Principal's Letter

October 1, 2021

We are one month into the 2021/2022 academic year, and our scholars are settling in and making the transition from remote to live education… from attending classes twice per week to five times per week. There are some smooth spots in the transition, and there are some bumps along the way, but the Tesla STEM staff is committed to addressing those transition challenges and working with our young adults to regain those academic behaviors and practices that support student success, like time management, organization, reading informational text, and test prep strategies. 

How can parents assist? Please continue your great work of checking in with your students, assisting them in developing solid focusing without multitasking during homework time, and coaching students to either talk with their teachers or attend faculty office hours for in-time academic assistance. This is a team effort with our scholars, parents, and faculty. Questions? Let us know. Thanks!!

And thank you to the 70+ parents who attended Wednesday’s PTSA General Membership Meeting. Great to see you all on Teams!! For those of you who could not make this first meeting, we hope to see you at the next one. 

Mid-Quarter Check Point

As you know, Monday, October 4th is the mid-quarter progress check for this first quarter of the academic year. Starting at 7:30 am on the 4th, parents and students should check grades and work completion information uploaded in the system. If students/parents have questions re grades, please do follow our communication protocol:

1.   First Step:  Email the appropriate instructor(s) to schedule a meeting. The student is required to attend the meeting. The majority of grade questions are resolved at this first step. Please remember that students earn their grades per their work standard, work completion rates, and assessment results. In addition, we do not round grades; an 89.9% is a B+ not an A; 79.9% is a C+ and not a B-; and so on.  Thank you, in advance, for your attention to grading. We appreciate it.

2.   Second Step:  If you do not have resolution after meeting with the instructor, then email your scholar's academic counselor.

3.   Third Step:  If you feel you do not have resolution after meeting with both the instructor and academic counselor, then email administration to schedule an appointment.

PSAT/SAT & State Testing

Two Important Dates:  October 13 and 20

On Wednesday, October 13th, students across the nation in grades 10 and 11 will take the PSAT exam. On this same date, students in grade 12 in LWSD can opt to take the SAT exam. On this specific date, our Tesla STEM sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be on site taking these exams. Our 9th grade students will be off site doing an async/remote day of learning. Their assignments will be posted on Teams. And, only seniors who signed up in advance for the SAT test need to attend.

On Wednesday, October 20th, Tesla STEM students in grades 9, 11, and 12 will take the required Fall SBA and WCAS state exams. Students in grade 10 will be on site and in classes designed to give them extra time to work on current projects and assignments. Regular classes will not be held on this dateIf a parent decides to keep their sophomore student at home on this specific date, please then just let us know that your student will be working from home by stating this in an email to Office Professional Lauren Ferguson at Please do not call-in students as sick because this will trigger a nurse call and possible negative covid test requirement before your young adult can return to school, etc.

For both testing dates, please make sure your student brings their fully-charged school laptop to school, along with earbuds, and reading material should they finish the exam early.

Also, for both October 13 and 20, our school’s start and end times remain the same, and bus pick-up and drop-off times remain the same as well. School lunch will be provided.

Celebrating Our Scholars

Freshmen & Sophomores

Freshmen in Computer Science classes are working on an exercise to learn about algorithms and isometric drawing using Legos. These skills will transfer over to Entrepreneurship mid-October when students begin design work along with the 3D printers.

Sophomores are building their eco-columns in Biology that will be used all of this first semester to study ecosystems and complete data collection while also learning bio medical terminology.

Juniors & Seniors

Juniors in AP Psych/Forensics are learning about the marshmallow challenge and the importance of the design process and multiple protype reiterations - which will benefit students in thinking about their NAS Engineering projects to design new solutions to strengthen an area of forensics science. 

Juniors and Seniors are collaborating on the “Types of Interview Questions: Behavioral, Assessment, Case, & Backround” in-class activity in Business/Marketing & Economics. 

Dates to Calendar

·      October 4th         Mid-way point of 1st Quarter

·      October 6th         Picture Retakes

·      October 13th       PSAT/SAT

·      October 15th       District LEAP Day; No School for Students

·      October 20th       Fall SBA Tests

·      November 5th     Last Day 1st Quarter

·      November 10th   Tesla STEM High School Information Night (Virtual)

·      November 11th   Veteran’s Day; No School

·      November 24th   Half Day; School is Out at 10:40 a.m.

·      November 25-26 Thanksgiving Holiday Break

·      December 20-31 Winter Holiday Break

Picture Retakes

Picture retakes are Wednesday, October 6th starting at 7:am. Any student who missed Registration in August should have their picture taken for a free Tesla STEM/ASB identification card. Parents can also purchase school pictures by going to and using Picture Day ID:  EVTMJF8BC. 

Semester Finals

First Semester Finals are scheduled for January 25, 26, 27, and 28 of 2022Please note that we do not give early finals for any reason. If absent during finals, a doctor’s note may be requested. Please plan all appointments and/or travel around these important dates for your scholars. Much appreciated.

Graduation Date Change

Tesla STEM High School Graduation date is now June 13, 2022. Please mark your calendars. More info to come.


Enjoy this first of many beautiful autumn weekends with family and friends!!

Cindy Duenas