Mustang Tales

December 10, 2021 Vol 2. Issue 15

Message from Principal Masone

Dear Families,

I have had some wonderful opportunities to observe hard working students and teachers this week. In second grade, I experienced wonderful writing as students explored the lives of polar bears and a Magic Tree House book. If you are like me and my children, we had many adventures with Jack and Annie!

Last week, you met our intervention team and this week, I'd like to introduce you to our Special Education staff. Vanessa Roberts supports our Kindergarten through Third grade learners while Jenny Romano works primarily with our fourth and fifth grade students. Anna Fox and Malcomb Vrecenar round out our team, serving multiple grade levels. Supporting our special education team, we have several paraprofessionals: Loretta Roe, Kaya Stout, Jen House, Cari Vermillion, Megan Reynolds, Cindy Krasikov, Laura Maestas, Heather Van Eimeren and Moira Archuleta.

I began my MSES career in special education and I can sincerely say we have a dynamic, talented team serving our Mustangs. The level of commitment and intelligence of this crew makes our team truly outstanding!

Next week is Spirit Week and we have a lot of fun in store:

Monday: Crazy Hat/Mask Day

Tuesday: Mismatch Day, your clothes should not match

Wednesday: Green and Gold Day

Thursday: Kindness Day: Leave a kind note for someone or practice a random act of kindness

Friday: Pajama Day

Lastly, parents we really need your help. We have had a lot of students missing multiple days of school for vacations. Your child's education is so important to us. Repeated absences significantly affect your child, your child's teacher and the classroom community. We ask that you consider saving vacations for school holidays.

Have a lovely weekend!



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Our Special Education Team

We have an outstanding special education team: Malcomb Vrecenar, Anna Fox, Vanessa Roberts. Not pictured: Jenny Romano

Spanish Dance

Ms. Lillemon did a marvelous Spanish performance with all grade levels. Check out the ribbon dancers and "el toro y torrero". Hopefully, parents can join us for our next performance in the spring.

Champions Childcare

Manitou Springs and Ute Pass Elementary Schools will be working together with Champions to provide K-6th grade after-school childcare for the spring semester, beginning mid to late January. After-school childcare will take place at Manitou Springs Elementary until 6:00PM, Monday-Friday. Click here to learn more:

Champions safe and accredited programs have a proven track record of offering top-notch programs for over 30 years and counting. Plus, they partner with our school to extend the learning your kids are doing here each day. When your child enrolls, they’ll get extra STEM learning, literacy, arts, exercise, and more.

After School, 1-2 Days, $48/week

After School, 3-5 Days, $80/week

Registration is open now at, and space is limited. Our school office doesn’t handle registration, so please contact the Champions Family Support team at 800-246-2154 or email them at with any questions.

Important Dates

  • Dec 13 - COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic @ City Hall, 12pm - 6pm
  • Dec 14 - COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic @ Community Congregational Church, 12pm - 4pm
  • Dec 15 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Dec 20 - Jan 5 - Winter Holiday Break
  • Jan 17 - No School - MLK, Jr. Day
  • Jan 26 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Feb 21- No School - President's Day

Student Spotlight

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Kricket H. - "I learned that polar bears are mammals. They live in the Arctic. They have big paws and sticky stuff on them so they can walk on ice."

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Theo B., Liam L., Brennan S. - " We made our own Magic Treehouses. After we read "Carnival and Candlelight ", we wrote about our favorite parts of the book, we wrote about the setting and characters, aproblems and solutions."

Kindergarten: Ask Your Expert

This week we are are learning about Snowmen and winter.

What color is a snowflake? (Clear) What kind of light makes the snow look white? (Light from the sun). What color would the snow look like if there was a pink sunset? (Pink). Can the weather change from morning to afternoon? Tell me some weather words that we use to describe the weather. (Sunny/cloudy, hot/cold, chilly/cool, windy/foggy, rainy). What is your favorite kind of weather and why?

Second Grade: Ask Your Expert

Second graders are learning all about holidays around the world this week. They are comparing and contrasting traditions and holidays from many different countries including Mexico, England, Italy, Germany and more while tracking our journey on a map! What is one holiday tradition in the U.S. that your family participates in?(Decorating your home with lights, garland and wreaths, decorating a christmas tree, elves visiting your house and causing mischief) What is the flower that Mexican families use to decorate their homes with during Christmas time? (the poinsettia) Where did the tradition of Advent calendars begin? (Germany) What is the name of the big meal that French-Canadians have? (Revellion)

Fourth Grade: Ask Your Expert

Fourth Grade is continuing our Islamic Empires domain! This week we read about the Civil War, a series of battles that occurred after the assassination of the third caliph, Uthman. Which two groups of Muslims formed during/as a result of the Civil War? What did each group believe in? (The Shia and the Sunni; the Shia (“Shia’t Ali”) were the followers of Ali, and believed Ali to be Muhammad’s rightful successor; the Sunni believed that Muawiyah and the Ummayads were the rightful successors). Who won the Civil War, and what dynasty followed? (Muawiyah won, and the Umayyad dynasty began). Which two famous buildings were built during the Umayyad Dynasty? Hint: One has a golden dome, and the other has "palm tree" pillars, and is in Spain (The Dome of the Rock and the Mosque of Cordoba).

Fourth Grade received a special visit from Kayla Fratt, a K-9 conservationist, and her incredible doggo Barley! Ms. Fratt taught students all about how careful training of Barley's strong senses and animal instincts has enabled him to become her companion on various conservation projects. Her most recent project, investigating how wind turbines are affecting the local bat population, involved Barley sniffing around a wind farm for bats to help Ms. Fratt collect data! Students had the opportunity to hide some bats from Barley in their classrooms... None of us were able to fool him and he found the bats almost immediately!

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Nutrition Services

Breakfast and lunch are free for all students. We would still like all families that qualify to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch form on our district website.

Breakfast and lunch menus are available online here.

Lost and Found

Please have your child check the Lost and Found before Winter Break! All unclaimed items will be donated before January 6th, 2022. If you have a younger child and would like to check our collection for them, you may sign in as a visitor between 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm and someone will escort you to the Lost and Found. All visitors must wear masks per city ordinance.

Yearbook Order Form

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Manitou Springs Elementary School

Maria Masone, Principal

Jennifer Sueppel, Assistant Principal