Secondary School Closed for Tuesday; Elementary on Normal Schedule

Important Announcement

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

I want to thank our families for their patience and support today as we experienced our first lightning delay of the school year. I know this time was stressful for all, but I genuinely appreciate your collaboration and understanding.

With the impact of today’s severe thunderstorm and the continuing rain that is expected tomorrow, our secondary building has sustained damage that will require some additional time to fix before students return. With that in mind, the Administration Team has decided to close our Secondary School for tomorrow only to allow our construction team to enter the impacted classrooms and hallways to make the necessary repairs.

I want to stress that the building is still safe; however, to conduct the repairs promptly, we want to be able to give the crews direct access. Additionally, with the breezeway not being available to use just yet, we do not want to send Middle School students out into the rain multiple times a day to access their classes. We also want to acknowledge that moving teachers out of impacted classrooms creates additional stress for students and staff.

Please know that these decisions were not made lightly. We do apologize that this is coming at a late hour, but we wanted to get full assessments from our various teams in order to make the most informed decision.

Our Elementary School will operate as normal in person. Secondary students will not need to log in to Canvas or complete any assignments tomorrow. If the repairs are not completed by the end of the day tomorrow, we will provide instructions to families and students on how Secondary Students will access their courses virtually on Wednesday.

High School and Middle School Back to School Nights that were scheduled for tomorrow night (Tuesday) and Wednesday night, respectively, will be rescheduled. We will share out dates and times tomorrow.

The Bond/Mill Levy Q&A with DCSD Superintendent Erin Kane, KOSON Interim CEO Dr. Karen Johnson and STEM Executive Director LynAnn Kovalesky will still take place on Wednesday night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the ES Cafeteria.

Before I close, I just wanted to touch briefly on Lightning Delays. Lightning Delays are challenging for all because of the uncertainty of how long they will take and because of the protocol requirements that we follow from the Douglas County School District. Our top priority is keeping our students and staff safe and that means when we are under a Lightning Delay, we have to follow strict protocols to ensure that we are doing just that.

Lightning is unpredictable, so releasing students and staff to be outside when lightning strikes within six miles of our campus will not be permitted. This also means that we have to wait at least 30 minutes without there being a lightning strike within six miles.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding. Our team really appreciates our families and adores your students.

LynAnn Kovalesky, STEM Executive Director

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