The Pony Press

March 17, 2023

From the Principal...

Families and Community,

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! We tend to love the color GREEN at UPES for several reasons!

We've had another wonderful week of learning, growing, and experiencing in our building. It was great to see some of you at our Parent Connection night on Monday. Our school is putting in the groundwork to becoming a pilot school for the neurosequential model of education (NME) in addition to all of the exciting work we are doing with environmental learning. NME means we are taking a wider look at what experiences define our students and how we can build an environment and procedures that best meet their needs. Monday night's session was a peek into how the brain learns and processes stress and environmental stimuli. This information helps guide our preventative measures in establishing a whole child approach with our students.

This coming week is our last before we break for a week. We are looking forward to our Performing Arts night on Wednesday. You are welcome to attend the rehearsal at 2 pm and/or the evening performance at 5 pm (doors will open at 4:45 pm). Once we return in April, we will be diving into CMAS testing, and all sorts of end of the year fun! Please continue to prioritize getting students to school everyday and on time so they are not missing important learning opportunities.

I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend!


Your partner in education,

Jackie Powell, Ute Pass Principal

Important Info for next week...

Gold Week

Monday, March 20th-

  • Specials Day 3
  • Honor Choir Practice 3-3:45 pm
  • Board of Education Meeting 5:30 pm

Tuesday, March 21st-

  • Specials Day 1

Wednesday, March 22nd- Late Start Today!

  • Specials Day 2
  • Clothing Drive tubs available after school
  • Connect14 Cookie Monsterz and Creative Movement classes at UPES
  • Performing Arts Rehearsal (Don Quixote 5th grade play + Honors Choir) 2 pm
  • Performing Arts Night- 5 pm, doors open at 4:45 pm

Thursday, March 23rd-

  • Specials Day 3
  • Ping Pong Connect14 Club at UPES

Friday, March 24th-

  • Specials Day 1
  • Furry Friends and Feel Good Friday Dismissal

Important Dates in March and April


22- Late Start

22- Performing Arts Night (Honor Choir and 5th grade play)

24- MSMS Dance (6th grade) 4-6 pm

27-31 Spring Break


4- 6th Grade Field Trip to Coral Bluffs

5- Late Start

7- Fun Run Kickoff Assembly 2 pm

10-13 3rd-6th CMAS Testing

17-19 3rd-6th CMAS Testing

18- Groth and Babcock to Flying Pig Farm

24-28- Fun Run Dress Up Week

26- Late Start

27- Fun Run

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).
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Volunteers Needed!

Join our Amazing UPES Crew!

Are you looking to be more involved with the incredible things happening at UPES? Here are some ways we can use YOU!

Mountain Math

Dates: Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (volunteer for one day or more)

Contact Person: Ms. Powell-

Times: 12:30-12:50

What will I do: Assist with math games, flash cards, and help grow our students' math skills!

UPES Library

Dates: Flexible- one to three times per week for 20-30 minutes

Contact Person: Mrs. Kettler-

Times: Also flexible!

What will I do: Help Mrs. Kettler check-in books, replace books on the shelves, etc


Dates: PAC meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 3 pm in the gym

Contact Person: Amanda McCloskey-

Times: 3 pm

What will I do: The PAC puts on several amazing events each year, and also helps support our staff through monthly appreciation surprises! Contact Amanda to see how you can help!

Art Supply Drive Through March 24th!

Art supplies are coming in! Thank you! Thank you! If you would like to donate art supplies, everything remaining on the is still needed. Mrs. Kettler appreciates your support in helping UPES students make so many wonderful creations.

Visit the following link- Amazon Wish List

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Seed Slip Recipients

These students showed what it means to grow hearts, minds, bodies and the earth this week!
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Watch us Grow!

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Preschool made some really neat St. Patrick's Day art projects this week!

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4th graders are learning about forest ecology and have created an amazing display in the hallway!

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1st and 2nd graders teamed up to study and present on different ecosystems!

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Cookie Monsterz Connect 14 class has been baking some delicious cookies on Wednesdays!

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5th grade had a "learning outside day" where they hiked 6 miles and completed their lessons in our beautiful neighborhood open spaces!

Specials Schedule for March

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

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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


The DAC attendance sub-committee would like feedback on your perspective on your elementary student's attendance. Please complete the survey in the link below:

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:

  • Fun Run Kickoff Assembly 2 pm in the gym 4-7-23
  • PAC Meeting 4-11-23, 3 pm in the gym
  • Fun Run 4-27-23
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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 5pm 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


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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

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

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