School Policies & Procedures

Student smiling in the lunch line

Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures



School supervision of students at breakfast in the cafeteria begins at 7:30 a.m.


School supervision of students on the playground begins at 7:40 a.m.


A parent or guardian should accompany ECE students until they are signed into their classrooms at 8 a.m.

Kindergarten to 5th grade

Students may be dropped off at our front door or on our playground after 7:40 a.m.

Kiss-and-go system

If you drive to school, please drop your child off at the curb at the front of our building, where they will be greeted by school staff.

If you prefer, you may park in the neighborhood and walk your student to the playground.



Students must be picked up on the playground at 3 p.m. unless they’re participating in our Discovery Link program or an after-school enrichment class. There is no after-school playground supervision. Students who are not picked up by 3:10 p.m. will be brought to our main office and their parents/guardians will be contacted.

ECE & Kindergarten

A parent or guardian must sign their student out in their classrooms.

After-School Care

The Discovery Link program provides on-site after-school care for families. Visit Discovery Link for registration information and cost.

  • During drop-off or pick-up times, please park on the neighborhood streets around the building or on Louisiana Avenue or Logan Street.
  • During the school day, please park in our north lot (outside of the front entrance). Please note that this is a public City of Denver lot and is not part of McKinley-Thatcher property.
  • Cars parked in handicapped spaces, the fire lane, and designated no parking areas are subject to ticketing by the Denver Police Department. Please do not park in bus loading areas, handicap spaces, or in our west staff parking lot.

McKinley-Thatcher Weather Policy

  • Arrival
    • When DPS schools are on a “late start” due to winter weather, McKinley-Thatcher will operate on a two-hour delay, opening at 9:30 a.m.
  • Recess
    • When it is 20 degrees or lower, we will have indoor recess in our gym.
  • Winter Gear
    • Please dress your child in warm winter gear, as we only call indoor recess when it is extremely cold. Otherwise, you can assume your child will be outside playing in the fresh air! They will need coats, gloves, hats and any other outdoor winter clothing you see fit.

DPS Weather Closure Information

The decision to keep schools open or to close them during winter weather conditions is not a simple one, but it is made with one overriding factor in mind: the well-being of our students, their families and staff. It is a good idea to decide in advance how to best keep up with the changes, what childcare arrangements are needed, and how to adjust if schools are closed due to inclement weather.

  • If the decision is made to close school, the DPS Communications Office will immediately notify local television and radio stations, which will broadcast regular announcements of school closures or delays.
  • Emergency school closures will be posted on the district’s homepageWeather at DPSK12.orgthe district’s Facebook page, and Twitter.
  • School bus delays and information is posted on the DPS Transportation Facebook page and Twitter.
  • A message about the closure or late start will be on the district’s closure hotline at 720-423-3200 and the DPS Transportation hotline at 720-423-4699.

School Emergency Procedures

In a serious emergency, our school administrators must decide to place our school in a lockout, lockdown, shelter-in-place, or evacuation. We regularly conduct practice drills to ensure our students and staff know what to do!

To keep our children safe in the event of a school emergency, parents/guardians should:
  • DO check the DPS webpage at for updated information.
  • DO call the DPS Family Constituency Hotline at 720-423-3054.
  • DO tune into local TV/radio stations for school news alerts.
  • DO listen for information regarding unification with your child. Please remember to bring valid government identification with you to the reunification site.
  • DO NOT come to your child’s school. This will create traffic congestion and hamper the efforts of first responders.
  • DO NOT call your child or your child’s school. Excessive phone calls could jam up the phone system and interfere with emergency communications.

Communication During an Emergency

The Denver Public Schools Department of Security and our school will communicate with families through all available means, including text messages, robo-calls, robo-e-mails, Facebook, and our school app. We notify families ASAP when it is safe to pick up your child and the location for pick-up.

LockOUT Procedures

Threat is definitely away from the school. 
School administration secures the building and safely shelters all students, staff, and visitors INSIDE the school. Our school will go on lockout if a threat is in our neighborhood but does not pose immediate danger to the occupants of the school.

  • NO person is allowed to enter or leave the building.
  • School business and classroom activities continue as normal.
LockDOWN Procedures

When a threat is inside or very close to the school.School administration secures the building and safely shelters all students, staff and visitors INSIDE the school. Our school will go on lockdown if a threat is inside the building or neighborhood and endangers the occupants of the school.

  • NO person is allowed to enter or leave the building.
  • School business and classroom activities cease.
  • Staff ensure all exterior doors are locked.
  • Staff lock all interior classroom/work area doors.
  • Staff, students, and visitors are DOWN, QUIET, and OUT OF SIGHT.

Lockdown drills: parents/guardians will receive an e-mail notification that a lockdown drill has taken place.

Lockdown: parents/guardians will receive an e-mail and/or phone communication from the school as soon as feasibly possible at the end of a lockdown.

Severe Weather Shelter-In-Place Procedures

Severe weather is any weather condition that may cause injury to students and staff or damage to structures. Different types of weather call for different actions. Schools will go into shelter-in-place if the threat of severe weather is in the area. Examples of severe weather are:

  • High winds
  • Thunder and lightning storms
  • Hail
  • Tornadoes

School administration will monitor National Weather Service announcements and notify staff and students to move away from rooms on the perimeter and shelter in our designated Inside Safe Assembly Location (our lower hallway) as necessary. Site administration will direct students and staff to take a protective kneeling position.


If it is unsafe for students, staff, and visitors to remain inside our building, they will evacuate to designated evacuation locations either on-campus or off-site. The most common evacuation is a fire drill.

  • All students and staff will exit the school and go to designated evacuation locations.
  • Everyone will remain outside until the “all clear” message is given.
  • If students and staff need to leave school grounds, we will walk to our designated off-site evacuation locations (see below).
  • Students will be released to parents/guardians who are listed on their emergency contact list and have valid government identification.

McKinley-Thatcher’s two off-site emergency evacuation locations are:

  • Decker Branch Library, 1501 S. Logan St., 720-865-0220
  • Grant Beacon Middle School, 1751 S. Washington St., 720-423-9360

Other Resources for Our Families