The Pony Press

Friday, September 16th, 2022

Under Construction

As I sit here and listen to the beep of the heavy equipment right outside our building, I reflect on the importance of being "under construction." This week, arrival and dismissal has been challenging (to say the least) with the improvements happening on Chipita Park Road. Add in the monsoon of a rainstorm on Wednesday, and we had to get creative! It's rough right now, real rough. However, it will eventually be a smooth road with fewer potholes and cracks, and a safer avenue for our buses and your vehicles.

We're all under construction. Every single one of us is a work in progress. One that will eventually be smoother, but also has patches of roughness. Just when we think we are smoother, inevitably a crack reappears out of nowhere. The cycle continues. Those patches, those potholes, those cracks in our pavement, are huge opportunities for learning and growth.

One of my favorite things about this staff (and there are MANY) is their ability to grow through those potholes. I consistently see this staff allow for difficult and challenging concepts in their classrooms. They don't jump in and smooth the road immediately. They also don't come through with a wrecking ball. They point out the pothole, acknowledge that it's there, and then work together to see how we can move past or around it.

I am so appreciative of our combined efforts to work together to build a stronger path for the amazing young people we share. Thank you for being such a huge part of the roadwork we are doing.


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

Monday, September 19th

  • Specials Day 3
  • Landsharks Meet 5 pm

Tuesday, September 20th

  • Specials Day 1
  • Picture Day!

Wednesday, September 21st

  • Specials Day 2
  • Late Start
  • Open House/Open Outdoors 4:30-6 pm

Thursday, September 22nd

  • Specials Day 3
  • 5th Grade Camp

Friday, September 23rd

  • Specials Day 1
  • 5th Grade Camp

Seed Slip Recipients

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

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Watch Us Grow!

MAAS students enjoyed a backpacking and camping trip at Sanborn Western Camps!

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!

UPES in the News!

The School Buzz: Elementary students in Cascade singing through the semester

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

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Meet Audra Maruszak

Position: 2nd Grade Teacher

Work History: Taught Kindergarten in Woodland Park and 4th grade in Texas

Favorite Food: Sushi

Hobbies: reading, hiking, hanging out with family

Why Ute Pass: I love all the outdoor education opportunities, the feeling of community, and that every kid is able to be exactly who they want to be!

Most Excited About: field trips and learning about all the families and staff members!

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

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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
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MSSD14 is Hiring!

Scan the QR code to find out how to join the Manitou team!

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

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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


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