STEM Head of School Update

September 15, 2023: Issue #5

From the Office of Art Campbell, Head of School

Mr. Art Campbell, Head of School

Ms. Kelly Stauffer, Admin. Asst. to the Head of School

Congratulations to the following STEM Academy Class of 2024 students that were recognized as Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Competition!

Rishon Baiju, Dishan Bhattacharya, Nivriti Chaudhuri, Saanvi Chigurupati, Domenick Colandene, Soham Katdare, Grace McNamara, Jasmine Michel, Vamsi Nandamuri, Maryann Nazareth, Kaavya Paladugu, Sri Ananya Paladugu, Suraj Premchandran, Simran Sahoo, Rajanaishadha Vytla

The Lunch & Learn Schedule began last Thursday, September 13th. As a reminder our entire school changed over to our 23-24 Bell Schedule with regular Lunch and Learn. Our Lunch and Learn Schedule takes place on the following letter days: A, D, E, H, I, L. On those cycle days, all students are scheduled to have periods 1-7. Mr. Campbell met with 9th, 10th, and 11th grade to review Lunch and Learn procedures, prior to the start of regular bell schedule. Please remind your students to use this time effectively!

The purpose of Lunch & Learn is to provide students with the time, support, and resources necessary to be a successful student. By scheduling time during the school day, all students will have equal access to their teachers and other resources. This is a time for students to eat lunch, work on schoolwork, meet with teachers and counselors, participate in physical activity in our stadium behind the school, meet as student clubs, as well as other optional special programs for our students. This is a time that all staff and administration are available for our students.

Back to School Night will be held on Thursday, September 21 from 6:00-8:00 pm. This event will be held in person at the STEM Academy. Faculty and staff look forward to meeting with eveyone who is able to attend. An email was sent out to all families with information needed for the event. Please review the schedule and important directions for the evening.We hope you are able to attend!

PSATs (10th and 11th Grade Families) PSATs will be administered to all 10th and 11th grade students on Thursday, October 19. Families should reveiw the email sent out earlier this week. That information is also available under the news section of our website:

PSAT Information for 10th and 11th Grade STEM Families.

Attendance Reminders:

  • If you are planning a family trip, please be sure to turn in the Request Form for Educational and Family Trips, no less than 2 weeks prior to the request.
  • If your student arrives to school late, will be leaving early, or is absent for any reason, an email should be sent to If leaving early students should come to the main office in the morning to receive an early dismissal slip, which they will provide to their teacher. They should report to the office to check out. Parents are not required to come in to pick up, your student will meet you outside the building after checking out.

Please be reminded that students are to be dropped off and picked up behind the school. No students should be dropped off or picked up on Manor Ave. as this disturbs the flow of traffic and could cause an accieent. We appreciate your cooperation with this matter. Safety is always our first priority.

Save the Date: Back to School Night at the STEM Academy

Thursday, Sep. 21st, 6-8pm

335 Manor Avenue

Downingtown, PA

Yearbooks are now on sale...

Please contact Ms. Janette Romano or Ms. Megan Dunn with any questions. Details and the link are provided below.

Senior Class of 2024

Senior Mantle Design Contest Details:It's time for the Senior Mantle Design Contest! Any member of the Class of 2024 may submit an original design to the contest. Check out the contest rules at the link below. Be sure to look at all STEM's designs on display on the 2nd floor! See Ms. Romano in room 221 with questions.

All submissions are due by September 29 at 2:30 pm.

Senior Diploma Verification: Students should complete this form using their DASD student email address. This form must be completed to verify the complete name of the student that will be listed on their diploma. The deadline to complete this form is October 13, 2023.

Caps/Gowns and Stoles: Each graduate is responsible for purchasing a cap, gown and stole for graduation. The cost of this package is $32.55. Other items are available for sale as well through the website. The Cap/Gown Stole orders should be placed as soon as possible. Once shipped, they will remain at STEM until graduation in June. Orders must be received by November 1.

  • Online Ordering steps:
    Go to: Herff Jones SHOP Grad Products Website.
    Type in DOWNINGTOWN S.T.E.M ACADEMY in the box to find your school.
    Click SHOP GRAD PRODUCTS and the cap and gown packages will appear. (For the cap, gown, tassel and stole only, click GRADUATION A LA CARTE - scroll down to Grad Essentials.
    Below are the Cap and Gown Packages
    BASIC PACKAGE : $32.55 (includes sales tax)
    Includes Cap, Gown, Tassel and Silkscreen Stole. Be sure to enter the height and weight details as requested.

Act 10 Military Opt-Out: If your student does not wish to be contacted by a local recruiting agency, this form must be completed and returned to the counseling office no later than October 10, 2023.

Senior Privileges: Also known as the Early Dismissal/Late Arrival Form, students are required to have this form completed. Once completed, the student will be notified by the main office once their privileges go in to effect.

Reminders for those with Senior Privileges

  • You MUST sign in at the main office when you arrive to school, and out prior to leaving for the day.
  • You should enter through the main office.
  • You must have completed the Early Dismissal/Late Arrival Permission form for Seniors
  • Once approved, you will receive a message to see Ms. Sokso in the main office. Students should not leave until they have checked out in the main office.

October Happenings for the Class of 2024: Important information for senior class families was shared with regards to the Safe and Healthy Relationships presentations that will be taking place throughout the month of October for the senior class during their pathway. Should there be any questions, please contact Ms. Jennifer Stull, Prevention Specialist.

Student Life

Ms. Katherine Cole,Dean of Academics & Student Life

Ms. Cory Butler, Administrative Assistant

Community Volunteer Requirements: To maintain a safe and health environment for staff and students, background clearances are required and should be turned into the main office. The annual volunteer disclosure form should also be completed yearly and returned to the main office. Thank you for helping us keep our schools safe!

IB Updates: Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)/Extended Essay (EE)

Ms. Alyssa Sherlock, IB Research Specialist/CAS& EE Coordinator

Senior CAS/Graduation Project Spotlight:

Luis Colmenares-Bittar and Connor Walsh will help to coach a club soccer team. They will create original drills, run conditioning, and possibly coach during games and tournaments. They communicated with one of the club/HS coaches and he was open to receiving assistance with coaching one of the teams. It takes 2-3 weeks to get set up with the team, and they will then coach the team for around a month (8-10 practices), and possibly for a couple of games or tournaments.

Class of 2024 [Seniors]:

Students continue to upload photos and videos as evidence for the experiences; address all three strands (C, A, and S), and all seven learning outcomes; and know what to do to keep their ManageBac portfolios up to date. Examples are provided on Schoology.

Class of 2024 [Seniors]:

Students are starting to work with their EE Advisor to focus their RQ, review their outline and research, and refine their writing for a rough draft. Example essays for all subjects, along with the grading rubric, are available on Schoology.

We were able to check in with the Seniors regarding CAS, EE, and Graduation Projects on September 12 during Advisory.

IB Program Requirements and Testing Schedule 23-24

Mr. Michael Sheehan, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction

Ms. Meghan Schell, Administrative Assistant

2023-2024 STEM Academy Program of Study

Updated Information for all Senior Class Families: STEM Academy Class of 2024 IB Fees Letter: All 6 payments have now been loaded to student PaySchools Account.

The IB Testing Schedule: 2023-2024 is here. Mark your calendars!

STEM Counseling Department

Ms. Stephanie Rockowitz, Counseling Secretary/Registrar

  • University and College Visits: Throughout the course of the year, the counseling department has coordinated many college visits for our Senior Class. All scheduled visits are now listed on the STEM Academy Website Calendar
  • To schedule an appt. to visit your school counselor, please complete the following form:

Counseling Appointment Request Form

Additional Resources from the STEM Counseling Department

Ms. Jennifer Stull, Prevention Specialist

Guide to Districtwide Mental Health Resources

Senior Class Meetings held September 5th and 6th

Earlier this week, STEM school counselors met with 12th grade students during their open revision periods to discuss important information about the college application process.

  • Counselors reviewed the process of requesting academic transcripts and letters of recommendation.
  • Other topics included how to complete the FERPA waiver, match Common App & Naviance accounts, requesting optional letters of recommendation, completing self-reported academic records (SRAR), and setting realistic timelines.
  • We also shared resources such as the Common Data Set and the College Scorecard (on the Department of Education website). These resources, as well as the presentation students viewed, are available below.
  • Students were able to pick up transcript and letter of recommendation request forms from the counseling office beginning Wednesday, Sept. 6th. We ask that students allow 10 school days for requests to be processed.

Financial Aid Night @ STEM

12th grade parents/guardians and students are invited to attend our Financial Aid Night on Oct. 16th at 6:00pm in the STEM Academy auditorium. Dr. Sonya Mann-McFarlane, our Higher Education Access Partner from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) will present on the topic of applying for financial aid and the important updates coming to the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form. Families should be aware that one of the major changes to the FAFSA process is the application launch date being pushed back from Oct. 1st to December. An exact start date has not been announced. You can read more about important updates to this process on the Federal Student Aid/FAFSA Website.

Additional Resources

College App Workshop presentation

Common Date Set Overview

US Dept. of Education College Scorecard

Upcoming Local College Fairs

Bishop Shanahan High School will host its Sixteenth Annual College Fair on Wednesday September 27, 2023 from 7:00-9:00pm.  We are cordially inviting your entire student body to attend. Colleges and Universities from all around our country and Ireland will be in attendance.For more information and a list of the colleges, please visit

Internships and Partnerships

Ms. Susan Boardman, Internships and Partnerships Coordinator

Ms. Cory Butler, Administrative Assistant

Please be sure to review the portion of our website, STEM in Our Community for a complete overview of our Pathways and Practicum Program.

Home and School Association



President: Michelle Smith

Co-Vice Presidents: Mary Gasser and Heather Steiger

Co-Treasurers: Darah Fildore and Christa Midgett

Secretary: Kerri Roberts

Thank you to all the parents who joined us on Monday night for our first Home and School Meeting.

Ms. Susan Boardman and Ms. Katherine Cole presented on all the opportunities STEM provides to our students. We also discussed volunteer needs and opportunities coming up through the year and many parents signed up to volunteer.

Upcoming HSA Planning Events

  • Our Fundraising Committee will be meeting at Iron Hill Brewery at EagleView on Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 pm.
  • Our Student Life and Faculty Appreciation Committees will be meeting at World of Beer on Tuesday, September 26th at 6:30pm.

Both of these are a great way to get to know fellow parents and be more involved in the STEM community. If you are interested in becoming involved on the committees and can't make the meeting, just email us!

Next month, the meeting will be held on October 10 at 7:00 pm in the Knowledge Commons. We will be focusing on what to expect each year for our students and how to help them find balance. If there is a topic or type of speaker you'd like to see presented, please let us know.

Just a reminder, volunteer clearances must be completed and submitted to the Main Office Kelly Stauffer before you can volunteer.

Volunteer clearance requirements can be found here.

For more information, please contact Heather Steiger or Kerri Roberts.

Athletic Announcements

Current/Prospective DHSWest Swim/Dive Team

Attention Current and Prospective Swimmers:

  • Interest Meeting; October 17: There will be a parent/swimmer meeting on October 17 at 7:00pm in the DMS Library. All current team members and those interested in trying out should plan to attend. Please join our Facebook page "Downingtown West Swim and Dive" to keep up to date on the latest swim team information.

DASD Athletics

All students at STEM are encouraged to participate in athletic programs offered at their home schools.

An activity bus is available for students heading to East to participate daily, and is located in the bus loop at dismissal.

To find more information about what sports are offered at your students’ homeschool, please choose one of the following that links directly to the correct Athletics page:

Downingtown East High School Athletics

Downingtown East High School Athletics Schedule


Downingtown West High School Athletics

Downingtown West High School Athletics Schedule

MPA News

The Music Parents Association (MPA) is a non-profit organization consisting of parents / guardians of children involved in any of the Downingtown High School music programs– including marching band, concert band, symphonic band and ensembles, string orchestra and ensembles, vocal choirs and ensembles, indoor percussion ensemble and color guard (both outdoor and indoor). The mission is to provide program support as a supplemental resource, independent of local budget provisions in order to maintain the existence and the integrity of the music programs at all of the Downingtown high schools, which include Downingtown HS West Campus, Downingtown HS East Campus, and the STEM Academy.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Concession Volunteers WANTED!
For each home game the MPA is responsible for stocking and selling concessions not only for football games, but any home game at the stadium. We could use your help! VOLUNTEER TODAY!

For non-band members who want to volunteer, please contact Cheryl at and she will be able to manually assign them to a volunteer slot. Please include the name, an email address and the volunteer slot that is desired.

PLEASE NOTE: Student volunteers are welcome and hours can be used toward NHS/NJHS service hours.

MPA Fundraising is seeking gift baskets and raffle prizes for each of the home shows. If you own a business or have anything you can donate or contribute, please drop off to the main office labeled: For MPA Home Shows. Thank you for your support!


Cavalcade of Bands is a non profit organization composed of over one hundred member schools coming together to compete on the interscholastic level.

Saturday, September 23

Volunteering for a shift gives you free admission to the show!

Please note: Student volunteers are welcome and hours can be used toward NHS/NJHS service hours!


Saturday, October 21

USBands Pennsylvania State Championship Competition


Volunteering for a shift gives you free admission to the show!

Please note: Student volunteers are welcome and hours can be used toward NHS/NJHS service hours!

STEM Orchestra / Strings Updates:

Save the dates!

STEM Orchestra Dress Rehearsal - December 12th , 3:30 - 4:30 PM @ East

STEM Orchestra Winter Concert - December 19th , 7:00 PM @ East

String Showcase Dates:

Dress Rehearsal - January 16th , 3:30 - 4:30 PM@ East

Performance - January 18th , 7:00 PM @ East


Auditions have begun for Vocal Ensemble - they end on 9/27

Permission slips for the NYC trip to see Wicked on Broadway are due 10/2

Music is ordered for the winter concert and we are excited to share it with our family and friends in December!

Downingtown MPA Little Caesars Fundraiser

Friday, Sep. 1st, 12am to Saturday, Sep. 30th, 12am

This is an online event.


The Downingtown MPA has put together a pizza fundraiser in support of the Downingtown HS Music Programs. The funds raised from these sales will benefit the music programs in all 3 high schools! Your support is greatly appreciated!

CLICK HERE or Scan the QR code on the flier below to order your pizza today! Your support is very much appreciated!

Campus Safety Reminders, Parking and Parking Permits, Traffic on Campus, Transportation...

Student Drop Off

Please be reminded that students are to be dropped off behind the school. No students should be dropped off on Manor Ave. We appreciate your cooperation. Safety is always our first priority.

Also for the safety of all students and staff crossing back and forth during lunch time, the entrance to the STEM Academy on Campbell Drive will be closed during all lunch times for the remainder of the school year. Please use the West entrance to access the campus during that time.

Parking Permit Update: Due to the ongoing construction on the West Campus, parking permits this year are limited at both West and STEM. Currently any student that applied for a parking permit, and that were placed on the waitlist, are still on the waitlist, as we have reached the maximum number of parking permits we are able to distribute. Should more spaces become available we will begin to process applications in the order they were received.

Traffic: Please review the student pick up and drop off procedures located under School Day on our Website.

Bus Passes are for Emergency use only. All bus rosters are full and only in the event of an emergency will a student be allowed to ride a different bus home. The request for a bus pass should come to the main office and will need approval from Mr. Campbell.

Ms. Dana Sokso: Attendance Secretary DASD STEM Academy

Please help us in reminding your student of the following:

  • Whether your student is arriving late to school, has Senior Privileges, or has a parent note to leave early, they must sign in/out of the main office for attendance.
  • All attendance inquiries throughout the school year can be directed to
  • Students should scan the QR Codes located outside the main office, and then upload their notes for Absence, Tardiness, and Trips.
  • Please review the attendance policy in the Student Code of Conduct: Upon 3 unlawful offenses a written notification will be sent to parent; upon 6 unlawful absences, a 2nd notification will be sent, and a School Attendance improvement plan meeting will be required.
  • If you are planning a family trip, please be sure to turn in the Request Form for Educational and Family Trips, no less than 2 weeks prior to the request.

From the Nurse

  • Online Registration: Please remember to complete the Online Registration for your child(ren). This will provide me with updated health information as well as give permission for over the counter medication this school year. Go to Infinite Campus Parent Portal to complete the process.
  • Medication: Students are only permitted to carry emergency medication (Epinephrine, Asthma inhalers, and diabetes medication). Any medication to be administered during the school day, should follow our current medication policy (attach board policy) and complete the authorization for medication administration
  • Please contact Ms. Jennifer Mikulich with any questions or concerns.

Important Links for Parents & Students

  • 2023-2024 DASD School District Calendar
  • Infinite Campus: Student schedules, report cards, and access to updating the annual registration verification can be accessed here.
  • Payschools: All Activity, Technology and Food services fees can be paid quickly and easily in this portal. (All parking permit fees should now be showing in student accounts.)
  • Schoology: Many courses and classes are updated daily. This is a very important tool for communicating!
  • Service Desk: Technology support can be accessed here. Please review the directions for the new platform for service desk request for the 23-24 school year.

Downingtown STEM Academy

The Downingtown STEM Academy is the third high school in the Downingtown Area School District. The STEM Academy opened in the fall of 2011 at 335 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335.

The Academy is an IB World School offering every student the opportunity to earn an IB Diploma. The curriculum offers Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Pathways. Students are engaged in rigorous, challenging academic work that requires a mindset of growth and effort.

TLC Puppies visit STEM to test student created dog toys...