Mustang Tales

April 23, 2021 Vol 1. Issue 24

Message from Principal Masone

Happy Friday, Families,

Spring is in the air at school! Manitou Springs Elementary students celebrated Earth Day with hikes, lunch outside, and more.

Kindergartners have been studying the effects of trash and litter on the Earth and how to be good stewards of our planet. Our first graders were off to Rock Ledge Ranch where they learned a lot about our local history. Ms. Leonardo's third grade class built bird feeders and hiked Iron Mountain while Ms. Goldman's class spent lots of time investigating rocks and minerals, and writing poetry outside.

Ms. Mussi's class took a walking field trip to Fountain Creek and many other classes spent extra time outside using our "Earthrooms" outdoor classrooms and studying the environment and celebrating our Earth.

We have a lot of events coming up in our near future. Next week, we begin our Book Fair with some in-person shopping opportunities outdoors. Teacher Appreciation week begins May 3rd and our Science Fair is scheduled for fifth graders May 13th.

We have included some healthy activities for our students from the Manitou Springs Elementary Wellness Team and Partners for Healthy Choices. The first calendar helps us be thoughtful about how to take care of our bodies and minds. The second opportunity is an invitation for all of us to spend 100 hours or more outside. Take a peek at the flyers below to learn more.

Ask your child about how they celebrated Earth Day this week, and have a wonderful spring weekend!

Important Updates

  • April 26 - 29: CMAS testing for FuelEd students (schedule below)
  • April 26 - 30: MSES Book Fair (more information below)
  • May 5: Asynchronous At-Home Learning/Staff professional work day
  • May 13: 5th Grade Science Fair
  • May 25: 5th Grade Recognition Ceremonies - info to come from teachers
  • May 26: Last Day for Students - 12:00 pm Dismissal

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3rd - May 7th, 2021 You should have received an email from our PAC letting you know how you can help support and celebrate our dedicated teachers!

Check out the images below regarding Every Kid Healthy Week (April 26 - 30) and our 100 Hours Outside Challenge (April 30 - May 21)!

Mustang Spirit Shirts are on sale! Call the front office to check on available sizes and reserve yours today!

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

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Book Fair - NEXT WEEK!

Dear Parents,

As you may have seen we are hosting a Scholastic book fair next week, April 26th-30th. Students can shop during the school day as classroom teachers have signed up for a slot to come visit the fair. Students may bring cash OR parents can load an e-wallet which allows students to come to the fair without bringing money as we can look the students up by name. We highly encourage this for students so we don't worry about losing money at school. We will accept credit and debit cards from parents for after school shopping as well.

Please visit and find the e-wallet section online. Parents/students can also purchase books virtually through the book fair website.

We will be bringing carts from the fair outside near the atrium doors near the marquee after school for in-person shopping. If possible please come on the suggested day per your child's grade level- Tuesday (preschool, K and 1st), Wednesday (2nd and 3rd graders) and Thursday from 3:00-3:30 (4th and 5th graders). Please be sure to wear a mask and socially distance if you plan to come purchase books after school. We are so excited to be able to host the book fair and look forward to seeing you! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us!

Amy Bradbury and Agnes Navaratne
Big picture

For Our Fuel-Ed Families:

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.

FUEL/ED CMAS TESTING SCHEDULE: Only if you opted your child in to their grade-level CMAS test (3rd and 5th grade ELA only, 4th grade Math only) - see the schedule below for the final week of testing.

Fourth grade is testing Monday, 4/26, at 8:30, 10:45 and 1:15. Math tests are 65 minute tests.

Fifth grade is testing Wednesday, 4/28, 8:30 and 11:30 and Thursday, 4/29, at 8:30. ELA tests are 90 minutes.

MSAA Theatre Workshops

Please, go to our video link so we can virtually introduce you to our Arts Gear, teach you to tie the lanyard on to your ocarina, and have a bit of fun!

Also, our short how-to video on techniques

WHAT IS THE TICKET ABOUT? Each colored ticket is your student’s “entry” to one interactive virtual theatre workshop with Sophie Thunberg! Link below

Schedule of workshops below - choose one day and time!

Big picture

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 -

Earth Day at MSES

From Ms. Mussi (5th Grade):

"I took my class down to the Creek for an Earth Day activity called a One Foot field trip. Students brought a piece of string and magnifying glass down to the Creek, along with their science notebooks, and catalogued the discoveries they found within the circle of their piece of string to document the biodiversity of their area. Two of my girls (Ezra R. and Kylie M.) turned over a rock and found a "baby and momma" worm! They were most excited. My eager beavers (and not the one that chewed down the tree where we went!) wanted to collect trash along the way and they picked up nearly a five gallon bucket full using the trash grabbers.

We had great discussions about decomposers, how rocks lose their sharp edges, and the layers of the tree that the beaver chopped down---all made possible with a walk to the Creek. Being able to take my class to the Creek is a huge benefit of being here in Manitou!"

Ask Your Expert!/CKLA Domains

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

Preschool: Spring’s sunshine and moisture have led to a wondrous and detectable change in our environment! Trees are budding and new plants are emerging from the ground. In the afternoon preschool class, we are learning that plants grow, just like people, and they have distinct parts just like us. Using a giant sunflower, we discovered four plant parts: roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. We then read Sunflower House by Eve Bunting and enjoyed seeing a group children celebrate the life cycle of these flowering plants. Ask your Expert: What part of the plant helps it to soak up nutrients and water? Where do the seeds come from?

Kindergarten: We are continuing to learn about ways to take care of the Earth! Ask your Expert: What is the difference between fresh water, salt water, and wastewater? (You can drink fresh water, you can’t drink salt water, and wastewater could make you sick if you drank it.) What are clouds made of? (Water droplets) What different kinds of pollution do we have on planet Earth? (Air pollution, water pollution, land pollution) What part of our body do we use to breath? (Lungs) Why is air pollution bad for our lungs? (It can make it hard to breath) What are some things we can do to help reduce pollution? (Ride bikes, walk, carpool, pick up trash, turn off lights when we leave the room, turn off the TV when we are done watching it.) What do you think might happen to the land, water, and air on Earth if every person does not take responsibility to take care of the Earth? (Answers will vary)

1st Grade: First Graders continued exploring the founding of America in our domain A New Nation. Ask your Expert: Why did the king tax the colonies on goods such as tea? (Setting up and protecting the colonies cost Great Britain a lot of money and they wanted to recoup this money.) Who is Betsy Ross and what did she do to help America gain independence? (Betsy Ross was a seamstress and she created the first official flag for the United States at George Washington’s request.) How would you describe George Washington’s Continental Army? (The Continental Army was mostly made up of farmers with little military experience. They had no uniforms, no training, and were very low on guns and gunpowder.) What was George Washington like as commander in chief? (He was brave, a good leader, kept his troops’ spirits up, etc.) First Graders also had the opportunity to visit Rock Ledge Ranch this week. Ask your expert to describe what life was like for early American settlers and pioneers!

2nd Grade: Second Graders are ‘bugging out’ over our new domain! Ask your Expert: What makes an insect an insect? (They have 6 legs and 3 body parts: head, thorax, abdomen. They also have antennae on their heads for feelers.) Are there a lot of insects on the planet? (Yes, they are the largest group of animals.) Where can insects NOT live? (oceans) Can all insects fly? (no) Do all insects go through 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult) of metamorphosis? (No, some insects do not change completely from birth to adult.) What is incomplete metamorphosis? (The baby looks like its parent and it has only 3 stages, egg, nymph, adult.) What is the baby called? (nymph) What is the hard outer shell called? (exoskeleton) Do insects hang out all together? (No, most are solitary, but some do live in colonies like bees and wasps.) Is a spider an insect? (No, it has 8 legs instead of 6.) Why do some animals molt? (Animals shed their skin so that new growth can happen. Comparative to kids outgrowing their clothes, etc.) Which insect is your favorite, and why?

3rd Grade: We are wrapping up our Age of Exploration domain! Ask your Expert: How did the year of 1492 change the world? (It was the first time a European headed on a voyage to ‘Asia’ and discovered there was land between Europe and Asia.) What were some key motives for the Europeans? (a new route to Asia, to spread Chirstianity, wealth, and spices.) What were some impacts of the exploration ages? (The discovery of new routes/land, the trades of all kinds of goods, and the impacts on the Native Americans then and how colonization is continuing to impact them today.) Who are the four main countries involved in the exploration of new land? (Portugal, Spain, France, and England.)

4th Grade: Fourth Graders are continuing our current domain on the American Revolution! Ask your Expert: After news of the Boston Tea Party reached Great Britain, which infamous acts were created to limit the freedom of the colonists? What were some of those limitations? (The Intolerable Acts; The Boston Port Act closed Boston Harbor, the Quartering Act made colonists provide temporary places to live for British Soldiers, etc.) We also read about Paul Revere’s midnight ride. Do you think Paul Revere actually yelled out, “The British are coming!”? (Opinion example: I don’t think he did, because he was trying to warn the colonists quietly, and if he yelled that, the British would have heard him.) On April 19, 1775, during a confrontation between British soldiers and a colonial militia, the first shot of the American Revolution was fired. Why do we refer to this event as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”? (Everyone in the world must have heard about what happened, because it is what officially started the Revolutionary War.)

5th Grade: Shakespeare is fun! Fifth grade students are getting into the language and rhythm of iambic pentameter. They are also learning how to deliver lines with stage directions and tone and how those changes can change the meaning of the same line. Midsummer Nights’ Dream also has quite a few love problems. Ask your Expert: If you were Hermia, how would you feel about the choices that your father Egeus gave you? (The choice was to marry Demetrius, be put to death or become a nun.) What are some of the best Shakepearean insults you have heard? (Answers will vary, but “You canker-blossom!” is one of the more interesting ones!)

Art: After analyzing artwork from 20th century Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian, and his use of the primary colors in his artwork, first grade artists created their own Mondrian inspired pieces. Our young artists focused on craftsmanship and visual balance as lesson objectives. Artists used a ruler to create bold, black lines that were only horizontal or vertical in their direction, creating squares and rectangles. Coloring within the lines of their shapes with bold, solid primary colors encouraged them to practice fine motor control. Visual balance was considered in their use of line variety (thick, thin, close and distant) and primary color placement. They have all exceeded expectations on this project and demonstrated such advanced artistic focus and creativity! Well done, first grade!

Spanish: Hola amigos! Among other topics, fourth and fifth graders studied unit 2 level B, "Son mis padres"/"They are my parents". They made and translated simple sentences in Spanish using the family member's titles: mama/mom, papa/dad, hermano/brother, hermana/sister, abuelo/grandpa, abuela/grandma, bebe/baby, primo/boy cousin, prima/girl cousin. Vocabulario: Te amo/I love you, regalo/gift, Los padres/parents, bajo/short, alto/tall.

Music: This week, second grade musicians explored the Colorado Ballet’s Every Body Move warm-ups and mindfulness exercises, African American music, and playing together in a band! Students had the opportunity to play drums, keyboards, bass, or guitar this week as we learned and rehearsed Jonny B. Goode and We Will Rock You. Ask your Expert: “What did you enjoy most in Music class this week?”

PE: Third graders are finishing their volleyball unit, then we are doing a four-square unit! We are working on the three skills of volleyball: passing setting and spiking the ball. We are also learning about the overhand serve and transferring your weight from your back foot to your front foot as you serve the ball. This past week we have taken those skills and played a few games of one-bounce volleyball. They all did a good job at learning and playing the game!

TEAMS: In TEAMS this week, the Kindergarten students took a big step. They were the first group to try the program all the “big kids” use called Typing Pal. The students demonstrated their readiness over the last two weeks and were able to log-in and practice learning how to use the keyboard while being timed! They were very proud! Way to go Kindergarten.

Book Fair Info:

Our Scholastic book fair will be taking place next week, April 26th-30th. Students will be able to shop during the school day when they visit with their teacher. We will have after school hours as well for parents to shop.

Tuesday: Preschool, kindergarten, and first

Wednesday: Second and third grade

Thursday: Fourth and fifth

*please wear a mask and socially distance as much as possible! We can’t wait to see you there!

Reading/Math Intervention: Reading and Math interventionists are continuing to work on strong programs to enhance the skills of the students we see in groups. We encourage reading at home with your child for at least 20 minutes each night. Read to your child and with your child! We will continue to push through in intervention until the very end of the school year!

Big picture
Big picture

First Grade Field Trip

The first graders visited Rock Ledge Ranch (near Garden of the Gods) earlier this week. They got to view a homestead cabin, see the blacksmith hard at work, and learn about animal life on a farm. It was a chilly morning, but they had so much fun learning about life in the early days of Colorado!

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).
Big picture