UPE News Update

April 8, 2022

The next Late Start WEdnesday is April 27.

Dear Friends, Families, and Community,

We would like to keep you apprised of the transitions happening at UPE at the end of this year and to recognize those staff members and their years of service at Ute Pass Elementary:

Louisa Dick - GT/Spanish - 8 years - Moving with husband for new work.

Sarah Ulizio - Fourth - 4 years - Staying at home with her new baby.

Greg DiFiore - Fifth - 27 years - Retirement

Lynn Grieb - Prek - 26 years - Retirement

Michelle Starr - Prek - 11 years - Retirement

Chris Briggs-Hale - Principal - 11 years - Retirement

Dani Hainds - Front Office - 28 years - Retirement

Staci Christensen - Title 1 Interventionist - 28 years - Retirement

I guess a lot of us are just plain getting old all at the same time!

We want you to know everyone on the list above loves UPE and hopes to remain in touch and be deeply supportive as the years pass by. All of us look forward to staying in touch with the Ute Pass Community.

UPE has always been special from the day it opened in 1969, has always reinvented itself based on the needs and dreams of this community, and, we all believe, it has many more glorious days ahead! Personally, I like to think of next year as the “Renaissance” of UPE after the Pandemic years.

UPE is in good hands with a wonderful, visionary new Principal, Jackie Powell, excellent Superintendent and Central Office support team, a powerful Mission and Action Plan, increasing enrollment, excellent teachers and an amazing community who works to make school fun, engaging and meaningful for each and every child. These things will never change.


Chris Briggs-Hale, Retiring Principal

Colorado State Testing Schedule for 3rd-6th Grade Students


Please consider the following schedule when planning out appointments or travel. Thank you!


11- 15 all students in grades 3-6 will be testing

20 & 21 5th grade Science testing

Announcing Ute Pass Elementary School’s First Annual “Mountain Day!”

All School Hike In Red Rocks Open Space

April 27, 2022 (We will depart UPES @ 10:15 am and return to UPES at 2:30pm)

Why? Following two years of Pandemic learning disruptions, we are celebrating our ability to gather outdoors, connect with each other in our amazing local environment, and enjoy each other’s company before we all go off for the summer. This will be a powerful, relationship building experience that is a unique opportunity for our tiny school community.

Who?: All UPES students and staff will attend (Pre-K through 6th)! The hike will be in groups of two buddy classes City of Colorado Springs Park Rangers will each help lead a group hike and offer interpretive activities/information.

What to Know:

  • Students will be provided a bag lunch that they will pick up at school and bring with them to Red Rocks.

  • Our School Nurse will be present for any needs that might arise.

  • A weather rescheduling may be enacted if conditions warrant.

  • Students will stay with their classroom groups

  • Volunteers registered with the Manitou Springs School District Central Office, with a current, 2021-22 Background Check are welcome to meet us at Red Rocks and join their child’s classroom with the teacher present. If you do not have a current background check registered with Manitou, we still welcome you to contact your child’s teacher for any school-based, subsequent volunteer opportunities in the future. To find out if you have a current background check on file, please contact cbriggshale@mssd14.org

What to pack:

  • Water bottle

  • Lunch from home or order from the cafeteria. Please note that all students will have to pack out all trash. Please keep packaging to a minimum.

  • Comfortable shoes and socks

  • Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, etc.

  • As the date approaches, we will pay attention to the weather and might need warm layers or pants.

If your child is lacking any of these items, please contact swilson@mssd14.org.

spring concert schedule

Dear Ute Pass Parents and Students,

I am excited to be able to plan end of the year concerts again this year! We will be sticking to the same format as the first semester, which means K-5 concerts will be during the day. They will be in person as well as streamed and available to watch after the event. 6th grade band will happen during the day and in the evening. I am always interested to hear any feedback families have about concert times, so please don’t hesitate to let me know your preferences and I will take them into account as we plan for a more normal year next year.

Concert Dress: K-5 – I don’t require any specific dress for concerts, but I encourage the kids to dress up.

6Th grade band: In general, kids in band wear black performance clothes. For example, black pants and a black collared shirt, or a black dress. That said, there will not be any penalty for not wearing black and it will not be mentioned to anyone.

Ute Pass Elementary Spring Concert Schedule :

Thursday April 28th – Kindergarten and 4th Grade – 1:45-2:30

Thursday, May 5th – 2nd and 3rd Grade – 1:45-2:30

Monday, May 9th – 6th Grade Band – 1:45 and 6:00

Tuesday, May 10th – 1st and 5th Grade – 1:45-2:30

Thanks, and let me know if you have questions or concerns!

Mr. Ferguson iferguson@mssd14.org

variety show returns

Dear Ute Pass Elementary Parents and Students,

I am thrilled to announce the return of the UPE Variety Show! Any Ute Pass student is welcome to participate in the Variety show, but they need to have something they have practiced and prepared. Students could sing, dance, do gymnastics, play an instrument, etc. I will be talking with the kids in class and I will help them prepare for the performance. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you want to inform me of your student’s participation. Acts with inappropriate material will not be included in the show.

Ute Pass Variety Show Schedule
Tuesday May 24
th – Variety Show Rehearsal – 3:00-4:30 – Students are not required to be

there the whole time. As soon as we run their act they can leave with a parent.

Wednesday, May 25th – Variety Show – 6:00 – 7:30

Thanks, and let me know if you have questions or concerns!

Mr. Ferguson iferguson@mssd14.org

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We will continue to offer after school care at Manitou Springs Elementary and provide transportation from Ute Pass to the site. Champions is responsible for our after school program. The program will go from 3-6PM, Monday-Friday.

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.

Important Dates


11-21 CMAS Testing Window

12 - 1st & 2nd to Starsmore

18 - 6th to Corral Bluffs Open Space

22 - No School Staff Work Day

27 - Late Start/All School Hike to Red Rocks

28 - Kindergarten & 4th Grade Spring Concert 1:45pm


4 - Walk-a-thon

5 - 2nd & 3rd grade Spring Concert 1:45am

6 - 2nd to Safeway/Memorial Park

9 - 6th grade Spring Concert 6:00pm

10 - 1st and 5th grade Spring Concert 1:45am

12 - 6th to Blogett Peak

16 - 3rd grade to Xeric Demonstration Gardens

18-20 - 6th grade to Sand Dunes

24 - Variety Show Practice 2:50pm

25 - Variety Show 6:00pm

26 - Last Day of School/Students Dismissed at Noon

Late Start Wednesday Schedule :

March 30

April 6

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

April 27

May 4

May 11

May 18

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