The STEM Weekly Stream

STEM Academy Family Newsletter

Week of December 6

Welcome to the newest edition of the STEM Weekly Stream, our family newsletter. We are just a few weeks away from Winter Break. Remember to check the December Calendar to prepare for upcoming days off. Interim Reports will be posted to Home Access Center this Wednesday, December 8. Updates about our Engineering Class Trip, Covid Safety, and Chester Clipper Athletics are also in this edition.


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Winter Break Schedule

The final day of school for students will be Wednesday, December 22. Students are then off from Thursday, December 23 until they return on Monday, January 4, 2022. Addtionally, remember that next Wednesday, December 15 is an early dismissal day.


Interim Reports

The second marking period Interim Grades will be posted to Home Access Center on Wednesday, December 8. Each student will receive a "P" or "F" (Pass/Fail) for each of their classes. Interims provide families an opportunity to check in with their student's grades and work with teachers to make sure necessary improvements are made.

Report Cards for the first marking period were posted to the HAC on the morning of Friday, November 12. If you do not yet have an HAC account, please follow the instructions below.

While we do not print paper copies of report cards or interim reports for all students, we can do so upon request. Just call or email Ms. Jones or Ms. Dixon in the office to request a copy, and we'll send one home with your student.


Home Access Center (HAC)

The HAC is where you will find your student's interim reports this Wednesday, as well as their first marking period report card. Not only that, visiting the HAC will allow you to check your student's grades and attendance on a daily basis.

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


Learning in the Field

Mr. Allen Smith's Engineering class visited several job sites last Wednesday, December 1. His 11th and 12th graders (Level II & III Engineering classes) have been learning to read blueprints and about the phases of land development and construction. Additionally, Mr. Smith has been teaching them the importance of re-development from a business standpoint, and as a strategy to revitalize distressed communities.

On Wednesday, students were able to see several construction projects that were in different stages of development. Applying what they are learning in the classroom, students were able to see design come to life.

Even more importantly, two of the sites are here in Chester. Mr. Smith's classes were able to hear from professional developers, who are not only successful in business, but are dedicated to projects that provide a real benefit to communities. The message is incredibly important for our students. They can use their education to build toward financial freedom, then use their success to improve their community.

Thank you to Mr. Smith and we are looking forward to seeing what our Engineering students do next!


Covid Resources

As we move into the month of December, concerns are growing around the world about the recently discovered new strain of Covid. Here at STEM, we are continuing to follow our district guidelines in order to best keep our students, staff and families safe and healthy. Our goal is to prevent the spread of Covid to the best of our abilities, while minimizing the time our students and staff need to stay home.

We will continue to stress the importance of masking to our students, as well as other safety measures, such as frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Please support us in these efforts at home and stress the importance of safe practices with your students. While Covid is present in our area, we cannot complete prevent it from entering our building. However, by working together, we can limit the spread.

For more information about our health and safety procedures, please visit the CUSD Covid Resources page.


It is important to note that getting vaccinated has proven to be the most effective way to guard against Covid. An additional benefit for students who are vaccinated is that they have reduced isolation and quarantine periods in the event they are exposed to Covid (details are available on the CUSD Covid Resources page).

We will continue to work with providers to make vaccination available and convenient for CUSD families. See below for two free vaccination opportunities:

Thursday, December 9: Vaccinations for children ages 5-11 will be available at the Keystone First site (1929 West 9th Street) from 2:00-6:00.

Tuesday, December 14: Vaccinations will be available at the Chester Clippers Boys Basketball opening game beginning at 5:00 PM at Chester High.


October Awardees

Each month, one outstanding student from each grade is selected by their teachers as Student of the Month. These students have demonstrated excellence in STEM Academy traits of Scholarship, Leadership, and Character. Please join me in congratulating the following students who represented the best STEM has to offer during the month of October!

7th Grade: Ciani Fournier

8th Grade: Stephen Swen

9th Grade: Dayanara Martinez

10th Grade: Tahjee Gant-Irons

11th Grade: Zanae Holland-Barksdale

12th Grade: Desean Hubert

Staff Members of the Month

If you have called or visited STEM Academy, you have probably gotten to know our October Staff Members of the Month. Ms. Yvette Jones and Ms. Latifah Dixon work in the STEM Office and are often the face or voice that greet our families and answer questions and concerns. But there is much more to their jobs than just that. From finding substitute teachers to processing orders and everything in between, Ms. Jones and Ms. Dixon make sure each day at STEM runs smoothly. We would be lost without them!

Please join us in congratulating and thanking our awesome office staff, Ms. Jones and Ms. Dixon!!

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Boys Basketball - Opening Game

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The Chester STEM Hi-Q Team was named the most improved in Delaware County last year. Our first meet of the 2021-22 season will be this Thursday, December 9, as we take on Bonner-Prendie (hosts) and Academy Park. We have high hopes for our team this year under the leadership of Coach Schoppet. STEM junior Mew Sorphapmixay was named to the All-Delco team last year and we have many other returners from that team as well. Big things are in store for Hi-Q in 2021-22!

Fall Sports Banquet

On December 15, we will host a celebration for 2021 Chester Clipper Fall Sports athletes and their families. The event, which includes dinner, will take place at 5:00 PM right here at STEM in the Auditorium. Questions about the banquet should be directed to Coach Bell (
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Winter Sports Coaches


Boys Basketball: Keith Taylor

Girls Basketball: Marvin Dukes

Cheerleading: Karen Miah

Boys Indoor Track: James Wharton

Girls Indoor Track: Jamal Allen

Middle School

Boys Basketball: Conrad Chambers

Girls Basketball: Christopher Dorsey

Cheerleading: Shakanda White


Information for Senior Parents

The school year is now in full swing, and it will be moving fast, especially for Seniors. Please keep important dates and information in mind:

Senior Dues: The second $100 installment of Senior Dues payments will be due Friday, January 14. The total amount is $250.

Senior Holiday Breakfast: We will be hosting a breakfast social for the Class of '22 on the morning of December 20 - the theme is "Ugly Holiday Sweaters."

Senior Meetings: Seniors have all been scheduled for their initial Senior Meeting with their Counselor, Ms. Hargadon. At these meetings, they discuss their plans for next year, and are provided a guide for their next steps. Questions about college and scholarships should be directed to Senior Counselor, Ms. Hargadon.

Contact Information

Senior Advisor: Ms. Rachael Thomson -

Senior Counselor: Ms. Casey Hargadon -

Principal: Mr. Brendan Bell -

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GPA - Grade Point Average

For many of our students, especially new 9th Graders, Grade Point Average (GPA) is a concept that takes a while to really understand. However, students need to know that once they get to high school, their grades really count. The final marks students received on this first Report Card will stay on their transcript and be seen by the admissions counselors when they apply to college. Please join us in emphasizing to students the importance of striving for the highest grades possible, even in Freshman year. The hard work will pay off when it comes time to apply for college.

After School Program

Our famous 21st Century After-School Program is now back in session! Many of our students have already signed up, but there are plenty of openings. Register here.

Our After-School Program provides great value for many of our students and families.

  • First and foremost, it is the ideal place for students to get enhanced academic support. With 12 of our fantastic teachers on staff, students have the opportunity to get an hour of individual or small group help from a certified teacher each day
  • Research shows that students who are involved in extra-curricular activities are much more likely to succeed in school. The After-School Program includes a variety of activities to meet the interests of students, including Robotics, Chess, Hi-Q, School Newspaper, Botany, and more!

Registration is open and we encourage all families to enroll their students! Check out the flyer and contact Ms. Merto ( with any questions.

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Early Warning System

At STEM, we strive to have systems in place to identify students who need help, and provide them with supports as soon as possible. Our Early Warning System (EWS) allows our grade-team teachers and counselors to collaborate to keep students on the right track. Using academic and attendance data, our teams identify students who may be in danger of failing multiple courses or missing excessive class periods.

This year, with the adjustment back to in-person learning, and with so many of our students new to the school, we are finding many students need extra support. We ask that families work with us to help students maintain the focus and effort necessary to stay on top of their academic work. Our teachers and counselors are your teammates working together to ensure students are successful!



PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) is always important at STEM, and never more so than right now. We have so many students who are new to our school building and also those who have not been in a classroom for a long time. Our goal is to support our students by instructing them on how to be positive members of our school community.

Positive Behavior Emphasis: Be On Time

We use the STEM PBIS acronym below to teach students our expectations for their behavior. The "T" stands for Take Accountability, and we want our students to take ownership of their responsibilities. Our students usually do a great job, but when they need a reminder, we all need to work together to get them on track.

This week, I am asking families to help by making sure their students are on time for school. Students must be in their First Period class by 7:50 AM. We have students who are arriving later and later, which is beginning to seriously impact their classes.

Before we begin taking punitive action, let's work together to make sure our students arrive on time. Remember you can always check your student's grades and attendance every day by loggin into the Home Access Center (see the instructions toward the top of the newsletter if you don't have login information). Take a moment today to verify your student is arriving on time each day!

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Check out the World Famous Chester Clippers Cheerleaders showing us what PBIS means at STEM

Cheerleaders PBIS