STEM Head of School Update
August 18, 2023 Issue #1: Welcome Back!
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
Welcome back everyone! We hope everyone has had a wonderful summer. It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome you to the 2023-2024 school year! August 28 will be the first official day of school for all students.
As a reminder, the school day begins at 7:40 a.m. and ends promptly at 2:40 p.m. Our administration, staff and teachers have been very busy this summer preparing for the new school year, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
All 9th grade students should report directly to the Auditorium on the first student day.
The daily schedule for August 28-September 12 has been modified as we work toward preparing for the Lunch & Learn Schedule. Please make note of the changes on the
We would like to take a moment to introduce and welcome several new staff members to our building this year!
- Mr. Shane Austin (Biology/Chemistry)
- Ms. Sarah Bartling (English)
- Mr. Joseph (Nick) Dimino (Biology/Chemistry)
- Ms. Donna Richards (German Substitute, First Semester for Ms. Wallen)
Lunch & Learn: Beginning September 13th, on days students have periods 1-7 we will continue our one hour Lunch & Learn. 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. Please be on the lookout for much more information over the next few weeks.
Early Dismissals: Any student leaving school must go through the main office if they have a note for an early dismissal, or if Mrs. Mikulich, school nurse, is dismissing due to illness. If a student is feeling ill they should ask their teacher if they may go to the nurse and the nurse will assist in next steps. Parents, please do not allow your student to text or call you to come get them and then pick them up and leave. Please tell them to go to the nurse and the nurse will be in contact, or please call the school to let us know your child isn’t feeling well. This is extremely important for student safety and accountability.
Emergency Drills: In the first weeks of school we will conduct our fire, severe weather and ALICE Drills (lockdown/evacuation) with our school staff. Please ask your students how these drills went and how they felt about them. It is critically important that students feel safe in school. We take these drills very seriously and want our students to understand the importance.
Arriving at School on Time: We have a lot of work to do each day with our STEM Academy students. Therefore, it is critical for students to arrive on time whether they are riding with a family member, friend, or driving themselves to school. Our school day begins promptly at 7:40 am. Students are expected to be in their classroom by 7:40 am each morning in order to maximize their experience with us. Please allow extra time for arrival in the morning, especially the first week of school. We will be lenient the first week but students driving or obtaining a ride are expected to be to school on time. If students ride the bus, then they will not be marked late due to a late arrival of the bus.
Senior Pathways: Similar to previous years, senior pathways will take place during the second and third marking periods. Seniors will be required to report to their assigned classroom for the first marking period as this is time designated to working on CAS, EE, practicum portfolio, college applications, and some special presentations. Seniors must report to their senior pathway room and remain there to work on the items above. Senior privilege/early dismissal/later arrival is not in effect during this time.
Student Schedules: Schedules are now available on the Campus Portal. The District technology department sent a notification home to parents on Monday, August 12. Please advise your son/daughter to check the Campus Portal up to the first student day of school, August 28, 2023, as schedules are subject to change. Juniors and Seniors, should also verify that they are registered for the proper number of HL and SL courses. If there is an error on your son/daughter’s schedule please call the Counseling Office at (610) 269-2420 x 43031 or email your counselor.
Technology Fee: The DASD School Board of Directors has established a technology fee for all high school students. Please review the District 1:1 Fast Facts for Families- DASD for details on technology fees, and all other device specific information. Please visit PaySchools Central in order to satisfy payment requirements.
Free & Reduced Meal Plan: Information can be found on the Food Services website
School Safety: Safety and Discipline are an essential component to any school. Students and parents are required to read the bullet points below as you will be held responsible for following school and school district policies.
All students are required to follow all school and district policies and procedures.
- Student Code of Conduct Policy- please review prior to the start of school.
- Student Rights and Responsibility- please review prior to the start of school.
IB Internal Assessments: As part of the IB course requirements, all juniors and seniors will be completing the internal assessments required throughout the two-year program. Mr. Sheehan, IB Coordinator, will be sending home a communication regarding the IB Internal Assessment requirements and due dates. Class of 2023 and 2024, we are currently working with your teachers to establish dates and times for completing IAs. More information will be coming your way in the near future.
IB Assessment and Curriculum Fees: Every senior, both diploma and non-diploma candidates, will take the culminating IB exams in May. Mr. Sheehan sent the IB Fees letter at the end of last school year to the Class of 2024 explaining the process for payment which includes a pay schedule and method for payment. That information can also be found on our website under the Class of 2024 news post. All fees have been uploaded to student accounts in Payschools.
This school was created on the motto ‘Effort Creates Intelligence.’ While this seems like a simple motto it is of great depth. Intelligence is not fixed, it is modifiable given intellectual experiences. As a school, we believe that if students try to improve themselves each and every day they will improve. We believe that when students make mistakes and are willing to recognize those mistakes they will become more knowledgeable and compassionate individuals. We believe there is no limit to what an individual can accomplish with effort and support. Our school community, grounded in collaboration and teamwork, is here to support every individual and help them find their own path to success. If you and your child have not done so already, I encourage you to read the book Mindset, by Carol Dweck. This book discusses failure as well as the belief of how effort can be a powerful tool in the achievement of our goals. I would also appreciate it if you and your child would take a few moments and watch this video on Growth Mindset. As a school we will continue our work on healthy lifestyles including, exercise, sleep, proper diet, mitigating stress, limiting electronic devices at critical times, as well as building relationships and community within our school. Some of these topics will be covered in classes as well as in advisory. We want every student to come to school with a positive attitude, challenge themselves, and try to improve a little bit each and every day. Over the course of the last ten years when students buy into the idea of a growth mindset they are successful here and beyond.
STEM Academy Class of 2027: Welcome!
First Day of School Directions: August 28
All incoming freshmen should report directly to the auditorium on the first student day. We look forward to seeing you!
If you did not pick up your district issued device over the course of the last few weeks you will need to make sure this is picked up on the first student day, unless you entered a technology ticket and were scheduled a pick up date between now and the first day of school.
Options for picking on the first student day:
- Arrive early to school at 7:00 am and report to the technology office in the Knowledge Commons to get set up prior to the meeting in the auditorium.
- Stop by the Technology Office in the KnowCo before the end of the day to get set up, with permission from your teacher, so that they know where you are at.
- Stop by the technology office immediately after school, so that you are prepared for day 2. The technology office is open until 3:00 pm.
Save the Date: Back to School Night at the STEM Academy
Thursday, Sep. 21st, 6-8pm
335 Manor Avenue
Campus Safety Reminders, Parking and Parking Permits, Traffic on Campus...
Student Drop Off
Please be reminded that students are to be dropped off behind the school. No students should be dropped 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 and Parking Permits
Junior and Senior Class families have received several communications recently regarding procedures for parking permits and the limited availability on campus due to the construction this year.
Students that have applied for a parking permit between August 2 and August 17, will need to make sure the permit is paid for and all obligations are taken care of before the end of the first week of school on Sept 1. Due to the limited number of spaces we have available, we cannot hold parking permit applications for an extended period of time.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
- 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.
IB Program Requirements
Ms. Meghan Schell, Administrative Assistant
IB Internal Assessments: As part of the IB Course Requirements, all juniors and seniors will be completing the internal assessments required throughout the two-year program. Mr. Sheehan, IB Coordinator, will be sending home a communication regarding the IB Internal Assessment requirements and due dates. Class of 2024 and 2025, please know that we are currently working with your teachers to establish dates and times for completing IA’s. More information will be coming your way in the near future.
IB Assessment and Curriculum Fees: Every senior, both diploma and non-diploma candidates, will take the culminating IB exams in May. Mr. Sheehan, will be sending a letter very soon explaining the process for payment which includes a pay schedule and method for payment.
Additional IB Updates: Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)/Extended Essay (EE)
Our IB Diploma Candidate Seniors have been hard at work over the summer uploading evidence from their CAS experiences and projects to ManageBac, and working on writing and research for their EE’s. EE Outlines are due to Turnitin by September 8, and all due dates are posted to Schoology.
Our IB Course Candidate Seniors have also been working hard on Graduation Projects, and gathering evidence for final presentations.
Juniors will learn more about all of this early on this the school year, as they are now starting their two-year IB Program. They are welcome to visit the Class of 2025 CAS/EE course on Schoology since they previously joined in the Spring.
Please contact Ms. Alyssa Sherlock, IB Research Specialist/CAS& EE Coordinator with additional questions.
Internships and Partnerships
Ms. Susan Boardman, Internships and Partnerships Coordinator
Ms. Cory Butler, Administrative Assistant
The goal of the STEM Academy is for students to be career aware prior to graduation. This summer, the Class of 2024 completed their career exploration with 29 STEM partners, and a few student chosen experiences. These programs were a blend of virtual and in-person experiences, including everything from learning about the energy sector with Constellation, visiting the Conowingo Dam and Peach Bottom Power Plant; experiencing the health and medicine sector with Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo Smith Kline, DSM Biomedical, Labcorp, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Delaware County Community College and varied physical therapy partners; exploring engineering with Southco, Bentley Systems, Lockheed Martin and architecture with Bernardon, the world of IT with Unisys and iPipeline and the field of law, with the Chester County District Attorney’s office.
Please be sure to review the portion of our website, STEM in Our Community for a complete overview of our Pathways and Practicum Program.
Ms. Katherine Cole,Dean of Academics & Student Life
Ms. Cory Butler, Administrative Assistant
The Downingtown STEM Academy offers opportunities for all students to nurture their relational health and wellness needs. We embrace our diverse, collaborative culture, and invite all students, families, and staff to get involved. With over 40 student-led clubs/organizations running annually, celebrated special events, HSAsponsored activities, well attended Homecoming dances, Powder Puff game and proms, we have a good time! Above is an overview of what to expect during the fall.
We also appreciate working collaborativley with the STEM Academy Home and School Association. Below is just a small picture of the activities that our fabulous HSA helps sponsor throughout the year.
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!
STEM Counseling Department
STEM Academy Counselors:
All counselors see students in grades 9-12.
Ms. Mary Wallin: Last names A-C
Mr. David Stratton: Last names D-Kl
Ms. Stacey Hewitt: Last names Ko- Ra
Ms. Leanne Glowik : Last names Re - Z
Ms. Stephanie Rockowitz, Counseling Secretary/Registrar
Ms. Jennifer Stull, Prevention Specialist
To schedule an appt. to visit your school counselor, please complete the following form:
Additional Resources from the STEM Counseling Department
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
Senior Class of 2024
Senior Class Portraits: If you have not had your senior portraits taken over the summer, the last three opportunities will be held September 5, 6 or 7, from 3:00-8:00 pm in the STEM Academy Auditorium. You must make an appointment.
Parking Permit: The parking permit application for the senior class opened on August 2, 2023. This application must be completed in full to be considered for a parking permit. Parking permits are limited due to construction on campus this year. Please reveiw the **This form can only be completed by the student using their DASD email address.
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.
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.
Home and School Association
STEM HSA Board
President: Michelle Smith
Secretary: Kerri Roberts
Please join us for our first HSA Meeting of the 23-24 school year, on Monday, September 11, 2023 at 7:00 pm. This meeting will be held in person at the STEM Academy Knowledge Commons.
Attn. Current/Prospective Swimmers for the Dwest Swim and Dive Team
Attention Current and Prospective Swimmers:
On Sunday Sept. 10 the DWest Swim and Dive team will have a welcome pool party. All current swimmers and incoming students interested in the DWest Swim and Dive team are welcome. Current team members will receive an email with the details. Incoming members please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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 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.