Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,
Thank you for allowing your STEM Leadership Team the opportunity to consider the recent developments within Douglas County. Additionally, we had the opportunity today to gather feedback from our staff and we wanted to share that with our parent community to provide a complete understanding of where we are today.
Roughly 82% (51 of 62) of teachers and roughly 78% (36 of 46) of support staff who responded prefer having the mask mandate stay in place for both students and staff.
We share this in the hopes that our community will come from a place of understanding and grace toward our entire staff, who are doing everything they can to continue to provide a safe learning environment for your student(s). We have an incredibly dedicated staff who have shared real concerns for their health. We are trying everything we can to navigate this really difficult situation with the safety of our staff and students at the forefront.
We are asking all families and students to be respectful toward one another. We will not tolerate poor behavior and STEM will assert the Code of Conduct rules on anyone who is disrespectful toward staff, students and administration.
We would like to ask our Parent Community for their assistance in providing us some data through a quick survey. Please click here to submit your responses. We will provide this data to our STEM Board, as well as to the District.
As you can imagine, we’ve been working feverishly behind the scenes to get clarity and have our questions answered from the District, Tri-County and the new Douglas County Health Department. I have also been in consultation with our STEM Board of Directors.
If you were not aware, Douglas County has elected to sever its contract with Tri-County Health and create its own Health Agency. On Friday the new Health Agency created its own Public Health Order that included an update on masks for schools, which included allowing parents to submit an exemption to the Mask Mandate.
While we are still working through jurisdictional questions between TCHD and Douglas County, as we’ve received conflicting information, we want to move forward with implementing the Exemption component of the County’s Public Health Order to honor our families who have requested it.
If you’d like to submit an Exemption to the Mask Mandate, please click here to complete STEM’s Mask Exemption Form. Masks will still be required for all students who do not complete this Exemption process. Visitors and staff will be required to wear a mask unless they complete an Exemption process as well.
Although it is a right to not wear a mask with an exemption, please consider honoring the 82% of STEM faculty who have voiced their preference to keep with the mask mandate.
We are all doing our best to keep the focus on educational excellence, the STEM brand. Thank you to all of the dedicated families who steadfastly support our faculty and staff.
P.J. Eucker, PhD