Newsletter Header with Snowman

Pioneer Paw Prints Newsletter February 2018

Newsletter Header Image Kid and Chalk Board

  • February 5th PTA Meeting @ 6:00Icon Principal's News in the Newsletter
  • February 7th Class/Spring Picture Day! Hot Lunch
  • February 9th End of Trimester 2
  • February 12th Board Meeting @ 6:00
  • February 15th Report Cards Home
  • February 16th Panther REEF Party (tentative)
  • February 19th NO SCHOOL February 21st Hot Lunch
  • February 23rd Pancake Breakfast!
  • REMINDER!!! As winter continues, it is important that students dress accordingly! Please ensure your students come well prepared to be outdoors during recess.

Principal’s News

Dear Panther Families,

Hot Chili Pepper Cartoon Character

Thank you to all of our Panther Families that came out to enjoy our annual Chili Cook-Off! It was a splendid evening and we really enjoyed getting to mingle and taste-test with everyone! Truthfully, every chili was truly outstanding!

Congratulations to our winners:

  • First Place – Mike Diaz
  • Second Place – Kathryn Peterson
  • Third Place – Katie Gerke

It is difficult to believe that Trimester 2 is coming to an end! Since returning from Winter Break, students have been engaged in exciting new learning and activities. One of the most important skills that we can teach our young Panthers is to become independent learners. As educators, we demonstrate the expected behavior or skill; facilitating guided practice, followed by independent practice. To aid us in promoting your child’s independence, you can demonstrate, guide practice, and promote practice at home by allowing students to pack their own healthy lunches, chipping in on daily chores such as dishes, putting away clean laundry, and cleaning up after oneself.

During the month of February our teachers and students will be exploring special events such as Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, Presidents Day, and Valentines Day. There are a myriad of fun activities and lessons that will teach the customs and history behind each of these events.

A quick reminder!

We are always collecting Box Tops for Education! The money raised helps provide essentials for

—Melissa Schnitzmeier – Principal, Pioneer Elementary

Hearts all in a row representing Gratitude

Newsletter Banner School News Pioneer


Hello and welcome to February which tells me that spring is right around the corner. We have been having a great time growing and learning all year! We are continuing to become more independent at school and hopefully at home too. We still do have some weather ahead of us so remember to send warm clothes. We will be having classroom Valentine’s Day party so watch for more information in your child’s take home folder.


The children are continuing to add words to their word wall and sound out words! By doing this they are increasing their sight word knowledge! The children are becoming better readers and writers each day! Continue to practice these skills at home too!


The children are continuing to practice adding numbers to 5 as well as composing and decomposing number to 10.

I hope you have a fabulous month!

—Mrs. Burns

First Grade

Cartoon ABC BlocksWhere is the time going? The first graders have been extremely busy this last month beefing up their reading and math skills. It is so much fun to see all of the growth that these students have made in all of our core subjects. Throughout February, we will continue with our reading groups, and whole class math lessons. Spelling work has become a regular part of our reading time, but it should also be practiced at home. If possible, try to spend a little bit of time each night helping your child practice their spelling words.

There are many exciting things that will be happening in February, but the students are most excited about Valentines Day, and getting a new student. On February 13th, we will be getting a new student named Peyton. We would like to make sure that she will be included in our Valentines party on the 14th, So please make sure to have your child make a Valentines card for her as well.

—Mrs. Rau

Math cartoon and AppleSecond & Third Math

2nd Grade

Second graders are being challenged this unit with adding and subtracting double digit numbers. They will start with adding tens and then ones. They will move onto adding on a number chart and adding multiples of 10. The biggest challenge with this seems to be knowing what numbers to add in what order. Remind students to keep their numbers lined up and neat, when working with them at home. Again, please practice any addition and subtraction you can at home to help keep the kiddos fluent in their math skills.

3rd Grade

Third graders have started to learn about grouping and repeated addition, to prepare for the upcoming intro to multiplication. They know how to draw and array and interpret the data. Flash cards have been made and will be sent  home. Practice will be required. It is crucial that students master their multiplication facts, as they are another foundation for math that is to come. Third graders “crushed” their Topic 4 tests, and I have no doubt that they will also fly through topic 5. In this topic students will use patterns as introductions to multiplication. They will work with 0,1,5,9,and 10, as factors. Third graders seem to be excited about learning multiplication, and I hope they can keep this excitement as motivation while working through this topic.

—Mrs. Eissinger

Second & Third ELA/Science/Social Studies

Cartoon Lady Bug and PencilParents, I want to thank you for your continued support as we move through the school year. The students are doing great and I sure appreciate your help from home.

We continue with our AR reading. Each student is working hard to read their books so they can go to the AR store in March. The beginning of this month we will focus on review material and assessments as we work towards the end of the second trimester mid-month.

We will be doing some lessons around the Olympics this month. It is a great time to incorporate, Science, Social Studies and a little fun into their day.

There will be separate information about Valentine’s day coming out.


Class and Spring Pictures will be taken on Wednesday, February 7th. A flyer with this information was sent home on the 25th.

Class pictures must have money on Wednesday, February 7th. This is the only opportunity to purchase class pictures; they must send their envelope back on or before picture day. Thanks for your continued snack refills. Looking forward to a great February. As always please connect with me about your son or daughter if you have any questions or concerns.

—Mr. McDermott

Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth Grade

4th Grade Math

4th grade learned how division is related to multiplication, and the explanations behind the processes. They know how to divide with 1 digit divisors and what it means to have a remainder. We have wrapped up topic 9, and will now be moving onto topic 10. This topic will develop students’ fluency in division. Shortly after they have passed division, we will begin to work with fractions and decimals. Keep practicing multiplication facts at home with your students, as division is easier when students know the multiplication facts that match.

—Mrs. Eissinger

Reading & English Language Art

The fourth, fifth and sixth grade classrooms have been working incredibly hard! We began the year diving into our Literature Standards. In Trimester 2, we continued working on our literature skills but began to dabble in Informational Text as well. As we move into Trimester 3, focus shifts to Informational Text and the skills and tools necessary to access, comprehend, and expand upon factual information. These skills include analyzing texts from multiple sources, identifying the main idea/supporting details, and gathering factual information to piece together and publish expository essays. It’s going to be an amazing February!

—Mrs. Schnitzmeier

Cartoon of Kids and Alphabet

4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Math/Science/Social Studies

We are more than halfway through the year! The time has gone by so quickly! The class has settled back into the classroom routine after winter break and we are now moving quickly through all the different topics.

In Math 5th grade has learned the basics of algebraic expressions, order of operations, and variables in expressions. We will now start working with fractions. In the next few weeks they will learn how to make equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, and adding and subtraction mixed numbers.
th grade has been learning how to add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers. Now they will be learning how to multiply and divide fractions and mixed numbers. There are a lot of steps involved when working with fractions and the students have been working hard to remember and master each step.

In science we have wrapped up our exploration of space. We will now be learning about ecosystems. The students will explore energy in ecosystems, different ecosystems, and parts of an ecosystem including the biotic and abiotic factors. We will also be doing some hands science and learning how to use science equipment. The science fair is coming up quickly so the students will be starting work on their science fair projects. Information about the science fair will be going home with each student the first week of February.

In social studies we will be learning about the basics of economics. We will also be focusing on geography. We have already discussed the 7 continents and what geographers do. During February we will learn how to read a map, about different regions, and how studying the changes in the past could help us today and in the future.

In art during February the students will have the chance to enter two different art contests. The students can choose not to enter either contest, or they can choose one or even both of the contests. The first contest is doodle 4 google were the students entering would need to create a google logo with the theme what inspires them. You can learn more about the contest by going to The second contest is a fire prevention art contest by the organization Keep Montana Green. The students entering would need to create an art piece that includes the message “prepare, prevent, protect”. You can learn more at Keep Montana Green.


—Miss Schatz

Cartton of Kids around big Letters that say READLibrary

March 10th is the date for our big spring Barnes & Noble fundraiser! It will be held at Barnes & Noble from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will have several great contests, activities, and of course our much anticipated raffle. This year’s spring raffle item has yet to be determined, but I’m sure it will be another FANTASTIC raffle. Your students love new books to read! If you can’t be there on March 10th, please take advantage of the online book fair. You can order online, put in the Pioneer code, and we will still get credit for it. Watch for the posters on the front door and be sure and ask me if you have
any questions. Please join us for face-painting, treats, games, contests, and overall great fun! MORE INFORMATION TO BE COMING SOON!

Our next big event is the upcoming Pancake Breakfast on Friday, February 23rd here at Pioneer School. Stop by the school between 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. for hot fresh pancakes, coffee, orange juice, and milk! Mr. Maddox and Mr. Seavy will be my dedicated pancake flippers and I will be serving the juice, milk, or coffee. It’s always great to come in out of the cool (or cold) morning to a warm room filled with laughter, friends, and good food! What is your favorite? Blueberry pancakes or plain pancakes? We will have both so please plan on joining us for a ‘flipping’ good time!

—Mrs. Russell

Physical Education & HealthCartoon of Kids Playing Sports

Since the weather has turned cold, students have been participating in several indoor activities like yoga, freeze dance, stations, bowling, circuit workouts, target throwing games, team building exercises and balloon keep away. In health students learned briefly what CPR is and what it looks like to administer CPR. The students did not perform the actual act, but I encourage families to get certified as you never know when CPR will be useful. February is heart month, and with that we will be learning correlating information about the heart. Students will learn the parts of the heart and what they do. They will learn how to take their heart rates and what heart rate means. They will also learn ways to keep the heart healthy and strong.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!

Have a heartwarming February!

—Mrs. Eissinger

Cartoon Letter of PTA and Apple

Pioneer PTA

Pioneer PTA has been working on scheduling a School Night at the Reef! We have a tentative date planned for February 16th! More details to come so keep your eyes peeled and ears open for updates!! Our next PTA Meeting will be Monday the 5th at 6pm. For those that are interested in attending meetings, you are always welcome! Membership enrollment stays open throughout the year so feel free to stop in and join us anytime! For more information check out our website @ Pioneer PTA Vice President Pioneer

—Pioneer PTA Vice President, Paula Tokarski

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Nurse Notes

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span?

Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.

In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

—Karen Graf RN Pioneer School Nurse

Banner Announcements and Events

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Pioneer School Board Trustee Opening

There will be 2 seats open on the Pioneer School Board. You may pick up a nomination petition in the school office. In order to be eligible, the candidate must reside and be a registered voter in the Pioneer Elementary School District. Nomination Petitions must be turned in by March 29, 2018. The election will be held in May. School Board meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. We encourage our Panther Community’s presence!

Cartoon of Group of kidsClass Picture Day!

  • Wednesday, February 7th
  • Money must be received on or before 2/7/18. This will be the ONLY opportunity to purchase the pictures.
  • Cost: $11.00
  • All 6th Graders will receive their class pictures for free!

Presidents Day Banner with Stars

Individual Spring Pictures

A pose selection area will be on the class picture flyer. This needs to be returned on or before picture day. All students will have their picture taken unless a note is provided saying otherwise.

Pancake Breakfast with Cartoon Kids

Pictures will be sent home at which point you may choose to purchase all of a portion of the pictures. Preschoolers are welcome to come at 8:30 am to be photographed!

No School! February 19th

16th Annual Pancake Breakfast!!! February 23

Icon of PAWS Value of the MonthValue of the Month: All About Courage


Hello! Here at school, we have been very busy learning about courage – what it means, and why it’s important and how we can learn to work together! Learning happens best when it is done both at school and at home. Below are many ways that you can help your child continue to learn about the theme of courage through reading about it, talking about it, and practicing it! We have really enjoyed exploring this topic at school, and we hope your family will enjoy it just as much!

Read About It!

  • Here are some books to help you learn more about courage.
  • Sheila Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henkes
  • Oh Yeah! by Bernard Weber
  • The Bravest Fish by Matt Buckingham

Practice It!

Together with your child, create a list of things you are afraid to try. Hang this list in a visible place, and cross them off when you have accomplished them. Everyone in the family can have things on this list. A great way to teach children that courage knows no age!

Talk About It!

  • Here are some discussion points to help you talk about courage with your child:
  • What do you think courage means and why is it important?
  • Tell me about a time that you did something you were afraid to do. How did you feel after?
  • What keeps you from being courages sometimes?
  • Is there anyway that I can help you be more courageous?
  • What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
  • Who is the most courageous person you know?