The Pony Press

April 28, 2023

From the Principal...

Families and Community,

We had an absolute blast at our Fun Run yesterday! We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to our amazing Parent Action Committee (PAC) for all of their work to organize the Fun Run, as well as all of the volunteers! Ms. Harriman's first graders and Mrs. Weisheipl's fourth graders won our night challenge and were able to pie Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Wester yesterday afternoon. We are still accepting donations through Friday, May 5th! All of the money raised goes directly back into the school to support staff and students. Donations can be made online or at our front office with Mrs. Dudley.

We have so many incredible field trip opportunities coming up for all students. On Monday, the entire school will be going to Red Rock Open Space for a day of learning, exploration, and service projects. It will be really important for all students to be to school on time, because once the buses pull out, there will be no teachers at school! We know we've sent home about one thousand permission slips in the past week, but please make sure those are returned on time so your child doesn't miss all the fun!

Next week, we will be celebrating our amazing UPES staff. While the technical "teacher appreciation week" is the following week, we are starting the celebrations next week. I like to go all out for this week because educators truly have the most important jobs (and sometimes the hardest)! PAC is joining forces with me to celebrate our amazing teachers and staff. Our theme this year is "You lift us up" and each day has a different gift. If you're interested in helping in any way, please consider having your child, or even you, write a simple thank you to a staff member. Words and kindness are free, and make such an incredible impact on these great humans that spend everyday educating these great students!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

UPES Staff Appreciation Week!

Green Week

Monday, May 1st- All School Field Trip to Red Rock Open Space!

  • No Specials
  • Honor Choir Practice 3-3:45 pm
  • Landsharks Meet at WPMS

Tuesday, May 2nd-

  • Specials Day 3
  • Pre-K, Kinder, and 4th grade field trip to Flying Pig Farm
  • 1st, 3rd, and 5th Grade Spring Concert- 2 pm rehearsal, 5 pm performance

Wednesday, May 3rd- Late Start Today!

  • Specials Day 1
  • 2nd and 3rd grade field trip to Catamount Institute
  • Clothing Drive tubs available after school
  • Connect14 Cookie Monsterz and Creative Movement classes at UPES
  • Landsharks Practice after school

Thursday, May 4th- Fun Run Day!!

  • Specials Day 2
  • 4th grade camp trip (overnight)
  • Ping Pong Connect14 Club at UPES

Friday, May 5th-

  • Specials Day 3
  • Last day to collect money for Fun Run!
  • All library books due
  • Furry Friends and Feel Good Friday Dismissal
  • World Language and Culture Night & Honor Choir Performance- MSHS 5-8 pm

Important End of the Year Dates


1-5 Staff Appreciation Week

1- All School Field Trip to Red Rock Open Space

1- Landsharks Meet at WPMS

2- 1st, 3rd, and 5th Grade Spring Concert

3- 2nd and 3rd grade field trip to Catamount

4-5 4th grade camp

5- World Language & Culture Night

5- Last Day to Collect $ for Fun Run

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)

15- Student Council and Honor Choir Field Trip

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

Big picture
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

End of the Year Library Info

Students have received a list of all materials checked out from the UPES library. It is not too early to start finding those books and getting them back to school! All library books will be due May 5th. UPES does not charge fines for lost books, but it does cost money to replace them. Please consider donating $10 for each book not returned.

Seed Slip Recipients

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

Watch us grow- Fun Run pictures!

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
Big picture

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

Big picture
Big picture
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.