Weekly news & updates
Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 | Newsletter Archive | View as Webpage
STEM is celebrating its 10-Year Anniversary!
Check out our Facebook page to use the Camera Frame or add a Frame to your Profile Photo. Share with us how long you've been at STEM so we can celebrate together.

Click here to see STEM's history of Innovation.
Have feedback for STEM? Use the button below to access the Feedback Form to help STEM improve. You can also use this form for a question. Responses to the Feedback Form as generally sent within 24-48 hours. If you have a question that needs a more immediate response, please email communications@stemk12.org.
What we've learned from our First Week
We hope you had a wonderful first official week of school! As you are aware, we are working to problem solve, pivot and respond as fast and as effectively as possible. There are a few items that our STEM families can do to assist with the transition to this new normal.

  1. To ease some of the load our teachers are carrying, please keep in mind that they are not able to answer your emails immediately during the day, and will do their best to respond to you as soon as they can.
  2. If you have a question about an attendance mistake and you've emailed the teacher, they have 24-48 hours to respond and make the correction. You can also access the Attendance Correction Form below.
  3. If you need IT assistance, please submit a support ticket using the information below.
  4. Our Communications Pathways Document is a very helpful tool to help point you in the right direction to submit specific questions to.
  5. The STEM Feedback Form is an avenue to provide Feedback for STEM to improve.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we head into week two of our new school year.
Helpful tips for a successful school week
  • Click here for the Attendance Correction Form.
  • If your student needs IT assistance (locked out of accounts, etc.), please contact our IT Department by submitting a support ticket to support@stemk12.org. You can also call 720-864-0255.
  • Click here for the K-5 Lunch Menu
  • Click here for the 6-12 Lunch Menu
  • The drinking feature of water fountains inside STEM have been disabled. Refillable water-bottle stations were installed as an alternative. Please remember to bring a water bottle!
  • Click here to view the 2020-21 Transportation Management Plan that includes helpful maps and instructions on how to navigate our Drivelines on both the East (Secondary) and West.
  • Secondary: Please remember you must print your schedule prior to the first day of school and bring it with you. The offices will not have the ability to print off schedules for you. You may also view your schedules in your student portals on your mobile/computer devices. Download the infinite Campus app. 
  • Attendance Hotline: 303-683-7836; Please call the line before class begins to let us know if your student will be late or absent. Please visit the student/parent Handbook to review the attendance policy.  
  • Parents MUST let the teacher know when their student will not be following their assigned Academic Plan that was chosen, for an extended period of time.
  • Click here to view a Creating a Canvas Account tutorial from our IT Department. (included pairing information)
Important Office Updates
Due to COVID, We will only have TWO entrances into the school.
  • Elementary Students will use the Elementary Entrance
  • ALL Secondary Students will use the Main Entrance on the Middle School Side

No Visitors or Volunteer will be allowed into the school until further notice. Click here for our "Did you know" document.

Attendance Reminders:
  • Attendance Line - 303-683-7836
  • Please call the line before class begins to let us know if your student will be tardy or absent for hybrid OR virtual students - otherwise they will be marked unexcused.
  • Please visit the student/parent Handbook to review the attendance policy. 
  • Virtual students that opt to attend in person classes must do so on their assigned cohort days only. The student must check in at the front office before attending class.
  • Early Dismissal - Students will be excused to leave class with an Early Leave pass from the office. The student may exchange a note from the parent for the pass at the office. Younger Elementary students may need to rely on their parents calling the office ahead of time to set up an early release. 
  • Students will still need to be signed out by a parent at the respective office (Elementary or secondary).
  • The course of action that will cause the least amount of disruption to the classroom is to:
  1. Pick your student up during passing period
  2. Send a note in with your student to receive an Early Dismissal Pass (students will be able to show this to their teacher before class begins, and leave at the appropriate time).
  3. NO unscheduled early pickups will be allowed after 1:15 pm.  
*Parents MUST call the attendance line when student is not following the Academic plan that was chosen.

School Pictures
School pictures took place this week.
  • Student pictures from last year can be used for this year - no action needed. This image will be used for the yearbook as well.\
  • Students could have a new photo taken. The schedule was;
  • Elementary students went in small groups with their homeroom teacher on their cohort day (Tuesday or Wednesday).
  • Secondary students went in small groups during their study hall (M, T, W or Th).
  • If a student did NOT have a study hall, they could get their photo during their lunch break, or make an appointment at the photographer's studio.
  • Students could make an appointment to have a photo taken at our photographer's studio.  
  • DR Photo - 8110 W Brandon Dr, Littleton, CO 80125
  • Click here to set an appointment. 
  • Click here to purchase picture packages.  

Volunteer/Donation News
*Due to COVID 19, no visitors or volunteers are allowed in the building at this time. Volunteer requirements will be adjusted as needed. If you are making a donation, please keep track of your donated items for the time being until we provide additional instructions on how to log your hours.
  • Upcoming Opportunities
  • Driveline still needs volunteers, click here to sign up.
  • Donation items are still needed, click here to view.
  • New or gently-used third-grade-reading-level books are needed. Please bring to the Elementary School Office labeled Ms Martin (Third Grade). Email Ms Martin (cassandra.martin@stemk12.org) with any questions.
  • For more opportunities, click here.
  • Elementary Classroom Wish Lists:
  • Click on the names below to view the classroom wish-lists. Please bring items to the Elementary Office (or send in with your student) labeled with the Teacher's name and grade.
  • Ms Wedeward - First Grade
  • Ms Manchester - First Grade
  • Ms Slater - Second Grade
  • Secondary Classroom Wish List:
  • Art Department is in need of plastic, partitioned pencil boxes in good condition for students to put their art supplies in for their backpack. Click here to sign-up to donate.
  • Remote learning can be especially difficult for art students. Without access to the studio students may miss out on the hands-on experience that art class provides.The secondary art department has compiled a list of art supplies that were too costly to purchase from the regular budget but would help to enrich distance learners in art classes at STEM. The items are specifically for use at home. Click here to view the list.

PikMyKid App Update - Elementary Families ONLY
We've had a very successful week launching the PikMyKid dismissal app. Thank you to all of you for downloading and getting familiar with this new procedure. If you need some additional assistance with navigating the app, reference this helpful PDF.

If you are still having difficulty seeing your student in the app, click here to complete the STEM PikMyKid Account Connection Help Request Form.

Meals for Hybrid and Virtual Learners from DCSD
DCSD is offering families the opportunity to order meals for Nutrition Services for Hybrid Students (when they are virtual) or 100% Virtual/Online Learners. Please click here to complete the sign-up form. A pick-up location will be available for the parent to choose. Please note STEM is not listed as a pick-up location. Parents are able to choose any other school on the list as their pick up site.
  • 3 day lunch bags with 5 breakfast
  • 3 day lunch only bags
  • 5 day breakfast and 5 lunch bags

All meal orders payments will be processed by our kitchen managers through the students' lunch accounts for all regularly paying students. All free and reduced students' meals are free. 

  • Elementary Students will get the ordered yearbook from their homeroom teacher. Only e-learners will be able to pick them up from the office.
  • Secondary Yearbooks: 100% Virtual/Online students who purchased a yearbook last year can come to pick up their yearbook from the Middle School Office starting on Wednesday. Hybrid students will get their yearbooks delivered to them in their classes over the next few weeks.

Senior Photo Information
The last date to submit a senior picture for the yearbook is October 30, 2020. Aaron Guggenheim (aaron.guggenheim@stemk12.org) is our new Yearbook Advisor. Click here to view a helpful flier with important date and information on photos.

Parents of 7th & 8th Graders, Sign Up for PSAT!
STEM School Highlands Ranch will be offering all of our students in grades 7 & 8 the opportunity to take the PSAT for FREE on October 6 or 8. We are committed to helping each student achieve his or her best, and that includes giving students an opportunity to practice exams prior to the college admissions process, as well an ensuring students are given opportunities to truly show what they know by taking off-level assessments that capture students' true abilities. Find additional information on the benefits of taking the PSAT at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-8-9/k12-educators/overview. Click here to sign-up by August 31.

Secondary Back-to-School Night Information
Due to the logistical constraints COVID presents for our Secondary families and staff, we will plan to create an asynchronous back to school night for 6th-12th grade students. This event will be ready for families no later than September 11. Please contact Dan Hoffman (dan.hoffman@stemk12.org) with any questions that come up for you. 

Click here to view the latest STEM PTO Newsletter.

Secondary Apps and Student Privacy
Over the past few months, we have been auditing the websites and applications that we ask students to use in our classes, to be in accordance with HB 16-1423. Additional information related to this can be found on the school website under Student Data Privacy. Please review this MS letter for specific apps that Middle Schoolers MAY be using in their classes. Please review this HS letter for specific apps that High Schoolers MAY be using in their classes.

Middle School Study Hall Attendance Update
We recognize that attendance for Study Hall has been challenging this week, so we are changing the way that we will take attendance for study hall starting next week to see if we can make it better for everyone. Students will fill out a Google form which will be found in their Study Hall Canvas course calendar for their attendance. The zoom session will be available for anyone who needs help throughout the entire course and the Google form will be used for taking attendance. This information will also be shared in an announcement in Canvas by the end of the day, Friday. A link to the Google Form also be included in the Weekly Student Newsletter.

Upcoming Diagnostic Assessments
Students will be completing iReady, MAPs, and teacher developed assessments in the next few weeks in order to determine the academic needs of each student. These assessments are used to drive instructional decisions and it is important that these diagnostic assessments show what a student knows and understands on an independent level. These assessments are not used to calculate a students grade in the class.  

In order to support and provide valid assessment data for your student, please: 
  • Provide a focused and comfortable space for students to complete the assessments.
  • Ensure that your student does not use any materials or tools other than paper and pencil for scratch paper. 
  • Refrain from assisting students when completing the assessments.  
  • Encourage students to do their best so teachers can determine what they need to learn next. 
Parent Canvas Calendar Tutorial
The tutorial to the left will provide steps on how to populate your student's schedule into the calendar feature to view either a Weekly, Monthly or Agenda View.

If your Hybrid student has an empty period, they must go to the office at the beginning of that period and ask to speak with a counselor. If your student is 100% Virtual/Online Learner, they should email their counselor immediately.

If you are having technical difficulties with Canvas, please submit a ticket to support@stemk12.org.
Walking the Beat with Deputy Gabe
Check out the first entry of Deputy Gabe Uribe's "Walking the Beat" Newsletter for the 2020-21 School Year.

Each week Deputy Gabe shares some helpful tips, reminders and insights from a safety perspective.

You can also access last year's version via the same link.
Mental Health Supports Page
If you haven't checked it out, our Mental Health Supports page, has a number of helpful resources for students and parents.

DCSD Mental Health Support Page
Douglas County School District has a Mental Health Resources page with a variety of resources for students and families. Please take a moment to review all that they have listed.

DCSD Presentation on Mental Health
Check out DCSD's presentation on tips to support mental health for the new school year.
STEM Center for Strength
The STEM Center for Strength is taking shape. Click the logo to above to visit their website to get helpful resources as we continue our journey through recovery. You can also visit the STEM Center for Strength Facebook Page.

The STEM Center for Strength is excited to open its doors--virtually--to serve the community of STEM School Highlands Ranch. We are here to support students, parents, staff, and any community members affected by the incident of mass violence on May 7, 2019. 

Please join the mailing list to get information on free services and events at the STEM Center for Strength over the summer!

The STEM Center for Strength has therapy dogs, student groups, social activities, yoga, clinicians, and a variety of programming over the summer. Please check the website frequently for updates!
STEM Student Sai Connor shared his #STEMStrong spirit this summer during a visit to a museum. Thanks for sharing this photo with us. We love your creativity and innovative spirit!
The Foundation for Douglas County Schools is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which works with corporations and organizations to develop private resources to enrich education within Douglas County schools for the fulfillment of lifelong learning experiences of our students, citizens and community. Visit the website.