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Pioneer Paw Prints Newsletter September 2017

Pioneer School Billings

Pioneer Panthers Billings Montana

Welcome back Panthers!

Quick View of September’s events

  • No School! Monday, September 4th
  • Picture Day: Tuesday, September 5, Money must be turned in on or before picture day. Orders may be placed online. Preschoolers may come for pictures at 8:30 am. Please call the office if you have any questions or need extra picture forms. All students will be photographed on picture day whether you plan to purchase pictures or not.
  • PIR Day! No School Monday, September 18th
  • Open House! When: Thursday, September 21 Begins at 5:00 Don’t miss this special event!
  • Title 1 Meeting: Thursday, September 28 3:30-5:00

From the Principal

Dear Panther Families,
Welcome! We are excited that your family is part of Pioneer Elementary School. The first two weeks have been outstanding as our students and staff have gotten off to a great start. Newsletters will be sent home monthly and can be found on our district website. Also, the website is a great place for ongoing communications, including a copy of our school handbook. We look forward to partnering with you this year in providing the best educational experience for your child. Allow me a minute to introduce myself. My name is Melissa Schnitzmeier and I am both excited and honored to be serving another year as principal of Pioneer Elementary. This marks my second year as principal and sixth year at this wonderful little school. Over the course of those six years, our school has made incredible advances in our educational and technological resources and I look forward to continuing that success as we plan for the future. We are also enhancing our social media presence through our elementary school Facebook account. Please find your school on Facebook here.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite our Panther parents to become active members within our Panther community. We cannot attain the success we seek without input and help from you! You can do this by attending monthly board and PTA meetings, volunteering in the classrooms or our community events, and letting us know what you think! This year we aim to build a focus group in which parents and teachers will gather to relay information and discuss the district’s number one goal, doing what is best for our children. An invitation will be sent out inviting our Panther parents to be a part of this important group around the end of the first trimester. At any time do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of service to you or you have any questions about school happenings. I look forward to another outstanding year with all of you!

– Melissa Schnitzmeier

We have Four Fabulous New Teachers

Alisa Rau
Mrs. Rau, First Grade
Dylan McDermott
Mr. McDermott, 2/3 Grade Homeroom
Jerica Schatz
Ms. Schatz, 4/5/6 Grade Home Room
Teacher Eissinger
Mrs. Eissinger, Math & P.E.



Welcome to a new school year! I want your child to have a wonderful kindergarten experience. I believe that all children can and want to learn. As an educator, my goal is to help your child be an independent, lifelong learner. I want to develop and maintain an “I can” and “I will try” attitude. This positive attitude promotes success and happiness. Many important and exciting events will be happening this year that I will be relaying to you through notes and monthly newsletters, so I appreciate the time you are taking to
read this one.

Please feel free to contact me by note, e-mail, or voice mail. I am usually available from 7:45-8:15 a.m.and 3:30-3:45 p.m. daily. If the message needs immediate attention, it is best to call the school office and have them relay the message to me. HERE’S TO A WONDERFUL BEGINNING!! I am looking forward to an amazing year. I hope to see you and your child at the upcoming Open House
on Thursday, September 21st from 5-7PM.

Mrs. Burns

1st Grade

Dear Parents,
I want to welcome you and your children to our 1st grade class! The beginning of the year is an exciting time for the students and staff. We are learning all about each other, as well as the rules and procedures of our classroom and school.

As 1st graders, your children will be making a transition from a “play focused” learning environment into a more formal learning environment. This transition will assist in building skill that are crucial for students to become lifelong learners.

One of the most critical areas of learning in 1st grade is Reading. It has been said that developing good reading skills is the key to learning all other subjects. Therefore, reading will be a strong focus throughout our days at Pioneer Elementary. I also encourage parents to have your children read to you at night. I am looking forward to a fantastic year in 1st grade. Thank you for sharing your students with me!

– Mrs. Rau

2nd Grade & 3rd Grade

Welcome Back students and parents! You made it through the Summer! We are excited to be a fun and full classroom with 11 – 2nd graders and 6 – 3rd Graders! The students are getting into the routine of being back in school.

I passed out the student handbook, picture order forms, and Scholastic book orders last Friday. If these materials did not make it home to you for any reason, I have extra of each so please let me know and I will ensure that I send them home with your child again. I am new to Class Dojo, but am getting it set up this week and will send home an update on Tuesday, September, 5th when we begin to use it in the classroom.

We established our classroom promise to get things started in a positive way.

Classroom Promise
I promise to work together and do the right thing so we can all learn and have a great day!

If there are any questions, comments, or concerns please contact me as soon as possible at: for the fastest response.

– Mr. McDermott

Math for 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grade

School is officially in full swing! This means that brains are working extra hard in room 103. Summer fun has seemed to cloud a bit of what was learned last year, so students have been refreshing their memories with multiplication, addition, subtraction, money, and time games/activities. Moving forward, all math classes are starting their first topic in the enVision math curriculum. Second grade is working on writing number sentences and comparing addition/subtraction. Third grade will be working on ways to represent
numbers and getting more familiar with using number lines. Fourth grade is jumping right into multiplication properties and comparing multiplication/division. Lastly, I am doing my best to keep up with all the bright students I have been honored with this year.

Some things you can do at home to supplement your students’ learning would be to keep practicing math facts at their learning level, having students explain the graded work they bring home, and/or exploring the math we see around us every day (money purchases, checkbook registries, etc). As you start to see papers come home, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.

– Mrs. Eissinger

4th, 5th & 6th Grade

Welcome back to school and to what I hope will be the best school year yet! This is my first year at Pioneer Elementary. I thought you might like to learn a bit about me. I was born and raised in Billings. I am part of a big family and have 6 siblings. I enjoy spending time with my family. I enjoy the outdoors. I grew up hiking, rafting, caving, and enjoying all the things Montana has to offer.
I am so excited to be teaching your child/children. The first week went great. I have enjoyed getting to know all the students in my class. We had a busy first week! Already, we have gone over the classroom rules, routines, and expectations, reviewed math skills, read every day, practiced working together with teamwork challenges, created artwork, and completed MAP testing. It is my mission to instill a love for learning in all my students. I attempt to teach with passion. I will do my best to challenge and support each student so that they can reach their highest potential. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

– Miss Schatz


“Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school.”
—Beverly Cleary

A new school, new faces, new adventures, and many new memories waiting to lived and treasured! I look forward with enthusiasm and anticipation to our journey this year as we strive to improve, learn, create, share, and leave the impact of our experiences with one another, students, families, and our community.

Our school library has new books to take our students on new adventures as we travel through the pages. I would be glad to assist parents in locating books they would like to share with their students at home. Our school library is to benefit all of us as we read, read, and read some more. Reading is truly the greatest gift we cans give our students as it will support them across all avenues of both education and enjoyment in life.

Our Accelerated Reader program is going strong. Please feel free to stop in and visit about this invaluable reading support for our students. We have revamped our AR points and goals to better benefit the students, as well as making the twice yearly AR Stores an exciting opportunity for all students.

Our first Barnes & Noble Book Fair will be October 28th at Barnes & Noble. There will be a variety of games, contests, activities, and prizes for all our students and families. Although this notice is far in advance, please mark your calendars and join us for a great day with friends and families! I look forward to sharing this year of discovery, exploration, and learning with you!

—Mrs. Russell, Librarian

Physical Education

All students in PE/Health have been keeping very active. They always start our PE days doing group stretches and warmups. Students are working on teamwork, and what it means to have “good
sportsmanship”. So far students have worked on teamwork skills while playing kickball, activity stations, and line tag. Soon we will be playing dodgeball and basketball. The next skills students will be working on are ball-handling and catching. As the school day becomes more routine, health will be added at least once a

As you can imagine, the heat has been very hard to be out in. Students get frequent breaks to take rests and get drinks. With that being said, please remember to send your student with a water bottle, that way class time won’t be compromised by running to the water fountain.

– Mrs. Eissinger

News from your PTA

Welcome back to school! Our Panther PTA is looking forward to having another great year!

Our 2017-2018 officers are:

  • Jody Goddard – President
  • Nick Anderson – Vice president
  • Lindi Anderson – Treasurer
  • Crystal Bouchard – Secretary

A special announcement! Our Panther PTA meets the first week of each month. Notices regarding which day we will be meeting will be sent home a week prior to the event. It is our hope to recruit as many Panther parents as possible to attend these important meetings. Remember! You can always ZOOM into the meetings if you cannot make the actual meeting. Zoom works much like Skype and allows our Panther community to stay informed while remaining at home!

Help Needed

We are still in need of hot lunch/pizza servers. If you can assist, please let us know!

Value of the Month: Respect

All About Respect


Hello! Here at school, we have been very busy learning about respect, what it means, why it’s important and how to do it! 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 respect 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 respect:

  • Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watson
  • Dude That’s Rude by Pamela Espeland
  • The Golden Rule by Jeffrey Wattles

Practice It!

Think about specific needs and preferences of everyone in your house. Make a list. Spend one week together trying to be mindful of each other’s needs and wants. Talk about the effects this experiment has on your family.

Talk About It!

Here are some discussion points to help you talk about respect with your child:

  • What do you think it means to be respectful and why is it important?
  • What are some ways you can be more respectful at home, at school and in the community?
  • Are there any ways that you would like me to be more respectful to you?
  • What are some reasons it can be hard to be respectful?

You can download the printable PDF of the Newsletter here