News from the Nest — January 6, 2023

Posted January 6, 2023

Vol. 7, No. 17

PTA Chili Cook-Off Is Fri., 1/27!

We are so excited to announce that our annual Chili Cook-Off is returning this year! Join us in our cafeteria at 5:30pm on Friday, January 27 for food and fun! We’re inviting our local firefighters to judge our chilis and we’ll have prizes for our winners! We’ll share more information and our volunteer sign-up next week. 

SchoolChoice Round One Opens Fri., 1/13!

Families with students who are entering ECE, kindergarten, or 6th grade NEXT school year (2023-2024) should please save-the-date for Round One of the 2023-2024 SchoolChoice Application Window! Round One of SchoolChoice runs from Friday, January 13 to Tuesday, February 14. Families with students entering ECE, kindergarten, or 6th grade should complete a SchoolChoice application for their transitioning students by 4:00pm on February 14. For more information, visit the SchoolChoice website or call us at (720) 424-5600. 

Families of current K-4th grade students do not need to complete a SchoolChoice application in order to return to McKinley-Thatcher next school year. 

Families with incoming ECE students: please note that there are important changes to the ECE SchoolChoice process this year! Keep reading below for full details. 

NEW Universal Pre-K Application for Incoming ECE Students!

The SchoolChoice process for incoming ECE students will be much different this year due to the new Universal Preschool (UPK) program that is opening across our state for the 2023-2024 school year. The UPK program, signed into law by Governor Polis in 2022, gives families access to 15 hours/week of FREE, state-funded preschool for all children in ECE-4 (and 10 hours/week to eligible ECE-3 students). 

To access UPK funding and to apply for a spot in ECE-4 at DPS, families with incoming ECE-4 students must complete both a DPS SchoolChoice application and the UPK application on the State of Colorado website at the same time. Families are asked to apply as early in the application window as possible to best navigate the new process. 

  1. Step #1: complete a DPS SchoolChoice application.
    Apply on the DPS SchoolChoice website during Round One (Jan. 13 to Feb. 14). You will not select schools here –  instead, you will list the schools you’re interested in on your UPK application. 
  2. Step #2: complete a UPK application as soon as you’ve completed your SchoolChoice application.
    Apply on the UPK website between Jan. 17 and Feb. 15 to select the schools you’d like to apply to. 

Remember, ECE-4 families MUST complete BOTH a
DPS SchoolChoice application AND a UPK application together!

Staffing Update

As some of our families may already know, Ms. Jen Bruner, our school psychologist, is on an unexpected medical leave due to a health condition. We are excited to have Ms. Jordan Hamad, an itinerant DPS school psychologist, working in our building to support our students and families during Ms. Bruner’s absence. Ms. Hamad can be reached via email at

We anticipate that Ms. Bruner will be able to return to work in mid to late January 2023 and wish her a speedy recovery!

In Other News!

  • In January, we’re teaching and learning about our first school value, be kind and considerate!

  • Please click here to see our January 2023 lunch menu.

  • Mark your calendars: we have NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 16 or Tuesday, January 17!

  • We’re in need of clothing donations for our health office! Donations of the following items can be dropped off in our front office. Thank you!
    • New boys’ underwear (size: large)
    • New girls’ underwear (size: 2T/3T & 5/6)
    • New or gently used gender-neutral stretchy pants and shorts (size: 5/6 & 7/8)

Upcoming School Events

Click here to view the McKinley-Thatcher school calendar.

  • Mon., 1/9DEADLINE: Winter Reading Challenge Pages DUE!
  • Tues., 1/10 – Monthly CSC Meeting ONLINE, 5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Mon., 1/16 NO SCHOOL: MLK, Jr. Day
  • Tues., 1/17NO SCHOOL: Staff Work Day

Upcoming DPS & Community Events

  •  None at this time!