The Pony Press

December 9th, 2022

From the Principal...

Families and Community,

We had a terrific week packed full of all sorts of fun (and A LOT of wonderful music)! It was great to see so many of you at our concerts. The students did a phenomenal job and should be incredibly proud of the effort they put in to learning songs and instruments! We appreciate Mr. Ferguson and his dedication to our music program and every student at UPES.

I want to take a moment to recognize our Parent Action Committee (PAC). This group of parents has been crucial in providing opportunities and supplies to our staff, as well as much needed appreciation! They put on a fabulous Breakfast with Santa over the weekend, with all sorts of great prizes. Today they provided mixed nut trays and appreciation tokens to all staff at Ute Pass. Thank you, PAC, for taking care of us!

Next week is one of my favorite weeks of the year! Beyond our fun dress-up days, classroom celebrations, and craft day, I'm looking forward to spoiling our staff as much as possible! If you'd like to contribute, I am collecting small gift cards for prizes for the staff for an activity on Thursday. If you have the means, and would like to contribute, you can bring in a $5 or $10 gift card to add to my prize stash. Some ideas include: Safeway, Natural Grocers, Walmart, Starbucks, The Pantry, The Wines of Colorado, Amazon, Target, Fern's, etc. You can bring gift cards in Monday-Thursday and give them to Mrs. Dudley or me, and I will add them to the mix. I appreciate your help recognizing this team of teachers and staff who work so incredibly hard each and every day!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

Gold Week

Monday, December 12th

  • Specials Day 3
  • Dress-up Day: Wear Plaid/Flannel
  • No Honor Choir Practice due to Board Meeting
  • Honor Choir Performance at Board Meeting 5:30 pm at MSHS Media Center

Tuesday, December 13th

  • Specials Day 1
  • Dress-up Day: Tree Topper- wear festive headbands, hats, etc
  • PAC/SAC Meeting 3 pm in the gym
  • Craft Day Volunteer Training 4 pm in the gym

Wednesday, December 14th-No Late Start Today!

  • Specials Day 2
  • Holiday Lunch- families invited, $4.60 for each adult eating
  • Dress-up Day: Winter Wonderland/Candy Cane- wear all white or red and white

Thursday, December 15th

  • Specials Day 3
  • Craft Day 8:30-10:30 (volunteers come from 8-11)
  • Dress-up Day: Ugly Sweater

Friday, December 16th

  • No Specials!
  • Dress-up Day: Pajama day!
  • Winter Parties
  • All School Movie: The Polar Express 1 pm
  • Furry Friends Dismissal & Ferguson's Feel Good Friday Concert

Important Dates in December


7-14 Candy Grams for Sale

8-Connect14 Registration Opens for Spring Classes

12-16 Dress Up Days

12- Honor Choir performs at Board Meeting

13- PAC and SAC Meeting 3 pm in the gym, Craft Day training in the gym at 4 pm

15- Craft Day

16- All School Movie- The Polar Express - 1 pm

17- January 4 Winter Break

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Holiday Lunch at UPES

Wednesday, Dec. 14th, 11am

9230 Chipita Park Road

Cascade-Chipita Park, CO

Come enjoy lunch with your student(s) on Wednesday, December 14th. Our Nutrition Services Crew will be serving ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and a cookie. The cost per adult meal is $4.60. Kindergarten-3rd grade eats from 11:10-11:30, preschool eats at 11:35, and 4th-6th grade eats from 11:40-12:00. We hope to see you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Seed Slip Recipients

These students showed growth at UPES this week (and the week before break)! They are growing hearts, minds, bodies, and the earth!

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The Trifecta of Music Concerts!

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Watch us Grow!

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Second graders read about sharks and dolphins and then created a poster to show what they learned!

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Mrs. Maruszak works with some super readers in first and second grade!

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Ms. Harriman and these first and second graders are busy growing their brains during reading!
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Students are making gingerbread houses in art class!

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Mrs. Wilson provides a lesson on how to disagree respectfully!

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Mountain Math continues to be a blast and to grow our brains!

Parent Input Needed for MSHS Principal Search

Manitou Springs High School Principal Input Survey

It has been a wonderful week hosting meetings to gather input and feedback for the 2023-24 Manitou Springs High School Principal position. Staff, student, and parent input is incredibly important as it will guide the process and support the decision to find the right leader for Manitou Springs High School. If you did not get an opportunity to attend a feedback session, we would love to hear from you!

A current District 14 parent shared, “There is an excellent process underway to prioritize what qualities we want in our new High School Principal. I was at our parent meeting last night and came away with a renewed sense of hope and excitement for finding the right leader and Principal for Manitou Springs High School. Your voice matters and will be heard!”

Please take a few minutes to provide input on what you would like to see in the future principal of Manitou Springs High School. Survey will be open December 9-December 12 at noon.

Click here to complete survey: 2022-23 Manitou Springs High School Principal

Specials Schedule for December

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. For example, if a snow day fell on Thursday, November 8th (Day 1 for specials), the following day would become a Day 1. 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

Counselor's Corner

Small Group Counseling!

Fall counseling groups are up and running! 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:

  • PAC & SAC Meeting, December 13th 3 pm in the gym
  • Craft Day Volunteer Training, December 13th 4 pm in the gym
  • Craft Day- December 15th
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MSSD14 is hiring fulltime positions and subs!

Scan the QR code or contact Marsha Weimer at to find out how to join the Manitou team!

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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

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 is open now!

Some of these classes are 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!

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

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Please see the attached document below for more information on help during the holidays!


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at the foot of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains.

Four square fun during PE!