News from the Nest — February 16, 2024

Posted February 16, 2024

2024-2025 Budget Update for Our School from Ms. Geerdes

McKinley-Thatcher is still growing, which is great news! We’ll be adding an additional 4th grade class next year, which means we’ll be at over 300 students! That is almost twice as many students as when I came to McKinley-Thatcher 10 years ago. These are huge celebrations!

Despite our growth, this coming school year will be another tough year for the McKinley-Thatcher budget. Although we applied for budget assistance from the district, we unfortunately did not receive the full amount of assistance that we hoped for. Because of this, we are going to have to reduce several staff positions in order to develop a balanced budget for the 2024-2025 school year.

Budget Adjustments for 2024-2025 School Year

Our school received $300,000 in budget assistance from the district for next school year. This is great news, but substantially lower than the $556,411 that we originally requested. 

Due to these funding restrictions:

  • We will not be able to increase our specials programming (art, drama, physical education, and technology) from our school general fund. Instead, this will be the big focus for fundraising at our PTA auction on March 1. We are still hopeful to be able to increase our specials teachers from 2.5 days to 3 days a week next year to accommodate our growing school.  
  • We will not be able to increase our Gifted and Talented programming. 
  • We will not be able to host a school psychologist intern.  

During our Collaborative School Committee (CSC) meeting on February 13, our community worked together to determine our priorities on how to decrease our overall spending for next school year by about $110,000 in order to address our budget shortfall. 

  • We will eliminate one of our part-time intervention teacher positions (saving $55,488).
  • We will eliminate one of our part-time instructional paraprofessional positions (saving $36,500).
  • We will eliminate our part-time health technician position (saving $16,646).

We know these are big changes that will impact our community, and we ask for your continued patience as we navigate them. We will continue to advocate to DPS to appropriately fund our school, and we will invite you to attend and enjoy the upcoming events where we can come together to support our McT family.  

Please reach out to me directly at if you have any questions, if you’d like to get involved in grant writing opportunities, or if you have other ideas about how we can support our school!  

Coming Soon:
Support McKinley Through Our Online & In-Person Auction Events!

Parents, guardians, staff, and other adult community members are cordially invited to celebrate and support our incredible school by joining us for our 2024 school auction, Shine, with options for both online and in-person participation!

Online Auction: 6:00pm on Friday, 2/23 to 8:00pm on Friday, 3/1

The online portion of our PTA’s annual auction fundraiser opens at 6:00pm on Friday, February 23 and runs until 8:00pm on Friday, March 1!

Shine, Live Auction & Party: Friday, 3/1, 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Grown-ups are invited to join us for our live auction event from 7:00pm to 10:00pm on Friday, March 1 at Moss Denver, with appetizers, drinks, and fun! 

Get your tickets today at! Purchasing your tickets early helps us to make sure we have the right space, food, and drinks. 

We have many items from our community available for bidding (both online and in-person) — all to support our school — including gift cards, talents and services from McT parents, vacations, and our TEACHER TREASURES!

Auction proceeds help the McKinley-Thatcher PTA support critical educational initiatives at our school!

REMINDER: RSVP for SEL Night by Monday, 2/19!

Our 5th annual Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) Night is from 4:30pm to 6:30pm on Thursday, February 22! Focused on SEL specifically for parents and caregivers, SEL Night’s goal is to help families learn about a variety of important topics to best support their children at home and at school. Come for the free pizza dinner and childcare, stay for the learning sessions! 

So… What’s SEL?

Social & emotional learning (SEL) is the development of self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for success in school, work, and life!

Please RSVP by Monday, 2/19!

Please visit our website to see full event information and to RSVP!

We Need Your Help: Volunteer with Free Book Friday!

Volunteer with our Free Book Friday giveaways to help spread the love of reading to our children! 

We Need Volunteers On:

  • Friday, February 23
  • Friday, March 1
  • Friday, March 15
  • Friday, March 22
  • And several days in April & May!

If you’d like to assist, please sign up here

Other School News

  • Mark your calendar: we have NO SCHOOL today (Friday, February 16 – DPS staff planning day) or Monday, February 19 (Presidents’ Day)!

  • REMINDER: If you have over 95% attendance in the month of February, you will be invited to a hot chocolate and movie party!! That means you can only miss ONE day in February for this special reward! YOU CAN DO IT!

Community News & Resources

  • None at this time!

Upcoming School Events

Click here to view the McKinley-Thatcher school calendar.

  • Fri., 2/16 NO SCHOOL: DPS Planning Day
  • Mon., 2/19NO SCHOOL: Presidents’ Day 
  • Mon., 2/19DEADLINE to RSVP for Social & Emotional Learning Night
  • Tues., 2/20 LAST DAY: Spanish, Chess Wizards, & Omniform enrichments 
  • Wed., 2/21LAST DAY: Cooking, Chemworks, Nexplore Printmaking, & Yoga Stars enrichments
  • Wed., 2/21 – Eagles Basketball Game, 4:30pm, in our gym (enter through the alley door!)
  • Thurs., 2/22LAST DAY: Escape Room Masters & Nexplore Art enrichments
  • Thurs., 2/22Social & Emotional Learning Night, 4:30pm-6:30pm
  • Fri., 2/23 PTA Online Auction OPENS, 6:00pm
  • Fri., 2/23 – Monthly School Value Assembly, 7:45am
  • Wed., 2/28 – Eagles Basketball Game, 4:30pm, in our gym (enter through the alley door!)
  • Fri., 3/1 Shine, In-Person Auction Fundraiser, 7:00pm-10:00pm, Moss Denver
  • Fri., 3/1PTA Online Auction CLOSES, 8:00pm

Upcoming DPS & Community Events

  • None at this time!