STEM School Chattanooga Tesla


May is here and we are winding down as we complete the last few weeks of school. Thank you for an excellent year and your support throughout our work. We are excited to send our second graduating class into the world as they make a positive impact on those around them. Here are quite a few items we wanted to share with you as we complete May. 

STEM Jubilee

Thank you to all of our volunteers for making the STEM Jubilee a fabulous experience. The weather was a worry, but we hit the exact times to make the most of the event. There were amazing booths this year with great STEM activities for kids. We had eight other Hamilton County schools host booths. It was just an all-around fabulous day to share STEM with our community. We look forward to the STEM Jubilee's continued growth and expansion in the coming years. Special thanks to the STEM Jubilee leads from the Parent Leadership Team - Michelle Brock, Cameille Vlietstra and Amy Betts. Amazing work!

iPad Items

iPad condition: All iPads for 9th, 10th and 11th graders are to be in good condition by May 15th. Good condition means that the iPad is working properly and there is no impeding physical damage to the iPad (examples of items to be fixed: screens with broken glass, images are blurry, etc.). Scratches only need to be fixed if the scratches distort iPad images or change the effectiveness of the iPad. It is the responsibility of the parent and student to make sure this is the case by May 15th. For those students and parents who need to repair the iPad, Simply Mac in Hamilton Place Mall does iPad repairs.  

iPad summer usage: iPads may be rented for student use in the summer for students returning to the STEM School for the 2017-2018 school year. There is a $40 rental fee for using the iPad over the summer. The fee must be paid by May 23rd. Checks should be made out to STEM School Chattanooga. 

Senior iPads: 12th grade student iPads are to be submitted to Mr. Otero by May 12th. If the iPad requires repair, there will be a $79 fee. If the student has lost the iPad, there will be a $225 fee to get a replacement. Hamilton County Schools has decided to use these iPads in special education settings for next year to support elementary students. We look forward to providing the devices for this endeavor.

Teacher and Staff Appreciation

National Teacher Appreciation Week is this week. Dr. Donen and Mr. David have a special surprise for teachers on Friday morning. Please feel free to also thank any of your student's teachers throughout this month. We know that we have our flaws like any organization, but I can honestly say that your students are surrounded by a great staff that care about your kids. 


Murals and more murals! This month students will be working with Barry Snyder, former Imagineer at Disney, to add the three additional STEM house icons to our building. No longer will Einstein be alone. Tesla, Mirzakhani and Staupers will be joining him as you drive up to the school. 


Yearbooks are almost here! Technically, I have one already... but it's under lock and key. The yearbooks are amazing!!! We are super excited for all pre-ordered yearbooks to be distributed on May 10 and 11 during lunch. Spoiler alert... you'll love learning about the STEM Houses!

9th Grade STEM Oscars and Mask Reveal

On Friday May 12th the 9th grade students will participate in the STEM Oscars. The STEM Oscars is where students will participate in a viewing and awards ceremony for the Romeo and Juliet scene adaptation videos. The STEM Oscars will also include the unveiling and presentation of their zombie masks for the Zombie Virus Apocalypse PBL unit. 

Bessie Smith Art Contest

Congratulations to two outstanding 9th grade students who submitted entries for the Bessie Smith Art Contest in Chattanooga. These students competed against students throughout the region and were awarded first place (Mack Alas) and third place (Hayden Verstrat) in the competition. Their artwork was displayed in the Vilma Fields Atrium inside the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Well done Mack and Hayden!

Calendar of Events

May 8 - Final day for 9th and 10th grade students to submit advanced work

May 12 - Final day for 9th and 10th grade students to submit proficient work

May 12 - Last day of school for 12th grade students

May 15 - First day of Inertia Institute and Dividend Days for 9th and 10th grade students 

May 19 - Last day of school for 11th grade students

May 19 - Graduation Practice (required of all seniors participating in graduation ceremony) - 11:30am at Tivoli

May 20 - Graduation Ceremony - 2:30pm at Tivoli

May 25 - Last day of school for 9th and 10th grade students (half day)

June 5 - First day of summer school for 9th and 10th grade students

June 7 - Report cards 

Items of note regarding calendar of events above:

  • Dividend Days are reward day activities for 9th and 10th grade students who have mastered all learning targets. Dividend Days run from May 15 to May 25.
  • Inertia Institute is for 9th and 10th grade students who will be continuing to work in Edgenuity to show mastery of learning targets. Inertia Institute runs from May 15 to May 25. 
  • ER (Extra Remediation) may be assigned for an 11th or 12th grade student beyond the last day of school date listed above. Parent will be contacted by 11th-12th grade teacher team if that is the case.
  • Summer school is for 9th and 10th grade students who have not mastered learning targets by May 23rd. Mr. Otero will be contacting parents of these students with details.
  • Report cards may be picked up starting Wednesday, June 7th. We are happy to send a digital copy of the report card to you at that time. If you would like the report card to be sent to you by email, please let Amy Robinson know (

Final Note

I would like to thank you for your patience and support throughout the year. Ms. Brockelbank started this hashtag on twitter this year - #stemkidsarethebestkids - and I couldn't agree more. We truly are fortunate to have awesome students, a fabulous staff, and the best parents. If I do not see you before the end of the year, have a wonderful summer.

Thank you for your support!

Dr. Tony Donen


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