Laughter can be the elixir that brings groups together. Our new teams meet over the summer tackling every imaginable issue that is required to open school smoothly. It is a never-ending web of required tasks with time being a limiting factor. As we come together to benchmark our progress, hearing our new teams laugh as we work through the issues gives me great hope that 2021-22 will follow our theme of STEMStrongerTogether.
Together, we can make this school year one of our best yet. Together, we can grow stronger as a community by recognizing our strengths and weaknesses and supporting one another. Together, we can help each other be the best we can be. Together, we can create an environment of inclusivity and acceptance. We are stronger together when we are all striving for the same mission of Never Stop Innovating.
If you’re looking for ways to get involved to help us all be STEMStrongerTogether, please take a look at our Get Involved page to see the latest volunteer opportunities. It is updated each week and also shared in the weekly Newsletter. As COVID restrictions lift, we are excited to welcome our parent volunteers back into the building to support our amazing teachers and staff.
Additionally, please consider getting involved with our STEM PTO and our STEM SAC. Both groups need parent and community volunteers to help organize events and complete important work to help STEM continuously improve.
Preparing for 2021-22
Our team continues to provide students with as much access as possible. As our team looked at our enrollment numbers, we noticed we had Elementary grade levels that had higher waitlists than others. Our team found a way to add two new classes and two new staff members to accommodate these waitlisted students.
As I shared previously, all our new teachers will begin on August 2 and 3 for their first two days of onboarding/orientation. Watch their introduction videos to get to know the stellar quality of this cohort. The returning staff will then join the new staff on Wednesday, Aug. 4 for continued start-of-school professional development. Faculty and staff have several state and federal mandated training that must be completed each year. The leadership team with professional development added many fun events to keep it filled with laughter as staff builds new connections with each other.
I want to thank STEM PTO in advance for the meals and gifts that they are organizing for orientation week to make our staff feel welcomed and appreciated.
Additionally, Dr. Karen Johnson and Mrs. Stephanie Webb have been working on reviewing the Master Schedule for Secondary to make sure that we are being efficient with our staffing and our budget. Dr. Johnson did a check-in video this week talking about this work.
STEM is preparing for a new $10M bond on Wall Street to fund the CHSAA gym, two new engineering labs, a new middle school cafeteria and playground for grades 3-5. The gym will also have a performance stage with specialized lighting. This video presented at a board meeting last spring gives you a look at this improvement to STEM’s campus. This is the final phase of the Master Plan to fully develop STEM’s campus. Students and faculty will enjoy these major improvements for many years.
Safety and Security at STEM
STEM’s School Resource Officer Gabe Uribe will become a more significant member of the leadership team to better collaborate to serve our roughly 1800 students. He coordinates extra deputy help for the driveline, especially the first few weeks when our new families are learning the precise procedures to maximize efficiency and get everyone to where they need to go. Expect to see flashing patrol cars to alert the neighborhood traffic to slow down and pay attention to children crossing streets. Officer Uribe also coordinates all of our state-mandated training that involves Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. He is truly part of the team that serves our students.
Deputy Uribe will work closely with our Security Manager Jeff Martinez and our two deans Amie McElroy and Parag Patel to round out our Safety team at STEM.
STEM is closely following the health guidelines for K-12 Colorado public schools. CDPHE works with the Governor and CDE to give schools a uniform message. So much can change between now and Tuesday, Aug. 10 when students return. Updates will be made as we track the official Colorado guidelines.
Enjoy the last days of summer. We cannot wait to be back in session with energetic students and super-charged staff. 2021-22 will be a year where we can laugh and enjoy the best of STEM as a community.
P.J. Eucker PhD, Executive Director