Mustang Tales

February 4, 2022 Vol 2. Issue 21

Message from Principal Masone

Dear Families:

Welcome to February and snow! We had two snow days this week and fifth grade teachers had a challenge with each other and their students to get outside and make a snow angel. Take a look at all of our student and staff angels in the following pages.

Hopefully, you all made it to the community forum on safety and wellness this week. The district will continue to hold community forums for staff and families. One of the ways you can advocate for our students and community is by attending Kidpower with your child. Kidpower is supporting Manitou Springs Elementary again with free, virtual classes. The program teaches students how to respond to threatening situations. Kidpower Registration

Champions Childcare begins Monday, February 7th. Registration is ongoing, so please sign up your child if you are interested,

Did you know that February is Black History Month? Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate contributions made by African Americans to the United States. The month of February was chosen because it includes the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass, who wanted to end slavery and former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.

Along with Black History Month, we are celebrating our counselor Ashley Root and social worker, Chrissy Zakrzewski with School Counselor and Mental Health Appreciation Week. Manitou Springs is fortunate to have two professionals supporting our students. Ms. Root provides classroom guidance along with individual and group support. Ms. Zakrzewski provides similar services to our school along with our school psychologist, Joyce Stafford. We also have a Diversus provider on campus weekly to offer counseling support. We are very fortunate to have so many levels of support.

Manitou Springs School District and MSES is evaluating our math curricula. MSES has been using Singapore Math, also known as Math in Focus. We are considering: lllustrative Mathematics and Eureka. Several grade levels are piloting the new curricula, so you might see some math materials coming home that look a little different.

Please mark your calendars for conferences. Conferences will be held February 17th and 18th with both a virtual and in-person option. Sign up here: Conferences



Meet our Social Worker, Ms. Chrissy and our Counselor, Ms. Root

Help us celebrate our wonderful mental health team!
Big picture


Did you know February is Love the Bus Month? We want to celebrate our wonderful bus drivers who are often the first people your child sees in the morning and the last person your child sees in the afternoon. Pass a smile and wave to your child's bus driver. Visit Love to learn how you can celebrate our drivers.

COVID Update

If you would like to view our COVID numbers, please go to the district website under information or use this link: Current Number of Positive Cases of COVID-19. The district website also has provided updated COVID guidance: Health Update for Parents 1/19/22.

Important Dates

  • Feb 11 - Early Release, 12:30pm Dismissal
  • Feb 17 - Early Release, 12:30pm Dismissal - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Feb 18 - No School for Students - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Feb 21- No School - Presidents' Day
  • Mar 2 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Mar 9 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Mar 16 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Mar 21-25 - Spring Break
  • Mar 30 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)

Physical Education - Ask Your Expert

In PE, students are finishing the hockey unit. This is one of our first units in which all the kids get to move one object with another (hockey stick, hockey puck). The students have all been doing a really great job on focusing on the puck and controlling it with their stick. Students can look forward to doing other similar types of activities such as tennis and archery, and possibly golf and baseball.

Big picture

Third Grade- Ask Your Expert

Third graders are learning about Vikings! Ask your expert who the earliest known Europeans to travel to North America were, the Vikings! They were also called Northmen or Norsemen. Your expert should be able to tell you the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) that these Norsemen were from, and who and where they explored and settled lands. Ingolf explored Iceland, Eric the Red settled in Greenland, and Leif the Lucky discovered Newfoundland (and the Inuit!). Have fun finding these places on a map! Just like other civilizations third graders have studied (Greeks, Romans), Vikings believed in many gods and goddesses. Ask your expert to share some of the Loki stories and retell the trouble he causes for Odin and Thor. The Norsemen were excellent ship builders, too, so our third graders were inspired to design their own longship shields!

Big picture

Fifth Grade, Ask Your Expert

The 5th grade social studies students just finished their unit on Feudal Japan. The unit focused on explaining the early feudal system and the geography of the country, so that students could understand how Japan's trade works with the United States both in the past and now. You can ask your expert.... What are the social classes in feudal Japan? (Emperor, shogun, daimyo, samurai, merchants, artisans, peasants). What is the geography of Japan like? (It's an island nation). Why did Japan "shut its doors" to western trade? (The shogun was afraid of losing power). Why did they "re-open their doors"? (US Commodore Matthew Perry convinced them to sign a trade treaty)

5th grade science students have also been working hard finishing up their unit on Earth's spheres. Thanks to all the families for the great support in their final projects coming in to display in our halls. Before the students start working on their science fair projects (information will be coming home Friday 2/4), many accepted a challenge from Mrs. Babcock to send in a snow angel picture from our 2 snow days. Enjoy the pictures... the smiles are amazing!

Check out our Snow Angel Video

Kidpower, Virtual Programs at MSES

Kidpower provides experiential, developmentally appropriate, evidence-based programs that teach children skills that help them stay safe from abuse and harassment, including bullying.

The following classes are for Manitou Springs Elementary 1st through 5th graders AND their parents/adults. These sessions are all free thanks to generous grant funding.

You may enroll in one, two, or three workshops! They build on one another but may be done separately! Space is limited, first come, first served.

Enroll here:

Part One: Safety In Public – Skills to Be Aware, Take Charge, and Get Help
Tuesday, March 1, 2022. 6-7 p.m.

Introduces safety rules for when kids are in a public place or on their own. Kids will learn how to walk, stand and move with awareness and confidence; Families will learn how to create Safety Plans for many situations when they are on their own including school, overnights, at the pool, skating rink, movies, or even in the front yard or neighborhood.

Part Two: Safety with Strangers – Using Your Voice and Body to Stay Safe
Tuesday, March 8, 2022. 6-7 p.m.

Kids will learn rules for staying home alone including with a sibling or for brief periods of time. They will learn the Kidpower Safety Rules to Check First/Think First before getting close to or talking to a stranger; taking anything from a stranger; changing the plan about who they are with or where they are going; and getting help in an emergency. They will learn and practice how to use strong, clear voices and to move away to safety when needed.

Part Three: Boundary Skills with People We Know
Tuesday, March 15, 2022. 6-7 p.m.

Kids will learn what boundaries are and how to set effective boundaries with people they know. They will practice using clear language to deal with emotional coercion and bribery. They will learn to tell an adult if they feel unsafe and to persist until they get the help they need. Kids will also learn ways to protect themselves from words that hurt.

Learn more at or call (719) 520.1311.

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. Champions child care is an accredited programs with a proven track record of offering top-notch programs for over 30 years and counting. 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.

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.

Yearbook Order Form

Big picture

Manitou Springs Elementary School

Maria Masone, Principal

Jennifer Sueppel, Assistant Principal