The Pony Press

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Homecoming Week

Families and Community,

It was so refreshing to gather in the gym for our "Open Outdoors Moved Indoors" event this week. There were so many unforgettable moments as students listed off reasons why they love this special school. Thank you for coming to experience a tiny piece of what makes us different and amazing, as well as celebrating in our instructional victories and focus for this school year. We are honored to have supportive and involved families and local community.

Next week, the history of Manitou Springs and many long standing traditions will be celebrated. It's also Creek Week, and our school will be participating in many activities to protect and clean our beautiful surroundings. Creek Week is a watershed-wide litter and debris collection event to raise awareness about the watershed, water supply, and littering issues in an effort to make our communities cleaner, safer, and more beautiful. The PAC has put together a spirit week for students to participate in:

  • Monday: Pajama Day
  • Tuesday: Team Up Together Day (wear your favorite sports team)
  • Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday (go crazy with your outfit, or if you're in my house, just dress like you normally do when you think you match)!
  • Thursday: Crazy Hair Day
  • Friday: Green and Gold Day

On Friday, our entire school will head down to Manitou Springs for the parade. We will leave UPES at 1:00 and return by 2:30. Families are welcome to join us at the parade, but we ask that you do not take your children home from the parade unless you notify your child's teacher ahead of time (so they can have their backpacks/coats) and sign out with your child's teacher at the parade. Thank you for taking these extra steps for the safety of our students.

We had an incredible week of learning both at the school and out on field trips! 5th grade went on an overnight trip to Camp Shady Brook with the 5th grade classes from MSES. 6th grade traveled to Chico Basin to learn about bird banding (pictures to come), and 3rd and 4th graders enjoyed a hike to the art park to journal, play, and connect with the environment. We believe that learning is not something that "happens" to you, but something you can own and experience! Look at the pure joy on the students' faces in the pictures below as they get to truly experience learning.


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

"Lean on Me" performed by the UPES Honor Choir

The UPES Honor Choir performing at the Open House

Important Info for next week...

Monday, September 26th

  • Specials Day 2
  • Pajama Day
  • Honor Choir Practice 3-3:45 pm
  • Landsharks Meet 5 pm

Tuesday, September 27th

  • Specials Day 3
  • Team Up Together Day (wear your favorite sports team shirt/jersey)

Wednesday, September 28th

  • Specials Day 1
  • Late Start
  • Wacky Wednesday
  • Creative Movement Connect14 class at UPES
  • Landsharks practice

Thursday, September 29th

  • Specials Day 2
  • Crazy Hair Day
  • Ping Pong Connect14 club at UPES

Friday, September 30th

  • Specials Day 3
  • Green and Gold Day
  • UPES attends the Homecoming Parade @1:30
  • Landsharks practice
  • Furry Friends Dismissal

Seed Slip Recipients

These students showed growth at UPES this week! They are growing hearts, minds, bodies, and the earth!

Big picture

Watch Us Grow!

UPES and MSES 5th graders went on an overnight camping trip to Camp Shady Brook!

Pictures from the "Open Outdoors Moved Indoors"

6th grade MAAS students learned about bird banding and visited Chico Basin Ranch

More amazing opportunities from this week!

UPES Morning Announcements

Our morning announcements are such a wonderful way to start the day! We have student-led announcements and singers every single day!

We want to share some of this Pony Pride from our "home" to yours! If you'd like to watch morning announcements, we are live-streaming them each day! Beginning Monday, you can watch them on our very own YouTube channel. Daily announcements will be available for your viewing pleasure as soon as we complete them for that day (usually around 8:10 am). Simply subscribe to the Ute Pass YouTube channel at this link- UPES YouTube

Important Dates in August/September


2- Landsharks Running Club begins

5- No School

6- Connect14 classes start

13- PAC Meeting 3:00

14- Late start (supervision begins at 9:35, first bell rings at 9:55, tardy bell rings at 10:00)

15-16- 6th grade camp

20- School picture day

21- Late start (supervision begins at 9:35, first bell rings at 9:55, tardy bell rings at 10:00)

21- Open Outdoors (Open House) 4:30-6:00

22-23- 5th grade camp

26-30- Spirit Week

28- Late start (supervision begins at 9:35, first bell rings at 9:55, tardy bell rings at 10:00)

30- Homecoming parade

Big picture

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month!

Big picture

Meet Enrique Torres

We would like to introduce, recognize, and celebrate our very own Ute Pass custodian Mr. Enrique Torres. Enrique is from Southern Lima, Perú and this is his 4th year working in Manitou School District. Mr. Enrique Torres has a background and degree in Customs Law which he earned while studying in Perú before coming to the U.S.. Quechua was Enrique's native and first language and he learned Spanish later as a child attending school. Super interesante!

He misses Peruvian food and some of the spices from there but loves Ute Pass and says that the environment is super calming and everyone has been incredibly kind! Enrique enjoys the beautiful landscape and tranquil culture here in and around Ute Pass Elementary.

When asked why knowing other languages is important, Enrique said that it makes everything easier, that the world is now demanding we know other languages, and we simply have to communicate with the world! We would like to recognize Enrique and show our appreciation for him during Hispanic Heritage Month and throughout the entire school year!

¡Gracias Enrique!

Keep your eye out for this upcoming fundraiser for our art program!

Big picture

Family Involvement Opportunities

It is so great to see families volunteering in classrooms! You are a huge piece in helping our students grow, and our teachers are incredibly appreciative of your time. If you are able to volunteer, please contact your child/grandchild's teacher for best times to support.

If you are unable to volunteer, we still appreciate you! Feel free to come by and have lunch with your child, or join our amazing PAC for opportunities to help! Kindergarten-3rd graders eat at 11:10 and 4th-6th graders eat at 11:40. You are welcome to have lunch in the cafeteria (or outside if you prefer a quieter ambiance- or possibly not with all the construction)! You can also join recess after lunch and play a little soccer, brave the red spinner, or join a fun game of tag!

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures


Please do not drop your student off in the east parking lot as we have no supervision or crosswalks. Please utilize the family drop-off/pick-up lane so we can make sure everyone gets in the building safely and that our buses have enough space.
Big picture

Arrival/Dismissal Info

Duty/supervision/breakfast begins at 7:35.

The first bell for students to enter classrooms is at 7:55, and the tardy bell will ring at 8:00. Dismissal is at 2:50.

Here are the ins and outs of our pick up/drop off lane:

  • The family drop-off/pick-up lane will allow children to be picked up all the way to the end of the central sidewalk (to the gas meters against the street).
  • Teachers will supervise students in the locations noted on the map above.
  • No car will move into or exit the lane until every car has been loaded. (If you do not have the time to wait, please consider parking and walking in the areas marked above.)
  • When all cars are loaded, the line of cars will exit together.
  • The crossing guard will then allow walking parents to cross the parking lot at crosswalks to gain access to their vehicles.
  • When these vehicles are loaded and moving, the next line waiting on Chipita Park Road will be allowed in to begin the process again.
  • Furry Friday dismissal- on Fridays, bring your dogs through our pick-up lane for a treat!
  • Feel Good Friday afternoon concerts- Mr. Ferguson will be playing every Friday afternoon at dismissal (weather permitting)!

Please note the available areas for parking and walking above. If your child is sitting on the wall with their teacher, please ask a staff member to get your child for you to avoid excess traffic near the pick-up lane. As always, your patience is deeply appreciated!

Ute Pass Elementary PTO/PAC

PAC is the team that works hand in hand with the staff and community, to enrich how education is experienced within our mountain school. We have found ourselves uniquely positioned to move forward; steeped in tradition but with all the promise of new ideas. UPE has the highest enrollment to date and with that comes fresh perspective. If you are a parent or caregiver from the littlest of littles in preschool up to the "Where did my baby go?" 6th graders, please consider coming to our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. Kids are welcome!

If you are unable to make it to meetings and would like to be a part of PAC please reach out.

Thanks so much,
Amanda McCloskey
PAC President

Upcoming PAC Meetings- 3:00 pm in the Gym

  • October 11, 2022
  • November 8, 2022
Big picture

MSSD14 is hiring fulltime positions and subs!

Scan the QR code or contact Marsha Weimer at to find out how to join the Manitou team!

Big picture

Breakfast and Lunch Information

A healthy breakfast and lunch is a key factor in growing a healthy mind and body! Ute Pass Elementary will offer breakfast to students for $1.45 and lunch for $2.95. Menus will be available beginning next week on the district website--> departments-->nutrition services.

You can find the new free and reduced application on the district website-

If you don’t qualify for free and reduced price meals, please make sure that there is money in your student’s account. You can add money online at this link-

Any questions or concerns, please call Paula Faucette, Director of Nutrition Services, at 719-685-2005 or email

Late Start Wednesdays

Thank you to families who submitted the form to sign up for Late Start Wednesdays. It helps tremendously with staffing and preparation. If you missed the opportunity to sign up, and are in need, please contact Danny Tramel at for approval, as we are at our capacity.

Breakfast will be served until 8:00am, however, due to changes in the federal funding, we can no longer offer free breakfast.

Late Start Wednesdays for first semester:

  • August 31
  • September 14
  • September 21
  • September 28
  • October 5
  • October 26
  • November 2
  • November 9
  • November 16
  • December 7

Connect 14

Connect 14 is an incredible opportunity for students that attend Manitou Springs School District 14. They offer several amazing K-12 classes that highlight the importance of arts integration from Climate Kids Club to Creative Movement to Ping Pong! Registration opened on Monday, August 8th and the season will run from September 6th-December 15th.

Two of these classes will be held at UPES, but transportation is provided for students who wish to attend a session at Manitou Springs Elementary School. Please visit to sign up today!

Champions After School Care

Manitou Springs Elementary School will host an after-school program through Champions After School Care. This opportunity will be offered to Ute Pass Families also, and transportation would be provided from UPES to MSES after school.
Big picture

22/23 School Year Calendar - Including Late Start Dates.

Big picture

Landsharks Running Club

Ute Pass Landsharks Running Club Fall Cross Country Series

Practices are scheduled for Wednesdays/Fridays beginning September 2nd with a celebration run to follow after the last meet. Practices consist of running games and track workouts with a strong focus on fun.

Races are held on Monday evenings at Shining Mountain Golf Course. Races will begin at 5pm on September 19th, 26th and Oct 3rd. Runners run ONE (1) of the following distances: Kindergarten & 1st grade 0.5 miles only, 2nd-6th grade 1 mile OR 1.5 miles.

Registration opened August 1st and closes September 9th at 5pm OR until we reach CAPACITY

Runners must be registered prior to their first practice. Please register online at

$65 registration fee through September 3rd then an additional $10/runner fee applies.

I look forward to working with your athletes! Please consider volunteering to help coach or work at our race site. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer.

Coach: Sara Striegel


Big picture

This is where you find the latest information about our school community.

Here's how you find us....

at the foot of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains.