Mustang Tales

January 21, 2022 Vol 2. Issue 19

Message from Principal Masone

Dear Families:

We are finally having some winter weather and it is a lot of fun to be at school.

Like schools across the nation, we have been affected by COVID this week. 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.

One complicating element is in the counting of days until a student returns to MSES from COVID. The day the student shows symptoms or tests positive is Day 0. That was not included in my previous explanation and I apologize for any confusion. So, Day 0 is the day your child begins showing symptoms/tests positive and then count five additional days with them being able to return on the sixth day if they are symptom-free.

Manitou Springs School District and MSES is evaluating our math curricula. MSES has been using Singapore Math, also known as Math in Focus. We have had the curriculum for some time and are looking for some new options. We are considering: lllustrative Mathematics and Eureka. Both curricula have some promising features and several classes will begin piloting one or both of these series in early February. Please look at materials coming home and give us your input too!

Dr. Domangue, Superintendent, is hosting a community forum on safety and wellness February 2nd at 5:30pm at the District Auditorium at MSES. Please join me in learning what we can do to maintain the safety of our wonderful community.

Kidpower is supporting Manitou Springs Elementary again with free, virtual classes. The program teaches students how to respond to threatening situations. Kidpower has devoted a lot of time and resources to our school and my children still use the language from the program in their teen years. Registration fills quickly.

A shout out to PAC parents who met to design and fund PAC mini grants for staff. These grants fund a multitude of educational extensions for your children. If you want a way to contribute without attending meetings, link your King Soopers grocery card to Manitou Springs Elementary School. It is very easy and costs nothing. Just having ten families bring us funding to do extra projects. Use this link: King Soopers.

Next Wednesday is a Late Start Wednesday. Please mark your calendars.

Thank you for your continued support and grace through these unusual times.



Important Dates

  • Jan 26 - Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Feb 2 - Late Start Wednesday, (2 Hour Delay)
  • Feb 2 - MSSD Engagement Forum, 5:30pm-7:30pm
  • Feb 11 - Early Release, 12:30pm Dismissal
  • Feb 17 - Early Release, 12:30pm Dismissal
  • Feb 18 - No School for Students - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Feb 21- No School - Presidents' Day

First Grade- Ask Your Expert

First Grade continued to explore space this week in our Astronomy domain! Your expert should be able to answer the following: When we look up at the moon, it looks like it’s glowing. Is it really glowing? (No) Why does the moon look like it’s lit up? (It reflects light from the sun.) Can you name the eight planets in our solar system? (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) Which planet has lots of liquid water, oxygen and life? (Earth) Do you remember any planet facts you learned? (Answers will vary)

Third Grade- Ask Your Expert

Third grade has been learning to read nonfiction text by learning about light and sound. Students have learned that objects can be translucent, transparent or opaque through reading and experimenting with light and shadows. They are learning about light as energy. Ask Your Expert: How long does it take for light waves emitted by the sun to get to Earth? (8 minutes) What are three different shapes of mirrors in a fun house? (concave, convex and plane) Can humans see every kind of light wave with their eyes? (No. Humans see only a small part of the spectrum.)

Fifth Grade - Ask Your Expert

Students in 5th grade have been investigating the four major spheres of the Earth: the hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere. On a walking tour of our school neighborhood, students observed and classified the spheres surrounding our school, how they interact, and what makes them dynamic, or ever changing. Additionally, students completed a lab investigation in order to model the distribution of the water in our hydrosphere. 5th graders were astounded to learn that if all Earth's water could be measured in 1,000 ml, 965 ml of that water would be found in the ocean. The percentage of fresh, drinkable water is measured with mere drops. This was a powerful way to show the importance of protecting our water resources.

This week in Music...

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, students in 4th and 5th grades are working together to write music that incorporates those words and ideas with original beats and melodies. Here, Sloane from 4th grade class uses a GarageBand beat sequencer to create rhythms that bring out the natural patterns in the lyrics her class has written. Students will be showcasing this work in their performances later this year, which will be in March (4th grade) and May (5th grade). We are not yet sure whether these performances will be recorded and sent via email or held in-person, but we look forward to sharing, soon!

Big picture

This Week in TEAMS...

The fourth and fifth graders created a maze out of cardboard materials. Next week students will be challenged to code a Sphero (programmable ball) through their maze with their teammates using block coding on the Sphero app. Students will have to show the speed, time and duration when block coding to get their Sphero through the maze.

The Kindergartners have been studying kings and queens for their CKLA domain. We have discussed that kings and queens wear fancy jewelry. The students are learning how to design a pendant for a necklace on a program called Tinkercad. We discussed length, width and height and learned how to move the shapes round on the computer to prepare to make our final product!

Big picture


Kidpower Virtual Programs for Manitou Springs Elementary School

Since 1994, Kidpower of Colorado has been teaching children and the adults who care for them the skills and self-confidence that they need to stay safe and respond constructively to threatening circumstances. Kidpower provides experiential, developmentally appropriate, evidence-based programs that teach children skills that help them stay safe from abuse and harassment, including bullying. Learn more at or call (719) 520.1311.

What skills do children learn?

  • Be aware and confident

  • Keep a safe distance from strangers

  • Use voice and body to stay safe

  • Get help from busy adults

  • Set boundaries on unwanted touch or behavior

How do we teach these skills?

  • We use upbeat language that is skill-based, not fear based

  • Kids have opportunities to “learn by doing” in a fun and empowering way

  • We focus on positive, practical solutions children can use to leave or stop problems as quickly as possible

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.

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 January 31. After-school childcare will take place at Manitou Springs Elementary School 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.

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