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Student Handbook

McElwain  Elementary School

Student and Parent Handbook




McElwain Elementary School

1020 Dawson Drive

Denver, Colorado 80229

Office phone # 720-972-5500

Attendance Line: 720-972-5518

Visit our website:



Important Phone Numbers

Main Office (Hours 7:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.):  720-972-5500

Fax Line:  720-972-5519

Attendance Line (available 24 hours a day):  720-972- 5518

*Please call before 7:30 a.m. if your student will be absent or tardy.

PEAK Program: 720-972-6544

Cafeteria: 720-972-5508

Library:  720-972-8555


School Hours:

Soft Start: 7:35 - Students can enter the building to get breakfast.

School begins: 7:50 am

School ends: 2:35 pm M-F


Delayed Start 10:05 am (end times remain the same) 

  • This is typically for weather related reasons

If you arrive after 7:40 a.m., you are considered tardy.

Please ensure that your child knows the daily plan for pick up. If someone is responsible for meeting them, please remind them to be on school grounds no later than 2:35pm at the designated pick up location. 

Staff is present to assist with the supervision of our students starting at 7:35 am. Staff will be available to assist with dismissal procedures at the end of each day for a period of 5 – 10 minutes. If it is prior to the end of the school day, please make sure to bring your driver’s license to pick up your child. Anyone other than the designated parent/guardian must be listed on a Student Authorization Pick Up Form and bring their driver’s license to pick up your child. 

Daily breakfast is served at 7:35. 



After School: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm 

For more information about the PEAK program, please contact Lenny Anguiano Nielsen.


Attendance - Reporting Absences Attendance Line: 720-972-5518

Absences must be reported on the school’s attendance line, even if the teacher has been informed of the absence. The school’s attendance line may be called at any time to report an absence or tardy. 

Bicycles and Scooters:

Bikes and scooters must be locked up on the bike rack outside the main entrance.

Birthdays and Celebrations:

In support of the District’s Policy on School Wellness, we strive to help our students make healthy lifestyle choices. Simple steps can help children continue making healthier choices as adults. In addition to healthier lunch choices and increased physical activity during our school day, we have implemented a “Non-food birthday treats” policy. Classroom teachers will share their non-food birthday celebration information with parents. We appreciate your support in this matter! 

Birthday Invitations:

We understand that school is the easiest place to distribute birthday invitations; however, doing so can cause many hurt feelings which disrupt the learning environment. Please have students pass out any party invitations after school is dismissed.


We use the ReachWell app to communicate with families. All home languages are supported on the app. An electronic newsletter will be sent via email, text, and on the ReachWell app on Fridays to remind parents of important dates and events. Please make sure to download the Reachwell app and connect to McElwain so you get all messages. Also, please keep your email address updated through Infinite Campus so you receive these important messages. Additionally, all teachers will be using ReachWell to communicate directly with families on a regular basis or provide announcements that apply to the whole class.  

Telephone Usage:

Students will be allowed to use the phone only in the following situations: 

When requested by their teacher 

When requested by an administrator 

When requested by the health aide, nurse or office staff 

School office staff will only deliver emergency messages to students. Please assist us by making arrangements for after school pick-up and daycare prior to your child leaving for school in the morning. Response to parent phone calls/emails will be made within one business day.

Communication with your student’s teacher

Although teachers have telephones located in their classrooms, they have been directed to keep their ringers turned off during instructional time. If you want to reach your child’s teacher, you may do the following:

  • Call the classroom teacher and leave a voicemail. Teachers have been asked to check voicemail before and after school and over their lunch break.

  • You may call the office and they will deliver messages to your student’s teacher at the end of the day.

  • You may call the classroom teacher before or after school.

You may also reach your student’s teacher via email. Your student’s teacher will provide you with their email address, and you may email them at your convenience. You may expect to hear back from them within one business day. You can find teacher contact information on the school website.

Early Departure/Late Arrival:

Students who must leave school during regular school hours must be signed out through the office by a parent or legal guardian. A student may not be dismissed from their classroom until someone has signed the student out. Students cannot be released to leave school alone. Students are involved in instruction until the end of the school day. 

We request that you do not pick your students up early unless it is extremely necessary. Students will not be called out of their classroom until the parent or guardian arrives.  Students who arrive late to school must check in at the office.

Field Trips:

Field trips may be scheduled by various classroom teachers throughout the school year. These trips are designed to supplement different aspects of the classroom curriculum and to introduce students to resources within the community. Parents will receive notice of scheduled field trips well in advance.

Parents must sign a permission form for all field trips. Students without a permission slip will not be allowed to accompany their class on the field trip.

Student participation in these enrichment activities will be based on: 

  • Attendance
  • Behavior
  • Classwork

If a student is not performing their responsibilities in these areas consistently they may not be allowed to attend field trips.  These expectations will be communicated clearly to families ahead of time.  Furthermore if an issue arises the classroom teacher and administration will communicate concerns to families. 

Inclement Weather/School Closure:

Information on emergency school closures due to severe overnight storms or other emergency situations is available on local television stations. Please listen for announcements concerning Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Information on closures may also be obtained by calling the District information number at 720-972-4000, then press 7 for school closure information or check the District website: Please note that school is rarely canceled. 

Indoor Recess will be called if

snow, rain or sleet is falling 

temperature with the wind chill is 20 degrees or less 

playground conditions are poor or unsafe(mud, snow or standing water) 

Students must be prepared for all types of weather. They should bring warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, weatherproof footwear and an extra pair of shoes for PE. 

Lost and Found/Valuables at School:

If your child misplaces an item, we encourage you to look in the lost and found by the main office. Often it is difficult to identify what they have lost. Please label coats, jackets, mittens, etc. Remaining articles are donated to a local charity several times a year. 

We highly discourage students from bringing valuables and toys to school. Items having value for one individual usually have an attractive appeal for others and unfortunately sometimes disappear. The school will not be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items. Teachers may have a special celebration which allows students to bring in a favorite game, stuffed animal, etc. but please remember, at no time is it appropriate for students to bring toy guns, toy knives, or toy weapons of any kind.

Pets on School Property:

In an effort to keep our school safe for all students and families and in accordance with District Policy, only service animals are permitted on school property. We ask that all other pets remain off school grounds during school hours. We appreciate your cooperation with this request.

Reporting Student Progress/Report Cards:

Your student’s progress will be reported at individual parent conferences at least twice a year. Academic progress can also be found via the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.

Safety Information:

Your child’s safety is of utmost importance to us. It is imperative that students are dropped off no earlier than 7:35a.m. and picked up at 2:35 p.m. There is no guarantee of adult supervision before and after these times.  

Student Safety - please help us keep students safe:

Remind your child to use sidewalks and crosswalks. 

Drop off and pick up of students is along the curb only, so they don’t have to cross traffic other     than at the crosswalk. Hug and Go lanes are located on the south side of the school. 

Avoid picking up or dropping off students in the parking lots. 

Avoid parking within 15 feet of school crosswalks. 

Parents should encourage children to adhere to all safety rules established for pedestrians. This emphasis on safety is also a concern of the school’s staff, and is an important part of the instructional program. 

Students are expected to go directly to and from school. They are to respect the rights and property of all people in the neighborhood. 

School Security System - In our ongoing efforts to provide the safest and most secure environment for our students, an additional security measure has been installed, which requires the following safety measures:

ALL exterior doors will be locked at all times. 

Please do not open the door or hold the door open for others. 

In order to enter the building, you will need to come to the window at the main entrance and ask for assistance. An office member will release the doors, allowing access to the building. 

Once entering the building, ALL visitors must check in at the office, show ID, and obtain a visitor pass. 

If you would like to wait with your child before school or wait for your child after school, you will need to wait outside.

Visitor/Parent Check-In:

District Policy requires that all parents and visitors must present a drivers license/I.D. at the front desk and sign in at the office upon entering the building. Your license will be scanned through our Raptor system and a visitor’s badge/sticker will be provided. You will be asked to wear a visitor’s badge/sticker at all times. 

If you would like to spend time with a teacher, please call and make arrangements prior to visiting. Also, if anyone other than a parent or legal guardian will be visiting the school (such as a grandparent coming for lunch) you must call the office ahead of time to let us know.



A summary of the Student Code of Conduct for Adams 12 Five Star Schools (the District) is available on the District’s website. For complete information, please refer to the latest version of each District policy, available here

This summary includes information such as:

  • student conduct

  • student attendance

  • cell phones and personal electronics

  • district technology and internet usage

  • student dress code

  • bullying and harassment


A summary of commonly requested information is available on the District’s website. For the most complete information, please refer to the latest version of each District policy (if applicable), available here

Commonly requested” information includes topics such as:

  • complaints or grievances

  • consolidated billing

  • service animals on District property

  • student transportation

  • video and audio monitoring

  • visitors to schools


Information about student health and wellness, including immunizations, health screenings, COVID-19, and when to keep your child home from school, is available on the District’s website.


The District’s legal notifications/annual notices are available on the District’s website.

These notices include information concerning:

  • non-discrimination (including Title IX)

  • rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  • directory information under FERPA

  • rights under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

  • other opt-out provisions 


There are many opportunities for parents to be involved in their students' lives here at McElwain.  

Volunteer Opportunities 

You can volunteer during school hours, special events, in the Brontosaurus Boutique, and even from home.  Please contact Carolina Bautista if you are interested in volunteering at McElwain.

PTLT (Parent Teacher Leadership Team):

The mission of this group is: “To create a space where teachers, parents, and staff can meaningfully collaborate to help students thrive academically, social, and emotionally.”

Meetings for all parents are held 4 times a year on the dates below.  If you are interested in serving in a leadership capacity on this team, please contact Carolina Bautista

Dates of Meetings: 

  • 9/21/23

  • 11/16/23

  • 2/8/24

  • 4/11/24

Structure of Meetings: There will be four two hour  PTLT meetings from 5-7pm throughout the year.  The meetings will be structured the same.  

5:00-5:30 p.m. Welcome and Dinner

5:30-6:00 p.m. Announcements, Committee Updates and pending votes

6:00-6:55 p.m. Presenters

6:55-7:00 p.m. Drawings for Attendance Prizes 

Coffee and Tea with the Principal:

This is an informal opportunity for parents and the community to meet with the principal for important school wide updates and ask questions. Spanish translation will be provided at the coffee and Dari translation will be provided at tea. Meetings will be held at regular intervals throughout the year.  Meetings are held on Wednesdays on the dates below.  

Coffee and Tea with the Principal Dates:

September 1st, 2023

September 29th, 2023

November 3rd, 2023

December 1st, 2023

January 26th, 2024

March 8th, 2024

April 26th, 2024

May 17th, 2024


Student Clubs:

There are a variety of ways for McElwain students to engage outside of the classroom.  Clubs that have been sponsored in the past have included:

  • Girls on the Run

  • Battle of the Books

  • STEM

  • Student Council 

  • Intramural Sports

  • Yoga Club

  • Jewelry Club

  • Game Club 

  • Spanish Club

  • Coding Club

More information about future clubs and intramurals will be available in the weekly newsletter.


McElwain Elementary has a student store that sells small school supplies and sensory items.  The proceeds from the store directly benefit the student council. Please adhere to the following premateres regarding the store:

  • Store will be open ONLY during lunch 

  • Daily limit of $5