The DCSD Board of Education approved a resolution for a conditional charter renewal contract on January 8, 2019 for the STEM School Highlands Ranch, which states: “If the School fails to satisfy the conditions precedent set forth in this Resolution, then such failure shall excuse the Board from renewing the School’s charter and charter contract.”
In order to save the STEM School from not being renewed, STEM School parents have started an on-line petition calling for the STEM School Board and Executive Director to be removed and for new leadership to be installed at the school. Current and former parents may sign the on-line petition at this link: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/664/508/126/
The following are the reasons for removing the STEM School Board and Executive Director and replacing with new leadership:
FAILURE to negotiate a 5-year contract resolution with the DCSD Board of Education (BoE). The shortened 3-year contract term places the STEM School at risk of not being able to secure a low-interest CECFA bond renewal for the STEM building because investors realize that the DCSD BoE lacks confidence in the school. By their own admission, before the DCSD BoE on January 8, the STEM Board referred to the shortened contract term as the ‘death knell.’
FAILURE to manage a fiscally conservative budget as the STEM Board approved an exorbitant salary of $278,000.00 with a bonus in 2017 of $55,600.00 for the STEM Executive Director.
FAILURE to provide a STEM Parent Complaint and Communication Policy to meet the first DCSD BoE condition for charter approval. The STEM Handbook on page 34 states: “Consequences for behavior inconsistent with this policy may range from warnings and counseling, through requiring a written apology…expulsion of students, or banning parents from school media and grounds. It is the administration’s decision as to which consequence is most appropriate.”
On January 23 and 29, current and former parents exercised their first amendment rights to inform the school community about the DCSD concerns for non-renewal by handing out flyers to STEM parents on public space.
In response, the STEM School Board President and Executive Director issued an email to the school community on January 30, attributing the protests to “complete outsiders.”
These claims are false, as current and former STEM parents have organized the protest.
In addition, the tone in the email sent to the parent community gave the impression that there was nothing to worry about. This was a direct contradiction to the “death knell” comment made by STEM to the DCSD BoE.
Furthermore, a STEM administrator and school security confronted the concerned parents, dubbed “complete outsiders”, in an effort to discourage parents from exercising their rights.
These actions are examples of the school’s failure to properly handle parent concerns. It further jeopardizes the STEM School’s chances of satisfying the conditions set forth in the contract resolution by April 1, 2019.
For more information visit the Facebook Page, SAVE THE STEM SCHOOL HIGHLANDS RANCH CHARTER and Sign the On-Line Petition at: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/664/508/126/