Mustang Tales

April 2, 2021 Vol 1. Issue 21

Message from Principal Masone

Hello Mustang Families and hello April,

I am so grateful that my first sentence does not include the word snow! We have had a wonderful week, post spring break.

Students brought home art bags this week from Manitou Springs Arts Academy. Included in the bag are all sorts of art materials and a ticket for an art class. Please find more information below.

Fourth graders brought home geodes this week and cracked them open to find a beautiful treasure inside. A big thank you to Pike's Peak Rock Wholesale for their kind donation to MSES.

Beginning April 16, we will start our state testing, CMAS, for grades three, four and five. Our third and fifth grade students will be taking language arts and fourth graders will be taking math. If you do not want your child to participate in state testing, please complete the link below prior to April 5. Students are welcome to attend school on testing days, even if they are not participating in testing.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Important Updates

  • April 7 Asynchronous At-Home Learning/Staff Professional Work Day
  • April 8 Class Picture Day (outside and masked)/FuelEd individual pictures after school**
  • April 23 No School - Staff work day
  • April 26 - 30 MSES Book Fair
  • May 5 Asynchronous At-Home Learning/Staff professional work day
  • May 26 Last Day for Students - 12:00 pm Dismissal

***Photo orders please go to and use the following code(s):

Spring Individual photos: EVTVRZ7GM

Group photos: EVTD9CR3N

As always, please feel free to reach out to the front office with any questions or concerns! You can call the main number 719-685-2195, Stacy at or Caitlin at

For Our Fuel Ed Families:

Class Picture Day was once again rescheduled due to cold temperatures. We have moved the date for outdoor, masked group photos of in-person students to Thursday, April 8th. If you would like your FuelEd student to have individual photos taken that day, you may bring them to the front entrance on Pawnee Ave. between 3:15 and 4:00 pm. Individual photos will be taken inside the auditorium, one at a time. Order at using this code: EVTVRZ7GM

Other Reminders:

K12 Materials DO NOT need to be returned to the company at the end of the school year. You may continue to use them or donate them.

Fuel/ED Google Meets with MSES Teachers: Classroom teachers are continuing their Google Meet connections every other week. Please look for communication from your child's MSES grade level teacher about this in-person learning /connection time.

From the Manitou Springs Arts Academy:

You may have seen an email communication regarding art supplies that were sent home with your student this week. The letter below explains more about the specific materials and the ticket included for the free theatre workshops being offered by the MSAA to our students. FuelEd students may pick up their Arts Gear pack on Tuesday, April 6th between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm.
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2021-2022 Registration Information

2021-2022 Returning Student Registration Process

Currently enrolled students who will be returning, both resident and non-resident, will be rolled over to the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. You will receive an email notification to complete the registration renewal process in early June.

Here is the first step for you to complete:

Please help us with this process by completing the 2021-2022 Intent to Return Survey using the link below. We ask that all parents and guardians complete this survey regardless of whether they will be attending MSSD14 in the fall for the 2021-2022 school year.

Intent to Return Survey -

Kindergarten Enrollment 2021-2022

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Ask Your Expert!

Read about what's happening in our grade-level and exploratory classes at MSES!

Preschool: In the afternoon class, students learned about the egg-to-chicken life cycle. We collected eggs from different sources: store, pet chickens, and the chickens from our MSES coop. We even collected a duck egg! We predicted what would be inside the egg and had discussions about the cycle. Ask your expert how many days a chicken egg has to stay warm until it turns into a baby chick? (21days)

Kindergarten: We are still enjoying learning about Colonial Towns and Townspeople. This past week we learned about lots of different types of jobs that people had if they worked in town. Ask your expert: Which tradespeople made clothes for women? (Dressmaker and tailor) For men? (Tailor) Which trades person made hats? (Hatter) Which trades person made or fixed shoes? (Cobbler) Why did many farmers only have two outfits and one pair of shoes? (Expense) What materials did a spinner use to make thread or yarn? (Cotton or the wool from sheep) What does a weaver do? (Weave the yarn or thread into cloth)

1st Grade: This week, first graders started a domain called Fairy Tales and listened to the tales of Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, and The Frog Prince! Ask your expert: What elements of the fairy tales can they tell you about? For example, what characters have they heard about, what were some of the settings of the fairy tales, what problems did the characters encounter, what elements of fantasy or magic were in the tales, and what kinds of solutions and endings did the stories have?

2nd Grade: The United States Civil War has started again in the Second Grade classrooms! Ask your expert: What is slavery? (Slavery is when a person has to work for no wages and who is not allowed to leave their service.) Where did most slaves originally come from? (Africa.) Did they come voluntarily? (No, they were forced onto ships and brought to the U.S.) Where did slaves work? (On plantations in the South. They worked in the fields and in the ‘Big House’.) What is the Big House? (The mansion where the master and his family lived.) How were they treated? (They were treated very badly by their masters and were barely able to survive.) Who is Harriet Tubman? (She was a famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, who helped lead many slaves to freedom.) When did she become a slave? (She was born into slavery.) What was her nickname? (Minty.) What is the Underground Railroad? (It wasn't a real railroad, but a route for escaping slaves to travel North to freedom.) How did they know they were going in the right direction? (They used the North Star by locating the ‘Drinking Gourd’.) What is the Drinking Gourd? (The Big Dipper.) What is a ‘station’? (A house along the way that was willing to help the slaves by hiding them, feeding them, and letting them rest.) Did anyone go after the escaped slaves? (Yes, slave catchers had dogs to track them.) How did they get away from the dogs? (They walked in creeks and rivers, so the dogs would lose their scent.)

3rd Grade: Third graders are wrapping up the "Native Americans: Regions and Cultures" unit, and fractions. Ask your expert: What was one of the biggest challenges faced by the tribes of the Southwest region? (There was not always enough rain.) When the Ancestral Pueblo abandoned their homes, where did they begin to live? (Cliff Dwellings!) Can they tell you about the “Hopi Way”? (The “Hopi Way” means that you should be kind to each other and thoughtful towards the environment.) Students should be able to describe the different regions, dwellings, and foods of the Native Americans. Why was the Southeast region the most densely populated? (There was plenty of rain, fertile soil, and a mild climate for growing lots of food!) For math, students should be able to compare and order fractions like ⅔, ⅚ and ½ from least to greatest. Try using ½ as a benchmark! Your experts should be able to show you how to make equivalent fractions, using those awesome multiplication skills, too. It has been a busy week in third grade!

4th Grade: Fourth graders are beginning to wrap up our invention-based unit, "Eureka! Student Inventor". Most “labs” have earned all six wedges on the Wheel of Invention (each wedge representing a skill that inventors need), and are beginning “Round 2” during which they create their OWN invention idea! Ask your expert: Why is FAILURE not such a bad thing after all? (You can learn from your mistakes, it can help generate new ideas, you can see areas that need improvement, etc.) In Round 2, which skills from the Wheel will you need to depend on when choosing a problem to solve? (Possible answers: Research, Collaboration, Failure, Knowledge.) How will you use those skills? (Ex. I can use failure by thinking about instances when I’ve failed or things haven’t worked.)

5th Grade: Fifth grade will be wrapping up our "Reformation" unit this coming week. Students have learned about the effect Martin Luther had on the Catholic church. Ask your expert: What are Martin Luther's 95 Theses? (They are a list of 95 objections to the practice of issuing indulgences by the Catholic Church.) What is the difference of geocentric vs. heliocentric thinking? (Geocentric thinking is the belief that the Earth is the center of the universe. This was the predominant belief that the Catholic church supported. Heliocentric is the belief that the sun is the center of the Earth. Heliocentric belief became the more popular belief after scientists proved that the Earth orbits the sun.) What caused people to finally believe the heliocentric belief? (The invention of the telescope!)

Art: Second grade artists are beginning their unit on color. Through the study of plants, insects, fruits and weather we will explore color in nature and how artists use value, light and color mixing to represent the world around us! In art class they will be experimenting with various art materials such as paints, colored pencils and oil pastels in order to see the ways that different materials can affect how colors mix, imply texture and create value.

Spanish: Hola, hola…CocaCola. Among other topics, Kindergarten students learned about “Mi cara”/“My face”. Vocabulary: Cara/face, ojos/eyes, nariz/nose, boca/mouth, orejas/ears.

Music: This week, third grade musicians are exploring the Colorado Ballet’s Every Body Move warm-ups and mindfulness exercises, African American music, and, of course, violin! We are working on our bow technique, posture, and left hand fingerings, enjoying songs like Hot Cross Buns, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Au Clair de la Lune. Ask your expert: “What did you enjoy most in Music class this week?”

TEAMS: This week, first graders continued to work toward their typing goals. The students also learned about coding. We learned that humans control the computer and tell it WHAT to do (which is coding). We talked about all the different types of jobs in the world that involve computers and coding. We then worked on an assignment through where they had to tell their character “where” to go. We learned that we have to be very specific when coding or the computer will do the wrong thing. Feel free to check out some of the activities on that you can do without setting up an account!

Reading/Math Intervention: Check out our Reading Connection newsletter below!

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National Weather Service "Field Trip" and more!

It was a very eventful week in Ms. Mussi's 5th grade class!

"My class met with three meteorologists from the National Weather Service to learn about Severe Weather from real scientists. Mr. Tim Brice is from El Paso, TX. Mr. Michael Garberoglio from Pueblo, CO, and Mr. Brian Montgomery from Albany, NY. The students were able to learn the slogans: 'When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!' (Thunderstorms) and 'Turn Around, Don't Drown' (Flooding) and 'Don't Be Scared, Be Prepared!.' (All weather!) They also learned about what causes crazy Colorado weather and how to be safe in all different kinds of circumstances. (Did you know lightning can strike 15 miles in front of or behind the actual thunderstorm?!)

The students were able to ask questions like:

  • How much data do you collect every day? (Terabytes and terabytes)
  • How do you decide what percent the weather is? (A mixture of data predictions and experience)
  • How does the weather effect the wind? (The wind is part of the weather.)
  • What would happen if you are sucked into a tornado? (Bad things!)

It is always a delight to meet with our scientist friends! This is the third year running that our fifth graders have learned from the pros! We so appreciate them giving of their time to us."

Earlier in the week, Ms. Mussi's class got to put their Environmental Science knowledge to the test at Fountain Creek! The class had a hypothesis that the Creek's temperature would be over 40 degrees since the air temp (at that time) was 64. This hypothesis was incorrect - the creek water was just around 38 degrees. While they were there, they also measured the PH of the creek (around 8), observed ducks (male and female pair), and saw evidence that a beaver had been there with a chewed down stump. The class also figured out the food web of the ducks, and connected them with the sun through the plants they eat.

Thank you Pike's Peak Rock Wholesale- Geodes!

The Pikes Peak Rock Shop Wholesale has been a beloved part of fourth grade field trips in years past. Since we were unable to arrange the actual field trip this year, the Rock Shop donated geodes for every fourth grader to take home and crack open! Students and their families safely broke the geodes at home and sent some amazing pictures to their teachers - below are a few of our favorites:

COVID-19 Response

We ask that everyone continue to use the MSSD14 COVID Intake Form only when your student or someone in your household has COVID-like symptoms. This form is used only for students and staff who are absent due to unexplained or unexpected illness. This new process allows us to have consistent communication with staff and parents, which ultimately contributes to a stronger contact tracing process and the continuation of in-person learning.

Nutrition Services

Parent Action Committee

Please support the PAC by participating in the grocery rewards program (details below).
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