Early Learning Center



131 S. Walnut, Mancos CO 81328
Phone: 970-533-1587  Fax: 970-533-9010

MELC Transition to Kindergarten

Mancos Early Learning Center staff and Mancos Elementary School's Kindergarten teachers collaborate monthly for an hour throughout the school year to share strengths and needs of both programs, and how they can foster a successful transition from preschool to kindergarten for students. This collaboaration occurs throughout the school year, with culminating activities in May, which prepare teachers and students for success in kindergarten. In the beginning of May, the kindergarten teachers spend two mornings at MELC observing the incoming kindergarten students that will be in their classrooms. This time provides them observable information on how students operate in the school setting. The following week, MELC students spend an hour one morning in the kindergarten classrooms and on the playground with current kidnergarten students so they are exposed to the kindergarten classrooms and playgorund. That evening there is a Kindergarten Open House for the incoming kindergarteners and their families. This event is conducted in an informal setting, in which the MELC students are able to show their parents around the classrooms and teach families what they learned about their new classroom that morning. This is also a time for parents to collaborate with the teachers, and ask any questions they may have. Parents also receive a questionnaire to fill out about their child, which asks about strengths and needs of the incoming student. The following week is "preschool graduation'. This event takes place in the Performance Center, the morning before school is out for the summer break. Graduation is attended by students, staff, families, and the current kindergarten students and teachers. As the MELC students are awarded their 'diploma', a current kindergartener greets them as they walk across the stage. The following week begins a seven day, 8:30-11:30, summer school session for incoming kindergarteners. This is a time when students are introduced to the way things operate in kindergarten. They learn about classroom routines, and where things are located in the elementary school. Teachers are also able to get to know thier new students, which makes the first day of school in August an incredibly special day, as students and teacher are reunited after not seeing each other throughout the summer. We certainly value our students and families at Mancos Early Learning Center and Mancos Elementary School, and embrace the opportunity we have with students attending both schools in their education.


Cathy Epps - PK-5 Principal, Tyra Hughes - Assistant Director/Teacher, Grace Kennedy - Administrative Assistant,
April Englehart - Teacher, Tyra Hughes - Teacher

Letter from our Principal

Welcome to Mancos Early Learning Center-Home of the Little Jays, where we are committed to excellence, and passionate about providing the best education and support to students, families, and the community. The staff creates a positive, collaborative atmosphere which has our building buzzing with delighted students eage to learn. When you walk our colorful hallways, you will hear laughter and encouraging words, see smiles, and displays of student work showcasing the quality learning taking place. Mancos Early Learning Center (MELC) staff honors the uniqueness of each child in a safe and loving way. MELC supports all children and families by encouraging growth and learning through play. MELC values this critical component and its impact on academic success in the future. MELC staff connect with each child to foster learning, a strong sense of self, and connection to others. Our play-based approach develops life-long learners, caretakers of one another and themselves, and their environment, as well as developing collaborators and innovators. We have an extremely dedicated staff which regularly collaborates to share best instructional practices and determine interventions for students' growth at all levels of need. We are committed to providing ALL students a solid foundation affording children the skills to be successful as critical thinkers and collaborative partners. Mancos Early Learning Center staff values developing positive relationships with students, families and the community. We are proud to work together in our dedication to Mancos' three to five year old children. The staff looks forward to welcoming familiar faces of families that have walked through our doors for generations, as well as those that have recently become Little Jays. Our doors are always open; so please stop by to say hello, discuss your kudos and concerns, or share a smile. Have a fantastic Little Jay Day!

Cathy Epps - PK-5 Principal

Teacher Collage