The Pony Press
September was a busy month full of incredible learning opportunities! The hallways are lined with tents, sleeping pads, and backpacks, making my heart continuously grateful for the chance for school to look a little different for our amazing students here at Ute Pass! This month all of our 4th-6th graders were able to go on overnight backpacking trips while our younger students explored plants, animal coverings, and ideal conditions for growth in our climate. Our entire school preschool through 6th grade was able to visit the Flying Pig Farm in September! All of this is not in place of regular literacy or mathematics instruction but rather a way to make cross-curricular connections of real-life and hands-on learning concurrently with core instruction!
We are off and running with Mountain Math and Pathways this month- two wonderful initiatives that demonstrate that difference between ideation and activation that I spoke about during our Open Outdoors event. Mountain Math was created as a way to fill in specific skill gaps in mathematics that we saw after COVID-19 and distance learning. After lunch each day, the entire school stops what we are doing and students break into 13 different mountains with multi-age students to teach and practice various skills in math. It's truly an "all hands on deck" approach and our data last year showed how effective it is in providing intervention and extension opportunities. Pathways is our new initiative this school year on late start Wednesdays. We felt like students were exposed to the same specials each year, but missed the chance to really have a voice in what they'd like to learn at a deeper level. During Pathways, small groups of students explore different options offered by our specials team including the following: magic puppet theater, making pulseras, rock climbing, drawing club, leadership, digital music, band, and pianos/violins!
October provides more opportunities to connect with our community and families through school events and family conferences. Please refer to the dates below for all the happenings! Next week alone, we are participating in an all-school Creek Week clean-up, a bike/walk to school day, and a team-building day where students rotate between activities and all have lunch together. In the next couple weeks we will send out a sign-up link for family conferences, which will take place on the afternoon and evening of October 26th and the morning of October 27th. We will send the link to families with multiple students first, followed by all families to ensure ease of scheduling. Conferences are an incredible time to celebrate what your children are learning, ask any questions you might have, and to partner with your child's teacher! I will have an appreciation station set up in the entryway with thank you cards and bags for each staff member at UPES. Please consider coming a few minutes early to drop a little note to one of our amazing staff members! We will also have a refreshment room this year with some tips and tricks for regulation to try at home!
I hope you can feel the palpable culture and excitement that we all have in the direction this amazing little school is heading! It's such a testament to what can happen when kids have a chance to explore, create, inquire, collaborate, and persevere through difficult tasks while being surrounded by people who deeply believe in them! When we let these young people with such strong voices actually use their voices to drive their education, the sky's the limit!
As you look through the pictures below, and as you listen to the stories from your amazing young people that we have the privilege to educate, I hope you feel the joy, hear the laughter, and appreciate this truly unique little gem that we get to call our school.
Your partner in education,
Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal
Important Dates in October
2- Creede Repertory Theater presents The City Dog and Prairie Dog for UPES students
2- 5th to Catamount
2- Original Works Art Fundraiser Packets Go Home
3- All School Creek Week Clean Up
4- Late Start
4- Walk, Bike, or Roll to School Day!
4- UPES Teamwork Day- all school team-building, lunch at 11:15 am
6- 5th to Catamount, 3rd and Groth's Class to Flying Pig Farm
6- Original Works Orders due back to school
10- PAC Meeting 6-7 pm at UPES (or virtual)
13- 4th to GMF, 5th to Catamount, 6th- Tessa 1-3 pm
19- 6th- Tessa 1-3 pm
19- Environmental Learning Chili Cook-off 5-7 pm
20- Teacher Work Day, No Students
23- Fire Drill
24- Picture Retakes
26- Noon Dismissal/ Parent Teacher Conferences 1:20-7:00 pm
27- Parent/Teacher Conferences 8-12
28- Dia De Los Muertos Celebration @ UPES Gym 3-5 pm
31- All School Costume Parade (Families Invited) 2 pm behind the school
UPES Environmental Learning Chili Cook-off
Thursday, Oct 19, 2023, 05:00 PM
Ute Pass Elementary School, Chipita Park Road, Cascade, CO, USA
We need volunteers!
Dia De Los Muertos Celebration
We are hosting the Dia De Los Muertos Celebration at Ute Pass Elementary School this year! Come in your most creative costumes, visit the food trucks, listen to the live music, gather some candy from the trunk or treat tables, and listen to a performance by the UPES Honor Choir!
- If you know your child will be getting home a different way then he or she typically does, please try to notify the front office before 2:15 pm so we have ample time to get the notice to the student.
- We love pets at UPES! However, in order to keep a safe environment, please keep pets in your vehicles at arrival and dismissal.
- Morning duty begins at 7:35 am. Please do not drop students off before that time so we can make sure we have adequate supervision and they are not waiting outside.
- Please utilize our family drop-off and pick-up lane if you plan on quickly dropping off or picking up your students. We have staff members there to help open doors and get students in and out to make it so you don't have to park and get out of your vehicle. Please pull all the way forward to help us get more students in/out quickly. Thanks!
Watch us GROW!
Congrats to Mr. Groth, Colorado Teacher of the Year Finalist!
Original Works Art Fundraiser
Please help support Ute Pass Elementary Art Program through the Original Works Fundraiser. Your child's art will be coming home next week with all the details. Their creations can be made into mugs, towels, pillowcases, notebooks and many other fun items that make great gifts and keepsakes. All items will be back before Thanksgiving break!
Deadline to place an order is Friday, Oct 6, 2023.
Ute Pass Elementary students are learning about the Zones of Regulation. Students learn that while no emotion is "bad," there are emotions that are appropriate for the activity they are trying to accomplish. For more information and how Zones' language can also be helpful at home, click on this link https://zonesofregulation.com/how-it-works/
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!
- 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!
Breakfast and Lunch Information
Free Meals for Students, Plus Important Reminders for Families
We are excited to share that all students in Manitou Springs School District will receive free breakfast and lunch starting in 2023-24 through the Healthy School Meals for All program! This new statewide program, approved by Colorado voters, is helping Colorado children and teens have access to nutritious food at our schools.
Even though breakfast and lunch will be provided for free, we need families to continue sharing household income information through this form in order for our school to receive full access to federal funding.
Be sure to fill out the form as part of your back-to-school registration! If you have questions or would like additional support, please reach out to Paula Faucette-Director of Nutrition Services, 719-685-2005 or email email@example.com for more information.
Late Start Wednesdays Update- Please Read!
The school district will be providing supervision for a limited number of students during all late start Wednesdays during the 23-24 school year. To sign up, follow the Google Form link below and register your student(s).
It is important that registration is completed only for students who would otherwise not be able to attend school if not for late start childcare. If you have any questions, please reach out to Danny Tramel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Late Start Wednesdays for first semester:
- August 30
- September 13
- September 20
- October 4
- November 1
- November 8
- November 15
- November 29
- December 6
One 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 www.connect14.org to sign up today!
Champions After School Care
Ute Pass Elementary PTO/PAC
We have a very active and incredible Parent Action Committee who supports our little school in BIG ways!
The PAC meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 3:00 pm for one month and at 5:00 pm the next month (to allow working parents to attend) at UPES. Moving into the 23-24 school year, the PAC is excited to have a larger presence in the school, continuing to take care of the amazing staff at UPES, putting on events and meeting new families, and to get new members! They will have a table set up at our Open House/Open Outdoors with more information and opportunities to join in on the fun! Please contact Janelle Berndt, PAC President, at email@example.com with any questions.
Upcoming PAC Meetings/Events:
- October 10th- PAC Meeting 6 pm
- October 28th- Dia de los Muertos Celebration at UPES Gym 3-5 pm
- November 14th- PAC and SAC Meeting 3 pm
- December 12th- PAC Meeting 6 pm
NEW - MSSD14 Excused Absence Policy
Dear Families and Students,
The staff in Manitou Springs School District are excited to welcome you to a new school year filled with opportunities to learn and engage!
In the spring of 2023, the Manitou Springs Board of Education passed a new policy regarding excused absences. This policy will change how the district honors parental excusals.
We know that students who attend school do better academically and emotionally, and we will continue to support you in your student’s success. We also want to support our staff in reducing the load that chronic absences add to their plates. Please see your student’s handbook for further information.
Getting into the habit of daily attendance is more important than ever. It helps to:
- Reduce stress!
- Make it easier to connect with friends and teachers.
- Support learning.
Reaching you for support in attendance is more important than ever. It helps to:
- Make sure to call every time your child is absent or tardy.
- Please be sure we have your correct: address, phone number and email.
We are working to make our school environment a place where everyone can be safe, healthy, and learning. We will do our best to listen and partner with you so that our children have a successful year. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns.