D50 STEM school named

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The new Adams County School District 50 STEM school now has a name: Colorado STEM Academy.

The name was unanimously approved during the Jan. 8 school board meeting.

Anthony Matthews, STEM principal, said the name was based off not only a marketing strategy, but helping students and parents identify with the school.

He said because the school will reach students in and outside of District 50, Colorado STEM Academy was the best choice.

“We really wanted something more creative,” he said. “Because we are looking at potentially drawing students outside the district, we really wanted a name that would pop.”

Colorado STEM Academy is set to open in August. In October 2012, the board approved the location of the school at 72nd Avenue and Irving Street in Westminster, the former Crown Pointe Academy Charter School.

Matthews said the main planning focus right now is putting together furniture and equipment quotes for the school.

He said the furniture will allow for flexible learning.

“We want furniture that can be set for groups, or lined up or placed in circles,” he said. “We are also working on our curriculum bids for the students.”

Along with the furniture and equipment, Matthews said the technology piece is also a focus.

He’s working on a technology budget that will allow for every student in the school to have some type of technical device, whether it’s access to an iPad, Chromebook or desk top computer.

Matthews said he plans on waiting to order the devices to ensure the most up-to-date technology is purchased.

“It’s been very exciting developing a school,” Matthews said. “There are the highs and lows, but my goal is to open the most successful STEM school in the state.”

The hiring process for Colorado STEM Academy is also underway. Teaching and other staff positions were posted on the District 50 website on Jan. 14 and people are welcome to begin the application process. Matthews said the total build-out for the school will be 300, beginning with 200 for the 2013-2104 school year. The number will increase to 250 students for the 2014-2015 school year, followed by the final increase to 300 in the following school year.

For the first year, Matthews said 13-and-a -half instructional staff and five-and-a-half support staff will be hired. That number will jump up to 18 instructional staff and eight support staff for the 2014-2015 school year and finally 20 instructional staff for the 2015-16 school year. Support staff will stay at eight.

“Because we are a STEM school, we have to be pretty specific with the type of engineering, science and technology teachers we hire,” he said. “My background is heavily in technology education and I am trying to knock this school out of the park. I want it to be perfect, but perfection is hard.”

People interested in applying at Colorado STEM Academy can visit the District 50 website at www.adams50.org and click on the jobs tab.