The Pony Press

March 24, 2023

From the Principal...

Families and Community,

Spring is such an important time for our natural world, but also for our students as they continue to acquire new skills and apply them to their everyday learning. It's the time that our hashtag #watchusgrow is evidenced by everything from the green popping through the barren grass and gardens to the students' ability to synthesize new information and let those brain synapses connect in new and beautiful ways!

I hope you had the opportunity to join our Performing Arts Night on Wednesday, or at least watch the live stream of it! The fifth graders put on quite a performance with the help of Mrs. Kettler. My cheeks were sore from laughter! The Honor Choir also sang two songs that were complete showstoppers as they demonstrated what it means to "elevate their voices." It was definitely a proud moment, and an event I hope we are able to do for years to come.

When we return from this break, we will be leading up to spring testing for our students. Our second graders will be taking the CogAT test and our third through sixth graders will embark on CMAS testing. We try to view these assessments as simply an opportunity for students to show what they know and take pride in their growth and learning this school year. It will be very important that students are arriving to school on time, well-rested, and ready!

Safe travels to any of you venturing out during Spring Break. Find time to enjoy being outside with people who bring you joy. We are excited to welcome our students back on Monday, April 3rd!


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

Green Week

Monday, April 3rd-

  • Specials Day 2
  • Honor Choir Practice 3-3:45 pm

Tuesday, April 4th-

  • Specials Day 3
  • 6th grade to Coral Bluffs

Wednesday, April 5th- Late Start Today!

  • Specials Day 1
  • Clothing Drive tubs available after school
  • Connect14 Cookie Monsterz and Creative Movement classes at UPES

Thursday, April 6th-

  • Specials Day 2
  • Spring Picture Day
  • Ping Pong Connect14 Club at UPES

Friday, April 7th-

  • Specials Day 3
  • Fire Drill 1 pm
  • Fun Run Kickoff Assembly 2 pm
  • Furry Friends and Feel Good Friday Dismissal

Important Dates in March and April


27-31 Spring Break


4- 6th Grade Field Trip to Coral Bluffs

5- Late Start

6- Picture Day

7- Fun Run Kickoff Assembly 2 pm

10-12 3rd-6th CMAS Testing

14- 4th and 5th grade to Paint Mines

17-19 3rd-6th CMAS Testing

18- Groth and Babcock to Flying Pig Farm

24-28- Fun Run Dress Up Week

26- Late Start

27- Fun Run

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UPES Fun Run

Thursday, April 27th, 8am

9230 Chipita Park Road

Cascade-Chipita Park, CO

We are gearing up for another amazing PAC event! What has historically been called the Walkathon will now be rebranded as the Fun Run! We will have a kickoff assembly on Friday, April 7th. Students will get information on collecting funds during this assembly. From there, students will collect funds from April 7th through May 5th, with out big event taking place on April 27th (schedule to come).
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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).
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Volunteers Needed!

Join our Amazing UPES Crew!

Are you looking to be more involved with the incredible things happening at UPES? Here are some ways we can use YOU!

Mountain Math

Dates: Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (volunteer for one day or more)

Contact Person: Ms. Powell-

Times: 12:30-12:50

What will I do: Assist with math games, flash cards, and help grow our students' math skills!

UPES Library

Dates: Flexible- one to three times per week for 20-30 minutes

Contact Person: Mrs. Kettler-

Times: Also flexible!

What will I do: Help Mrs. Kettler check-in books, replace books on the shelves, etc


Dates: PAC meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 3 pm in the gym

Contact Person: Amanda McCloskey-

Times: 3 pm

What will I do: The PAC puts on several amazing events each year, and also helps support our staff through monthly appreciation surprises! Contact Amanda to see how you can help!

Seed Slip Recipients

These students showed what it means to grow hearts, minds, bodies and the earth this week!
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Watch us Grow!

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4th and 5th graders are writing proposals for adopting green spaces in GMF!

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Preschoolers worked with Mrs. Cowman to make beautiful butterflies!

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1st graders worked on tracing dinosaurs and drawing details in art class.

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5th graders put on an amazing performance on Wednesday!

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Honor Choir sang two beautiful songs during Performing Arts Night!

Specials Schedule for April

Our 3-day rotation schedule for specials classes allows students to have more access to PE, Music, and Art! We know it might be a bit more confusing for families instead of every Monday being one special, but we want our kids to be exposed to more of these amazing classes while avoiding students always missing a certain special if there is no school on Friday or Monday. Should there be a snow day, we will just move that day to the following day. Here's a calendar to help you navigate this at home. Please reach out with any questions!
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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

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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


The DAC attendance sub-committee would like feedback on your perspective on your elementary student's attendance. Please complete the survey in the link below:

Counselor's Corner

Small Group Counseling, Classroom Counseling, and Individual Counseling is underway!

Please reach out to Stephanie Wilson if you have any changing needs where we can better support your student!

Her email is You may also call her at 719-685-2209 if you have any questions.

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:

  • Fun Run Kickoff Assembly 2 pm in the gym 4-7-23
  • PAC Meeting 4-11-23, 3 pm in the gym
  • Fun Run 4-27-23

Safety and Security

PaC-MAN (Pedestrian and Cycle Manitou) and Bike Colorado Springs (Bike COS) would like to help disseminate roadway and trail safety information, and organize classes in an effort to save lives and prevent crashes on our roadways.

The attached Laws Handouts cover what is taught in the Bicycle Friendly Driver (BFD) and Auto Friendly Bicyclist (AFB) classes that PaC-MAN and Bike COS teach. Please also know that the League of American Bicyclists now offers Bicycle Friendly Driver training FREE online.

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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 5pm 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


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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. 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

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

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