The Pony Press

May 5, 2023

From the Principal...

Families and Community,

I tagged one of our pictures on Facebook this week with the caption- "Little School, Big Difference" and I just keep reflecting on that this week. It was a week of service, adventure, and collaboration. It was one of those weeks that you take a step back and look at the amazing things our school is doing and wonder if this is real life!

On Monday, our entire school went to Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Students hiked several miles, explored, learned, and helped plant various trees, shrubs, and flowers around the park. Younger students participated in Leave No Trace presentations. We had the most gorgeous weather and day in general! We heard from several of you that your students went to bed pretty early that night!

On Tuesday, 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders had a wonderful Spring concert to showcase their musical abilities both with singing and playing violins. After the concert, a group of 4th and 5th graders went to the Board of Trustees meeting in Green Mountain Falls to share their proposals for adopting greenspaces in the surrounding area. They each took turns approaching the microphone, introducing themselves, and sharing their research on greenspaces and why they are needed. They proposed a phased plan to clean, plant, and maintain these areas. After answering questions from the Board, it was unanimously voted and passed! We are so proud of these students and the partnerships with our community.

We also had several additional field trip opportunities this week, besides the all school service trip! 2nd and 3rd graders went to Catamount Institute where they learned about the spreading of various seeds. 4th graders took off on an overnight camping trip yesterday, and are set to be back tonight. Our Honor Choir is also performing this evening at World Language and Culture Night! What a busy week!

When I revisit that caption- Little School, Big Difference, I am surrounded by awe and excitement. We may be little, but we're sure making a big difference. We also aren't afraid to operate differently than some other schools and educational philosophies. There's a big difference when. you put kids first. There's a big difference when you value getting your hands dirty, giving back to the community, and being stewards of this earth. I'm beyond proud of that difference.

Have a great weekend!


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

Gold Week

Monday, May 8th-

  • Specials Day 1
  • Fun Run Awards Assembly
  • Honor Choir Practice 3-3:45 pm
  • Landsharks Meet at WPMS

Tuesday, May 9th-

  • Specials Day 2
  • 2nd grade CoGat testing
  • PAC Meeting- 3 pm
  • 6th Grade Spring Concert and Sand Dunes Send-off- 2 pm rehearsal, 5 pm performance

Wednesday, May 10th- Late Start Today!

  • Specials Day 3
  • 6th grade to Sand Dunes
  • 2nd grade CoGat testing
  • Clothing Drive tubs available after school
  • Landsharks Celebration after school

Thursday, May 11th- Fun Run Day!!

  • Specials Day 1
  • 2nd grade CoGat testing
  • 6th grade at Sand Dunes

Friday, May 12th-

  • Specials Day 2
  • 6th grade at Sand Dunes
  • Furry Friends Dismissal

Important End of the Year Dates


8- Fun Run Awards Assembly

8- Landsharks Meet

9-11 2nd Grade CoGat testing

9- 6th grade Spring Band Concert

9- PAC Meeting

10-12 6th Grade to Sand Dunes (overnight 2 nights)

16- 6th grade rafting trip

16- K, 2nd, 4th grade Spring Concert

19- 6th grade to GMF for fly fishing

23- UPES Fun Day (put on by student council)

24- Whole School Field Trip to Bear Creek Park for Field Day

25- Last Day for Students- Noon Dismissal

Check out our UPES Tipi dedication below!

Big picture

UPES Shirts Available!

We are selling Ute Pass Elementary Shirts! These are just like the staff shirts this year, only with a black screenprint instead of the white on the staff shirts. Shirts are $15 and can be purchased at the front office (cash or check only please).
Big picture

Seed Slip Recipients

These students showed what it means to grow hearts, minds, bodies and the earth this week!
Big picture

Watch us grow- Pictures from our all-school field trip!

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Specials Schedule for May

Out last day of specials for the school year will be Monday, May 22nd!
Big picture

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! Simply subscribe to the Ute Pass YouTube channel at this link- UPES YouTube

Big picture

Information about Universal Preschool

Colorado Universal Preschool Program (UPK)

Last April, Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill that works towards “every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours), state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are eligible for part-time (10 hours) preschool programming. Families of children in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten with certain qualifying factors, are eligible for an additional 15 hours stacked on top of the half-day programming, bringing those children to full-day programming.”

Manitou Springs Elementary School and Ute Pass Elementary School will continue to offer our exceptional preschool programs for both three-year-olds and students that are in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten. Information for families

Families are now able to submit an application through the state-wide Universal Preschool System for the 2023-24 school year. Here is the link to the application:

Families will still need to complete our preschool enrollment process as well as the UPK application. Here is the information for MSSD: Student Enrollment

Big picture
Big picture

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 Events:

  • Meeting May 9, 2023

Landsharks is Back!


We offer a non-competitive youth program to introduce running to young athletes in a safe and fun environment. The focus is on self-improvement, being an encouraging teammate, and making new friends. The Spring Track Series is a fun running program led by Sara Striegel and is open to students in kindergarten through 6th grade. Please remember to purchase a RED team race shirt if this is your first season running.

Practices are scheduled for Wednesdays/Fridays beginning April 12th with a celebration practice on May 10th. Practices consist of running games and track workouts with a strong focus on fun.

Races are held on Monday evenings at Woodland Park Middle School’s track at 6pm on April 24th, May 1st and May 8th. Runners run TWO of the following distances:

Meet #1
All runners will run the 50m sprint,
followed by the 400m OR 800m race

Meet #2
All runners will run the 100m sprint,
followed by choice of a 400m OR 800m race

Meet #3
All runners will run the 200m sprint,
followed by the 400m OR 1600m race

Registration opens February 1st and closes April 12th at 5pm OR until we reach CAPACITY

Runners must be registered prior to their first practice. Please register online at $65 registration fee through April 5th then an additional $10/runner fee applies until registration closes.

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

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. See below for information on accessing menus.

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

Big picture

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 second semester:

  • January 25
  • February 1
  • March 1, 8, 15, 22
  • April 5, 26
  • May 3, 10, 17

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

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
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.