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Transitioning to Departmentalization starting 2017-2018

What Is Departmentalization?!?

In the traditional elementary setting, students are in self-contained classrooms where their teachers work to be masters in seven different areas. In Pioneer specifically, students are often placed into combination classrooms where our teachers work to create individualized instruction for students in two grade levels, in seven different areas.While Pioneer has maintained a high level of success for years, the recent paradigm shift in education has made it necessary to alter our instructional strategies to ensure our students’ continue to thrive!

Through departmentalization, our teachers will now specialize in a few core subjects rather than maintaining seven, allowing for better differentiation and more individualized instruction for every student.

In addition to specializing in two content areas, they will teach those subjects in the same lesson. When the students learn math, they will then be able to apply that to what they learn in science. When they learn language arts, they will be able to apply that to what they learn in social studies.

Why the Change?

Unfortunately, our student count is down resulting in a reduction in funding. This development made our team step back and evaluate what education would look like at Pioneer next year. The result was larger, combined classrooms, which would not benefit our students or our teachers. Looking to our mission for guidance, we began to evaluate ways that we could better group our students and foster a more purposeful learning environment where every student will be successful.

Read the Full Article about Pioneer Transitioning to Departmentalization

Here is a snapshot of how the classes and learning with be organized

Self-Contained Classrooms-Kindergarten/First Grade

  • KINDERGARTEN:       Jami Burns
  • FIRST GRADE:             Karissa Gordon

Departmentalized Classrooms – 2nd – 6th Grade

  • 2nd/3rd Homeroom: Room 105       Dylan McDermott
  • 4th-6th Homeroom:  Room 102       Jerica Schatz

ELA/Social Studies                                    

  • 2nd & 3rd         Dylan McDermott
  • 4th – 6th          Melissa Schnitzmeier


  • 2nd & 3rd          Jennifer Painter
  • 4th – 6th           Jerica Schatz & Jennifer Painter


  • Library/SPED/TITLE:                                            Connie Russell
  • PE/Aide:                                                             Jennifer Painter