UPE News Update

January 14, 2022

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Hello Ute Pass Community,

Monday, January 17th, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day! This is an important day because on this day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of creating a world where people of all backgrounds can thrive. Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredibly brave and influential man. He worked tirelessly as a Civil Rights Activist to bulldoze segregation in the United States. I encourage you all to watch his “I Have a Dream Speech,” which he delivered during the March on Washington on August 28th, 1963.

“Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967

By Wyatt/6th Grade Student

Helping All UPE Children Become Amazing Readers

Our students are making strong progress in literacy since the beginning of the school year. We are on track with our Action Plan to implement an additional, supplemental, high-quality curriculum to support all readers, including those who struggle. Primary teachers have done an excellent job implementing our new SIPPS reading intervention and our Intermediate Teachers likewise have done so with Read Naturally.

More and more teachers are engaging themselves in the research behind the Science of Reading. Building wide, we are meeting our goals to engage every single child in meaningful learning dialogue through the Seven Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom. Our environmental learning programming is providing ever more real-life relevance to these skills for our children. While we still have a long way to go to close learning gaps created by pandemic disruptions, the growth is worth celebrating. Since September, according to our district iReady local assessment, we have seen a 73.33% decrease in students at risk in reading (Tier 3) and a 36% increase in the number of students reading proficiently (Tier 1). That is amazing news considering we still have many months of deep learning to go!

As yet one more layer building this excitement, please consider joining us with Sora Week. Sora is a free online service that brings thousands of high quality books to your child online and on any device. The details on how to engage your child with this are below.

Thank you all for your ongoing support of this amazing learning team. We truly are a village school with a global reach!

  • Mr. Briggs-Hale

Sora Week

The week of January 17th is Sora week in the Manitou Springs School District!

What is Sora? It is an online library of e-books and audio-books that students can access at any time on any device. We want to make sure every student has the ability to access Sora and encourage them to read. Below are instructions on how to log into Sora, as well as how to check out books:

Logging In:

  1. Download the Sora app from the app catalog on your iPad, or visit soraapp.com on your computer.

  2. If it's your first time logging in, click "my school isn't listed" at the bottom of the screen

  3. Search for "Manitou Springs" and click "this is my school" under Colorado BOCES Association

  4. Select Manitou Springs School District 14 from the drop down menu

  5. Sign in using your usual username and password (user: first name, middle initial, last initial/password: first name, last 4 digits of student ID)

Navigating Sora:

  1. After logging in, click the 3 bars in the top corner of the screen to open the menu.

  2. Under libraries, you should see "Colorado BOCES Association" as well as "Pikes Peak Library District"

  3. If you do not see Pikes Peak Library District, click "add library" --> Search for Pikes Peak Library District --> Select "this is my library"

  4. Using the menu, you can switch back and forth between Colorado BOCES' collection and Pikes Peak Library District's collection

Checking out a Book

  1. To check out a book, you can either search for a specific book using the search bar, or you can explore the pre-organized subjects.

  2. Once you find a book you want, click on the book and select "borrow"

  3. You can now start reading the book, and it will be checked out to you for 2 weeks.

  4. If you see "place hold" instead of "borrow", that means somebody already has that book checked out. You can either place a hold and wait for it to be back in stock, or you can switch libraries in the menu to see if it is available in the other collection.

If you have any questions about Sora, or any tech issues, please e-mail our media tech, KoltWoofter, at kwoofter@mssd14.org


We will continue to offer after school care at Manitou Springs Elementary and provide transportation from Ute Pass to the site. Champions will be coming in later this semester to run the after school program. We will will begin childcare in-district Monday, January 10 and Champions will take over later this month . The program will go from 3-6PM, Monday-Friday. Payments will continue be made through MySchoolBucks or checks will be dropped off at the front offices ($80 weekly) until Champions takes over.

If families are interested in signing up, you will need to to register through the Champions website. Once Champions takes over, all registration and payments will be made through their program.

EnvironMENTAL Health

Did you know? Beneficial bacteria found in soil have been found to help reduce anxiety. A study being conducted at CU Boulder believes this discovery to be a “potential game-changer” in how diagnoses such as PTSD will be treated in the future. Researchers have revealed that exposure to this particular bacteria (mycobacterium vaccae), produces serotonin (responsible for modulating anxiety) in the brain. Despite not showing to prolong life as an immune booster, this soil-based bacteria brings new hope and potential to biologically impact mental health and behavioral side-effects that result from high stress. Isn’t nature cool?

Reference: https://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/01/05/study-linking-beneficial-bacteria-mental-health-makes-top-10-list-brain-research

Important Dates


17- No School

18 - PTO 3:15pm / SAC 4:30pm

19 - 3rd to the Pioneer Museum

20 - 4th and Kindergarten Rescheduled Concert 1:45pm

26 - Late Start/Rescheduled Craft Day in the afternoon


1 - 6th to Sanborn Camps

2 - Late Start

11 - Early Release 12:30pm

17 - 12:30pm Early Release/Parent-Teacher Conferences

18 - No School/Parent-Teacher Conferences

21 - No School/Presidents Day

Late Start Wednesday Schedule :

January 26

February 2

March 2

March 9

March 16

March 30

April 8

*** Please Note: April 13 Late Start has been removed from the calendar

April 27

May 4

May 11

May 18

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