STEM’s Star Continues To Rise

Dr Eucker Message Image

The Colorado Department of Education released the embargoed spring test scores this past week. As standard practice, all juniors in Colorado take the SAT as their measurement of academic readiness for higher education. This year, STEM moved from No. 10 to No. 7 among 551 public High Schools.

Colorado Measure of Academic Success (CMAS) scores were also published. The results affirm the STEM model for younger students beginning in third grade as STEM students excelled compared to their peers statewide, while also far exceeding DCSD scores.

How did this happen?

Last year was one of the most challenging years for educators, students, and families around the world. At STEM, in-person learning was a priority and we did our best to maximize all opportunities to provide as much access to as we could with simultaneous teaching and learning.

All evidence is that students need to be at school to maximize opportunities to learn rigorous content. Sitting in front of a computer in isolation on Zoom simply does not substitute for the human experience of a classroom.

STEM teachers go the distance in partnership with our families. We are all focused on student achievement. It is the one area where we can make a difference in setting students up for life-long choices and success. Our instructional model of Problem-Based Learning also allows our students to learn the State Standards, in a constant inquiry environment to expand their thinking and comprehension. Our teachers provide opportunities for our students to thrive through their rigorous coursework and motivation.

Why do I care so much about your child’s academic success?

On the first day we welcomed new faculty, I reflected that in all of my personal K-12 experience, college at the University of Georgia, masters, and doctorate at CU, I never had an adult tell me that I had a special skill or talent. I challenged our new faculty to be that person who encourages our students with a message of belief in their skills and talent. See genius where the student might not.

My personal mission is to provide your child and every student at STEM the opportunity to go beyond all expectations. An adult who opens the door and invites the child to excel with a message of belief in their capacity will change the child’s trajectory in life. It does not require any investment or extra work. Just a few words at the right time.

Did you have a teacher who changed your life by seeing something in you that you did not? I invite you to share those significant moments in your life. Click here to share your transformative story that we can share at a later date. My education was filled with moments that did not happen. Instead of resenting this fact, I am inspired to make certain every child entrusted to STEM has a different experience. Children have infinite potential and STEM seeks to maximize potential.

Yes, I am gratified that external measures such as the nationally-normed SAT validate the model allowing STEM to improve our ranking, but I am more gratified to see our students excel in their areas of passion such as internships, apprenticeships, earned industry certificates, juried art shows, musicals, published poetry and so much more.

Thank you for being part of this amazing journey to launch so many student success stories. My dedication to the school’s mission to position your child for life-long success is deeply and passionately held. My promise to reclaim my own narrative this year challenges me to be far more open. I am committed to being vulnerable so that your child will have more transformative moments.

We are #STEMStrongerTogether,

P.J. Eucker PhD
Executive Director

My apologies to our Jewish families for neglecting to acknowledge the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) in last week’s newsletter that marked  20 years since 9/11. Thank you to the parent who notified communications about this oversight. I want to always honor STEM’s diverse community. I truly apologize and wish to make amends. Yom Kippur is about asking for forgiveness for transgressions so fitting that I am asking our Jewish families to forgive my unintentional oversight.

Please help us honor the holidays important to your family by notifying us through the communications channel. I will be much more culturally aware in future newsletters.

In closing, to our Jewish families, STEM sends a message of  G’mar Chatima Tovah. May your High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) be celebrated in peace

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