thanksgiving baskets for families in need at Doull Elementary School. We are now reaching out to our Secondary families to lend a hand. This year’s goal is to create 40 baskets. We are also asking for King Soopers gift cards in $25 increments. The drive will run through November 14. Donation boxes are located in the secondary and elementary offices.

Items needed:

  • Cranberry Sauce and Canned Fruit
  • Green beans, corn or other canned vegetables
  • Stuffing
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Cake or muffin mix and frosting
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Thank you, PTO

Thank you to our PTO and to our families for providing a delicious breakfast for our teacher PD day. All of our teachers are truly grateful for your generosity.

Important Dates

  • November 20-24 – Thanksgiving Break
  • December 23 – January 9 – Winter Break

Have a wonderful weekend!

In partnership,

Maura Ridder, Middle School Director

A message from Mr. Alsup, High School Director

Dear STEM students and families,

As the High School Director, I am always enthused by the energy of our students and the dedication of our staff. These past two weeks have been no exception. On Thursday, Nov. 2, we hosted our second annual Prospective Spartan Showcase Night. It was a huge success. We recognize that this is a busy time of year for everyone, but our students and staff dedicated their time to show off what our school offers. It always brings me joy when people from outside the STEM family get to see how special this place really is.

Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to visit several middle schools to talk to the 8th-grade students and families about STEM and what we have to offer. I truly believe this is a unique school, and the educational opportunities that we offer students are the best in the area, as demonstrated by our state and national rankings. However, as you know, the rankings do not tell the whole story. As I walk the halls and talk to our kids, I am reminded that this truly is a home away from home for our students. Because this is such a unique environment, I am always trying to find ways to get the word out so other students can take advantage of the excellent programming we offer. With that in mind, if you know of anyone who might be interested in joining the STEM family, please invite them to join us on a tour (every Wednesday at 9 a.m.). They are also welcome to visit our website and express their interest through the open enrollment process.

To recap the past two weeks, all of our fall sports completed their CHSAA seasons, ending with the boys’ cross country team placing 15th at state. I would also like to give a shout-out to all of our student-athletes! Our girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ soccer, and boys’ golf all had terrific seasons, and I am so proud of all of them! They all competed well and made lasting memories. This weekend, our Best Robotics team will compete at South Middle School in Aurora. The team has worked hard on the robots and will have an excellent time. Looking ahead, boys basketball is underway, so if anyone is interested in playing and hasn’t registered yet, please visit our athletics page.

Students, I need your help. Now that the weather has turned colder, we have more of you eating lunch indoors. Many of you would like to find a quiet place to eat in the hallways, however, that is something that we cannot continue to do. If you are eating lunch at school, I ask that you eat in the cafeteria. You are also welcome to go to the teacher’s classrooms if the teacher is open to that. Otherwise, people eating or hanging out in the hallways will be asked to go back to the cafeteria. Eating in the hallways causes noise disturbances for the classes, and the mess can attract visitors that we really don’t want to see.

Looking ahead, we only have a few more weeks left this semester. With that in mind, we must finish strong. Students, please continue to monitor your grades and complete your practice work so you can demonstrate proficiency on the assessments. If you have any questions about your progress, please feel free to reach out to your teachers, and they will be more than happy to give you a better idea of how you are doing. Please do not wait until the end of the semester. By then, it is too late.

Thanks, everyone! Go Spartans!


Ryan Alsup, High School Director
Proud to be a Spartan!

Upcoming Events

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.

STEM Thanksgiving Baskets Flier (Presentation)

KOSON/STEM BOD Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 5:30-7 p.m – Mechatronics Lab in P-TECH/KOSON Building & Zoom

The KOSON/STEM Board of Directors will be holding its Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 5:30-7 p.m. in person and via Zoom.  The BOD is comprised of parents and community members who volunteer their time. The Board’s role and purpose is to provide oversight of the KOSON Schools Chief Innovation Officer, who implements the policies set forth by the Board. The Board also provides support and direction for STEM’s long-term vision and mission. Additionally, the Board is active in making sure that KOSON Schools remains in compliance with all DCSD, state and federal compliance requirements, as well as STEM School Highlands Ranch’s Charter Contract.

Meetings are open to anyone to attend. Anyone who would like to address the Board Members must sign-up in advance by completing the Public Comment Form no later than 12 p.m. the day of each Board meeting. If written testimony or a handout is submitted, presenters are asked to supply one (1) copy via email to

STEM PTO Monthly Board Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 6:30-8 p.m. – Zoom

Join the STEM PTO for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 6:30-8 p.m. via Zoom.  STEM PTO is comprised of parents from the STEM community who work together to help foster a strong sense of community and provide enhancement activities for students, faculty, staff, and families while also helping to increase educational, social and emotional experiences for the members of their families.

STEM PTO is organized to enhance the quality of each student’s education, the school as a whole, and the entire community through the development of resources and the participation of parents, school staff, and the community. Meetings are open for anyone to attend.

News and Updates

Reminder! Please check your MySchookBucks Account

Our Business Office would like to request that all parents please verify their contact information in MySchoolBucks and update it if needed. Beginning November 20th, families with an outstanding balance will begin to receive late fees. Please reach out to with any questions.

Lost and Found Check

It’s time to check the Lost and Found in the Middle School Cafeteria and the High School Commons. We’re slowly starting to collect items like jackets, coffee mugs, water bottles and lunch boxes. Please ask your students to check the Lost and Founds to see if they have any items. At each school break, we donate items that are left in the Lost and Found to charity.

Holiday Meal Boxes from the Backpack Society

The Backpack Society is excited to offer Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday Boxes again this year! Families can find all the details on how to sign up for a box or how they can donate or get involved by using the links via the buttons below. There are a limited amount of meal boxes available, so please sign up! We have 250 Thanksgiving Boxes and 150 Winter Holiday Boxes.

Help a Middle School Student with a Survey for Class

One of our Secondary students is working on a project for Health class and is requesting parent feedback on her survey. Please click the button below to complete the survey. From the student: “The form is completely anonymous and is only used to see whether or not parents are willing to help their kids out by learning more about the difficulties of the parental pressure that they force on the students. It has one question and would help us collect data for a health project.”

College and Career Newsletter

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

Help a Middle School Student with a Survey for Class

One of our Secondary students is working on a project for Health class and is requesting parent feedback on her survey. Please click the button below to complete the survey. From the student: “The form is completely anonymous and is only used to see whether or not parents are willing to help their kids out by learning more about the difficulties of the parental pressure that they force on the students. It has one question and would help us collect data for a health project.”

Help us spread the word! is an online platform that helps connect families with their future schools in their neighborhoods. It is one of the top search platforms that families use when looking for a new school. If you love STEM and what we have to offer your student(s), please consider leaving us a review. Click the button below to visit our school’s profile, where you can leave a review. Thank you in advance!

You're Invited! Parker Science Night on November 5

Parker Science Night Flier

Girl Power Event for 8th Graders

American Association of University Women and Arapahoe Community College invite you to GIRL POWER. This FREE event enables DCSD 8th grade girls and one of their parents to come learn more about how to get set up for college success by starting on a good path in high school. While the girls are busy learning about career pathways in psychology, technology, health, and business, parents will have the opportunity to hear from presenters including:

  • DCSD School Counseling,
  • Concurrent Enrollment,
  • Arapahoe Community College, CSU, and College Planning Solutions

The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 11. Space is limited to 100 total girls + 1 parent per girl. Click the button below to register. A pizza lunch will be provided for all. Please bring your refillable water bottle. Please send any questions you have to

Secondary Yearbooks are On Sale!

Now is the time! Don’t delay purchasing your Secondary Yearbook for the 2023-24 School Year. Click the button below to place your order. Since it is after October 31, yearbooks are now $60.

Access Update

Looking ahead to ACCESS in November, we will continue our work on the ICAP requirements from the Colorado Department of Education. As mentioned last month, ICAP stands for Individual Career and Academic Plan and is a process that guides students in the exploration of career, academic and postsecondary opportunities and helps students develop the awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and skills to create their own meaningful and powerful pathways to Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness. High school ICAP lessons for this month will focus on academic goals and Achieveworks Learning (9th grade), career readiness (10th grade), academic goals, Achieveworks, and personality and career discovery (11th grade), and college/post-secondary options applications (12th grade). Lessons for middle school will focus on career discovery and study skills. All secondary students will also have plenty of study hall time to focus on classwork, check in with teachers, and prepare for the final push of the semester. They will also attend a dress rehearsal for our upcoming theater production, Clue.


  • Wednesday, Nov. 8: Trinity University Dublin
  • Thursday, Nov. 9: Colorado School of Mines – Presentation will be given in Mrs. Graham’s room, not Mrs. Myrick’s office.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15: Cal Poly: San Luis Obispo

WaytoGo November Challenge

Sugar and spice and everything nice

As the weather cools down, it can take some extra bundling up to want to get outside, but colder commutes don’t have to be miserable!

Try these tips to help spice up your commute:

  • Bring warm water, apple cider, coffee or tea in a travel mug or water bottle.
  • Dress in moisture-wicking layers.
  • Balaclavas are your best friend! Covering your face on extra cold days can help make your commute more pleasant.
  • Consider a windproof jacket or coat.
  • Use hand warmers for extra cold days.
  • If you bike to work, have a backup plan. Keep extra cold weather gear at the office, or see if there is a bus or rail route that will take you home in case the weather becomes too cold or snowy.

Whether you’re traveling by bike, foot, e-scooter, bus, rail or carpool, track at least eight of those eco-friendly trips on or the Commute Tracker app for a chance to win one of five pairs of Zulu wearable headphones.

Setting up Canvas Parent Observer

One way to do this is to first be logged into your child’s account. Go to “Account” and then “Settings” on the left side. Then on the right side you should see a gray box that says “Pair with Observer.” This will give you a code that you can then enter in your parent Canvas account. You will need to do this from a computer, not a mobile device.

If that does not work for you, email, title the email “IT Canvas Observer Support” and include your child’s name and student ID number in the email so that IT can generate a code for you.

Update from IT Department about Securly

For any device at STEM to connect to our network, a certificate needs to be installed. A certificate or digital certificate is a unique, digitally signed document that authoritatively identifies the identity of an individual or organization. In our case, it associates the certificate with the STEM email. To download the certificate, go to and download the file associated with the operating system. The file is a program to run on the machine, but it only installs the certificate.

Once the certificate is installed and the computer is on STEM’s network, Securly Filter will ask once for the person’s identity. Once logged in with the STEM email account, Securly matches the email and the certificate and it then knows who it is and how the computer should be filtered. This system of identification using a certificate is the same that we have had in the past. We are just using a different vendor for that certificate. If students have issues installing the certificate, please send them to the IT office in RM 164.

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