Secondary News and Updates (12/03/21)

Secondary-School News

Upcoming Events

STEM PTO's STEMGives Campaign Underway

October 4 through January 14 (Extended deadline!!)

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

Members of STEM PTO will be in Elementary and Secondary Drivelines on Monday, Dec. 6 and Tuesday, Dec. 7 to pass out fliers with a QR Code for families to donate. This is another way for our families to donate!

STEM Holiday Toy Drive

STEM Holiday Toy Drive

7th and 8th Grade Sea Camp Informational Meeting

Monday, Dec. 6, from 5-6 p.m. – via Zoom

Seventh and Eighth-grade students are invited to participate in an optional Sea Camp Field Trip. Seventh graders will attend SEA Camp from March 28 – April 1, 2022. More information regarding the 7th-grade trip can be found via the button below.

Eighth graders will attend SEA Camp from February 28 – March 1, 2022. More information regarding the 8th-grade trip can be found via the button below.

Please join us for an information session on Monday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. using the zoom link below.

Contact with any questions.

COVID Testing

Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the morning

STEM will be offering COVID Testing for students and staff again on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in the morning.

SECONDARY FAMILIES: Secondary students whose parents have consented to testing will need to sign-up to be scheduled for a testing time on Tuesday. Please sign up your Secondary student for COVID testing at the link below. The sign-up will close at 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 6. Only students that are signed up will be tested. You will receive an email late on Monday, Dec. 6 to let you know your student’s scheduled time for testing.

FYI: Mobile Health’s CSR team is making phone calls to some parents to verify consent form information if the form is missing information or if the information is inaccurate. CDPHE has requested this of Mobile Health so that they can get accurate information.

STEM Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 5:30-7 p.m – High School Commons

The monthly STEM Board of Director’s Meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the High School Commons. The STEM BOD is comprised of parents and community members who volunteer their time. The Board’s role and purpose is to provide oversight of the Executive Director, who implements the policies set forth by the Board. The Board also provides support and direction of STEM’s long-term vision and mission. Additionally, the Board is active in making sure that STEM remains in compliance with all DCSD, state and federal compliance requirements, as well as STEM’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 Spelling Bee Qualifying Test - Middle School Students Only

Tuesday, Dec. 7 – Thursday, Dec. 9, from 3-3:45 p.m. – E222

If a Middle School student is interested in competing in the STEM Spelling Bee in January, they first must take the qualifying test. The qualifying test will be held after school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 7-9 in Herr Voorn’s room E222. Students may sign up to attend using the Sign-Up Genius link and can come by Herr Voorn’s room for study info.

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 10-11 a.m – Secondary School Entrance

Each Wednesday, STEM opens up its doors from 10-11 a.m. for a building tour to interested families who would like to learn more about our school. We’d like to encourage our families to spread the word to anyone they know who might be interested in having their student(s) attend STEM. Interested tour participants should arrive 10 minutes early to get checked in and badged. They must bring a valid ID in order to get checked in.

Senior Capstone Presentation Night

Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 5-7 p.m. – High School Commons

We are celebrating the seniors completing their Senior Capstone Project and demonstrating their readiness for post-graduation life! Seniors will be presenting their capstone projects, which they have been hard at work on this year, and which will showcase their preparation for college and beyond, and their ability to take on all the challenges they will face in their independent lives. They will receive helpful feedback from teachers, parents and others in the STEM community who have been supporting them over the years and watching with pride as they grow into responsible adults. Come and help us celebrate their achievements and see them off into their bright futures!

STEM PTO Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6:30-8 p.m – Middle School Cafeteria

The monthly STEM PTO Meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Middle School Cafeteria. STEM PTO is comprised of parents from the STEM community who work together to help foster a strong sense of community, 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 for the purpose of enhancing the quality of each students’ education, the school as a whole, and the entire community through the development of resources and participation of parents, school staff, and the community. Meetings are open for anyone to attend. Please park in the High School Parking lot and enter through the High School doors.

Youth Education & Safety in Schools Event

YESS Program

Sixth Grade Keystone Trip Information Session

Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 6-6:30 p.m. – HS Commons and Zoom

Sixth-grade parents who are interested in sending their children on the Keystone Trip (February 9-11) can attend to learn more about the trip, necessary paperwork, and what to expect for their child. Attending the session is not required to attend the trip, but encouraged. Contact Evan Voorn at with any questions.

Prospective Parent Building Tour

Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 10-11 a.m – Secondary School Entrance

Each Wednesday, STEM opens up its doors from 10-11 a.m. for a building tour to interested families who would like to learn more about our school. We’d like to encourage our families to spread the word to anyone they know who might be interested in having their student(s) attend STEM. Interested tour participants should arrive 10 minutes early to get checked in and badged. They must bring a valid ID in order to get checked in.

Middle School Movie Night

Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 3:30-5:30 p.m – MS Classroom

Middle School Student Government will be holding a Middle School Movie Night on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in select Middle School Classrooms. The four movies that will be shown are:

  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • Big Daddy
  • Christmas Chronicles
  • Narnia

A permission slip, along with a sign-up for each movie was sent home to Middle School Families earlier in the week. Please check your email for more information. Email with any questions.

STEM SAC Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 5:30-7 p.m. – HS Commons

The monthly STEM School Accountability Committee (SAC) meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the High School Commons. The meeting will also be available to watch via Zoom as a trial. In-person participation is strongly encouraged to help build engagement. Additionally, those who would like to participate in Public Comment must do so in person. Please park in the High School parking lot and enter through the High School Entrance.

The purpose of the SAC is to inform, encourage and provide opportunities for parent and community members to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school’s instructional program and quality improvement processes. The SAC makes recommendations concerning the School’s performance, improvement, priority improvement, or turnaround plan, and meets to discuss the implementation of the School’s plan and other progress pertinent to STEM’s accreditation contract with the Board of Education. The SAC makes recommendations to the director for prioritizing the spending of school money.

STEM Improv and Sketch Comedy Show

Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 6-7 p.m. in the 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 an original comedy video to top it all off!!!

News and Updates

Do you intend to return to STEM?

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 the Intent to Return 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.

Online Butter Braid Fundraiser

Help support STEM PTO in raising funds for the STEM After Prom 2022 event by purchasing from our online Butter Braid fundraiser. Items available include:

  • Butter Braids
  • Gluten Free products
  • Coda Coffee.

The online store is open now through December 6. Products will be delivered to STEM on the afternoon of December 13. More information will be shared soon. Contact Susan Montgomery at

Visa Black Scholars Program

Applications for the next class of VISA Black Scholars and Jobs Program are open now through January 10, 2022. This program offers eligible college-bound, High School seniors in the U.S. a scholarship and opportunities for internships and full-time employment at VISA. Let’s unlock access to education so that everyone, everywhere can thrive. If you know of anyone who would benefit from this opportunity, send them to #LifeatVisa #Proud.

UCHealth Work-Based Learning Opportunity

PCA Outreach Flyer 11.21 - Gregg Cannady D.M.A.

Lost and Found Reminder!

Please have your student check the lost and found as we will be donating it over the Winter Break.

College and Career Newsletter

College and Career Planning Resources Graphic

Spring Sports Student Interest Survey

We are looking to add more teams to our Athletic Department’s Spring Schedule.  Sports that we’re interested in adding are Girls Tennis, Girls Golf and Girls Lacrosse. If you or your student are interested in taking part in a Spring Sport, please complete the interest survey below.

Registration for 2022-23 Courses Coming Up

Counselors are meeting with students to share the registration process for the 2022-23 school year. Students should be completing their Course Selection sheets and turning them into their appropriate teacher by Friday, Dec. 10. You can view the 2022-23 Academic Planning Guide to read details regarding each course via the button below.

Lockheed Martin Internship Announcement (Spring 2022)

“Applications are no being accepted from STEM juniors and Seniors for the Spring 2022 Lockheed Martin Virtual Internship Program.

Interested STEM Juniors and Seniors

1. Fill out the Career Discovery Application ASAP

2. Submit the signed description form to Dr. Cannady ASAP

3. Each student is individually interviewed

4. Students who are accepted submit out STEM Internship Policy/Paperwork by December 16.

MetaCTF CyberGames 2021 This Weekend!

The Computer Science Honor Society wants to let you know that there is an awesome MetaCTF (Capture-The-Flag) CyberGames cybersecurity event that you can compete in!

People can compete in teams up to 4. Goes from December 3rd at 1 p.m. (MT) till December 5th at 1 p.m. (MT). Topics include web exploitation, cryptography, binary exploitation, reverse engineering, forensics, and reconnaissance.

Prizes are going from $200 to $2,000. Prizes also include PWK vouchers (the OSCP certification course). Top 50 teams receive swag bags and T-shirts.

Battle of the Books Teams Forming!

We are thrilled to host our first year of Battle of the Books teams. Teams of 3rd/4th and 5th/6th graders will read a selection of books and prepare to compete against other schools in the Douglas County Libraries Battle of the Books. Click the button below to read more and sign up! Space is limited to 7 students per team.

Invitation to become a member of the Hispanic Honor Society

¡Hola Spartans!

We’re inviting you to join the Spanish Honor Society (SHH) which is sponsored by Sra. Moreno. Spanish Honor Society is focused on exposing people to Hispanic culture and encouraging students to experience it for themselves. We have activities such as going to museums, hosting movie nights, going to restaurants, and more! Additionally, we also participate in events like Trunk or Treat as well as hosting our own events like our Music & Mocktails and holiday party that we are hoping to bring back.

We plan to meet twice a month, and more information about meeting dates will be released soon. The requirements for current students are to be enrolled in Spanish II – AP Spanish. For former students, you must have been previously enrolled in a Spanish class from Spanish III – AP.

We also require that you maintain a B average in all completed/current Spanish classes, and be willing to attend our activities in and outside of school. Additionally, there is a $20 fee for club t-shirts and other costs that can be found on MySchoolBucks after you join. If you are interested in joining SHH, please fill out the form via the button by Friday, Dec. 10.

Nominations Now Open for Colorado Charter Schools Hall of Fame

The Colorado League of Charter Schools celebrates members and supporters of the charter school movement annually. Please take a moment to nominate someone you feel deserves recognition for being an outstanding member of the charter community. Submit your nominees through Wednesday, January 5.

The NACLO 2022 Linguistics Competition registration is now open

Attention High School students! The NACLO 2022 Linguistics Competition registration is now open!

Students compete in linguistics problem solving, computational thinking, and natural language processing challenges. Winners move on to the International Linguistics Olympiad, which this year will be held on the United Kingdom Isle of Man. Last year 54 teams representing 34 countries competed in Latvia. Sponsors include Carnegie Mellon, National Science Foundation, University of Michigan, and the Linguistic Society of America.

STEM School Highlands Ranch is currently the only high school competition site in Colorado. No prior experience is necessary and there is no fee to participate.

  • The competition date is January 27, 2022.

Click the button below to register and choose STEM School Highlands Ranch as the competition site from the drop-down. Please go to for further details or drop in on a session of the STEM Linguistics Club on Tuesday for further details.

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.

IT News: Canvas Observer Accounts

If you have not set up your observer account for your student(s), please do so as soon as possible. This is one of the ways that teachers use to let parents know about what is happening in classes. You can go to the Technology Support page and click on the “Quick Guide to Systems.” You will see a video in this area that shows you step by step in creating an observer account.

If you run into difficulty, please email the IT team at and they can help with any technology issues that arise.

Message from High School Counselors

The STEM High School counselors wanted to remind all juniors that the deadline to drop the GPA weight and credit worth for any High School class that was taken in Middle School is quickly approaching. Juniors will need to fill out the form by the end of this semester (December 16). This may be beneficial to juniors because it might slightly bump their GPA.

Note – the course will still show up on the transcript, but the credit and GPA calculation will disappear. It is important to make sure that each student will still have the required credits in that content area to keep them on track for graduation.

Questions should be directed to the appropriate counselor: Mrs. Langston (A-L) (; Mrs. Woodward (M-Z) (

Accessing STEM as a Walker/Bike Rider

Elementary Walker/Bike Rider Access

It is so important that our walkers use the Cross Walks when coming to school. In addition to it not being safe to cross where there is no crosswalk, it causes delays in getting cars in and out of our parking lot as they have to wait for pedestrians to cross the street.
See the image to the right to see the suggested route and where to cross and not cross.

If you are picking up your student via our Walker Pick-Up, please do not park in the surrounding businesses, where it is clearly marked that you cannot park. The surrounding businesses are private businesses and STEM families are not allowed to park in their parking lots to pick up their students. These local businesses have informed us that they will begin ticketing and requesting towing of any vehicles that should not be there.

Secondary Walker/Bike Rider Access

It is so important that our walkers use the Cross Walks when coming to school. In addition to it not being safe to cross where there is no crosswalk, it causes delays in getting cars in and out of our parking lot as they have to wait for pedestrians to cross the street.

See the image to the right to see the suggested route and where to cross and not cross for our Secondary School.

If you are picking up your student via Walker Pick-Up, please do not park in the surrounding businesses, where it is clearly marked that you cannot park. The surrounding businesses are private businesses and STEM families are not allowed to park in their parking lots to pick up their students. These local businesses have informed us that they will begin ticketing and requesting towing of any vehicles that should not be there.

West Walker Pick-Up
Secondary Walking-DO Not Cross copy

Important Driveline Reminders

  • Every family who is dropping off a student in a car should be using either our West or East Driveline. PLEASE DO NOT drop students off on the sidewalks in an active roadway.
    • If you are dropping off a Secondary Student on the West side of the school, please use the West Driveline for drop-off. It is the safest option for all families.
  • Crossing the street should only be done at designated crosswalks. If you are crossing where there is no crosswalk, please kindly make the appropriate adjustment to use the crosswalks moving forward.
  • No families and students should be parking their cars for any length of time in the parking lots of the surrounding businesses if they are coming to STEM for any reason.
    • We’ve received numerous complaints from the businesses and hotel around us and they have shared that they will move forward with requesting cars to be ticketed and towed if it continues.  

Crosswalk Advisory Part 1

Crosswalk Advisory Part 2

Crosswalk Advisory Part 3

Important Message from our SRO Deputy Gabe Uribe

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

Please click the button below to read a message from our School Resource Officer Deputy Gabe Uribe about an incident that happened this past week during drop-off. Please read it carefully. The STEM Leadership Team supports and echos what is being shared by Deputy Gabe.

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.

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.

Check Out the SpartMart!

New SpartMart Hours

STEM’s SpartMart is your go-to place for all STEM apparel, gear, and more! Are you hungry for a bag of chips or want a drink? SpartMart has the perfect selection of food and beverages! Would you like a brand new hoodie? Or how about a new shirt to show off your spartan pride? We have perfect merchandise for all ages and groups from teachers to parents to students!

Come to the SpartMart in-person on Monday and Wednesday after school, or on Wednesday mornings. You can also visit our website to place on online order via the button below.

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.

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. Please click the button below to see the latest Volunteer Opportunities at STEM.

  • Business Professional Volunteers
  • Vision and Hearing Screenings
  • Elementary and Secondary Driveline
  • Lunchroom Volunteers
  • Spartan Afternoon Program
  • TSA Volunteers

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.

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Question, Persuade, Refer

Partners for Children’s Mental Health is hosting free Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainings for anyone 18+ interested in learning about suicide warning signs, prevention strategies, and how to support youth having thoughts of suicide. All events take place virtually via Zoom.

Literacy Resource of the Week

Create Holiday Learning Traditions

During the holiday season, consider adding some new traditions for your family that will make meaningful memories and strengthen foundations for reading and learning success.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits During the Holidays

If your child reverts to unhealthy eating habits during the holidays, it can be challenging for them to get back to good food choices again in the new year. Making sure that you and your child continue to practice healthy behaviors throughout the holidays will help ensure that your family’s health stays in top shape year-round. Find this and more resources with DCSD Healthy Schools.

Apple Award Nominations

We value and appreciate all of our outstanding educators and staff here in DCSD and are thrilled that the Foundation for Douglas County Schools is gearing up to host the 16th Annual Apple Awards on April 2, 2022. Nominations for Apple Awards are now open until Sunday, December 12! Please consider nominating a DCSD educator or staff member who is inspiring a love of learning in students.

Parenting and Trusted Adult Series

Thursday, Dec. 9, 5:30-8 p.m. – St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 9203 S. University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

The Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition (DCHYC) and St.Andrew United Methodist Church will host the upcoming Parent and Trusted Adults Series open to the public, registration is required. Supporting the Physical and Academic Success of our Youth will be the topic on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 9203 S. University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.

About the Speaker:

Nick Thompson is a therapist and podcaster who consistently delivers digestible and actionable content to aid parents and trusted adults in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

Community Partners

DCHYC intends to continue to collaborate with the following partners to deliver content that meets the needs of Douglas County families:

  • Douglas County Mental Health Initiative
  • St. Andrew United Methodist Church-Wellbeing Initiative
  • Douglas County School District (counseling team)
  • Mental health/treatment providers and our parents/trusted adults

We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Denver Springs for the financial support of the Parent and Trusted Adult Series. What is a Trusted Adult? A trusted adult is someone that young people perceive to have their best interests in mind; someone they trust when they want moral support, accurate information or direction to helpful resources without judgment. Adults do not determine whether they are considered trusted — young people make that determination based on their positive experiences with those adults. Trusted adults can be teachers, mentors, coaches, grandparents, extended family members, neighbors, clergy and parents.

DCHYC Parent-TA-Flyer_final
Comments are closed.