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Staying Connected with our Families During COVID-19

Friday, April 3

​Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

Today, the Douglas County School District, along with 13 other major school districts in Colorado, announced that the students will continue their education remotely for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.  We understand this will continue to impact all of our community so we want to once again remind our families of the resources that are available.

Please check the Weekly Parent Newsletter that was emailed for these resources for accessing free meals for children under the age of 18, as well as mental health resources. 

Living through an unprecedented and rapidly-changing world pandemic requires tremendous resilience. Together we will get through this health crisis. Send your questions to our communication manager at communications@stemk12.org. We will continue to provide our students with access to our teachers and to the high-quality education they provide.  

Take care and stay well,

P.J. Eucker PhD
Executive Director

Thursday, April 2
Hello STEM School Highlands Ranch Community!
 
I hope this message finds you and your families staying safe and healthy. I know for me it’s been a big adjustment with two working parents at home and three little ones to watch after, teach and keep busy!
 
We realize this is a big adjustment for many of you and are hoping some of the new Secondary-level supports we’ve started this week will help your family. We are working with teachers and support staff to ensure we are touching base with the families of students who have struggled yet to engage. We have also asked Middle and High School teachers to start using the Canvas Calendar feature to post Zoom class and office hours information.
 
If you and/or your student are finding organization to be a challenge, we highly recommend you utilize the Dashboard List View or Calendar features built into Canvas. For additional information, click here.
 
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to venture into this new territory.
 
In kindest regards,
 
Jenny Johnson
Assistant Director of Student Support
 
Wednesday, April 1
Check out this Zoom video with Nicole Bostel (Communications Manager) and SRO Deputy Gabe Uribe. He shared what he's been up to since STEM has been closed. We miss you Gabe!
 
 
Tuesday, March 31
 
Happy Tuesday Families!
 
I have been working with our teachers on a daily basis to help provide them with resources, but also gather resources from them to share with your. This week I reached out to all of our teachers within Elementary, Middle and High School to gather tips on how to best support our students' behavioral needs and learning.
 
I am going to utilize their expertise from the classroom, in conjunction with some restorative justice practices, to work with our students to ensure they succeed while they are learning from home. In addition to quick tips, I'm also soliciting long-term methods that are easy to implement at home as well.
 
Once I have compiled all of this, I will share this information with all of our families to help during this difficult time.
 
I hope you all have a great week!
 
Ms Tokunaga
K-8 Dean of Students
 
Monday, March 30
Happy Monday Families!
 
I hope you are all doing well, staying healthy, and finding ways to battle cabin fever. I never expected a career in education would land me in front of a computer screen for days and weeks on end.

We realize that it is a challenging transition on everyone and want to lend a hand when and where possible. In an effort to stay connected, Elementary parents are welcomed to attend a Weekly Zoom Session with members of our admin team on Fridays from 10-11 a.m.
 
This is an opportunity for parents to ask questions or share topics that may be helpful for all parents to know more about. Last week we had so many families that participated and were engaged that it was amazing to see.
 
As a reminder, if you have personal questions about your child's learning or academics, please reach out to their teacher.
 
Stay sanitized and see you on Zoom!

Ms. Kovalesky
 
Friday, March 27
 
I would like to start by saying that I am honored to be part of such an amazing community. I have seen such tremendous innovation, kindness and caring this week. Thank you to our teachers for offering amazing learning experiences and connections for our students. Thank you to our families for your support and patience during this challenging time. And mostly, thank you to our students. Seeing your ability to continue to learn, and grow, and innovate during this incredibly challenging time is inspiring.

This week we have seen students engaging in lessons in literature and science using ZOOM (and some really fun virtual backgrounds!). Students have had online discussions about math, pets and spring break. We have had virtual guitar lessons, virtual workouts and online discussions. Moving forward we are hoping to continue to provide our students with learning and connection opportunities. We are also streamlining the connection process and scheduling for our families. Thank you all for your hard work, patience, and understanding. 

Stay #STEMStrong,

Anna MH
 
Thursday, March 26
 

Hello STEM School Highlands Ranch Community!


Wow! We’re four days into our Virtual/Online Learning schedule and I can’t say it enough that I miss seeing all our smiling faces. A lot is changing daily and it can feel a bit overwhelming so I want to make sure that we remember we are all in this together. Even though the goal of closing school is to help prevent the spread of the virus, it does not mean that we should not be connecting with one another and ensuring we all have the resources that we might need while away from STEM. 


Here are some tips that might be helpful during the next few weeks:


  • Stay connected! Since we are unable to spend time together in person with friends and community, you can still have real phone conversations, write letters/cards/emails, play board games with people in your home, spend time with your pets if you have and reach out to friends and loved ones via facetime or other video platforms.
  • If applicable to you, keep in contact with outside providers and try to keep appointments for mental health treatment. Ask if your providers can do a “telehealth” or ZOOM video conference with you.
  • Be mindful of media intake. Temporarily limit exposure to sources that increase negative and overwhelming thoughts and or feelings. Stick to content, engage and focus on things that help you feel hopeful, happy, calm, connected, inspired and uplifted. 
  • Set a schedule daily and give yourself grace. Get into the flow and routine of reading emails from teachers, doing assigned school work, exercising, and going outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
  • Create a place in your house that you can designate as the area to complete your schoolwork and spend your virtual learning day. 
  • If you are feeling stressed or anxious try using some healthy coping skills such as breathing, drawing, coloring, journaling, reading a good book, watching a feel-good movie, exercising, going for a walk or calling a friend. 

Adjustments can be difficult so don’t feel like you’re in this alone. Parents and students, please reach out to teachers, counselors or any of our mental health support team members with any questions or concerns as we navigate through this time. 


Have a great last day of the week!


Jordyn Russo, LCSW

High School Social Worker

 
Wednesday, March 25
 

We hope that you are staying sanitized!


This week has been off to a great start. As with anything else that we work to accomplish at STEM, everyone in the community stepped up and jumped right in. Your feedback has been instrumental in getting to where we are so quickly. 


Since Monday we have had 58,492 meeting minutes in Zoom. WOW!

 
Graphic

We want to provide some information about using Zoom. 


We have created a Zoom Etiquette document. 


Getting Started with Zoom


Getting Started on Windows and Mac


Zoom Video Tutorials


If you run into any issues and need assistance, please send an email to the IT support team at support@stemk12.org
 
Sincerely, 
Mike Pritchard
IT Director
 
Tuesday, March 24
 
Check out this ZOOM chat with Nicole Bostel (Communications Manager) and Stephanie Mendrala (Director of Professional Development) about how we're adjusting after day one and what's to come for the days ahead.
 
 
Monday, March 23 - First Day of Virtual/Online Learning
 
WOW! I am so impressed with the efforts of our students, teachers and families who have come together to launch our first official day of Virtual/Online Learning. We have heard from several of our teachers that they are so excited to have the opportunity to finally see their students and check in with them.
 
This is uncharted territory for everyone, but we are excited to put our mission of Never Stop Innovating into action to provide our students access to high-quality education. As we continue through this week, students and families will continue to see lite assignments from teachers to bring back a sense of normalcy.
 
Our administrative team will continue to meet each morning via ZOOM to finalize the plans for next week as we outline expectations for Virtual/Online Learning in the weeks to come.  We hope to continue to provide our students with access to amazing instructional opportunities.
 
We will share updates as they are determined.  Please submit any questions to our communications@stemk12.org email so that we can gather all of your feedback. 
 
I have also enjoyed viewing the photos that you have shared on our Facebook page of students and staff connecting! 
 
Thank you!

Leanne Weyman, EdD
K-12 Director
STEM School Highlands Ranch
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