Relevant, Rigorous, Real World Education where Character is Key! 

2016-2017

Parent/Student

Handbook

Approved by STEM Board of Directors – September 11, 2012

               

v1.0  7/18/14

Macintosh HD:Users:shannon:Public:_Projects:Vision Link:VL-1205 VisionLink Projects:STEM School Website:documents:_art:STEM-header.jpg

Table of Contents

Letter from the Administration

Welcome to STEM School!

STEM School Leadership Team & Board of Directors

2016/17 School Calendar

2016/17 Daily Schedule

Late Start Schedule

Virtual School Day

Virtual Fridays

STEM Operational Policies

Academic Honesty and Integrity

After-School Programs, Activities, and Athletics

Activity Eligibility

Arrival and Departure

Attendance, Absences, Tardiness and Truancy

Attendance

Absences

Excused Absences

Unexcused Absences

Tardiness

Cafeteria and Lunch

Cell Phones

Change of Contact Information (Address, Phone Number, etc.)

Closed Campus

Communication

Dances

Dress Code Policy

Emergency Closing, Delayed Openings and Early Dismissals

Delayed Opening

Early Dismissal

Closing School

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Fees

Field Trips

Grievance and Complaints

A. Step 1 – Principal Conference

B. Step 2 – Executive Director Conference

C. Step 3 – Appeal to Board

Guidance Counseling

Health and Medication

Curriculum and Planning

Assignments

Canvas

Homework Expectations

Grading Policy

Make Up Work: Excused Absences

Late Assignments: Not Excused

Exceptions

Leaving School

Lockers

Lost and Found

Lunch Order Process

Messages and Deliveries

Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)

Students

Parents

Parental Involvement in the Classroom

Parent – Teacher Interaction

Parking

Progress Reports

Promotion/Retention Requirements

Way to Go

School Pictures

Student Council

Student ID Cards

Student Recognitions

Honor Roll

Counseling Department

Tobacco and Drug Free Zone

Technology – Acceptable Use Policy

Information Technology

Visitors

Volunteers and Chaperones

Volunteer Hours for Parents/Guardians

STEM School Disciplinary Philosophy & Procedures

Philosophy & Procedures

Philosophy of Discipline at STEM School

Principles of Discipline

STEM School Student Honor Code

Assembly Behavior

Appropriate Media Policy

Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation

Inappropriate Behaviors

Roles in the Disciplinary Process

Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior

Items Not Allowed at School

Student and Family Acknowledgment Form

Letter from the Administration

Welcome to STEM School!

We are very excited to provide our students with a rigorous and relevant education using real world contexts.  Our mission is clear, provide a top-notch educational program that also focuses on positive personal characteristics and respect.  This document is intended to provide you with an understanding of the policies under which the school will operate.  Using these policies we can create an educational environment where students can thrive and excel to achieve their dreams and goals.

That being said, this is a “live” document that will be modified and adapted as we grow and undoubtedly encounter new issues in the future.   Certainly we will monitor and evaluate our policies on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting the needs of students, parents, and staff members.

Thank you for taking the time to read through our handbook.  You can refer to the table of contents below for a quick reference.  The document is arranged into two major sections:

  1. Operating Policies
  2. Disciplinary Philosophy and Procedures.  

In each section, the document is generally arranged alphabetically to make it easier for you to quickly reference the information you need.

We are excited to have you as a part of our STEM family!

        

P.J. Eucker PhD

Executive Director

Cody Blackburn

High School Principal

Leanne Weyman

Middle School Principal

Karen Johnson PhD

Elementary School Principal


STEM School Leadership Team & Board of Directors

School Leadership

Board of Directors

STEM Executive Director        

Dr. Penny Eucker

penny.eucker@stemhigh.org

Board President

Matthew Smith

Vice President of Engineering,

United Launch Alliance

matthew.smith@ulalaunch.com

Board Member

Mark Alpert

markealpert@gmail.com

STEM High School Principal

Cody Blackburn

cody.blackburn@stemhigh.org

Board Member

Jeffrey V. Berg

Mathematics Instructor,

 Arapahoe Community College

Jeff.berg@arapahoe.edu

Board Member

Nicole Smith

STEM Middle School Principal

Leanne Weyman

leanne.weyman@stemhigh.org

Board Member

Darsh Pandya

Senior Lead Architech at CenturyLink

darsh.pandya@gmail.com

Board Member

Juliet Garcia

 Reservoir Engineer at Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc

STEM Elementary School Principal

Dr. Karen Johnson

karen.johnson@stemhigh.org

Board Member        

Venon Thorpe

United Launch Alliance

Program Manager for NASA and Commercial Launch Services

vernon.thorpe@stemhigh.org

STEM Assistant Principal

Sarah Boland

sarah.boland@stemhigh.org

Business/Operations

STEM Assistant Principal

Hannah Reese

hannah.reese@stemhigh.org 

STEM Chief Financial Officer

Star Ake

Star.Ake@stemhigh.org

Office Manager

Kathy Reid

kathy.reid@stemhigh.org

STEM Operations Manager

Robert Hoornstra

robert.hoornstra@stemhigh.org

Office Manager

Stephanie Webb

stephanie.webb@stemhigh.org

STEM Chief Communications Officer

Denise Gliwa

denise.gliwa@stemhigh.org

School Calendar:

2016

July

August

September

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2017

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April

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Key

  School Closed/Holidays

  Planning/Professional Development

  Spartan Launch

  MAP Testing/Student Check In

  Grades Posted in Parent Portal

  Parent Teacher Conferences

  First/Last Day of School

  Graduation Day- school closed

Important Dates:


August 2        Faculty Returns

August 1-5        Student MAP Testing, registration, orientation

August 8         Student MAP Testing, registration, orientation

August 9        First Day of Fall Semester for ALL Students

September 5        Labor Day - SCHOOL CLOSED

September 23        Professional Development for Staff - NO SCHOOL

October 6        Evening Conferences by appointment - REG. SCHOOL DAY

October 7        Teacher Work Day/Conferences - OPEN HOUSE

October 10-15        Fall Break - SCHOOL CLOSED

November 11        Professional Development for Staff - NO SCHOOL

November 21-23        Teacher Compensation Day - SCHOOL CLOSED

November 24-25        Thanksgiving Break - SCHOOL CLOSED

December 16        Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL

December 19-30        Winter Break - SCHOOL CLOSED

January 2        Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL

January 3        First Day of Spring Semester for ALL Students

January 13        Professional Development for Staff - NO SCHOOL

January 16        Martin Luther King Jr Day - SCHOOL CLOSED

February 17        Professional Development for Staff - NO SCHOOL

February 20        President’s Day - SCHOOL CLOSED

March 16        Evening Conferences by appointment - REG. SCHOOL DAY

March 17        Teacher Work Day/Conferences - OPEN HOUSE

March 20-24        Spring Break - SCHOOL CLOSED

April 21        Professional Development for Staff - NO SCHOOL

May 19        Graduation Day - NO SCHOOL

May 24        Last Day of School

May 25        Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL

2016/17 Daily Schedule

Elementary School Schedule

                  K                      1st                                                    2nd                        3rd                                

8:20 - 10:00

Literacy

Literacy

8:20 - 10:00

Literacy

Literacy

10:00 - 11:00

Math

Math

10:00 - 11:20

Math

Math

11:00 - 11:40

Recess & Lunch

Recess & Lunch

11:40 - 12:20

Science Engineering Social Studies

Science

Engineering

Social Studies

11:20- 12:00

Recess & Lunch

Recess & Lunch

12:20 - 1:00

Specials

Specials

12:00 - 1:00

Science Engineering Social Studies

Science

Engineering

Social Studies

 

1:00 - 3:00

Science Engineering Social Studies

Science

Engineering

Social Studies

1:00 - 3:10

1:00 - 1:40 Specials

1:40 - 2:20 Specials

3:00

Dismissal

Dismissal

Science Engineering Social Studies

Science

Engineering

Social Studies

3:10

3:10

Dismissal

Dismissal

                               4th                                                                                  5th

8:20-10:00

Literacy

8:20-10:00

 Block 1

(Literacy/Social Studies OR Science/Engineering)

10:00- 11:20

Math

10:00- 11:20

Math

11:40- 12:20

Recess & Lunch

11:20- 12:00

Integrated Literacy

12:20- 1:00

Science

Engineering

Social Studies

12:00- 12:40

Recess & Lunch

1:00- 1:40

Specials

12:40- 2:20

 Block 2

(Literacy/Social Studies OR Science/Engineering)

1:40-3:10

Science

Engineering

Social Studies

2:20-3:10

Specials

3:10

Dismissal

3:10

Dismissal

Secondary School Schedule

A LUNCH

B LUNCH

C LUNCH

Period 1

7:00 - 7:55 am

Period 1

7:00 - 7:55 am

Period 1

7:00 - 7:55 am

Period 2

8:00 - 8:55 am

Period 2

8:00 - 8:55 am

Period 2

8:00 - 8:55 am

Period 3

9:00 - 9:55 am

Period 3

9:00 - 9:55 am

Period 3

9:00 - 9:55 am

Period 4

10:00 - 10:55 am

Period 4

10:00 - 10:55 am

Period 4

10:00 - 10:55 am

A Lunch

10:55 - 11:20 am

Period 5B

11:00 - 11:25 am

Period 5C

11:00 - 11:55 am

Period 5A

11:25 - 12:20 pm

B Lunch

11:25 - 11:50 am

C Lunch

11:55 - 12:20 pm

Period 6

12:25 - 1:20 pm

Period 5B

11:50 - 12:20 pm

Period 6

12:25 - 1:20 pm

Period 7

1:25 - 2:20 pm

Period 6

12:25 - 1:20 pm

Period 7

1:25 - 2:20 pm

Period 8

2:25 - 3:20 pm

Period 7

1:25 - 2:20 pm

Period 8

2:25 - 3:20 pm

Period 9

3:25 - 4:20 pm

Period 8

2:25 - 3:20 pm

Period 9

3:25 - 4:20 pm

Period 9

3:25 - 4:20 pm

Late Start Schedule

STEM will no longer mimic the Late Start Policy and schedule put forth by DCSD. In the event that Douglas County calls for a Delayed Opening, STEM School’s Virtual School Day Policy will take affect.

Virtual School Day

In the event DCSD determines that the the district should follow the Delayed Opening protocol, STEM School

will abide by its Virtual School Day Policy.

When it snows, our school’s operation and instructional expectations will be determined by one of these three scenarios:

1) Snow Day – Douglas County Schools (check www.dcsdk12.org) calls a snow day – STEM is closed.

2) Late Start Day – Douglas County Schools calls a Late Start day – STEM is closed and implements a Virtual School Day.

3) All Schools Open – Douglas County Schools declare Highlands Ranch area schools open - STEM is open and operating to our regular schedule.

What is a Virtual School Day? The school is closed and our students complete work from home.

Where do we find the assignments? Our faculty advised our students where to find the Virtual School Day assignments. Our teachers will clearly label what the student is expected to do that will be equivalent to a class period.

Would this be similar to Virtual Fridays? Yes! Just like our Virtual Friday students, when the completed assignment is uploaded by the student, the student is coded “activity” and not absent. We will count this as an instructional day similar to a field excursion.

Must your student stay home on Virtual School days to complete the assignment?. Students do not need to remain at home but the school will be closed; however, the student must submit the assignment according to the due date/time as indicated by the teacher.

What if our Internet is out due to the weather or we do not have Internet at home? If the student does not have Internet due to weather or other reason, students will have a few days to complete the work.

If DCSD calls a snow day, do we still have a Virtual School Day? No. Snow day means the school is closed and no work is required.

If DCSD calls a Late Start Day, will STEM be open? No. STEM will be closed. It is a Virtual School Day.

Virtual Fridays

Middle school students will have the opportunity to attend STEM 4-days per week, with Fridays designated as a virtual school day, so long as two specific requirements are met:

  1. The student must maintain a 3.5 GPA. The school registrar will identify the student’s most recent semester’s GPA and give their permission for the student to be on a 4-day week only if that GPA is at least a 3.5.
  2. The student must maintain good attendance.

The student must re-apply for the 4-day week each semester. The STEM School Administration maintains the discretion to approve extenuating circumstances.

STEM Operational Policies

STEM Formula for Character

STEM School expects all students, parents, faculty and staff to abide by the STEM Formula for Character: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Integrity. Failure to abide by the STEM Formula for Character may or may not result in disciplinary action.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

Administration, faculty and staff at STEM School strive to provide diverse opportunities in a safe, caring, and challenging environment. Our school community encourages respect and responsibility, fosters creativity, and promotes stewardship and a commitment to excellence. Students are expected to turn in work that is their own. When students turn in work that is not their own, assist others in doing so, or deliberately hinder their classmates’ learning, they violate the integrity we strive for as an academic community. These types of dishonesty are not only counterproductive to our mission, but are also illegal in certain circumstances. Understanding that the following may not illustrate every possible circumstance of academic dishonesty, STEM School defines academic dishonesty as the following:

If a student participates in any of the above actions or other action deemed a violation by a teacher, the following disciplinary action will be taken:

 

Please note that in extraneous circumstances, additional action may be taken as determined by the STEM administration.

After-School Programs, Activities, and Athletics  

STEM Academy operates separately from STEM School.  STEM School contracts with STEM Academy to offer a variety of Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) after-school, during the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. time-slot, in addition to band, orchestra and some world language classes before school.

STEM Academy will be open to all students in the South Metro Denver area. Students who are participating in any before or after school activity MUST:                                                                                                                    

In accordance with STEM School policy, STEM School students will not be allowed to stay in the school building after school or before school if they are not enrolled in Homework club, a class, BASE (Before and After School Enterprise) or STEM Academy activity. Students who are not participating in an after-school activity must leave the school building immediately at the end of the academic day.  See Arrival and Departure below.

An ever-changing slate of programs is being offered to meet the needs and desires of STEM students and feedback is always welcomed and encouraged.  For an updated listing of current program choices along with volunteer opportunities, go to www.stemhigh.org/academy/ or reference the new STEM Academy Handbook for Students & Parents.

Activity Eligibility

 

Arrival and Departure

Please refer to the Bell Schedule (page 8) for arrival and departure times. Please do not arrive before 7:30 a.m. unless enrolled in a first period activity.  Staff members are on duty from 7:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.  Please note that some teachers may be on an “alternative schedule” meaning that they either teach a first or ninth period class. In this event, please contact that teacher directly for their designated office hours.

Students are expected to leave campus after the final bell sounds unless they have permission to remain on campus (e.g., Detention, Homework Club, BASE, Academy activity or class, etc.). Students are not to remain on campus past 3:30 p.m. unless under the direct supervision of a staff member.  Students riding home in a car must be picked up at school by 3:30 p.m.. Parents should remain in their vehicle when picking up their student(s) and must follow all Drive-Line procedures in order to ensure and maintain safety protocol.

Attendance, Absences, Tardiness and Truancy

Attendance

State law requires that all students from age six (6) up to age seventeen (17) regularly attend school.  The basic responsibility for regular school attendance lies with the students and with the parents.  The role of the school in attendance matters is one of cooperation, counseling, and reporting to parents and the school district.  The law expects parental cooperation.

It is the duty of the school officials to know the whereabouts of students during the school hours.  Students may be excused for specific purposes only when signed out appropriately through the main office.

Attendance is taken during the first 10 minutes of each class period and a record is kept of absences from each class.  Hours of absence will be accumulated and recorded on report cards and on permanent school records at the end of each school year.

Excessive absence (excused or unexcused) of 5 days or more may require a conference with administration to ensure that the student’s academic and health needs are being met.  Once a student has been absent (excused or unexcused) from a class 12 days or more, the student may be in jeopardy of failing that class, per the discretion of the teacher and STEM administration.

Absences

Absence from school during regularly scheduled school hours.

  1. If a student is expected to be absent, parents may excuse the absence by calling the STEM school between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. within 48 hours of the absence.  A written excuse is not necessary if the parent has made a phone call.
  2. A student shall not leave the school during the school day without reporting to the principal's office and obtaining permission,  unless off campus lunch privileges apply.  Failure to report to the office shall result in being charged with an unexcused absence or truancy.
  3. If a student becomes ill while in school, he/she shall report to the main office.  An attempt will be made to contact a parent before allowing the student to go home.  All students will be asked to list two (2) additional people whom the school may call if contact cannot be made with either parent.  The student will be retained until contact can be made with a responsible adult who will take charge of the student.
  4. Students who are excused must leave the school and / or be off school grounds.
  5. A student must be in attendance during the day of an evening activity in order to participate in the evening activity, unless he/she has an excused absence.
  6. Students who accumulate five unexcused absences may be denied credit for the course.
  7. Students who accumulate 12 total absences (excused or unexcused) per semester may be denied credit for the course.

Excused Absences

An excused absence is defined as resulting from temporary or extended leave from school for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness
  2. Family emergency (death, serious illness)
  3. Funeral
  4. Dental or medical appointments that cannot be made on Saturdays or after school hours
  5. School sponsored activities
  6. Prearranged absence by the parent. This will require advance make up work except in emergencies, which will be evaluated and determined valid or invalid by the principal.
  7. Any absence where the student is accompanied by the parent.
  8. Absences when a student is in custody of a court or law enforcement authority.
  9. Other absences approved by the principal.

Unexcused Absences

An absence from school without the authorization of the parents or the school for reasons not acceptable as defined above as "excused absence" is an unexcused absence and shall be considered truancy.

Missed work for unexcused absences may not receive full credit. This decision is at the discretion of the teacher and administration.  An unexcused absence is defined as:

Tardiness

Punctuality is one of the self-disciplines that students are encouraged to learn.  Students are expected to be punctual for all classes throughout the year.

Being tardy is the failure to appear on time and is considered a form of absence.  Tardiness is defined as not being in the student’s designated seat, with all materials setup, when the bell rings. Teachers may further define a tardy policy in their course syllabus.

Truancy

Phase 1.  Upon acquiring two (2) excused or unexcused absences within one month or upon acquiring five (5) excused or unexcused absences within a school year, STEM School may notify the parent/guardian of the student in writing to alert them that their student is at medium risk of being qualified as Habitually Truant.  This notification will include the number of excused/unexcused absences that have been recorded for the student and a summary of parental obligations regarding compulsory attendance policies and laws.  An agent of the school will attempt to ascertain the reason for the student’s high number of absences and counsel the parent/guardian and student about the importance of attendance from both an academic and legal perspective.

Phase 2.  Upon acquiring three (3) excused or unexcused absences within one month or upon acquiring eight (8) excused or unexcused absences within a school year, STEM School may notify the parent/guardian of the student in writing to alert them that their student is at high risk of being qualified as Habitually Truant.  This notification will include the same information as the previous notice and add information about the school’s legal responsibility to move toward legal action in case the student’s excused/unexcused absences equal or exceed four (4) or more excused/unexcused absences with a month or equal or exceed ten (10) or more excused/unexcused absences in a school year.  An agent of the school will organize a meeting with the parent/guardian and the student to develop a plan for the student with the goal of assisting the student to remain in school.  

Phase 3.  Upon acquiring four (4) or more excused or unexcused absences within a month or acquiring ten (10) or more excused or unexcused absences within a school year or calendar year, STEM School may present to the Board of Directors Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C as documentation of the school’s enforcement of compulsory attendance.  The Board of Directors shall notify the parent/guardian in writing that the student is now considered Habitually Truant and that the matter shall be reported to the Douglas County Truancy Review Board.  

Phase 4.  The Douglas County Truancy Review Board may pursue judicial proceedings to compel compliance with the compulsory attendance statute and/or to enlist community resources. Possible consequences of judicial proceedings may include, but are not limited to, contempt, jail or fines.   The Board of Directors may combine the notice of Habitual Truancy to parents/guardians and summons. If combined, the petition shall state the date on which proceedings will be initiated, which date shall not be less than five days from the date of the notice and summons. The notice shall state the provisions of this article with which compliance is required and shall state that the proceedings will not be brought if the child complies with that provision before the filing of the proceeding (C.R.S. § 22-33-108(5)).  

Cafeteria and Lunch

Behavior in the cafeteria should be based on courtesy and cleanliness. Upon entering the cafeteria for lunch, students will line up and go to the serving area when called or find seats at available tables. Students waiting in line should do so in an orderly manner. Cutting into the line (or allowing cutting) is not allowed. Students should not overcrowd a table and must ensure that the table and surrounding floor area are clean prior to dismissal. No food is permitted outside the designated eating areas. Students should not share food items with each other. Stealing or hiding food is a serious matter and will not be tolerated.

 

Cell Phones

Cell phones are a fact of modern times.  We believe that it is our responsibility to teach students how to use technology responsibly, not prohibit its use.  The STEM School administration makes accommodations for students to possess cell phones at school under the following guidelines:

Any violation of the guidelines listed above may result in confiscation of the cell phone, notification of parents, and suspension of the privilege of bringing a cell phone to school. Continuing infractions will result in more stringent consequences. STEM teachers and the administration reserve the right to confiscate a student’s cell phone if it is hindering their or a peer’s learning or in any way negatively contributing to the class and school culture.

Change of Contact Information (Address, Phone Number, etc.)

Please inform the main office of any change in address, telephone number, and/or emergency number. This will enable us to contact parents in a timely manner when necessary. Upon enrollment, the parent(s) enrolling the student will be considered the “primary contact.” In cases of joint custody, the primary contact parent is expected to share student/school information with the other parent. The parents should provide the school with a written request if both parents’ request mailings, along with a supply of self-addressed, stamped envelopes. If a restraining or other court order is in effect, it is the parent’s responsibility to provide the school’s administration with a copy of the order in a timely manner.

Closed Campus

STEM School is a closed campus for students in grades K through 9.  Once students have begun their school day, they are required to remain on campus until the completion of the school day unless appropriate arrangements have been made and/or approved by a parent or guardian.  Students in grades 10th-12th will be granted open campus privileges.

Communication

STEM School recognizes the importance of appropriate communication pathways.  STEM School will maintain a web page and update it regularly with information on events and issues of importance to the community.  Email news and announcements will be sent as needed to augment and emphasize items on the web page.  Communication between the school and parents is also vitally important to the proper operation of the school.  Often misunderstandings can arise when events in the classroom are interpreted through the eyes of our students.  Effective communication pathways can reduce or eliminate the impact of these events.  The following are provided as a guide for communication within the school and between the school and our community.

  1. Parents or community members with questions about the conduct of school should make every attempt to contact the appropriate teachers first.  Contact may be via phone call, email, or meetings with the teachers.  Teachers are to make every attempt to respond to email and phone messages within two business days of receipt of the question.
  2. If parents or community members have questions that do not involve specific teachers, they should arrange a meeting with the Principal to discuss issues of broader concern. Appointments can be set up by calling the office (303-683-STEM).
  3. In the event concerns are not satisfactorily met, parents or community members have the option to present the concerns to the STEM School Board of Directors.  Inquiries to the Board will be routed through the STEM Executive Director (or the highest ranking school official).

2016 STEM Communication Pathways (v.1.0).jpg

Dances

STEM School dances are jointly sponsored and coordinated by the Student Council.  At least six adults (three teachers and three parents) act as chaperones for all school dances. Dances are for currently enrolled students. Students may bring an age-appropriate guest to High School Dances only by registering that individual with the Principal in advance. Students must remain in the dance area for the entire dance unless signed out by a parent/guardian. If a student leaves, he/she may not return. Students not attending the dance are not allowed to loiter outside or in the parking lot. All school rules and policies apply during the dance. Administration and chaperones reserve the right to remove the student and/or his or her guest if school policy is not being followed.

Dress Code Policy

The students’ general appearance should be crisp, clean, and sharp. Attire should not be distracting to the educational process. Clothing should not be torn. At no time are pants to be worn below the waist or hanging from the hips nor should undergarments be visible. It is the parent's’ responsibility to buy pants that fit properly. Pajamas and slippers are not allowed. Hats may be worn outside during fall and winter months, but never inside the building. All skirts and shorts must reach below the student’s fingertips when their arms are fully extended and their hands are placed on their thighs. Students should not show any midriff area, undergarments (including bra straps) and shall not wear clothing with spaghetti straps or any other apparel that shows cleavage. Leggings/yoga pants should not be worn unless needed for physical education classes, or under shorts or skirts. Clothing that has offensive or distracting language or graphics is not permitted. Clothing may not advertise or promote any product or activity that is subject to age restrictions, i.e. alcohol products, guns/weapons, tobacco products, adult-only behaviors or products.  Tattoos must be covered and body piercings limited to ear piercings.

We realize that “inappropriate dress” may be difficult for parents to determine, especially when pressured by young adolescents who respond to dress codes with “everyone dresses like this!”  In an effort to build a school environment with a foundation of mutual respect, we encourage students to focus on academics and not their neighbor’s choice of clothing. With students, parents and school personnel working toward the same goals in this regard, clothing can maintain its place as an area of self-expression in a positive way.

Violation of the STEM School Dress Code may result in disciplinary actions outlined in the Disciplinary Procedures section of this document.

Emergency Closing, Delayed Openings and Early Dismissals

The following procedures are used to close school or to delay the opening of school due to inclement weather.

The STEM School may follow the closing and/or delay procedures set forth for the Douglas County ThunderRidge Feeder Area. If the ThunderRidge Feeder Area is not mentioned, please plan for the school to operate on a regular schedule. The Douglas County School District website and telephone hotline will continue to be your best resource in the event of delay and closure. (www.dcsdk12.org; or 303.387.SNOW (7669)) 

Delayed Opening

When transportation providers and town road crews feel that road conditions are not safe, the Douglas County Superintendent of Schools is notified and the opening of school may be delayed for 90 minutes. In this case, STEM will revert to a Virtual School Day (See Virtual School Day) The local media outlets will be notified of the delayed opening for their announcements. This information is distributed to television and radio stations no later than 5:00 AM. If at 6:45 AM the roads are still not safe for travel, then the schools will be closed for the day and the procedures listed above will be used to make the “no school” announcement.

Early Dismissal

Students may be dismissed early from school to ensure their safety home due to inclement weather. The decision on after-school activities will be made by Douglas County School District no later than 1:30 in the afternoon. Changes in school schedules will be posted on the website and announced on local radio stations.

Closing School

If the decision is to close school rather than to delay the opening, the local media outlets will be notified of the decision to close school for their announcements. This information is distributed to television and radio stations no later than 5:00 AM. There may be times when only certain roads or areas are not passable. When conditions prohibit arriving safely and on time, students are not marked tardy. If parents feel that the roads to school are not safe, children may be kept at home. Parents should contact the school to let them know and the absence will be an excused absence.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.  

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students”.

Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reason such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records.

Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA.

Fees

Mandatory Student Fees for 2016-2017

Table 1. STEM Middle and High School Fees Schedule (Per Student)

Fee Category

Grades 1 to 8

Grades 9 to 12

Annual Student Fee

$180

$220

Important notes regarding fees at STEM:

Not included in fees

AP test fees, AP books, field trips, lunch, yearbook, computer device, bus fees, optional locker rental, student parking fees, and other individual costs.

Payments

Due July 15th, 2016- pay by RevTrak on our website

  • STEM purchases instructional materials over the summer for our August start date.
  • Payment plans are available.  Please contact STEM’s business office.

Fee waivers

STEM waives fees for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch programs.  For qualified families as determined by US government guidelines, the application process is totally anonymous and DCSD processes the applications. Simply click the correct tab on STEM’s website lunch page. All required fees automatically zero out in Infinite Campus so no STEM staff member determine if a student participates in an assisted lunch program.

Refund policy

June 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016– 95% refund

After August 31, 2016 – 0% refund

Graduation fee

The school plans to cover most of the expenses, however, the student portion is not yet determined.

Testing

Colorado requires all public schools to have one nationally normed test in addition to CDE testing for grades 3-10.  STEM pays for MAP tests at $3.50 per student per test in four domains ($14 total per student). Testing occurs at the beginning and end of the school year. For students below grade level in one or more of the domains we test mid-year for growth monitoring in that area.  

The PSAT is administered to grades 10 and 11 and serves as the National Merit Qualifier for 11th graders. All Colorado 11th graders take the ACT.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding STEM Student Fees

  1.  Why does STEM need to charge fees if it is a tuition-free public school? Colorado has one of the lowest state per pupil base funding levels in the United States. To provide quality programming, schools may charge parents fees to support extra programs important to their mission and objectives. Our families expect more and the fees help us meet instructional expectations.

  1. Does the Douglas County School District charge STEM fees for specific services?  Yes. See Table 2 below. Our required fees to DCSD represent about 5 percent of STEM’s total budget.

Table 2.  STEM Expenses for District Services

Douglas County School District Service Fees for School Year 2016-2017

Annual Cost/Student

a

Infinite Campus software, emergency management plus district support staff
STEM licenses and deploys Canvas as our Learning Management System (LMS) to provide students and their families with one system for all class assignments. DCSD requires Infinite Campus for our data warehouse. We pay for both systems.

$51.72

b

CDE testing fee

$14.80

c

Special education services fee paid for every enrolled student at STEM.
STEM pays for its own special education staff in addition to this fee, which offsets DCSD costs at neighborhood schools. 1560 students=$273,000 paid to DCSD

$175.00

d

Intra-district mail and treasurer fee

$7.04

e

Nurse consultation service fee
STEM also hires a health assistant from its budget.

$55.20

f

Douglas County School District support staff fee

$35.00

Paid by STEM per student to Douglas County School District Central Office

$338.76

Approximately $550,000 is paid to DCSD at $338.76 per pupil. Student fees offset these charges. In addition to these fees paid to DCSD, we also pay to participate in the DCSD art show and spelling bee.

  1. Are there budgeted items for student activities?  Yes. Please see Table 3 for examples.

Table 3.  STEM Student Activities and Supplies Budget Line Items

a

Classroom instructional materials – per department

$7,000-$40,000

b

Classroom supplies – per teacher as coordinated through the dept. chair

$200

c

Student government programs – middle school (grades 6 to 8)

$1,000

d

Student  government programs – high school (grades 9 to 12)

$3,000

  1. How are STEM’s school finances and purchases monitored?

  1. Are there differences between how public tax dollars are allocated for charter and neighborhood schools?

Yes.  Unlike neighborhood schools, charter schools must pay for their building, regular maintenance and all utilities. This is about 17 percent of our total budget. Salaries use the largest portion of state funds allocated annually to STEM.

Additional Fees:

Kindergarten- all STEM School’s kindergarten classes are full day. Charge for year is $3,900 paid monthly at $390. Students who qualify for Free or Reduced lunch through the federal lunch program receive a 20% discount.

BASE- before and after school care for grades K-through age 12 provided through BASE located in the elementary program. Fees can change at any time but are currently about $10 per child for mornings and $13 for afternoon care.

Field Trips

Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of field trips. Most field trips are for one day, but there are grade level overnight field trips. Students who ride the bus to a field trip location must return to school on the bus.

Students who do not represent the STEM School with safe, respectful, and responsible behavior may not be permitted to attend class, grade level, and team field trips. Teachers may, at their discretion, permit these students to attend a field trip provided that the student’s parent(s) accompany him/her on the field trip.

Students, who will not be participating in a field trip activity, whether it is a one-day field trip or an overnight field trip, are still required to attend school. Teachers will arrange for students who are not attending a field trip to work in an alternate classroom during the school day. Students who do not attend on the day(s) of a field trip will accrue unexcused absences for the day(s) that they miss.

Parents must pick up students promptly after field trips. If a student is not picked up promptly, teachers are required to call the authorities to take your child home. Parents attending field trips must be cleared (get fingerprinted, etc.) before doing so. Please see Volunteers and Chaperones, page 23 for additional information

Grievance and Complaints

The grievance procedure may be used for any situation occurring within the operation or normal procedures of the school, which causes a student, parent or guardian to believe that a student has been wronged. A student, parent, or guardian may initiate the procedure when they believe that a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of school or Board policy or state or federal law or regulation has occurred. If students or parents have concerns that involve classroom teachers, the Board strongly encourages the concerned persons first to contact the teacher directly to resolve such matters informally whenever possible. If the concern is with the school administrators or support staff, the Board strongly encourages concerned persons to attempt direct contact with the Executive Director or appropriate Principal to reach a satisfactory resolution, if possible.

A. Step 1 – Principal Conference 

A student, parent or guardian wishing to invoke the grievance procedure shall make a written request for a conference with the respective Principal to discuss the grievance and seek resolution. The request shall describe the grievance and name the specific policy, rule or law believed to have been violated. The following additional guidelines shall be observed in Step 1:

  1. A grievance shall be filed as soon as possible, but no longer than thirty (30) days after disclosure of the facts which give rise to the grievance.
  2. The Principal may grant the conference within five (5) school days following receipt of the request. The Principal may state in writing his/her position on the question to the student, parent or guardian within five (5) school days following the principal conference.
  3. Only the parent, guardian, or someone acting in loco parentis shall be permitted to join or represent the student in the conference with the principal. If a teacher is involved, he or she must also be present.

B. Step 2 – Executive Director Conference 

If the grievance is not resolved by Step 1, or if the grievance involves the Principal, the student, parent or guardian may appeal the Principal’s decision in writing to the STEM Executive Director.  A written notice of Appeal to the Executive Director must be made within ten (10) school days following the action of the Principal that gives rise to the grievance, or receipt of the written response from the principal (if the grievance involves a teacher). The Executive Director may review the Principal’s decision within five (school days) following receipt of the request.  If the Executive Director needs more information on the matter, he or she may schedule a conference within five (5) days following the receipt of the request.  Only the parent, guardian, or someone active in loco parentis shall be permitted to join or represent the student in the conference with the Educational Director.  The building Principal may be present as well in this conference.  The Executive Director may state in writing his/her position on the question to the student, parent or guardian within five (5) days following the receipt of the grievance or following the conference.

C. Step 3 – Appeal to Board 

If the grievance is not resolved by Step 1, Step 2, or, if the grievance involves the Executive Director, the student, parent or guardian may appeal the Executive Director’s decision in writing to the Board of Directors. A written notice of Appeal to the Board must be made within ten (10) school days following the action of the Executive Director that gives rise to the grievance, or receipt of the written response from the Executive Director. The Board may review the Executive Director’s decision at the next regular Board meeting which occurs more than four (4) school days after receipt of the Grievance Notice from the parent and shall provide notice and an opportunity to be heard to the parent, guardian or student invoking the grievance written response to the student, parent, guardian, principal and Executive Director within ten (10) school days following the review by the Board. (There will be a 20-minute time limit for each party to present their case. The Board may grant a ten-minute extension.)

Guidance Counseling

See Student Services Department.

Health and Medication

All forms that you may need are available at the STEM Website under “Health Room,” the STEM Office or the Douglas County Website under Health Services/Medication and Policy Forms.

Curriculum and Planning

Teachers must submit to the designated leader year-long plans at the beginning of the academic year and regular unit plans throughout the year demonstrating inclusion of the complete Core Knowledge scope and sequence (Elementary and Middle School) or State Standards (High School).  

Teachers acting in a professional capacity deliver the content, skills, and knowledge to prepare our students for successful post-secondary endeavors. Our teachers work every day to design and implement an effective curriculum. In addition, teachers within and between departments work to ensure that the sequence of learning is connected across disciplines and between grade levels.

Particularly at STEM, focused on science, technology, engineering, and math, and during this period of tremendous advances in the STEM fields, our curriculum is critical to our success.  We are focused not only on the content, but the methods of instruction, tools of assessment, and alignment with best practice and educational research.

Our teachers follow State of Colorado standards, with attention to the admission requirements of selective and highly selective colleges and universities.  As a public school, STEM works hard to ensure that each young person gains an understanding about a wide range of opinions and perspectives so that they are well able to lead successful lives, with a strong character and respect for all.

Because the curriculum is of great interest to parents and students, the STEM Board has established a curriculum committee involving School leadership, Department Heads, Faculty, and Parents.  Any stakeholder of the School is welcome to attend meetings.  The Committee is advisory to the School Board.  The Board attends to the overall tenor of the curriculum and to the financial resources required by certain curriculum-based requests from the School.  The specific components of the curriculum for any one class, grade level, or sequence of courses are developed by the teachers and are overseen by the Principals and the Executive Director.

Regular Meetings

Every month, the Committee holds a 1.5-hour session focusing on one particular area of the curriculum, such as Language Arts, Math, Science and so forth.  The meeting will begin with a showcase project or assignment that demonstrates success.  Then the Committee will discuss with faculty and others present the overall approach of the Department, supported by course syllabuses and other documents that help the Committee members understand the scope and sequence of instruction. Because these meetings occur on a monthly basis, and because there are many departments in the School, a curricular issue from any Department can be raised for discussion during the time remaining.

These meetings may also consider new texts, new approaches, new forms of assessment, and best practices and other insights from research.  The Committee will then advise the Board and the School leadership of their insights and guidance.

Suggestions and Concerns

If a parent or student has suggestions (for a project-based learning opportunity, for example) or concerns about the curriculum, the first step is to discuss your suggestion or concern with the classroom teacher.  Very often these are wonderful discussions that help the teacher and perhaps the entire School.  If there is a concern that remains unresolved, then the parent or student is invited to bring their suggestion or concern to the monthly Curriculum Committee meeting for discussion.  Concerns should not be taken directly to Board members as this Committee advises the Board.  Concerns should not be taken to the School leadership as well, until this Committee has discussed the issue.  Please inform the Committee Chair in advance if you have a suggestion or concern to bring to the discussion.

Please understand that this Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Board, and that the Board and School leadership strongly believe in the professional discretion of our teachers.  STEM expects teachers to provide a broad range of content and perspective (both individually and collectively), so that our students learn to think critically, acquire necessary skills, develop a strong character, and to effectively articulate their own opinions and beliefs while respecting those of others.


Assignments

Each teacher will provide each class with a syllabus available on the teacher’s Canvas site (grades 5-12) or Google Classroom (grades K-4).  Depending on the teacher and the needs of the course, that syllabus may be highly detailed or only general in nature.  It may change from time to time.

All assignments and their due dates, and assessments dates, will be posted on the teacher’s Canvas site for each class.  Each student is responsible for using this information about assignments, assessments and dates to complete work on time or to make up work when ill or absent.  See details about make-up work and late assignments, below.

Realizing that STEM students are often quite engaged with clubs, sports, and many different activities each evening, teachers will provide information about assignments, assessments, and due dates for the coming week by the preceding Friday evening to help students plan ahead to successfully complete their assignments.  The nature of some work, or necessary changes in course schedules, may make preceding-Friday assignments not always possible.

Canvas

Canvas is a learning management system that parents can use to stay informed of their child’s grades and missing assignments. Grades for completed work, and indications of missing work will be posted on Canvas. Typically, if an assignment is considering “missing” the teacher will assign the grade of “0.” If an assigned has not yet been graded, a dash (-) will appear. Please allow teachers sufficient time to assign grades for each assignment. Once an assignment has been turned in, or the test is taken, the grades should be posted within two business days depending on the length of the assignment.  

Elementary classrooms will be using Google Classroom to communicate assignments to students and parents.  Not every assignment will necessarily be posted as hands on learning experiences may not have the ability to be uploaded. Please reach out to the classroom teacher if you have questions.

Homework Expectations

Homework is designed to provide students with an important opportunity to practice and to extend what they are learning. The amount of homework will vary based on the unit, the student’s own work habits, and the appropriate use of class time.

In general, elementary students should expect approximately 20-30 minutes of homework each day, middle school students should expect approximately 20 minutes of homework per day for each class.  High school students should expect approximately 20 to 30 minutes per day per class.  

Honors/accelerated, concurrent enrollment and AP classes may have additional requirements as determined by the instructor.

If a middle school student is enrolled in a high school level course (or a high school student in a middle school level course) the homework expectations are for the level of the class, not the grade level of the student.  This means that a 8th grade student taking a high school level math class can expect 20 to 30 minutes of homework per day from that class, as is typical of high school classes at STEM, even though the student’s grade level is in middle school.


Grading Policy

Each teacher will make his or her grading policies clear to their students through information posted to their class web site, either as a separate document or part of their course syllabus, and as discussed in class. Where appropriate, teachers will provide grading rubrics outlining the expectations for specific assignments.  The overall grading system, and as used for transcripts, is as follows:

Grade

Score

GPA Value

AP/CE

A

90-100

4.0

5.0

B

80-89

3.0

4.0

C

70-79

2.0

3.0

D

60-69

1.0

2.0

F

0-59

0.0

1.0

Within 2 days of a due date for an assignment all teachers will indicate if an assignment is missing by grading the assignment as a  '0'. If the assignment was turned in but has not yet been graded, Cavas marks the assignment with a submitted icon. This is to help inform both parents and students whether or not assignments have been received and are in the process of being graded.

Make Up Work: Excused Absences

For excused absences, students have two full days for every day missed to turn in their assignments.  This means that if a student is excused and misses on a Tuesday, they can catch up on their work on Wednesday and Thursday, and all assignments are due as their classes meet on Friday.  If a student is excused and misses on a Thursday, their assignments are due as their classes meet on Tuesday (weekend days are not counted.)

If the student is excused for 4 days, they would have 8 full days to work on their missing assignments and complete their missed quizzes and tests.  If a student misses Wednesday through Monday as an example, they could work on their missing assignments for the following 8 school days beginning Tuesday when they return, with everything due when their classes meet on the Friday of the following week.  

Students have the responsibility to remind their teachers that they were excused and absent, and to check their teachers’ Canvas pages for assignments and assessments that were due during their absence. Students have the responsibility to work with their teachers to set times and dates to make up specific tests and quizzes, and to arrange for alternate assignments if appropriate.

Teachers have the responsibility to inform the student about the assignments, quizzes and tests given during excused absences by maintaining this information on their class websites.

Teachers may modify assignments and due dates at their discretion.  For example, a science lab that occurs while a student is absent is not likely to be re-constructed when the student returns to school.  Instead, the teacher will provide an alternative assignment, or modify the due date.

Parents are encouraged to pick up work assignments from their child’s teachers so that students who are home sick can begin to catch up as possible.

Late Assignments: Not Excused

Completing assignments on time is not simply to keep the course moving on schedule; it is to ensure that students have done the work to learn the current content of the class, before they move on to the next topic.  When students fall behind they are not able to learn the new material as effectively or efficiently.

Late assignments are graded with the typical expectations of the assignment, and then a penalty is applied to each late assignment.

We have a wide variety of assignments at STEM, from daily assignments to very long-term and complex projects.  To recognize this, the late assignment policy focuses on two kinds of assignments:  Regular Assignments and Project Assignments.  Teachers will let you know if an assignment is to be treated as a regular assignment or as a project assignment. We also have a “Life Happens” clause.  

For Regular Assignments

For Project Assignments

“Life Happens” Clause

Exceptions

All classes at STEM may follow these policies except for courses taken for Concurrent College Credit, such as Concurrent Enrollment courses through Arapahoe Community College or other institutions of higher learning  and AP classes, in which case the instructor may provide alternatives in keeping with the college-level work of the course.  Courses taken under the direction of another institution will follow that institution’s policies.

Extenuating circumstances, either from the Teacher’s perspective or from the student’s may occur which require adjustments to these policies on a rare and case-by-case basis.  The Assistant Principal will make these decisions.

Leaving School 

Students are not permitted to leave school grounds at any time during the school day. The only exception to this rule is students who are participating in off campus lunch privileges. If a student must leave because of illness, medical appointments, or family emergencies, a parent must sign their student out. Returning students must sign-in at the office. Individual teachers do not have authority to excuse any student from the school during the school day.

Lockers

Each middle school student has the option of renting a student locker. These lockers are issued clean and it is the student’s responsibility to keep them clean and neat during the year.  If, during the course of the year, a locker becomes in need of repair, the student should contact the office.  Combination locks will be issued to students who pay the rental fee.  Lockers and locks will be assigned and registered with the front office. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the combination secure. Students should NEVER give their combination to a friend. Lockers will be checked at the end of the school year and fines assessed for any damage. ALL LOCKERS ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE SCHOOL AND MAY BE OPENED BY SCHOOL AUTHORITIES FOR REASONABLE SUSPICION THAT A VIOLATION OF LAW OR SCHOOL POLICY HAS OCCURRED.

Lost and Found

Articles found in and around the school should be placed on the table outside the cafeteria where the owners may claim their property.  High value lost property (cell phones, etc) should be taken to the front office.  Students can claim their property through identification.

Lunch Order Process

The lunch ordering process is completed on-line through Douglas County Food Services.  Please see the “Lunch” tab under “Parents” on our stemhigh.org website.  

Messages and Deliveries

Items for students may be dropped off at the front office.  A table will be made available in front for parents to drop off items such as lunches, homework, projects, etc. for students to retrieve during the day.  Items of significant value such as cell phones or laptops should be taken directly to the front desk (and not left on the delivery table). Once an item has been placed on the “delivery table” parents should notify their students.  This may be accomplished via text or voicemail if available or can be arranged with the front office staff.

Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)

Appropriate Internet and/or electronic communication is imperative in today’s professional and personal wireless environment. Here are a few of the basics:

When you receive an e-mail which says to send it to everyone you know, please don’t. If you receive a nasty e-mail do not respond to it. Notify your parents or teacher.  Do not forward jokes, chain letters or unimportant e-mails without the recipient’s permission.

Remember: Email is never really private and a copy may exist in cyberspace . . . forever.

Students

Students are subject to the following specific rules related to social media:

        Do not Plagiarize - Do not copy the work of others.  Give proper attribution for quotations and ideas.  Write to develop and express your own thoughts.

        Use Appropriate Language - Obscene, insulting, threatening, derogatory, inflammatory and bullying language in not appropriate and almost always detracts from your ideas.

        Respect the Power of Public Media - Honor the wishes of fellow students that information (e.g., compromising stories) be kept private.  Always remember that posted information may seem private, but is highly public.

        Do Not Spam - Meaningless messages, mass messages and repetitive messages are not appropriate.

        Read, then Reply - Do not skim statements and respond.  Understand the thoughts of another before you comment on them.

        Do Not Hack - Never access another person’s identity or account, or restricted sources of information.

        Only Use School Media to Communicate with Teachers - Teachers are not permitted to use non-school media to communicate with students and this restriction applies to students as well.  Do not attempt to “friend” a teacher on any non-school social media site (such as Facebook) and do not accept a friend request from a teacher.

Parents

Parents are subject to the following specific rules related to social media:

        Discourage Rumors - Do not rely upon or pass on unsubstantiated information or gossip.  If information seems unlikely and inflammatory, it is most likely untrue and inflammatory.  When in doubt, go directly to the source.

        Respect Confidentiality - Many personnel issues and many issue involving other families and students are legitimately confidential (and many are confidential by law).  If you would not want information about your job or your child made public, do not make or expect to see in public such information about others.

        Do Not Perform Student Work - Your child’s work is his or hers.

        Debate Issues Constructively - Schools often face legitimate controversies. STEM School and Academy respects and solicits parent voices in addressing such issues.  Effective arguments are usually civil, measured, well-supported and take into account the legitimate reasons for opposing views.  Ineffective arguments are abusive, disrespectful of others, and marked by hyperbole or factual carelessness.

Consequences

Consequences for behavior inconsistent with this policy may range from warnings and counseling, through requiring a written apology all the way to termination of staff employment, expulsion of students, or banning parents from school media and grounds. It is the administration’s decision as to which consequence is most appropriate.  

Parental Involvement in the Classroom

STEM Elementary/Middle/High School is a school of choice. As such, STEM recognizes the value of parental involvement in the school and wishes to provide avenues for parents of STEM students to contribute to the success of STEM. Teachers will provide meaningful opportunities for parents to participate in the classroom. The following are specific expectations for any parental involvement in the classroom.

  1. Teachers are the final authority in the classroom.
  2. Teachers have their own teaching style, which is to be respected by all room volunteers.
  3. Volunteers must be under the direct supervision of certified staff at all times.
  4. Volunteers must check in with the front office before entering the classroom.
  5. Under no circumstance is it acceptable for a parent volunteer to confront a teacher about an issue in the classroom, or any other part of the school, when students are present.
  6. Should a parent volunteer be deemed incapable of securing the health, safety and welfare of the students and/or the school by Administration, the Principal reserves the right to deny direct access to students and/or classroom related activity and/or campus per statutory authority.

Parent – Teacher Interaction

At the center of the educational process is the student, teacher and parent. A fully functioning classroom is one in which teachers and parents are working together on behalf of the best academic interest of students. It is expected that parents and teachers make every effort to work positively with each other at every turn. As adults, we must model positive interaction for our students. The following parameters will help facilitate a positive, professional relationship between parents and teachers:

  1. Parents will call in advance to set up meeting times with teachers.
  2. Teachers will make every effort to communicate with parents in a timely manner.
  3. The responsibility for teacher evaluation rests with the Principal.
  4. Parents and teachers will always keep the best interests of the student(s) the highest priority.
  5. A teacher’s right to professional educational practice will be respected.
  6. Teachers will champion parents as central to the educational process.

Parking

Student parking permits are available in the main office for a fee to students who qualify. Students may only park in the parking lots if they have paid for a parking pass and registered their car with the high school front office. STEM reserves the right to have any vehicle removed that has not been properly registered. Due to limited parking on site for students, parking passes will be awarded on a lottery basis with upperclassmen getting priority for the parking spots.

Progress Reports

Reports of academic progress will be issued by teachers as a tool to both inform parents and students on student class performance and to encourage communication between parents/students and teachers.  The periodicity of these reports is at the discretion of the teacher.  All parents are encouraged to use Canvas to monitor student performance in all classes.  To gain access to Canvas, go to stem.instructure.com and click “parent of a Canvas user.”

Promotion/Retention Requirements

If a student does not pass three or more core classes (Science, English, Social Studies, Engineering/Technology and / or Math) they are at risk of retention.  Retention warnings will be issued at the end of the second and third quarters.  The administrative team of the STEM School makes final retention decisions. 

Way to Go

The STEM School is partnering with Way to Go: Schoolpool to assist families that are interested in carpooling, walking and/or biking to and from school with other families.  If you are interested in this program please visit the STEMhigh.com website > Parents > Transportation for more information.

School Pictures

We have contracted with VanGogh to photograph students for individual pictures. Those photographs will be transferred onto a photo ID for all students within 2-4 weeks of the photograph session.  School pictures will be taken during school at the beginning of the year.  There will be an opportunity to retake pictures some time in September or October of the school year.

Student Council

Representatives from all grades at STEM make up the Student Council. Students are selected through an application process that requires interested students to write answers to questions about their desire to serve the student body or by other means to be determined/ratified by the STEM School Constitution developed by the High School Civics class each year. The group will perform duties as outlined in the STEM School Constitution.  The Student Council sponsors school dances, spirit activities, contests, and service learning projects throughout the year.

Student ID Cards

Students are issued photograph identification cards as soon as feasible at the beginning of the school year. Identification cards are used for student identification purposes, such as entrance to special events, evening activities and sporting events, checkout of materials, etc.  Students should have their identification cards at all times.

Student Recognitions

STEM School believes recognition for exemplary academic achievement and behavior is an important part of building a positive school culture.  

Honor Roll

Students that attain “Honor Roll” status will be recognized at an awards assembly and in published form.  “Honor Roll” status will be at two levels, Honor Roll and Principal’s Scholar.  Honor Roll will be defined as any student receiving a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or above for a semester grade.  Principal’s Scholar will be defined as students that achieve a GPA of 3.80 or above for a semester grade.  Honor roll will be published each semester.

Counseling Department

The STEM School Student Services Department provides comprehensive services to students that promote dignity and worth of all students by delivering programs that address academic success, college/career exploration and planning, and social/emotional development.  Our approach utilizes combined resources and data to drive program development and evaluation based on specific goals and student competencies.  Please view the Student Services website for the latest information.

Tobacco and Drug Free Zone

STEM School and Academy is a tobacco free/drug free zone in accordance with state law. We practice ‘zero tolerance’ for drugs and alcohol at school.  Possession of these items at school will result in disciplinary action as stated in the STEM School discipline policy. In accordance, vaporizers or similar devices are considered paraphernalia and may be used to administer tobacco or other drugs. Any drug paraphernalia will be immediately confiscated, the student will be suspended, and the police will immediately be notified to issue a “minor in possession” ticket.

Technology – Acceptable Use Policy

Policy Purpose - This policy was developed in accordance with STEM School's effort to graduate students of honor and integrity and to encourage those students to use resources in an ethical and responsible manner. It is the intent of STEM to provide the student with guidelines on appropriate use of the school network, the Internet, and e-mail.

Classroom Technology Monitoring

The use of educational technology is central to the mission of the STEM School.  In order to optimize on-task time in the classroom and facilitate better teacher oversight of usage, STEM utilizes technology-monitoring software.  Each student enrolled at STEM will be required to have technology monitoring software installed on any device used to access school-provided network and internet.

Acceptable Use

STEM students are expected to use all technology not only lawfully, but also with respect, responsibility, honesty, and integrity.  Guidelines for use include but are not limited to:

  1. Students must use appropriate language and images in all electronic or digital communication or posting.  Profanity, vulgarity, or other inappropriate language, gestures, or images are forbidden.

  1. Students are not permitted to harass, bully, intimidate, stalk, demean, ridicule, deride, or threaten under any circumstances, through any medium or any resource, including but not limited to STEM School’s technology resources, personal or home computers, personal cell phones, and other personal or home electronic devices, as well as social network sites and internet sites.

  1. Students are not permitted to search for, retrieve, save, download, forward, text, or display hate-based, offensive, pornographic, or sexually explicit material.

  1. Students are not permitted to engage in electronic or digital activities that reflect negatively on themselves, or defame or disparage other students, teachers, the community or the school.

  1. Students will follow all guidelines set forth by their teachers for classroom use of electronic devices.  Devices used outside of those guidelines may be confiscated by the teacher and turned over to the Assistant Principal at the teacher’s discretion.

  1. Students are not permitted to copy information and present it as their own work without proper citation. Students will abide by all copyright, trademark, licensing, and other laws governing intellectual property, including those that apply to music, film, and video.

  1. Students will protect their own personal information and images, and that of others.

  1. Students are not permitted to pretend to be someone else when posting.  This includes, but is not limited to, sending out email, creating accounts, or posting messages, images, or other online content in someone else’s name or without permission to post.

  1. Students are not allowed to attempt to use one another’s login or give out their own login information to others.

  1. Students will conserve STEM School’s technology resources by printing only school-related material, limiting information stored on the network or in email, and refrain from sending or forwarding junk mail, spam, or group emails.

  1. Students are not permitted to access or alter—or attempt to access or alter—parts of STEM’s technology resources that they have not been given express permission to use, including but not limited to bypassing security settings or internet filters, or interfering with the operation of the network by installing illegal software, shareware, or freeware on school-owned equipment.

  1. Students are not permitted to damage or disrupt—or attempt to damage or disrupt—school equipment, the network, or the property of others, including but not limited to modifying or destroying equipment, programs, files, or settings on any computer or other technology resource, creating and propagating viruses. If a student has been found to have damaged another student’s property or the property of STEM School, that student and their family will be financially responsible for the damaged property.

  1. Students are not permitted to download or install software on or over STEM’s technology resources without clear and express permission, including but not limited to games.

  1. Students are not permitted to use or install anywhere on campus personally owned devices such as hubs, switches, routers, wireless access points and servers or server services.

  1. Students are not allowed to “friend” teachers or invite teachers via a social network site, nor should they accept a “friend” invitation from a teacher unless it relates to official school business—class, athletic team, or student organization.

Technology Misuse

Inappropriate or unapproved use of technology may result in a loss of technology privileges and/or disciplinary action, as determined necessary by the administration.

Protecting Student Information

STEM School and Academy requires middle and high school students to bring laptop computers to school. Because students bring their own laptops to school, this is considered a BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, educational organization.  Because of this, students may be bringing technical devices to school that contain not only school-related information, but personal information as well. Thus, teachers and staff are not allowed to scan, review, or in any way collect information that could be considered personal in nature.  When in doubt, assume the information is personal and it should not be reviewed.  

If information on a student’s device is relevant to activities at the School or Academy, meaning that it supports the assignments, assessments, projects, and other classroom activities or related homework, or is related to clubs, or Academy programs, then the material can be considered relevant to the School or the Academy and it can be reviewed, monitored, assessed, collected and stored by teachers, staff and Academy coaches for only so long as School or Academy policies require.

While in the classroom or other parts of the School and Academy, student devices may be monitored to ensure that the student is attending satisfactorily to the classroom or program activities at any given time.  Teachers and staff may only monitor the student’s activities to ascertain that the student is, or is not appropriately focused. If the student is not, the teacher should of course correct the situation.  This kind of monitoring shall not, however, in any circumstance include the monitoring or review of the student’s past internet activity, application usage, browsing history, or keystroke logging. If a teacher or staff member believes that such information has been collected either intentionally or unintentionally they must inform the Principal immediately so that the situation can be reviewed and corrected.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Parents have the right to have students attend school without registering their devices with the monitoring software used by the School or Academy.

Information Technology

I. PURPOSE.

To support its educational mission, STEM School may provide information technology (“IT”), such as computers, networks, Internet access, and electronic-mail accounts, to its students. The STEM Board believes that IT should be used at STEM as a learning resource to educate and to inform, and that STEM has an obligation to teach its students to be responsible IT users.

Subject to this policy, STEM staff shall be free to select and implement IT which STEM, deems best furthers the STEM mission.

While parents and students themselves are ultimately responsible for student behavior at school and student use of STEM IT, the School will make every reasonable effort to ensure that students use STEM IT appropriately and responsibly. To this end, the School has implemented content filtering measures that direct student learning and restrict student access to inappropriate material, in accordance with applicable law.

Administrators, teachers, and staff have a professional responsibility to work together and with parents to help students develop the intellectual skills needed to evaluate and choose information sources, to identify information appropriate to the age and developmental levels of the students, and to evaluate and use information to meet their educational goals.

Because all STEM IT is owned, leased, or licensed by STEM, STEM is responsible for all content stored or retained on any STEM-owned IT device or on the STEM’s networks (together referred to as “STEM IT activity”). STEM therefore has the right to monitor all School IT activity and students have a limited expectation of privacy in any information they access, receive, or create using or on STEM IT.

STEM IT may periodically fail or be interrupted, leading to loss of data or service interruption, and the School therefore makes no warranties of any kind related to its IT.

STEM shall develop and maintain operational policies addressing (1) remote access, monitoring and tracking of school-issued and student-owned computers; (2) student use, rights and responsibilities relating to computers used at STEM; (3) an "instructional technology" policy regarding use of technology in learning, including integrating technology for collaborative purposes, consistent with the STEM mission; and (4) the training of STEM staff with respect to student laptops and privacy, and the administration, oversight, and enforcement of such policies and regulations. 2

II. POLICY

A. The Board authorizes the Executive Director to develop rules and procedures (“Administrative IT Policies”) for staff and student use of technology which are consistent with this policy and the following standards.

1. All Administrative IT Policies shall comply with this policy.

2. Before adoption of monitoring software of any nature, STEM shall specifically identify the need for such software and whether there are less intrusive alternatives that can accomplish the same goal or need.

3. Student generated computer data ("SGCD") is data generated by a student while using a computer. Information or data contained on any such computer is "personal computer data” or “PCD". PCD includes specific "user logging information" ("ULI"). "Logging" is the process by which a system collects data about a computer network and the individuals using the network. STEM shall treat both SGCD and PCD as “records” as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).

4. Software that has the ability to collect PCD or SGCD shall not be used or implemented prior to the adoption of Administrative IT Policies governing use of such software.

5. STEM shall obtain informed consent from each student’s parent or guardian prior to the installation of any software on any student-owned computer and prior to implementation of any technology which has the ability to collect or monitor PCD, so that prior to the giving of such consent students and their families are fully informed of the ability of any such software or technology to collect and monitor such data and to protect such data.

6. Any technology which permits viewing or collecting of PCD shall not permit such monitoring or collection beyond any legitimate educational interests.

7. Keystroke monitoring technology shall not be used or implemented in the absence of a specific legitimate educational purpose which cannot be achieved without this technology and without specific consent from each student’s parent or guardian.

8. STEM shall not log or access PCD or SGCD other than for legitimate educational purposes. STEM shall maintain a record or log of all access or logging which records each instance of access, the data accessed, the identity of the accessing party, and the legitimate educational purpose for such access.

9. The exceptions allowing STEM staff to access PCD, other than where consent is given, shall be limited to situations where there is a reasonable suspicion of violation of either a law or school policy where there is a risk of harm to another.

10. STEM staff shall complete training regarding technology and technology policies prior to use or implementation of any such technologies.

11. For students (a) who are unable or unwilling to bring personal computers to STEM or (b) whose parent or guardian do not consent to the use or installation of monitoring software on a personal computer, STEM shall use its best efforts to make necessary accommodations to ensure that such student's education is not adversely affected.

12. For computers issued by STEM, students and their parents shall be required to sign acceptable use agreements, which will detail appropriate and inappropriate use of STEM-owned computers.

13. Remote monitoring of any kind, including activation of webcams, screen shots, audio, and video, shall be prohibited.

14. All procedures shall comply with applicable state and federal law.

B. In addition to rules specifically concerning IT, general policies, regulations, and rules governing student conduct apply to the use of IT. Violating such policies, regulations, or rules may result in the loss of the privilege to use some or all of the School’s IT, discipline (which can include suspension and expulsion), reimbursement to the School for unauthorized charges or costs, civil legal proceedings, and referral to law enforcement authorities. The School may provide examples of prohibited uses of IT in handbooks or Administrative IT Policies.

Approved by STEM School Board on September 25, 2013

Sources:

20 U.S.C. 1232, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

47 U.S.C. 201 et seq., Communications Decency Act of 1995

47 U.S.C. 231 et seq., Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 2000

C.R.S. 22-87-101 et seq., Children’s Internet Protection Act

DCSD Policy JICD, Student Use of District Information Technology

Visitors

All visitors must report to the main office before going to any other part of the school.  All individuals wishing to enter the school will be required to submit their driver’s license or proof of identification to be scanned before entering. Anyone who wants to distribute or post notices must receive approval from the office in advance.  Community announcements will be posted on the Community section of the stemhigh.org website.  All fliers and informational brochures posted or available from the front desk must be produced or sponsored by STEM or DCSD.  All posters, fliers, etc. hanging within the school must be approved and initialed by a school administrator.

Students may not bring a visitor to school for the purpose of attending classes with them without prior permission from the administration (student shadows). Students who may have a visiting guest in their home and want to show them their school may invite them to have lunch during the regular school lunch period.

At times, students may visit our school as prospective students from other schools. The school counselor may coordinate the arrangements for these visits and teachers will be given 24-hour notice that they will be having a visitor to their classes.

Volunteers and Chaperones

We welcome, appreciate and value parent participation as volunteers for our school programs. The following guidelines require that Volunteers and Chaperones:

Volunteer Hours for Parents/Guardians

Families of STEM students are asked to donate at least 30 hours of volunteer time per year.  In order to keep track of volunteer hours, STEM uses a volunteer management program called HelpCounter.  In order to set up your family account, track hours, and indicate areas of interest please visit our HelpCounter website or access this website from stemhigh.org. Before volunteering, parents and guardians will be asked to sign a volunteer DCSD Volunteer Agreement.  For more information regarding volunteers please click on the ‘Volunteer’ link on the STEM website under ‘Parents’ or view the Douglas County Volunteer Handbook.

STEM School Disciplinary Philosophy & Procedures

Philosophy & Procedures

Philosophy of Discipline at STEM School

Schools belong to the parents, students, community, and teachers.  The school community serves as a common ground allowing students and teachers to form partnerships, which will foster learning in a positive and caring environment.  The teacher serves as a guide to the student traveling along the path to knowledge and learning.

 

A successful learning atmosphere is created when students and teachers are able to interact in a positive and safe environment.  Discipline and self-discipline are important tools, which help students, and teachers create an optimum learning environment for STEM School.

 

The STEM School Discipline Plan has been created to help students and teachers thrive in this optimum learning environment.  The content of the discipline plan is based on the right of the teacher and student to teach and learn in a safe and positive environment.  Students, school staff, and parents share the responsibility of promoting and maintaining this environment.

 

Students are expected to be positive participants in relation to the school community.  The same behavior that is expected of students at school is also expected of them both before and after school hours on school grounds and at all school-sponsored activities.  The expectations that the school community has of students today teach them the same expectations the community will have of them as responsible citizens. 

 

Rules and guidelines for behavior are not designed to be traps to "catch" students doing something wrong so that a student can be punished.  These rules and guidelines are established to provide structure to help students develop a sense of self-discipline. 

 

A student's actions should be directed to improving the school and the school's learning environment.  There may be times when a student has difficulty acting in a positive manner.  When students create a problem for themselves or someone else, they will be guided with concern and respect through owning and solving the problem. 

 

The following “Principles of Discipline” are outlined below so students and parents know how the staff will relate with the students.

Principles of Discipline

When students create a problem for themselves or others, the staff will intervene to stop or change that behavior.  The staff recognizes that everyone makes mistakes.  How the staff reacts to these mistakes and how the staff intervenes can help the students learn from their mistakes.  The staff at STEM School believes in following these Principles of Discipline:

  1. The student and the situation will be handled on an individual basis.  At STEM School we believe that every situation is unique.  Different strategies work for different students and different situations.  Teachers are also unique, so different teachers may use different strategies. 
  2. The student will be encouraged to make decisions to solve problems and will live with the consequences of those decisions.  School staff will always advise or guide students to do what they believe is best for the student and the school.  Now is the time for students to learn effective decision-making.  Consequences are not as great now as when the student becomes an adult.
  3. The student will solve the problem so it does not make a problem for others.  The staff encourages problem solving in STEM School.  The staff teaches and models respect for each other and responsibility for our actions.  The student will be guided through a problem-solving process where they will learn to recognize the rights of others and acquire appropriate decision-making skills.
  4. The student will take ownership for actions and feelings, to help foster the feeling that he/she has some control.  Students will determine their alternatives, or choices.  With these choices, students will have control of their consequences.
  5. The student will be given the opportunity to learn from his/her problem.  The student’s needs for guidance, for understanding the situation, and time for reflection, will be supported.   
  6. Students will be given the opportunity to maintain their respect and self esteem.  A student's self-concept can be enhanced even during situations in which students are being disciplined or required to meet firm expectations. 
  7. A balance of consequences and concern replace punishment whenever possible.  Students need to understand the relationship between their decisions and the resulting consequences.  Consequences will be given that show genuine concern for the student's problem to help avoid power struggles and encourage self-reflection.  

STEM School Student Honor Code

Students will:

  1. Be polite and attentive.
  2. Bear the responsibility for his or her personal conduct.
  3. Attend school consistently, be on time, and take responsibility for making up any work promptly when absent.
  4. Respect the school’s atmosphere of learning by attending class and being prepared and punctual and adhering to the dress code.
  5. Follow all reasonable requests made by adults on the premises with a positive attitude, and show respect for self, others and property.
  6. Cooperate with and respect the faculty and staff, including administrators, teachers, administrative staff, custodians, and any other people working in the school.
  7. Communicate in an acceptable tone of voice using an acceptable choice of words.
  8. Follow all lunchroom, gym, field-trip, lab, and individual classroom rules.
  9. Respect others by not threatening or intimidating any other person.
  10. Respect the health and safety of others, safety rules, and not use tobacco, alcohol, or other illegal substances.
  11. Be dismissed by the teacher, not the bell or the clock.
  12. Not leave school without signing out in the main office prior to leaving school at the scheduled end of day.
  13. Not bring electronic devices other than cell phones, i.e. iPods, games, etc. unless permitted by the teacher as part of the academic environment of the classroom.  (Such items will be confiscated until the end of the year. Acceptability of electronic devices, games or other toys is at the discretion of the teachers and administration.)

 

Assembly Behavior

STEM School is a performance-oriented school. Students are expected to respond positively to all programs. There are a variety of acceptable audience responses such as applause, laughter at humor that is presented, and responding vocally to direct questions that may be asked. Members of the audience are not to interfere with stage performances. Students are not allowed to insult or intimidate guests and/or performers by rude behaviors such as yelling, whistling, standing up, moving around, or calling out peoples names. Students who insist on this type of behavior will be dismissed from the program and referred to an administrator for disciplinary action.

At all performances, Students MUST:

Presenting guests have worked hard to prepare and should be extended the same courtesy as anyone who has achieved an honor or is presenting information to a STEM School audience. Performances and school-wide programs at STEM School are an integral part of the curriculum. Students learn to demonstrate an understanding and respect for all guests and program visitors through appropriate audience response.

Appropriate Media Policy

Images, songs, language and content displayed openly on technology devices must be non-discriminatory, non-violent and not objectify any race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The following are considered unacceptable: Video games rated M or higher and movies rated R or higher. Students who display or view any of the above media will be referred to the Assistant Principal and be entered into the referral/discipline system.

Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation

STEM School is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers and visitors free from bullying, harassment, or intimidation. “Bullying, harassment, or intimidation” means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, cyber-bullying within social media, texting, sexting, or sharing of pictures, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics, and when the intentional written, verbal, or physical act:

Nothing in this policy requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the bullying, harassment, or intimidation, “other distinguishing characteristics” can include but not limited to:

Bullying, harassment, or intimidation can take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawing cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral or physical actions. “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the actions(s). This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the education environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of bullying, harassment, or intimidation, may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom, or program rules.

It shall be a violation of this policy for any student, parent, teacher, administrator, or other school personnel to harass, bully, or discriminate against any person based upon any of the differences listed above. It shall also be a violation of the policy for any teacher, administrator or other school personnel to tolerate such harassment, bullying, or discrimination of any person by a student, teacher, administrator, other school personnel, or by any third parties subject to supervision and control of STEM School.

This policy is a component of STEM School’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful and inclusive learning community and is to be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers, including the education of students in partnership with families and the community. The policy is to be implemented in conjunction with the Comprehensive Safe Schools Plan that includes prevention, intervention, crisis response, recovery, and annual review. Employees, in particular, are expected to support the dignity and safety of all members of the school community.

Depending upon the frequency and severity of the conduct, counseling, corrective discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to change the behavior of the perpetrator and remediate the impact of the victim. This includes appropriate interventions(s), restoration of a positive climate, and support for victims and others impacted by the violation. False reports or retaliation for harassment, intimidation or bullying also constitutes violations of this policy.

Inappropriate Behaviors

At STEM Elementary/Middle/High School we are committed to optimizing learning for all students. STEM students are expected to be well behaved at all times, to respect themselves, others, and property. Unfortunately, sometimes students behave inappropriately.  Our philosophy towards discipline is one that provides guidance and direction to acceptable behavior in order to develop a young person’s own sense of self- discipline. Teachers, administrators, and parents will work together to remedy problematic behaviors once a student has exhibited them.  In any case, when a student creates problems for him or herself, there will be consequences.

Below is a general list of infractions that cause disruption in the learning environment and thus inhibit a teacher’s ability to teach and student’s ability to learn.  This collection is meant to be a basic list and should not constitute all the possible behavioral infractions for which students may be held accountable.  Infractions are delineated by Classroom Level Infractions which proceed through steps 1 through 4 of the disciplinary process.  This process is designed to be corrective in nature with an eye toward problem identification and solving.  Office Level infractions may bypass steps 1 through 4 of the Classroom Level infraction process.

Classroom Level Infraction – Definitions

Teachers will administer consequences for Minor Infractions.

Classroom Level Infraction

Definition

Defiance/Disrespect/

Non-Compliance

Student engages in brief or low-intensity failure to respond to adult requests.

  • Examples: repeated redirection, disrespect among peers such as low intensity name calling or put downs, rough-housing, “messing around,” etc.

Disruption

Student engages in low-intensity, but inappropriate disruption.

  • Examples:  repeated inappropriate noises such as pencil tapping, repeated interruption, out of seat without teacher permission

Dress Code Violation

Repeated wearing of clothes that is near, but not within, the dress code guidelines defined by the school.

Inappropriate Language

Student engages in low intensity instance of inappropriate language.

  • Example: swearing to friends, not yelling, casual swearing

Inappropriate Physical Contact

Student engages in non-serious, but inappropriate physical contact.

  • Examples:  repeated or habitual hugging or low intensity physical contact, wrestling, play fighting, etc.

Property Damage

Student engages in low-intensity misuse of property.

  • Examples:  writing in textbooks, etc.

Tardy

Student arrives at class after the bell (or signal that class has started) on 3 or more occasions and after the parent has been contacted.

Technology Violation

Student uses technology (cell phone, computer, etc.) at an inappropriate time or in an inappropriate way.

Other

Student engages in any other minor problem behaviors that do not fall within the above categories.

Defiance/Disrespect/ Insubordination/

Non-Compliance

Refusal to follow a reasonable request, talking back and/or socially rude interactions.

  • Examples: Overt refusal to follow directions and/or comply with staff request; being argumentative, unprofessional tone of voice

Disruption

Behavior causing a significant interruption in a class or activity.

  • Examples: Sustained loud talk, yelling, or screaming; horseplay or roughhousing; and/or sustained out-of-seat behavior that is not permitted by teacher

Inappropriate Display of Affection

Student engages in inappropriate (as defined by school) verbal and/or physical gestures/ contact of a sexual nature to another person, either consensual or non-consensual.

Inappropriate School Location

Student is in an area that is outside of school boundaries or areas students are permitted to be in (as defined by school) such as boys/girls locker rooms, science labs, etc.

 Lying/Cheating

Student delivers message that is untrue and/or deliberately violates rules such as cheating on a test or plagiarism (turning in the work of someone else and passing it off as one’s own).

Repeated Classroom Level Infractions will ultimately result in an Office Level Infraction.

Procedure for repeated Classroom Level Infractions. Infractions 1 through 4 may be identical or varied, depending on the nature of the incident and per the teacher and administration’s discretion.

Infraction #1: Student and Teacher Conference and written report (SWIS)

Infraction #2: Student and Teacher Conference and parent notice with written report.

Infraction #3: Student/Teacher/Parent Conference with written report.

Infraction #4: Student/Teacher/Parent/Administrator Conference, disciplinary action and written report

Office Level Infractions– Definitions

STEM School Administrators will address major infractions.

Office Level Infractions – Part 1

Definition

Abusive Language/ Profanity

Verbal messages that include swearing, name-calling or use of words in an inappropriate way that are directed towards another person.  

  • Examples: Language that includes high volume/shouting, aggressive, threatening, with anger, face-to-face, etc.

Excessive Tardiness

Any student who has arrived late for class five or more times in one class period per semester.

Forgery/Theft

Falsely making, altering, or counterfeiting a record or document with the intent to deceive; being in possession of, having passed on, or being responsible for removing someone else's property.

Skip class/Truancy

Student leaves class/school without permission or stays out of class/school without permission.

Technology Violation

Student accesses inappropriate websites; use of another person’s password; accessing another student’s work on the computer, significant inappropriate use of school or personal technology equipment.

Repeated Classroom Infractions

Student has been re-directed by classroom teacher more than three times for inappropriate behavior during one class period or over multiple class periods with interventions tried such as call home to parents.

Office Level Infractions – Part 2

Definition

Bomb Threat/False Alarm

Student delivers a message of possible explosive materials being on-campus, near campus, and/or pending explosion. This also includes threats to harm the school community or student body.

Fighting/Physical Aggression

Actions involving serious physical contact where injury may occur (e.g., hitting, punching, hitting with an object, kicking, hair pulling, scratching, etc.).

  • Example:  If a conflict appears to be likely, the students is expected to make all possible efforts to avoid the conflict, including leaving the scene or seeking help of a teacher, administrator, paraprofessional, or other employee.

Harassment/ Bullying

Student delivers disrespectful messages (verbal, gesture, or written) to another person that may include threats and intimidation, obscene gestures, pictures, and/or written notes.

  • Example: Disrespectful messages include negative comments based on sexuality, physical or mental ability level, race, religion, gender, age, and/or national origin; sustained or intense verbal attacks based on ethnic origin, disabilities or other personal matters.

Use/Possession/ Distribution of Tobacco

Student is in possession of or is using tobacco products.

  • Possession, use, or sale examples:  being in control of, giving out, supplying, or delivery of above items.

Vandalism/ Property Damage

Student participates in an activity that results in substantial destruction or disfigurement of school property (including books, walls, furniture, lockers, technology, etc.)

Office Level Infractions – Part 3

Definition

Arson

Student plans and/or participates in malicious burning of property.

Use/Possession/ Distribution of Alcohol

Student is in possession of or is using alcohol. Coming to school or being on school property while under the influence of alcohol.

  • Possession, use, or sale examples:  being in control of, giving out, supplying, or delivery of above items.

Use/Possession/ Distribution of Drugs

Student is in possession of or is using illegal drugs/substances/paraphernalia. This also includes misuse of prescription medication. Coming to school or being on school property while under the influence of drugs.

  • Possession, use, or sale examples:  being in control of, giving out, supplying, or delivery of above items

Use/Possession of Weapons

Student is in possession of knives or guns (real or look alike), or other objects readily capable of causing bodily harm.

Other

Problem behavior causing this referral is not listed above.  Staff using this area will specify the problem behavior observed.


Roles in the Disciplinary Process

Assistant Principal

The goal of any meeting between a student and the Assistant Principal is that of a learning opportunity for the student in order to implement a positive change in behavior. The process will involve a discussion of honesty, integrity, respect, and responsibility. In most instances parents may be notified of the student’s visit to the Assistant Principal’s office. The primary goal of the choice of consequences by the Assistant Principal is to require the student to take responsibility for the infraction.

The goals of a parent conference with the Assistant Principal include:

  1. To exchange accurate information about the student.
  2. To determine how the parent-school partnership can best work together to lead the student to reform his behavior.

The Assistant Principal will preserve the integrity of the disciplinary process at STEM School. By modeling the values of the STEM School honor code and consistently treating students and their families with respect and professionalism, the Assistant Principal is an extremely valuable and accessible part of a student’s character development and education at STEM School. Our goal is to create a safe, respectful, and responsible environment, where learning takes place.

Counselor

When necessary, students may be referred to the school counselor for problem solving, mediation, peer relationships, and social/emotional support.

Teachers

Teachers will have the authority to implement discipline in their classrooms that is consistent with the Principles of Discipline. Teachers will utilize the Assistant Principal to implement discipline whenever appropriate and most especially when disciplinary action by the teacher would take away from maintaining an effective learning environment in the classroom. Disciplinary procedures may also involve the other designated STEM staff besides those mentioned.

Property Damage/Vandalism

STEM School is not responsible for loss, theft, or damage of items brought to school.  Fines will be levied on parents for vandalism or theft of school property committed by their students. Fines will also be levied for lost or damaged school property. Students may also be required to be involved in the maintenance or repair of damaged property.

Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior

The activity of learning requires students to be attentive and polite. Students are expected to uphold the values of honesty, integrity, respect, and responsibility as citizens in the STEM School community. If a student does misbehave, the consequences for the infraction will be immediate, relevant and effectual. In evaluating consequences, teachers and Principals will determine if the act is a “first time,” a “repeated,” or a “habitual” offense.

In accordance with this policy, STEM School has adopted the following procedure for disruptive behavior that constitutes Office Level Infractions. The following actions may be taken according to the number of Office Level Infractions. Infractions are cumulative throughout the school year.

1st Infraction

Student removed from class, sees administrator.

2nd Infraction  

Student removed from class, sees administrator, calls home, assigned disciplinary consequence(s).

3rd Infraction  

Student removed from class, sees administrator, calls home, leaves that day, and may not return without parent attending school with the student the subsequent day for re-entry meeting.

4th Infraction  

Student removed from class, sees administrator, calls home.

  • One-day suspension.
  • Automatic suspension from attending field trips (7-12)

5th Infraction  

Automatic two-day suspension for each referral.

  • Possible request for expulsion from Douglas County School District.
  • Student is ineligible for any STEM awards for the current school year.

Suspended students will not be on the honor roll for that quarter. Students may be suspended for reasons other than receiving the fourth referral. Such suspensions may render a student ineligible for field trips and other activities. The administration may vary the order of consequence depending on the nature of the infraction.

Special note about dress code violations: Students must be strictly in code to attend class. Students in violation of the dress code will be sent to the office and must call a parent or guardian. Parents will either bring acceptable attire, or students will be sent home. These absences are NOT excused.

Students' misbehavior will not be used to “teach” the class a lesson.

At no time will a student's disciplinary record be discussed with another student or parent. However, other students or parents may be consulted regarding an incident in attempt to discern truth.

STEM School desires to educate all students who enter our school, expecting nothing less than the best from each one.

Douglas County School District is the sole arbiter of expulsions. STEM School may only recommend expulsion of a student to DCSD. The expulsion process and proceedings will follow all DCSD policies that apply. When students are expelled, they are expelled from the Douglas County School District, which.


What Happens After 3 & 4 Office Level Infractions?

STEM School cannot and does not tolerate students who disrupt class. STEM School requires all students to be “polite and attentive.”  Students who disrupt class may be sent to the office for a discipline meeting.  In the past, a few students have not corrected their behavior even after the third or fourth disciplinary referral. The following action may be taken when students go beyond their fourth disciplinary referral:

A two-day suspension will be given for every Office Level Infraction over four. When a student is issued over infractions he or she will be considered a habitually disruptive student. If a student is issued over four Office Level Infractions, STEM School may request the Douglas County School District Board of Education to expel that student from school. Any student expelled from STEM School would also be expelled from the Douglas County School District. Colorado State Law clearly states that a student can be expelled for “continued willful disobedience or open and persistent defiance of proper authority.”

Suspension/Expulsion

A Principal or designee has the authority to suspend students as appropriate.

Suspensions last from one to five days depending on the severity of the infraction. All suspensions will require a parent - administrator conference. A remedial student discipline plan will be created during this conference. The conference will occur before the student is readmitted to class. The Assistant Principal may require the parent to attend a full day of class with the student upon return.

According to Colorado statute, a student may be declared habitually disruptive after being suspended three times in one year on the grounds set forth in CRS 11-33-106 for causing a material and substantial disruption in the class, on school grounds, on school vehicles, or at school activities or events because of behavior that was initiated, willful and overt on the part of the student, and the suspensions were made for:

Expulsion from STEM School will be mandatory for the following violations:

Expulsion is also mandatory if a student is declared habitually disruptive.

Items Not Allowed at School

Search and Seizure

It is the policy of the STEM School to maintain school property to assure the safety and enjoyment of students, school employees, and the general public and to extend the useful life of the school facilities.

Students possess the right of privacy as well as freedom from unreasonable search and seizure as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This individual right, however, is balanced by the School’s responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all its students in order to ensure compliance with school rules. School authorities may conduct searches of property or persons when they have reasonable suspicion that the health, safety, or welfare of students or staff may be endangered.  To maintain order and discipline in the School and to protect the safety and welfare of students and school personnel, School authorities may search a student, student lockers, desks, or student automobiles under the circumstances outlined below and may seize any illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials discovered in the search.  Searches of these kinds are normally conducted by two appropriate members of the staff.

A student's failure to permit searches and seizures as provided in this policy will be considered grounds for disciplinary action.

Guidelines for Searches and Seizure

  1. Desks, lockers, backpacks, textbooks, and other materials or supplies loaned by the school to students remain the property of the school, and may be opened by school employees for cleaning, maintenance or emergencies. When prohibited items are found in the course of routine cleaning or maintenance, or in the case of emergency, they will be confiscated and a report will be made to the principal who will determine whether further investigation is warranted.
  2. A school employee may search school property whenever a school authority has reasonable grounds to believe that a law or school policy is being violated.
  3. Searches of students' persons, personal effects, or vehicles may be conducted if there is reasonable cause to believe that such search will produce evidence of a breach of school policy or law.
  4. Search of a student's person will be conducted in the presence of another school employee whenever possible.
  5. Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not a right. The school retains authority to conduct routine patrols of student parking lots and inspections of the exteriors of student automobiles on school property. The interiors of student vehicles may be inspected whenever a school authority has reasonable suspicion to believe that illegal or unauthorized materials are contained inside. Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant. Searches of these kinds are normally conducted by two appropriate members of the staff.

Student and Family Acknowledgment Form

The mission of the STEM School is to provide an integrated educational system of high standards to engage all students in an academically rigorous core curriculum, promoting a strong foundation in the sciences, technologies, engineering and math, relevant to real-world contexts, and building respect and community assets to prepare students for successful post-secondary endeavors.  By signing this document, students and families acknowledge that they have received and read the student/family handbook and commit to:

Acting with integrity in regard to school work, relationships and personal actions.

Exhibiting honesty by taking pride in producing one’s own thoughts, designs and ideas.

Expressing respect for the people, resources and talents that make STEM School an inspiring place to learn.

Demonstrating the personal responsibility necessary to contribute positively to the culture and atmosphere of the STEM school.

Student Signature:___________________________________________________________________________

Grade:___________

Parent Signature:____________________________________________________________________________

Date:____________

 

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STEM School  |  8773 Ridgeline Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80129  |  Office 303-683-STEM (7836)