Annual School Events

At McKinley-Thatcher, we provide a variety of activities and events throughout the year for our students and families. Our annual events are listed below.  View the full calendar of current events.

Back to School Ice Cream Social

Our Back to School Ice Cream Social is a chance for families to meet each other and their new teachers before the first day of school, and to catch up with friends after the summer break.

First Day of School Coffee

Opportunity for PTA members to talk with new and returning families on the playground the morning on the first day of school. Free coffee and breakfast rolls should encourage you to come and say hello!

Back to School Night

Back to School Night is where teachers share classroom expectations and grade-level standards and curricular information. It is encouraged that children do not attend so that parents can fully engage with the teacher and other families.

PTA Meetings

Opportunity for parents, families, and McKinley-Thatcher staff to meet in-person to discuss teacher and staff needs, check in on the PTA budget, and to plan and coordinate events.

CSC Meetings

Collaborative School Committee (CSC) meetings are a monthly decision-making meeting where the nominated members provide strategic direction in support of our school’s mission and vision as stated in our Unified Improvement Plan (UIP).

Enrichment Activities

Our PTA sponsors and supports a wide variety of afterschool activities targeted towards kindergarten – 5th graders that take place in the school, generally on Monday through Thursday. These activities occur in the fall and spring semesters and usually run in 6-8 week cycles. In the past, enrichment activities have included yoga, drama, Spanish Club, Overtime Athletics, Sticky Fingers Cooking, Science Matters, Bricks4Kidz, and Zumba for Kids.

Student Recognition Assembly

Our Student Recognition Assembly (SRA) occurs on the last Friday of every month in our gym from 8:15am – 8:45am. Families are welcome to attend!

Fall Dance

Every fall, our PTA sponsors a free family dance in the fall.  Activities include photo booth fun, dance music, disco ball, desserts, and community building.  Bring your kids and come join the fun!

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/teacher conferences provide scheduled times to meet with your child’s teacher to review their academic progress. Every child has a conference in the fall, and additional conferences may be scheduled in the spring or on the request of a parent or teacher.

Restaurant Nights

Eat out and make money for the school! On McKinley-Thatcher Restaurant Nights, a percentage of your meal’s price is donated back to us, and it’s our chance to support our local restaurants. Watch for stickers coming home with your students and announcements in our school newsletter to know which restaurants are supporting us!


Thanks to PTA funding, there are 1-3 school-wide assemblies offered each year.  In the past, the assemblies have included theatrical performances and other forms of entertainment and learning for our students.

Thanksgiving Feast

Parents and families are invited to join their students and share a traditional Thanksgiving meal in our cafeteria during the week before Thanksgiving break.

Scholastic Book Fairs

We hold book fairs two a year — a full-price fair in fall semester and a buy one, get one (BOGO) fair in the spring. Book fairs are a wonderful opportunity to purchase low-cost books for your child, and a portion of the proceeds benefit our school library!

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)

Historically, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) was a federally funded book distribution program. McKinley-Thatcher PTA continues this tradition by offering 2-3 RIF book distributions annually. Each student in our school receives a free book of their choice!

DU Sports Fundraisers

McKinley-Thatcher families and friends join together for a fun chance to watch the University of Denver hockey, basketball, and lacrosse teams.  Tickets are regular price with at least $3 per ticket going to support the PTA.

Chili Cook Off

This free family and community event is a favorite annual tradition. Bring your best chili to be judged by the firefighters from the local fire house or take home dessert from the cake walk!  Kids go home with painted faces after a night of food and fun.


The McKinley-Thatcher auction is a vital part of the school’s annual fundraising efforts. In the past, it has allowed us to update our library, provide technology upgrades, subsidize afterschool enrichment programs, provide Denver Zoo education programs, and fund many other things that cannot be funded through the school budget alone.

Teacher Appreciation Week

McKinley-Thatcher participates in this nationwide week of honoring teachers. Families are asked to express their gratitude in different ways throughout the week with different themes each day.

Field Day

A school-wide day of outdoor activities including potato sack races, sponge races, and tug of war that culminates with the local fire house cooling everyone down with water from their hose trucks. Families are invited to volunteer or to simply come support the kids.

5th Grade Continuation

A night to celebrate the 5th graders’ achievements as they leave elementary school and begin the next phase of their education.

Kindergarten Graduation

A celebration of our kindergarten students and their learning as they finish their first formal year of elementary school.