SchoolChoice Round One: Jan. 13 to Feb. 21, 2023

Posted January 17, 2023

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SchoolChoice DEADLINE EXTENDED to Tuesday, 2/21!

The system that DPS uses to accept and process SchoolChoice applications, SchoolMint, experienced some technical issues during the Round One window and some families were unable to complete their SchoolChoice applications. To ensure that all families are able to submit an application for their student, the Round One deadline has been extended to 4:00pm on Tuesday, February 21.

UPK Application Extension: Friday, 2/17 to Friday, 2/24!

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) is extending the Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado application window. The UPK Colorado application window reopens on Friday, February 17 and closes on Friday, February 24.

During this window, ECE families who have already selected their providers through the UPK Colorado application can revisit their application to reevaluate their choices and ensure they still have the best providers selected to meet their needs. New families can also submit an application before the first round of matching.

As a reminder, UPK Colorado is not a first-come, first-served program. All applications submitted by February 24 are part of UPK Round 1 and will be matched together. Families can begin their application at any time and return to it as many times as needed before submitting.

What Is SchoolChoice?

SchoolChoice is the Denver Public Schools program designed to ensure all students have access to quality schools. Families with students going into ECE, kindergarten, 6th grade, or 9th grade next year should complete a SchoolChoice application to sign up for a space at their preferred school. Current families with students going into 1st through 5th grade do not need to complete an application if you are returning to McKinley.

Round One of the 2023-2024 SchoolChoice program runs from January 13, 2023 to February 21, 2023. Applications are due by 4:00pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.  

Please complete a 2023-2024 SchoolChoice application if your student is going into ECE-4, kindergarten, or 6th grade next school year.

We’re a Prospective Family –
Where Can We Get More Information?

Please visit our Information for Prospective Families page to sign up for a virtual Open House or in-person tour, view our interactive virtual School Tour, and see our digital brochure!

What Do I Need to Do to Apply for Next Year?

Complete a SchoolChoice application by February 21 if your student will be entering ECE-4, kindergarten, or 6th grade in the 2023-2024 school year. McKinley-Thatcher office staff are available to help with SchoolChoice questions and applications starting on Friday, January 13.

How to Complete an Application

The SchoolChoice application process is completely online! You may complete your application on your phone, tablet, or computer at You can even take pictures of the documents you need to submit! 

Please note, ECE families have an extra application step (see below!).

New this Year:

The SchoolChoice process for ECE families 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 for eligible ECE-3 students). 

To access UPK funding and 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. Families are asked to apply as early in the UPK application window as possible to best navigate the new process. For more information, visit the UPK page on the SchoolChoice website

  • ECE Application Step #1: complete a DPS SchoolChoice application.
    Apply on the DPS SchoolChoice website during Round One (Jan. 13 to Feb. 21). You will not select schools here –  instead, you will list the schools you’re interested in on your UPK application. 
  • ECE Application 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. 24 to select the schools you’d like to apply to. 

What Documents Do I Need for My Application?

  • ECE-4 families should provide proof of income for the last 30 days.
  • NEW-to-DPS ECE-4 & kindergarten students must provide proof of address and proof of age (usually a birth certificate).
  • CURRENT DPS students do not need to provide any documents unless your family’s address has changed (please submit proof of address if this is the case).

How Much Will My Child’s ECE-4 Tuition Be?

The new Universal Preschool (UPK) program gives families access to 15 hours/week of FREE, state-funded preschool for all children in ECE-4. This means that UPK funding will pay for half of the tuition charged to full-day ECE-4 families in Denver Public Schools. Students with qualifying factors are also eligible for additional hours of tuition-free preschool.

After UPK funding is applied, the remaining tuition costs for ECE-4 families are calculated on a sliding scale based on family size and income. Please check the DPS 2023-24 ECE tuition chart for an estimate of your family’s tuition.

Please note that there is no tuition for kindergarten.

What Happens After I Submit My Application?

The SchoolChoice Round One application window closes on Tuesday, February 21. Families who submitted a Round One application will receive a school placement notification from Denver Public Schools in late March 2023. Families will receive a welcome message from their school after placement notifications have been sent. 

I Need More Information — Where Do I Look?

For assistance with Denver Public Schools SchoolChoice applications:

For assistance with State of Colorado Universal Preschool (UPK) program applications: