The Pony Press

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Off We GROW!

It has been a gorgeous week outside, and we have taken full advantage of it at UPES! The staff continues to prioritize opportunities for environmental learning, exploration, and kids being kids!

I am simply blown away by the learning occurring in each of these classrooms. We are already seeing incredible growth in academic skills, but beyond that, we are seeing intentional growing of hearts! We handed out over 25 Seed Slips to students showing what it means to grow hearts, minds, bodies, and the earth (pictures below). Teachers are starting each day with community building circles, giving each student a voice, and demonstrating how important it is for that voice to be heard.

Preschool joined our pack on Wednesday! Preschoolers, our youngest learners at UPES, are such an integral piece of our school! They had a great couple of days on Wednesday and Thursday, and we are so excited to finally be complete.

We continue to have so much to celebrate, and are excited to share that with you. If you haven't already, please check out our school's Facebook page for a glimpse into the magic of this amazing little school-

As a reminder, there will be no school on Monday for Labor Day. Please see below for other important dates and late start Wednesday schedules.


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

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!

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4th Grade hiked SEVEN MILES on Friday! We are so proud of their perseverance!

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! Check out our first graders singing "Lean on Me" during Friday's announcements.

Stay tuned for more information next week on how you can either tune in live, or access recordings of daily announcements. We want to share some of this Pony Pride from our "home" to yours!

Lean on Me
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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)

22-23- 5th grade camp

21- Open Outdoors (Open House) 4:30-6:00

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 Terrence Batson!

Position: Spanish and Technology Integration

Work History: Learned Spanish on the job as a young man, took extensive classes in conversation, culture, history and art while studying in California and Mexico. Mr. Batson has a Bachelor's degree in social studies and a Master's degree in secondary education. He taught primary Spanish in North Carolina, and then taught at Manitou Springs High School for 9 years.

Favorite Food: Pizza... with "all the things" on it

Hobbies: going to the gym, mountain biking, kayaking, loves to cook, traveling, and spending time with his daughter

Why Ute Pass: Mr. Batson felt drawn back to primary schools after COVID-19. He wanted the chance to come to the school up the mountain he had heard so much about, and to work with people who have such big hearts. In his words, "I'm so glad I did!!"

Most Excited About: Seeing students engaging and growing in the language

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!

Construction in Area

Road construction will begin in front of the school Monday, August 29th.

From: Aug. 29 - Sept. 9

Times: 6:30 am - 6:00 pm

Lanes Open: One at a time with flaggers directing traffic

Company: Kewitt Construction

Security Info

Hello Mustang Family!

We are so proud of the students and staff for successfully completing the first fire drill of the school year! We will continue to refine our processes as the year progresses.

If you have any questions/suggestions/concerns about campus safety please feel free to reach out to us!

Thank you,

Janie Anderson, Director of Safety and Security:

Officer Strider, School Resource Officer:

MSSD14 is Hiring!

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

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Preschool Info

Preschool begins on Wednesday, August 31st! Please make sure all required forms are submitted prior to this date. When UPES is on a late start Wednesday, students in preschool will follow their typical schedule (not the late start schedule). Preschool students do not attend school on Fridays.

Please reach out to Mrs. Vankirk at with any questions.

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.

Why are meals no longer free?

Over the past two years, the federal government allowed all students to eat free breakfast and lunch regardless of their family's financial situations. However, beginning August 19, 2022 all students will be charged for both breakfast and lunch unless they qualify for Free and/or Reduced-price meals.

You will need to submit a Free and Reduced meal application for this school year. You can find the new application on the district website- We will provide copies at our September Open Outdoors/Open House.

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-

While you are submitting your application, we will provide your student with meals allowing the student to charge meals. If the account goes into a negative balance, the families are responsible for paying the outstanding balances.

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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Ute Pass Elementary PTO/PAC

We are "rebranding" our PTO to align with the other schools in the district! Moving forward, we will be calling it the PAC- Parent Action Committee!

The PAC meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 3:00 pm in the gym at UPES. Moving into the 22-23 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! Please contact Amanda McCloskey, PAC President, at with any questions.

Upcoming PAC Meetings- 3:00 pm in the Gym

  • September 13, 2022
  • October 11, 2022
  • November 8, 2022

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

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 Fall Cross Country 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 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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