Secondary News and Updates (11/18/22)

Secondary-School News

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.

CSHS AMC Private Theater Movie Night (HS Students Only)

Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6:45-10 p.m. – AMC Highlands Ranch 24

CSHS has rented out a private theater at AMC Highlands Ranch 24 to allow the first 47 students to sign-up to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Attendees must bring their student ID to confirm their signed-up name and grade. Attendees must pay for their own food and drinks at the theater if they so desire. Entrance to the movie is FREE with sign-up using the form below.

Those not in CSHS must be a high schooler to sign-up for and attend the movie. It’s first come, first serve.

2022 November CSHS Black Panther Movie Night

NHS Holiday Toy Drive

November 28-December 19

This year our National Honor Society chapter is organizing a toy drive! We will collect toy donations from Elementary, Middle, and High Schools from November 28th to December 19th. After all the donations have been collected, they will be donated to the Toys for Tots foundation. We hope everyone is willing to send in their donations!

Please drop off new toys at either the Elementary or the Secondary School Lobby.

Contact: Lasya Gudur: at lasya.gudur@s. or Mischa Dvoretsky: at mischa.dvoretsky@s. with any questions.

NHS Holiday Toy Drive

News and Updates

Intent to Return/Not Return Form

It’s that time of year! We’re starting to prepare for the 2023-24 School Year (can you believe it?!?) and we need our CURRENT STEM Families to complete the Intent to Return/Not Return process.

This information will help our Leadership Team plan for the new school year as it pertains to budgeting, facility use, staffing and more. This process also helps us to know how many new students we will have openings for in the upcoming school year so that we can invite students off our waitlist in December.

Please complete a separate form for each of your CURRENTLY ATTENDING STEM students so that we know your student is either returning or not returning to STEM. Completing the form does not require your student to attend STEM for next year should you change your enrollment plans. The form allows you to update your submission should you change your mind over the next few months.

Current Families with Siblings Wanting to Attend STEM

Does your current STEM student have a sibling who is interested in attending STEM for the 2023-24 school year? Did you know that they have priority on our waitlist? Please add them to our waitlist now. STEM’s open enrollment is open and we will begin notifying families of accepted spots for the 2023-24 school year beginning December 1, 2022.

DCSD Open Enrollment Window Information

The Douglas County School District’s Open Enrollment Window is now open, however current STEM families who wish to stay at STEM for next year DO NOT complete that process. Your student(s) will be automatically enrolled. The DCSD Open Enrollment Process (via their website) is if your student is interested in attending their neighborhood school, or another school that uses the DCSD Open Enrollment Process.

The First Round of the Open Enrollment Window for DCSD will close on December 1 at 4 p.m. The Second Round of the Open Enrollment Window will open on January 23 at 8 a.m. and close on August 1, 2023, at 4 p.m.

(Note: Parents of any students who wish to go back to their neighborhood middle school for their 7th-grade year must file an intent to return form, by January 10, 2023; applicable also for parents of 6th-grade students whose attendance area is within the Cimarron Middle School, Rocky Heights Middle School and Sagewood Middle School boundaries.)

SBL Update for Secondary Parents (11/18/22)

Thank you for your patience and support with our new grading syhttps://stem. I have met with many of you to hear your concerns and to provide guidance. I wanted to give you a little update on where we are in this process.

On Monday, the administration team met with secondary staff to hear what is going well with SBL and to hear concerns that our staff is having. From this meeting, we are forming some committees to tackle some items for improvement. Additionally, the staff was asked to complete a survey about our LMS syhttps://stem, Canvas. In that survey, the staff expressed that they would like to explore adding MasteryConnect to Canvas or explore other LMS syhttps://stems. A committee will be formed after the break to discuss these options and to begin piloting various syhttps://stems.

YESS Program - Special unit covered in Middle School

YESS – Youth Education & Safety in Schools Program is a special unit covered each year in the Middle School Computer Science electives. The curriculum is taught by a Douglas County Deputy who comes in as a guest speaker for class.

A general overview of our YESS Program breakdown of the lessons is as follows:

Relationships- covers friendships, tools for healthy relationships, peer pressure, tolerance/acceptance/resilience, bullying/harassment, boundaries (physical and emotional), consent for intimate contact, sexual harassment, dating violence/grooming, and associated legal issues.

Digital Citizenship- covers internet safety, cyberbullying, cyber-predators, hackers, sexting, human trafficking, and associated legal issues.

Substance Use- covers nicotine products and vaping, marijuana, alcohol, opioids, various illicit drugs, addiction, physical and mental effects of use, and associated legal issues.

Please feel free to reach out to any of the MS Comp Sci teachers for more information.

STEM After Prom Committee Volunteers Needed

Hello STEM parents/guardians,

It’s that time of year to start planning our annual After Prom, and we need volunteers. We need help with all aspects, from planning to executing the night of. We have detailed notes from the previous year, and we already have a co-chair who worked on AP last year. So, no experience is needed, just many who want to help make this night safe and fun for our Juniors and Seniors. Family members are welcome to help as well, so grab mom/dad/aunt/uncle/brother/sister to lend a hand.

We can’t continue this STEM tradition without the generous support from our STEM community. Freshman and Sophomore parents/guardians, soon your student will be upperclassmen and getting ready for their prom, so it’s never too early to participate in this amazing event.

Sign up below if you are interested and want to find out more. The first meeting will be scheduled after Fall Break, so keep an eye out for that email.

Have a great Thanksgiving break!

STEM After Prom Committee

Parking and Loitering in the surrounding Business Park

The Building Manager for the Office Building where the Center for Strength is located has informed the Center, as well as STEM, that several students have been caught inside of the empty offices that are being renovated. They are asking us to inform families to please speak to their students about this behavior and to refrain from “hanging out” inside the building. Students should only be inside the building if they are visiting the Center. If this behavior continues, the Building Manager has indicated that it will ask the Center to vacate its offices and the building.

Additionally, the Building Manager has indicated that students and parents are parking in their lot in the morning, throughout the day and in the afternoon, which is in violation of their business park rules. If you or your student is doing this, please stop. They have indicated that they have been very understanding neighbors but they feel as if their requests to the community to stop this behavior have not been heeded. They do not want to resort to towing and ticketing cars because they do not want to put that expense on the student or parent, but if the behavior does not cease, they will be forced to move forward with ticketing and towing.

Please help be good neighbors and stop parking in their parking lot. This also goes for the Hotel Parking Lot.

UNC Science and Engineering Fair

Way to Go presents November Challenge

This November, we’re thankful for all the eco-friendly ways we can get around the Denver region! Whether you move by bike, foot, transit or carpool (or choose to telework and avoid the commute altogether), this month’s challenge is dedicated to you!

Track at least eight non-solo driving trips (including telework) on the MyWaytoGo platform during November and be automatically entered into a drawing to win cool prizes to help you stay warm this winter, including electric blankets, massage guns or this month’s grand prize, an electric snowblower.

The November Challenge is sponsored by AAA and its Move Over For Me campaign.

Way to Go November Challenge

Free Chromebooks for Free-Reduced Lunch Students

We are happy to share that we will be offering students who are part of the Free and Reduced Lunch program the opportunity to get a Free Chromebook if the following parameters are met:

  • Chromebook is signed out by a parent
  • The student must remain enrolled at STEM for three years. (if the student leaves STEM during those three years, they will need to return the laptop)

Laptops can be kept over the summer. For more information, please email ashley.westfall@ to confirm your Free and Reduced Lunch Program status. Not sure if you qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch? DCSD recommends that you apply regardless so that they can assist you further. Click the button below to access the application.

Community Service Hours Reminder

If you have not turned in your community service hours please turn them in to Mrs. Fletcher in the counseling office. Seniors need 20 hours for graduation requirements and STEM Scholar needs 100 hours. The deadline is approaching quickly!

Secondary Yearbook Information

This school year will live forever in your yearbook. Buy a yearbook. It’s easy.

Yearbooks may be purchased at

Enter STEM School Highlands Ranch and click on Buy a
Yearbook. Follow the directions online. Enter your name and credit card, debit card or PayPal information, and click

Cost: $45 until October 31, 2022, $55 thereafter

If you want to personalize the book, namestamping starts at $6 extra and must be purchased before January 29, 2022.


Contact Michelle Vitale the STEM Secondary Yearbook Advisor at michelle.vitale@

After purchase, you will be emailed a confirmation receipt. You may also verify your order at by entering your email in the “Find an Order” field.

Updated Snow Day Policy

As the winter season approaches, we want to announce updates to the current Virtual School Day for Inclement Weather policy. Last spring, one of our STEM students presented a proposal and justification regarding changes to our current Virtual School Day policy. As a result, the administration and Board of Directors determined that a change is recommended to the Snow Day Policy. We appreciate the leadership and voice our STEM students display and are happy to announce that STEM will follow the DCSD Snow Day policy with a closure. STEM also reserves the right to modify the calendar, schedule, or this policy, due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or construction that interrupts the required instructional minutes as set forth by the Colorado Department of Education. The following is a reminder of the current policies.

Late Start Schedule

STEM does not mimic the Late Start Policy and schedule put forth by DCSD. In the event that Douglas County calls for a Delayed Opening, STEM’s Virtual School Day Policy will take effect.

Virtual School Day for Inclement Weather

If DCSD determines that the district should follow the Delayed Opening protocol, STEM School Highlands Ranch will abide by its Virtual School Day Policy. When it snows, our school’s operation and instructional expectations will be determined by one of these three scenarios:

  • Updated: Snow Day – Douglas County Schools calls a snow day – STEM is closed (check
  • Late Start Day – Douglas County Schools calls a Late Start day – STEM is closed and implements a Virtual School Day.
  • All Schools Open – Douglas County Schools declare Highlands Ranch area schools open – STEM is open and operating to our regular schedule.

Update about Secondary Student IDs

Your School Directors (Mrs. Ridder and Mr. Alsup) wanted to share the following information with you in regards to Student IDs, Lanyards and the ID pouches.
  • Replacement IDs if lost/stolen: Students who have lost their ID should complete the Secondary Student ID Replacement Form to order a replacement. IDs are free for the first one and $5 for any duplicates. Duplicates will be printed by the front office and students will be notified when they are ready for pick up.
  • Lanyards and pouches: Lanyards and pouches can be picked up at the Secondary Front Office. Please show your student ID to receive one.
Starting on September 19th, all students must have an ID badge visible while on campus.

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)

Secondary Tardy Policy Update/Reminder

Thank you for your patience and positivity during our first two weeks of school. Our students are genuinely excited to come to school, and it is absolutely wonderful to see their smiling faces each day.

This year, I am proud to report that most of our students are arriving at school and to their classes in a timely manner. Starting Monday (baring any impacts from weather), our new breezeway will connect the two buildings, resulting in shorter paths between classes. Now that students have a feel for the distance between their classes, our staff has been instructed to implement STEM’s Tardy Policy.

$50,000 Scholarship Opportunity

Covering the cost of college without writing a single essay? Sounds too good to be true! Niche is giving one student $50,000 to help pay for tuition, housing, books, and other educational expenses. Apply below for your chance to win so you can focus on what matters instead of worrying about finances. Good luck!

Center for Strength News and Events

Resiliency Chats
SU2RU Girl Self Defense
Middle School SU2RU
How Animals Support Humans
Rays of Resilience with vendors
Morning Flow November Flyer

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Holiday Break Mental Health Resources

Below is a list of resources should you have a concern that a loved one (or yourself) may be experiencing behavioral changes, mood swings, depression, or suicidal thoughts over the holiday break.

Call 911 if there is an immediate threat to the child or others

Douglas County has an anonymous reporting syhttps://stem available at all times. Anyone with a concern for someone’s well-being or safety can use Safe 2 Tell (1-877-542-7233) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Literary Resource of the Week

Survey for Elementary School Teachers and Families

The Douglas County School District wants to hear from our elementary school educators and families about their perceptions of our new core reading programs Wonders and Benchmark. Please take a few moments to complete a short survey by the end of the day today. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Health and Wellness

RSV is on the rise: How to protect your baby or child (Sky Ridge Medical Center)

A rising number of babies and young children are being hospitalized with serious cases of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), flu, and other viruses. Learn more about RSV, how to protect your family, and when to contact your pediatrician.

Parent University - Teenagers and Substance Use with Author Laura Stack

Hosted by Sky Ridge Medical Center and Douglas County School District

Wednesday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Join this very special Parent University Webinar hosted by Laura Stack, Author of “Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story: The Dangerous Truth about today’s Marijuana” as we discuss Teenagers and Substance Use (Marijuana, Fentanyl, Vaping, etc.) and Mental Health (effects on teenage brain development). This is a free event. Please register to receive information on joining the webinar.

Comments are closed.