Weekly news & updates
Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 | Newsletter Archive | View as Webpage
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 Second Week
We hope you had a wonderful second week of school! As you are aware, we are working to problem solve, pivot and respond as fast and as effectively as possible. Below are some items that we've received feedback on from our teachers, that we'd like to share with our families to help with Virtual Learning

  1. Please allow for patience as our teachers are trying to create engaging lessons that meet the needs of all learners in both an in-person and virtual format. Please know that it is a learning curve for teachers as well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Complete this form and submit to your student's teacher.
  4. If you need IT assistance, please submit a support ticket using the information below.
  5. Our Communications Pathways Document is a very helpful tool to help point you in the right direction to submit specific questions to.
  6. 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)
Secondary Back-to-School Night Webinars
Secondary teachers will begin to post videos in their Canvas courses that families and students can access (using student accounts) so that families can meet their student's teacher and get to know a little bit more about the experience that their student will have. Additional information will be shared with students and families this week via email so be on the lookout.

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.

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. 

  • Secondary Yearbooks: All Secondary Students can pick up their yearbooks from last school year at the Middle School Front Office.

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!
On October 6, STEM seventh and eighth grade students in Cohort A will take the PSAT 8/9, and on October 8, seventh and eighth grade students in Cohort B will take the PSAT 8/9. This assessment is not part of the state-mandated accountability testing, but an opportunity for parents, students ad teachers to see what skills students need in order to prepare for high school and college. More information about the PSAT 8/9 can be found here. Also, click here to view the PSAT 8/9 Overview that includes the schedule for October 6 & 8, as well as FAQs.

SAT for Seniors on Wednesday, Sept. 23
On September 23, seniors will take the SAT or SAT with Essay; students have already selected which version of the assessment to take. No lunch will be provided, as the cafeteria will not be open. Students in grades 9-11 will complete remote assignments from home. Students who have selected the 100% Virtual/Online Learning as their Academic Plan will attend at their scheduled cohort time. Testing rooms will be capped at 15 students, and social distancing will be maintained. Masks are required. Click here for the day's schedule. Click here to access Click here for a letter from Hannah Reese about the opt-in Student Search service from The Colorado Board.

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.

STEM Welcomes a Service Dog
There will be a Certified Service Dog in our school helping one of our students to access our curriculum and assist with their learning. There will be information sessions planned here at school for students and staff who will have the dog in class to help integrate the dog into our school routines. Students and staff will be instructed as to the proper procedure regarding the dog and that the dog is a ‘working’ Certified Service Dog and not a pet while at school. We anticipate the Certified Service Dog being a benefit to the student’s learning and we look forward to this new addition to our school and school community. Thank you for your understanding and support. If you have questions, please contact Hannah Reese at hannah.reese@stemk12.org.

Help Us Build Ships!
Partnerships, Friendships, Mentorships, Internships, Relationships, Sponsorships
Our industry, business, and educational partners at STEM School Highlands Ranch are essential to student success. They help us understand real-world problems and solutions. As subject matter experts and community partners they empower student learning, support teachers, and help us prepare students for the future.

In an effort to update our contacts and clarify the level of involvement that best fits your availability for the 2020-2021 school year, we are asking industries and businesses to complete a short survey.

First Robotics Information Meeting
Hello STEM High School students! Are you interested in building robots, working with a team and learning more about engineering topics? Team 4418 IMPULSE is proud to be part of the FIRST community and be the varsity robotics team at STEM. The engineering labs at STEM provide all of the tools our team needs to build our FRC robot. In addition to the standard hand tools and power tools found in most technology education labs, STEM is also equipped with such tools as: a 3D printer, a laser engraver, a CNC milling table, a vertical mill, a TIG welder, etc. Hands-on learning with these tools gives students not only technical knowledge but also confidence in their technical abilities.

We are hosting an introduction to Team 4418 on Zoom this year instead of in person. We will talk about what we do on the team and the competition season. The Zoom meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. Please stop by to learn more about our team and what we do! See you there!

Election Art Contest Open to DC Youths
The Election Division of the Douglas County Clerk and Recorder's Office invites local youths to explore and express what America and our democratic process means to them through art. All K-12 students residing in Douglas County are eligible to submit their original drawings, paintings or graphic design pieces to the Election Year 2020 Student Art Contest. Entries in four age divisions (each with a unique theme) must be received by September 18 to be eligible. Winning pieces will be professionally displayed in Douglas County School District and Douglas County government offices. Students should electronically submit the contest entry form and a digital photo of their artwork to clerk@douglas.co.us. Students without digital means may call the county at 303-660-7444 to arrange for delivery of their artwork.
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.
We have launched the PikMyKid Dismissal App for our Elementary School Driveline for the 2020-21 School Year. PikMyKid is a dismissal program that provides an additional layer of safety and security to ensure that our students are be dismissed to the appropriate parent/guardian on the correct day. The use of this program also helps for us to enforce and maintain social distancing practices during the dismissal process. Click the logo to access our PikMyKid page on the website.
AllHealth Network Colorado Spirit Coping Tips
Click here to access some helpful tips on how to cope with feelings of stress. You can also contact a team member at Colorado Spirit free of charge if you'd like to get more support at 720-707-6789, or visit allhealthnetwork.org/colorado-spirit
Free Two-Hour Training on Psychological First Aid
Click here to access a flier with upcoming dates on free Zoom sessions on Psychological First Aid. You'll learn how to support people after an intense event by: Supporting Safety, Listening, Comforting, Connecting and Instilling Hope. Click here to sign-up.
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.
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!
Congratulations to STEM School Highlands Ranch on being named a Shining Star Inclusion award winner. We were nominated by one of our families and selected by DCSEAC via a drawing, to receive a $250 donation from Developmental Pathways. We were the first Charter School to receive this award!
Spartan Cross Country Team Competes in First Meet of Season
The Spartans got their season off to a great start last Friday against DSST-Conservatory Green at Highland Heritage Regional Park. This was the first meet of the year, and for many, their first 5K ever! It has been a rough start with the oppressive heat and lousy air quality, but for really only having 1.5 weeks of training under their belts, the coaching staff could not have been any more proud of how they competed!!

Led by Lauren Watts' overall win, the Lady Spartans went 1-2-3-4 in the girls race! There were not enough runners on either team to calculate a team score.

In the boys race, Carlos Martinez led the charge with a fifth-place finish, and the Spartans put all seven runners ahead of The Hive's No. 5 runner. Alas, it wasn't quite enough, as DSST claimed victory 22-35.

This was the first CHSAA-sanctioned Cross Country race hosted by STEM in school history and marks a big first-step in. The Spartans will be in action again at Highland Heritage Regional Park on Friday, Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m.
Congratulations to Secondary Engineering Teacher Mike Shallenberger on being selected as one of 50 finalists for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. This recognition honos excellent teaching in skilled trades education in American public schools. He is now in the running for one of 18 prizes totalling $1 million, which will be awarded in October 2020.
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.
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.