Welcome to Our New 2024-2025 Families!

Posted March 22, 2024

If your student accepted a spot at McKinley-Thatcher Elementary for the 2024-2025 school year but your plans for next year have changed, please let us know by calling our main office at (720) 424-5600 as soon as possible. Thank you!

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Welcome to McKinley-Thatcher Elementary! We are excited for your family to join us for the 2024-2025 school year. 

McKinley-Thatcher is an amazing school with 300 students in ECE-4 through 5th grade. Our students represent our neighborhood’s rich cultural background and come from a wide variety of countries and family experiences. We are also proud to be a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School!

Our teachers and staff are committed to offering your child hands-on, individualized learning filled with opportunities for academics, arts, drama, technology, physical education, and field trips. At McKinley-Thatcher, we inspire authentic, joyful learners who are ready to explore the world!

Events & Important Dates for New Families

We want to make the transition to McKinley-Thatcher effortless and fun for our new students and families. With that in mind, please mark your calendars for some important upcoming events!

  • Tuesday, May 14, 1:45pm-2:30pm Kindergarten Round-Up: incoming kindergarten families are invited to meet our kindergarten teachers and learn more about McKinley!
  • Thursday, May 16, 6:00am2024-2025 Discovery Link (DL) Registration: incoming families may begin registering for after-school care through our Discovery Link program on the DL website.

  • Tuesday, May 21, 1:00pm-1:45pm ECE Round-Up: incoming ECE families are invited to meet our ECE teachers and learn more about McKinley!
  • Monday, August 5 to Sunday, August 11 School Registration (online ONLY): complete registration paperwork, pay school fees, and receive important school year information through our website. 

  • Thursday, August 15, 4:00pm-5:30pmOpen House: join us to meet your teachers and tour our classrooms and building.

  • Monday, August 19 – K-5th Grade: First Day of School & Welcome Celebration: our first day of school for students in kindergarten through 5th grade is Monday, August 19. Join us on our playground at 7:15am for our Welcome Celebration!

  • NEW FOR ECE: Tuesday, August 20 – ECE ONLY: First Day of School: our first day of school for students in ECE is Tuesday, August 20.
    • ECE families: please note that ECE’s first day of school is now Tuesday, August 20. This change was made by the DPS Early Childhood Education Department on May 6, 2024.

  • Monday, August 19 to Wednesday, August 21Special Half-Day Schedule: August 19, 20, and 21 will be half-days for kindergarten through 5th grade. School will begin at 7:30am and end at 11:30am. Students will have lunch before going home. 
    • ECE families: ECE students will follow the same half-day schedule listed above on Tuesday, August 20 and Wednesday, August 21.

Other Important School Information

Click each headline below to expand its subsection.

School Hours, After-School Programming, & School Bus Transportation Information
  • Our school hours are 7:30am to 2:30pm. Our main office is open from 7:15am to 3:15pm. 

  • We offer Discovery Link (DL) after-school care for all students (ECE-5th grade). To register for the 2024-2025 Discovery Link after-school program, visit the DL website on or after Thursday, May 16, which is when DL registration opens for McKinley-Thatcher families.

  • We also partner with Discovery Link to offer after-school enrichment opportunities for students, including Spanish, cooking, science, chess, and much more!

  • If McKinley-Thatcher is your boundary school and you live more than one mile from our building, your student is automatically eligible to ride our school bus. Visit transportation.dpsk12.org for information!
    • If your student is not automatically eligible, you can request to be added to our school bus route on the DPS Transportation Services website.

    • Please note that ECE-4 students may not ride the school bus unless they have an older sibling who also rides. 
Instructional Model – Kindergarten to Fifth Grade

We are proud to use an instructional model called “platooning” for our core content instruction. In kindergarten through fifth grade, our teachers specialize in teaching either literacy or math and science. This model allows teachers to develop deep expertise in their content areas, create more individualized support for students, and implement more experiential learning opportunities in our classrooms! 

We strive to create educational experiences that meet each child’s specific needs through differentiated instruction. All our students participate in hands-on learning and unique experiential opportunities with our partners, including South Platte River Environmental Education (SPREE) and the Denver Zoo. Our building also houses a state-of-the-art STEM SmartLab, art studio, library, and flexible learning spaces.

Instructional Model – ECE-4

The McKinley-Thatcher Early Childhood Education (ECE) program is play-based, and teachers create curriculum to meet the needs and interests of our unique classes. Children engage in activities of their choice for most of their day, working with peers, creating, exploring, investigating, and solving problems. ECE students also attend specials classes, including art, drama, PE (Physical Education), and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), on a daily rotation.

Universal Preschool (UPK) Applications for ECE-4 Students

Families of accepted ECE-4 students will receive an email from the DPS Enrollment Team containing additional information regarding steps to apply for funding through Universal Preschool Colorado (UPK).

ECE-4 Classroom Policies 

All Denver Public Schools ECE classrooms are required to adhere to the Colorado Early Childhood Licensing requirements. Children must be signed in and out daily by an adult 18 years old or older. 

Each child is required to have a separate set of ECE-specific paperwork on file at school. This paperwork is different from the DPS-required paperwork that you will fill out during school registration. Please note, our ECE-specific forms will be available on our website in early August and must be completed and emailed or brought to the office at McKinley-Thatcher by the first day of school.

Additionally, children must have a health appraisal form on file that is signed by a healthcare professional. Many pediatrician offices have health appraisal forms they can print out, sign, and email to you. DPS also offers free healthcare services, including health appraisal forms, to all DPS students at our School-Based Health Centers (run by Denver Health). 

Helping Your Child Prepare for ECE 

In preparation for the beginning of ECE, here a few things to practice this summer:

  • Toileting and washing hands independently.
  • Asking to use the restroom.
  • Putting on shoes.
  • Putting on jackets.

In the fall, your child will need the following items for school:

  • Small blanket for nap
  • Full-size backpack
  • Water bottle 
  • McKinley-Thatcher collects a $75 supply fee from ECE families during school registration instead of having each family purchase supplies individually. This fee also pays for our fun field trips! Scholarships are available for families in need and can be requested during the registration process.

Have Questions or Need More Information?

  • Visit our school website for the latest news and information for current and new families.
  • Call our main office at (720) 424-5600 or email us at McKinley_Thatcher@dpsk12.org.
  • Stop by our building between 7:15am and 3:15pm, Monday through Friday. 
    • Our building will close for summer break beginning Wednesday, June 5 and will reopen on Monday, August 12.

We look forward to meeting you as we build the foundation for a fun and successful school year together. Thank you for choosing McKinley-Thatcher!