Pioneer School Newsletter June 2017 banner

Pioneer Paw Prints Newsletter Summer 2017

Pioneer School Billings

Pioneer School would like to wish everyone a

fun and safe summer!  See you in August!

Summer Events!

Pioneer School Library Days (10AM to 3 PM)

  • June 5
  • June 19
  • July 3
  • July 17
  • July 31
  • August 14

2017-2018 School Year begins Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pioneer School Board vacancy!

Pioneer School is in need of a school board member.  This is a 3 year term.  If you are interested, please call the school office at 406-373-5357.  You must reside and be registered to vote in Pioneer School District to be on the school board.

Pioneer Elementary PTA Billings MTPIONEER PTA NEEDS YOU!

Pioneer School PTA does so much for our school!! PTA is in need of new officers for the 2017-2018 school year.  Contact the School (call 406-373-5357) and get involved!

Mrs. Fanus – 2nd/3rd Grades

2nd and 3rd grade would like to share their favorite school year memory with you.

  • Kylan- I liked being a fashion model during an assembly.
  • Carson-I liked doing projects, plays, and spending time with my friends.
  • Wesely- I liked working with Mrs. Russell.
  • Jacoby- I liked art, my friends, and Mrs. Fanus.
  • Roni- My favorite memory was having P.E.
  • Dylan- I liked doing plays and spending time with my friends.
  • Jozie- I enjoyed doing the big projects in social studies.
  • Rylee- I liked doing all the science and social studies projects.
  • Izak- I liked spending time with my friends and going on field trips.
  • Audie- I liked social studies and science.
  • Kara- I liked spending time with my friends, going to math, and doing science projects.
  • Renae- I loved math, spending time with my friends, and Mrs. Russell!

Thank you for a great year at Pioneer! I have enjoyed all the students, parents, and teachers. Have a safe and relaxing summer break!

Mrs. Fanus 🙂

Kindergarten – Mrs. Burns

I cannot believe that summer is already here!!! The year has really flown by quickly. It has been a pleasure to teach your children this year. We are amazed at the growth they have made academically, socially, and emotionally. Thank you for all of your support throughout the year! Here are the topics that we covered in the month of May.

Understanding that big machines

  • Are used to build a school
  • Have special jobs to do

Understanding that different tools

  • Are used to do special jobs
  • Can help build things


  • Reviewing addition and subtraction facts up to 10


  • Sea turtles
  • Sharks

Thank you Nurse Karen for coming in to our classroom and teaching us about summer safety.  I would also like to thank all the chaperones for accompanying our class to the Pacific Recycling Center, the Audubon Center, and Sunset Lanes.

*Summer Recommendations:

  • Read to your child every day and also have your child read independently each day.
  • Write about experiences (vacations, camps, relatives, etc.). They should use their kindergarten sight words in their writing. It is fun to keep a summer journal of experiences.
  • Practice math skills: addition, subtraction, identifying coins and counting money, creating & identifying patterns, measuring with non-standard & standard units, identifying & describing two-and three-dimensional shapes, counting objects, recognizing odd & even numbers.
  • Enjoy family time together, have fun, and be safe!


Ms. Painter – 3rd/6th Grade Math/PE/GT

6th Grade Math

We have had some end of the year testing recently.  We are finishing out the year with percents and ratios.

3rd Grade Math

We are wrapping up the year with metric and stand units of measure.

Gifted and Talented

We did a Greek mythology unit and discussed myths and the meaning behind them.  We finished the unit with Gyros and Baklava from the Athenian.


The weather has been warmer for playing games outside so we have been taking advantage of that.  With the help of the 6th graders we will be having a field day for the whole school Tuesday, May 23rd after the bowling PAWS party.

I have enjoyed the past 2 months here at Pioneer school and look forward to being here next year. Thank you for making me feel welcome.

Ms. Painter

Grades 4 & 5 – Ms. Ticknor

Another school year has come to an end, and I find myself reflecting on all that we have accomplished and the fun we have had.  As many of you already know, I have accepted a position teaching at LaMotte Elementary in Bozeman, MT next year.  It is a bittersweet move for me, as I have had the pleasure of teaching so many talented, charismatic students over the last four years.  It has been such a rewarding experience teaching your children, partnering with families to ensure student success, and working with exceptional colleagues who have become my friends. There are many great things about Pioneer School, but my favorites are clearly the little people who shared a classroom with me.  Thank you for the great memories we have had learning, exploring, and laughing together.  Have a wonderful summer!

Miss Ticknor

First Grade – Miss Gordon

Hello Fabulous First Grade Families!

I honestly don’t know where this year has gone, but here we are at the final newsletter! Our first graders (now second graders) have all made so much growth this year! It has been an absolute blast getting to know them and learn alongside them.

As the year ends, our class took a morning to reflect on the favorite parts of first grade, as well as what they’re most looking forward to for the summer.

  • Holden: This summer, I am going to go camping. My favorite part was learning math.
  • Paxton: This summer I am going to put the sprinkler under the tramp. My favorite part was the jitter juice.
  • Jared: This summer I am going to go to West Virginia. My favorite part of first grade was learning to read.
  • Jacob: We are going to get a dog and we are going to the water park this summer. I liked math this year.
  • Ayden: This summer I am going to play with Elijah at pools and parks. We will have fun. I liked having a cool and fun teacher.
  • Elijah: This summer I am going to Oregon seaside. In first grade I learned more advanced things than kindergarten.
  • Carson: I am going to go camping and play with toys. My favorite part of first grade was hugging Miss Gordon.
  • Colton: I am going to go camping. I am going to find treasures. I love school because we get to draw whatever we want.
  • Sarah: I am going to play Minecraft. My favorite part of first grade was hugging Miss Gordon.
  • Camdon: I am going to my Nana’s for a week. My favorite part about first grade is learning to read.
  • Chevelle: I am going to my Papa’s house this summer. My favorite part of first grade is meeting Miss G.
  • Piper: I am going swimming this summer. Being with Miss G was cool.


What sweethearts! It didn’t even take much bribery to get them saying their teacher was the best part… kidding, of course!

I want to sincerely thank you all for your support this year. We couldn’t have done it without you! Good luck next year, first graders! You will all do wonderfully. But until then, I hope everyone has an amazing summer, full of adventures!

Thank you for everything,

Miss Gordon

From the School Nurse

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Enjoy your summer, stay active, and have fun!

Once again, another school year has come to a close.  There are several important announcements and reminders that I would like to bring to your attention:

Please remember to pick up all student medications from office, as they will be discarded on the last day of school.

If your child needs medication next year, please bring the completed and signed paperwork to school prior to the first day of the new school year. Remember to sign the parent permission form, obtain a doctor’s signature for all prescription medications, and fill in the dosage, frequency, and symptoms for administration. All medication must be brought to school in the original container by a parent or guardian. If your child has a special diet or health concern please list these on the emergency cards so that a health care plan can be created for the new school year.  Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me by calling 247-3367.


Playgrounds:  Injury facts – children who fall off climbing equipment, slides, and swings usually injure their face, head, or arms.  Safety check – preschool-age children shouldn’t be more than four feet off the ground.  Make sure surfaces are cushioned, equipment maintained, and no exposed bolts or open “s” hooks.

Heat exposure:  Illness factsChildren can develop heat exhaustion and become seriously dehydrated when in the hot sun for too long.  Symptoms include pale skin, dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.  Kids under four years old are especially at risk in high temperatures.  Safety check – Keep children indoors during heat waves.  Make sure they have plenty of fluids even if kids say they are not thirsty.  NEVER leave a child in a car, which can heat up quickly.

Fireworks:  Injury facts – fireworks can cause serious eye injuries that lead to partial or complete blindness.  Sparklers can burn the skin and ignite clothing.  Safety check – Don’t use or let your children use or be around any fireworks, including sparklers.  Instead, visit a public display run by professionals.

Bicycles:  Injury facts:  Kids often crash into obstacles or lose control of their bikes, but the most serious injuries occur when children are struck by cars.  Safety check – Make sure your child wears a helmet every time they ride a bike.  It should be snug and level with the forehead.  Do not let children ride in the street before the age of 10, and teach riders to look both ways before crossing the driveway or streets.

 Skateboards and Scooters:  Injury facts – head injuries and wrist fractures are a common occurrence.  Kids are most likely to get hurt when they are first learning to ride, ride too fast, or attempt tricks.  Safety check – Safety gear is a must!  Helmets, wrist guards, non-slip shoes, elbow pads, and knee pads should be worn, and no child under 5 years should use skateboards or scooters.

Lawn Mowers:  Too many tragic accidents happen when a child falls off a riding lawn mower or is accidentally run over.  Safety check – Keep all children far away from the mowing area.  Always look around the mower before putting into motion, especially when backing up.

Food Poisoning:  Illness facts – Bacteria grow quickly in perishable food that is left out too long.  Symptoms resemble stomach flu: nausea, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, fever and bloody stool.  Safety check – Make sure food is cooked thoroughly.  Wash your hands often, and never leave food out for more than an hour when it’s hot outside.  Store food in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice when outside at picnics and barbecues.

Enjoy your summer, stay active, and have fun!

Treat your brain to a really good book!

Thank you

Karen Graf RN-BC, BSN, PHN

Pioneer School Nurse

Mrs. Russell – Library/Resource/Title I

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

How fast May goes racing through our lives, one action packed busy day after another, until we arrive breathlessly at the end of school and the beginning of summer!

As the quote above so eloquently states, I wish you all a summer of “delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings” as you enjoy a summer creating memories and sharing love and laughter with your families and friends!

“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don’t, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”
Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

I love summer and all the activities, traveling, and days in the sun, but there is something so relaxing about a lazy summer afternoon spent in the cool of my house reading a book!  I usually have a glass of iced Diet Dr. Pepper by my side, the air conditioner on, and the ceiling fan moving the air while I disappear into another world sharing the adventures with my new friends in the story.

Our school library will be open on the following days:

  • Monday, June 5th: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, June 19th: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, July 3rd: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, July 17th: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, July 31st: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, August 14th: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I hope you all join me in encouraging your student(s) to read for pure enjoyment this summer!  I look forward to serving and supporting you in your reading endeavors this summer!  Many of our students read and test throughout the summer which maintains or often improves their reading skills and fluency; plus they bank all of the summer AR points for a jumpstart on next year!

Any parents interested in using the Scoot-Pad online summer program to maintain or improve your student’s academic progress please contact me.  There is a slight charge for the summer program but it is a great program and motivates students better than the summer workbooks we used to promote.  Give me a call and we can go over this opportunity. You can access current information at the following link:

May you all enjoy your summer, share adventures in books, and create memories to last a lifetime!

Mrs. Russell

Mrs. S’s News

As the commotion, chatter, laughter and anticipation of summer reaches its peak – I look back with bittersweet excitement. I would like to officially say good-bye to our 6th graders, and thank their families for all of the support they gave given us through the years. We know that as our sixth graders move into middle school, high school and beyond, they will continue to do amazing things for their families, communities, and country! Once a Panther, always a Panther!

This year, we have seen an outstanding amount of success. For the first time since its implementation, Pioneer will be awarded Silver for successes seen through our PAWS (MBI) program. We applied for and were granted a school habitat & garden on behalf of Rimrock Subaru and the National Wildlife Federation. We look forward to all of the learning that will be achieved through this new outdoor science-lab! Our teachers and students continue to excel and our Panther community continues to be incredibly active participants in our school activities and events. Thank you for all of your support – we could not do it without you!

Summer brings many opportunities for professional growth in the education industry. Our teachers will be spending time at summer conferences; learning and updating our practices to ensure we continue to offer the best educational experiences possible.

The 2017-2018 school year brings a few changes; each aimed at continued improvement of our school climate and student achievement. As always, we welcome your thoughts and appreciate your feedback as we continue to make Pioneer an even more exceptional place to be and learn.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe summer. We will see you in August!

Melissa Schnitzmeier 6th Grade Teacher & Principal, Pioneer Elementary


The summer is here and the PTA would like to thank all the families, parents, students, teachers and staff for a wonderful year.  As the summer passes, jot down some cool ideas the PTA can do next year…socials, fund raisers, and how we can advocate for our students.

Our PTA provides SO MUCH for our school and we need more input and help from our parents and community.

Please plan to get involved next year.  We are in need of officers so that our students can benefit from all of these wonderful things that our PTA does!

Please consider contributing to this WONDERFUL and MUCH APPRECIATED resource for our school and students!

Events supported and staffed by PTA:

Without our PTA, we may not be able to have these great events!

Open House                                               Barnes & Noble Fundraiser

Christmas to Remember event          Christmas Program

Last Day of School Event                      Science Fair

Bugs                                                             Hot Lunches

Carnival                                                      Reflections Program

Teacher Appreciation Week              AR high scorers

AR Stores                                                 PAWS prizes

Bare books                                             Taste of Pioneer/Chili Cook-Off

PAWS party                                             Alberta Bair performances

Pizza                                                         Field Trips

Last Day of School BBQ and more!

Pioneer School students and staff would like to thank our wonderful PTA for sponsoring our PAWS day bowling at Sunset Lanes and ice cream after our field day!


School News

TOP Accelerated readers

Our wonderful Pioneer teachers wanted to reward our top AR students with Barnes & Noble gift cards!  We are so proud of these students for all of their hard work this year!  We would also like to thank Mrs. Russell, Joann Palmieri, PTA and all of the awesome shoppers for holding another great AR store.

These are the top AR point earners for this year:

First – Third Grade

  • First – Audun W – 170 pts
  • Second – Jozie J – 166 pts
  • Third – Rylee O – 40 pts

Fourth – Sixth

  • First – Jordan B – 355 pts
  • Second – Brylinn O – 121 pts
  • Third – Brooklyn O – 65 pts

The top AR point earner for the entire school year with 590 points is Laci J.

Our Kindergarten students were also doing AR tests this year. The top Kindergarten student was Bridger J with 46 points.

Congratulations to all these great readers!!


The following students have Perfect Attendance in the Fourth Quarter:

Kindergarten:                             1st Grade

Camden K                                         Carson K

Deacon K                                          Camdon O

Kensey W                                         Sarah W


2nd Grade                                     4th Grade

Izak H                                               Brooklyn O

Dylan K

Jozie J

Rylee O


5th Grade                                          6th Grade

Jace J                                                  Blake W

Abby M

These students had Perfect Attendance in the Second Semester:

Deacon K – Kindergarten

Kensey W – Kindergarten

Brooklyn Ostermiller – 4th Grade


Carson K missed only ½ half a day this year!

Outstanding Academic Achievement

Kelcey F. & Abby M. will be receiving the Outstanding Academic Achievement award for their continued efforts and hard work to do the best possible job that they can do.


Please remember to collect Box Tops & throughout the summer!  We appreciate all of your help in turning these in to get extra money and supplies for our school!

Thank you!!

Campbell’s Ends their program

Unfortunately, Campbell’s is ending their program, but we appreciate all labels that have been cut & saved for us over the years.


Are you looking for a great original gift? The Pioneer School 100th Anniversary Cookbooks are still available!! The price is $15.00 They are available in the school office, or send the money with your student and we will send your cookbook home with them. (For our out of town friends – please add $3.00 for shipping.)

Two Day cares in our area

Camp Becky’s Daycare and Preschool

406-855-6849 • 2700 Cass lane • Billings, MT

Kountry Kare Preschool and Daycare

406-373-5555 • 6643 Hwy 312 • Shepherd, MT