The STEM Weekly Stream

STEM Academy Family Newsletter

Week of September 5

Hello STEM Families!


Welcome to the STEM Weekly Stream for the 2022-23 School Year. Each Monday, this newsletter will contain important information about upcoming events, as well as highlights from the week at STEM. All Families should be receiving the newsletter - please alert us if you know of someone who is not receiving it, or would like to add another email address to the recipient list.

First Week of School

On Monday, August 29, the 2022-23 School Year got off to a great start! During the first week, teachers focused on getting to know their new students and ensuring they adjusted well as they returned, or entered STEM for the first time.


I met with each student this week as well during Grade Level Assemblies. While the message was different for each class, the top priorities for all remain the same: Learning Growth in Math and ELA; and Improved Attendance.

STEM 2022-23 Calendar Link

Use the link below to access the STEM Academy 2022-23 Calendar. Events for the entire year are listed, including Back to School Night on Thursday, September 15 at 5:00.


Other important September dates to remember are:


September 26 - Asynchronous Day for Students

September 27 - School Picture Day (Grades 7-11)

September 29 - STEM Senior Parent Meeting (5:00 PM)

ACADEMICS

Assignments and Grades

Now that the First Week is over, students will begin receiving regular assignments in their classes. It is very important for students to get off to a great start, especially 9th Graders. Please ask your student about what they are learning in class and the assignments they are working on. Let's work together to ensure our students get off on the right foot!

Home Access Center

The Home Access Center (HAC) allows families to view their students' grades and attendance in real time. By logging into the HAC, you can stay up to date on your student's progress and know immediately if they miss class or assignments.


If you do not have your HAC set up yet, email Ms. Misha Memon (mmemon@chesteruplandsd.org). She will reply with your username, password and a link to the log in page.

Advisory Period

Advisory Period is brand new at STEM. Last year, many students and teachers remarked that we needed regular time in the schedule for students to focus on their personal well-being, as well as take care of important college and career readiness activities that did not fit in the daily schedule.


In order to make that happen, we have implemented the Advisory Period. Every other Tuesday, students will meet with their Advisory teacher, and everyone in the school will be working on a common activity.


Many of these activities will focus on the Social Emotional health of our students. The Positive Action SEL Curriculum is being implemented in all CUSD schools this year, and we will begin at STEM during Advisory this week. We are excited and believe this will be a great new benefit to our students and teachers this year.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

Bus Transportation

During the first week of school, we encountered some challenges with transportation. With several new routes and drivers, plus the unexpected early dismissals, there were many adjustments that needed to be made. Please read below for information regarding transportation, and be in contact with us if necessary:



  • Only students living in designated areas are eligible for transportation. Those who are eligible received a letter with pickup information in the mail. If you believe your students are incorrectly classified as walkers, we may not have your correct address. Please call to verify
  • Please note the change on the Toby Farms bus route. There is not a Charles & Rainer stop this year. The two stops in the Toby Farms neighborhood are Powell & Rainer and Powell & Albert
  • Students must be at their bus stop at the scheduled time. These times may be different from last year


We will continue to make adjustments to our transportation as needed. Our goal is to ensure that our students arrive safely and on time every day.

Incident at CHS

As you are likely aware, there was an isolated incident at Chester High School on Thursday. While we are in separate buildings, we are one community, and are all affected when violence occurs, especially among youths. In light of this situation, I want to make you aware of some of the safety and support measures we have in place for our students.


-All of our students and their belongings pass through metal detectors upon arrival. Our Safety Team is always thorough during this process, and will continue to be this week and throughout the year. We ask for patience from our students and families, as there may be long lines at arrival due to the precautions we take. While waiting for entry may be inconvenient, we will continue to place the safety of all our students as the highest priority.


-We will also ask and encourage students and all members of the STEM community to report potentially dangerous situations to school staff. Students who disclose information that allows us to prevent altercations will not face repercussions for doing so, and they will not be identified as we investigate these situations.


-Members of our staff will be supporting the team providing services to those affected by the incident at Chester High. Our counselors will also be available on Tuesday and going forward here at STEM to speak with any of our students who may feel the need to have conversations.


-In the coming days and weeks, we will be re-training our students on how to take advantage of the Safe2Say program. Safe2Say is a statewide reporting tool which allows students to anonymously alert authorities about situations in which themselves or others may be in danger. We encourage all students and families to familiarize themselves with this site.


https://www.safe2saypa.org


-At the suggestion of students and faculty, we are implementing an Advisory Period at STEM this year. This period will provide students an opportunity within the regular schedule to focus on their personal well-being. Additionally, CUSD is introducing the Positive Action Social-Emotional Learning curriculum in all schools. At STEM, all students will participate in the first Positive Action lesson activity on Tuesday during their Advisory Period.


-Finally, Chester Upland Superintendent Dr. Parkinson will be hosting a community meeting to address the incident on Tuesday, September 6 at 6:00 PM at Chester High School. All families are welcome to attend should they have questions or wish to offer support.

NEW GUIDELINES - REMINDERS

Attendance

Student attendance is a major area of focus at STEM and throughout CUSD this year. In order for our students to achieve at the highest level, they need to be on time and in all their classes each day. We need all students and families to be aware of these guidelines and work together to ensure we have a great year.



All students must enter the school building no later than 7:45 a.m.

Students will be marked tardy if they are not in class by 7:50 a.m.

Students will not be admitted into their classroom after 7:50 without a late note signed by the Front Office.

Students will not be allowed inside the building after 8:15 a.m. without a parent or guardian to sign them in.


Students will be reminded of the importance of daily attendance in all classes. We appreciate the support of families helping to improve student attendance this year!


I want to thank all parents and families who have adjusted their schedules to support STEM students' on-time arrival. It is great to see the line-up of cars at 7:30 AM this year. Please continue as we had a great first week!

Cell Phones

According to teachers, parents, and even students themselves, it is clear that the biggest distraction to learning is their phones. We cannot expect teaching and learning to occur when phones are in the hands of students during their classes. Therefore, students will not be permitted to have cell phones in the classroom this year.



  • All students have been provided a lock and locker
  • Students will be required to lock their phones in their lockers during the school day
  • Students will be permitted to access their lockers and use their phones at lunch and return the phones to their lockers before returning to class
  • Students will retrieve their phones from their lockers at dismissal
  • Headphones/earbuds/Airpods may not be worn in school


Students who choose not to adhere to these rules will be subject to escalating consequences.


This will be an adjustment for our students, but certainly a positive one. We appreciate the support of our Families to make this happen!

ATHLETICS

Athletic Opportunities

STEM Academy students participate on all Chester Clipper Interscholastic Athletic teams. This fall our students are competing in the following sports:


  • Volleyball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Cheerleading
  • Soccer


If you would like more information regarding athletic opportunities, please contact CUSD Director of Athletics and Activities, LaDontay Bell (lbell@chesteruplandsd.org). We believe that playing sports enhances student life and research proves that participation in athletics and activities leads to greater academic outcomes for students!

Football Win

The Chester Clipper Football Team improved to 2-0 by defeating the visiting Bartram Braves on Saturday at the A-Field.


The next game will be Friday night at Phoenixville High. Come support the Clippers as they attempt to make another push toward the playoffs!

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