The Pony Press

January 13, 2023

From the Principal...

Families and Community,

Happy long weekend! We had a really great week at UPES, despite the surprise day off on Wednesday. One of my favorite moments of this week was Wednesday morning, Several students (including staff kids) were at the school when the decision was made that we would need to cancel for the day. When I went to tell everyone that school was canceled and we would need to call families, there was one, very loud, collective, "Noooooooo!" Even after students were picked up, many staff members stayed and visited instead of going home. How great to have a school that our students and staff love to be at so much! Thank you for your flexibility with that last second call. Because there is little to no cell phone service at our school, our phone lines and internet are critical for all sorts of reasons!

We have several field trips and events coming up at UPES, and are so excited about the opportunities awaiting our amazing students! It is really important that students arrive to school on time each and every day. The tardy bell rings at 8 am each morning, which is when learning begins. Additionally, many of our field trips depart right away also, and we don't want students to miss the chance to attend those special trips! Mrs. Wilson and I are monitoring excessive absences and tardies, because it's so important to us that our students are able to be in class growing their minds! If you have special circumstances, please let us know.

As a reminder, the window is currently open for accepting choice applications for the 23-24 school year and MAAS 6th grade program! If your child is a current choice student, you do not need to fill out another application for next year. Current 5th grade students who would like to attend 6th grade at UPES need to submit the Mountain Academy of Arts and Sciences application to Christina Baker ( by February 6th to reserve a spot in that program. Applications cannot be turned into UPES and must be submitted to Christina. We are offering school tours toward the end of this month for interested families (flyer below). Please call Mrs. Dudley at 685-2227 if you, or another family you know, would like to tour UPES as you consider your options for next year! We encourage you to turn in any choice or MAAS applications ASAP as there were over 20 submitted just on the first day the window opened! We're pretty proud of everything happening at UPES and look forward to sharing it with new and returning families next year!


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

Green Week

Monday, January 16th

  • No School

Tuesday, January 17th

  • Specials Day 1

Wednesday, January 18th-No Late Start Today!

  • Specials Day 2

Thursday, January 19th

  • Specials Day 3
  • Some of the Spring Connect14 classes begin! Please check your individual class for start dates!

Friday, January 20th

  • Specials Day 1
  • New Friend Friday (Students may sit anywhere during lunch)
  • Furry Friends Dismissal & Ferguson's Feel Good Friday Concert

Important Dates in January


16- No School

19- Spring Connect14 classes begin

25- Late Start Wednesday

27- 6th grade field trip

31- 6th grade field trip


1- Late Start Wednesday

10- Staff Work Day- no school for students

13- Book Character Dress-Up Day

14-17 UPES Book Fair (in Art Room)

16- 12:30 Dismissal/ Family Conferences

17- Family Conferences- no school for students

20-No School

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UPES Love to Read Book Fair!

Tuesday, Feb. 14th, 7:45am to Friday, Feb. 17th, 11:30am

Art Room

Mark your calendars for our upcoming book fair! We will kick off our Love to Read week with Book Character dress up day on Monday, February 13th, and the Book Fair will begin on Tuesday, February 14th. It will be open during Family Conferences on Thursday and Friday, also!

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 enjoyed a field trip to Pueblo on Friday!

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After finishing their lesson in art, Kindergarteners were able to decorate the front entrance with sidewalk chalk!

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4th-6th graders had safe2tell presentations this week!

Revised Specials Schedule for January

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

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:

  • PAC Meeting 2-14-23, 3 pm in the gym
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MSSD14 is hiring fulltime positions and subs!

Scan the QR code or contact Sarah McAfee at to find out how to join the Manitou team!

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Manitou Springs Mobility Survey

MANITOU SPRINGS CO – The City of Manitou Springs is conducting an important survey regarding public transportation and mobility in our community. The survey begins December 12th at 12:00p.m. and will remain open until January 20th. Your opinion matters, and we would like to hear from you! Your responses will have a direct impact on decisions in our community. There are three ways to participate in the survey:

1. Visiting the survey directly:


Make your voice heard by sharing your opinion and participating in the survey. Your answers are completely confidential, and the survey will only take 8 minutes to complete.

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

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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