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Pioneer PAWS Newsletter November



turkey-eat-beefUpcoming Events

November 1

PTA Meeting 6:00 pm

November 8

Parent/Teacher Conferences


November 9 & 21

taco-soup-potHOT LUNCHES (9th Taco Soup)

Special day (21st Turkey Dinner)

November 23, 24 & 25



christmas-programMark your calendars for the Christmas Program

Pioneer Christmas Program is December 21st at the Lincoln Center – 7:00 pm


Parent/Teacher conferences will be held Tuesday, November 8th.  Many of you called to schedule your conference time.  If we did not hear from you, your time was scheduled for you.  If you cannot make it to your conference, please call the school as soon as possible.

  • The first notice was sent home Friday, October 28th
  • A reminder notice will be sent home on November 7th

Mrs. Russell & Mr. Wallace will be available on a first come first serve basis if you wish to visit with either of them about your child’s progress.  Conferences are set in 15 minutes intervals.  If you feel you need more than the allotted 15 minutes, please plan to schedule a conference for another day.

Due to the elections, Ms. Gordon will hold her conferences in the lunchroom.

cell-phone-text-alertEmergency Contact Numbers

Pioneer School is implementing a new texting program to inform our families of emergency school closures, bus issues, etc.  A form went home asking what number(s) you would like the text to be delivered to.  If you have not returned that form, please do so as soon as possible.  The texts will come from 406-373-5357.  You can also contact the school now through this texting program.  Please remember if it is an emergency, it is still best to call the school.  Thanks for helping us get this up and running!!

PTA News


Pioneer’s PTA has been up to business as usual, which means we’ve been busy, as usual.  Several things were discussed at our last meeting including teacher support, changes to our hot lunch program, holiday events, new school equipment, and allocation of funds in our budget.

We had our annual Barnes and Noble book fair at the end of October.  It was a fun Saturday filled with costume contests, candy and of course, books!  Thanks to everyone who came out and to Barnes and Noble for hosting us.  Our next meeting is November 3rd, at 6pm in room 105.  We would love to see a greater turnout.  If you can’t physically make it to the meeting, but would still like to attend via FaceTime, please contact SKelly Adkins at skellyadkins@gmail.com.

We’re always looking for volunteers for school events and to help in our lunchroom and classrooms.  If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact our president, Jody Goddard at jodygoddard1963@gmail.com.

Ike Wallace (PTA Vice President)

Mrs. Russell – Library/Resource/Title I

Gift wrapped bookWe ‘capped off’ October with another great Barnes & Noble book fair!  We had so many wonderful events, oodles of people, and loads of fun!  There was face painting, costumes galore, delightful carved pumpkins, games, giggles, and enthusiasm.  The perfect ending for one of my favorite months!  I want to thank everyone for your support and participation!  Pioneer families are the best! I also want to congratulate the winner of our Samsung Nook tablet raffle…Julie Hyneman!  Enjoy the many books available to you on your Nook!

And speaking of a great time, let’s talk about the new books from our Fall Book Buying trip!  Woo! Hoo!  Now that is a fantastic time!  We have so many delightful new titles and selections to choose from for your reading pleasure!  Just think… books are an adventure waiting to be shared and we just brought in several BIG boxes full of adventures to explore!  Stop by and visit with me to plan your next exciting adventure!  Impromptu book talks given upon request!  WE LOVE BOOKS!

“There should be a little voice in your head like the storyteller is saying it.
And if there’s not, then you’re just lookin’ at the words.”

—LaKeisha (9th Grader in San Francisco)

Since we are ‘talking books’ I must remind you that books are one fantastic gift choice for your students!  The adventure can be enjoyed over and over again!  Foster in your child the love and true enjoyment of reading!  This is a gift that will last a lifetime and help them in ALL their academic pursuits!  Have questions about specific books or titles?  Our Accelerated Reader program?  Your child’s reading level?  Please feel free to stop by and visit with me!  Or call me at 373-5357.  Let’s work together to boost your student’s success and improve their reading skills and confidence!

—Mrs. Russell

Mrs. Fanus – 2nd/3rd Grade

Our class has been very busy learning about fire safety, visiting the pumpkin patch, and finishing up our science unit on the life cycle of plants and animals.

2nd and 3rd graders would also like to share their favorite fall treat:

  • hot-apple-pieAudie- Pumpkin pie
  • Aiden- Brownies
  • Rylee- Pumpkin Pie
  • Carson- Pumpkin pie
  • Izak- Birthday cupcakes
  • Dylan- Caramel apples with sprinkles
  • Roni- Caramel apple pie
  • Jacoby- Candy
  • Jozie- Caramel apple covered in rice crispies
  • Kara- Hershey Kisses
  • Kylan- Pumpkin Pie
  • Tanner- Cookies
  • Mrs. Fanus- Pumpkin pie


Book It: Our class is participating in the Book It program. Please return your log sheet at the end of each month with the goal sheets to earn a Pizza Hut free pizza coupon.

This month’s focuses:

  • Math: (second grade) Starting to work with place value to 100. We will continue math centers that practice addition and subtraction fact fluency.
  • Reading: Studying different genres and discussing the main idea of more complex text with supporting details.
  • Writing: Starting to explore informative texts about a specific topic by using facts and providing a concluding statement.

—Mrs. Fanus

Kindergarten – Mrs. Burns

Kindergarten Happenings:

During the month of October the class had the opportunity to visit the Shepherd Volunteer Fire Department. THANK YOU to all the volunteers and for teaching us about fire safety.  We would also like to thank the Pioneer PTA for the field trip to JK Farms and our chaperones for helping with our classes.  The kindergarten class had a wonderful time at the pumpkin patch.


  • abc-blocksUnderstanding that flowers have parts that do different jobs and make fruit and seeds
  • Understanding that looking closely at nature helps us see new and different things and appreciate nature
  • Initial and medial sound “a”
  • Nouns for more than one
  • Proper nouns
  • Initial and final sound “s”
  • Character, setting, and plot



  • Comparing and ordering numbers 0 to 10
  • One and two more
  • One and two fewer
  • Ordering numbers on a number line


  • leaves
  • nocturnal animals
  • growing a pumpkins

Social Studies

  • Fire safety
  • Voting

I am looking forward to visiting with all of you during parent/ teacher conferences.


First Grade – Miss Gordon

Hello All!

Fall is flying by and October has been a whirlwind of activity!

In math, we’ve continued working on our number fluency and using models to show adding and subtracting within ten (including word problems!). Our first-graders have been doing well, and are just getting ready to start our forth unit that will tie all these skills together.

In reading, we’ve been focusing on the short vowel sounds, continued work with sight words, and learning about Realistic Fiction and Animal Fantasy stories. With a couple of spelling tests in the books, we’re cruising right along and doing a great job working on sounding out words!

October also brought a couple of fantastic field trips our way! So a big thank you to the Sheperd Volunteer Fire Department and J&K Farms for letting us spend some time learning about fire safety, and picking pumpkins!

Lastly, a question that I’m sure has been a focus in your household this month, What is everyone being for Halloween this year?!

  • halloweenElijah: An army guy because they are cool!
  • Paxton: Bacon and Eggs because they’re yummy.
  • Jared: A ninja because they have a cool sword.
  • Colton: A Call of Duty guy because my dad found the costume for me.
  • Carson: An army guy because it’s awesome!
  • Camdon: A skeleton because they’re creepy.
  • Jacob: Jason because he has scary bloody things, but I’m not bringing those to school.
  • Chevelle: A ninja turtle because I like them.
  • Holden: A crocodile because they kill stuff… that’s why they’re cool.
  • Piper: The Queen of Hearts because I like the show a lot.
  • Sarah: A werewolf because I really really like dogs.
  • Kaden: A skeleton because I have a skeleton jacket that zips over my face and is really cool!
  • Ayden: I’m going to be a cop because my family is being batman characters so I get to arrest my mom and dad.
  • Allison: I’m going to be a pirate because I have a light up dress!
  • Miss G: I think I’m going to be a cactus because… why not?!

Thanks so much for all you do! Don’t forget that parent teacher conferences are Tuesday November 8th so call and schedule yours!

Until then,

-Miss Gordon

mathMr. Wallace – 3rd/6th Grade Math/PE/GT

Hey.  Hope everyone had a great October and a happy Halloween!  Also, if there’s any baseball fans reading this (particularly Cubs or Indians fans) I hope you enjoyed the series.   I am a huge Cleveland Indians fan, so October was an exciting month for me.  As I’m writing this before the series has ended, I’m hoping the end was favorable for Cleveland.  Regardless of what happened, it’s a great thing to see two basketballteams that have suffered through championship droughts meet up in the dance.  Fortunately, there was no drought as far as learning is concerned in my classes this past month.

Sixth grade wrapped up the month learning how to solve and create equations that require solving for unknown variables and performing basic operations.  This class continues to impress me with the progress we make daily and their fearless approach to learning.  In November, we will explore number and fraction concepts, and learn how to seamlessly translate fractions, decimals and mixed numbers.  We will also begin a poetry unit during our time before math in the mornings.  I’m excited to share my love of literature with these young minds and continue to conquer whatever our math curriculum throws at us.

yycnThird grade spent a good portion of our time together this past month learning how to add and subtract 3 digit and 4 digit numbers by examining place value.  We also touched briefly on multiplication at the end of the month.  Moving forward, we will continue to examine multiplication and then devote December to learning division.  It’s been quite a transition from second grade to third for this class.  A lot has been asked of them thus far, and I’m encouraged to see they’ve been up to the task.  Here’s to more learning as we move into November.

October’s inclement weather paired with beautiful weather has us inside and outside quite a bit.  We explored the game of basketball and the skills that come with it as well as touching on Volleyball at the end of the month.  As the weather becomes colder and we’re forced inside, we will begin to cover health topics and quick workouts.  As we transition to December, we’ll focus on leisure sports such as Bowling and Ping Pong.

Our Gifted and Talented program will finally begin in November.  As we’ve made some changes to our program, including a new referral process and testing system, we’ve had somewhat of a delay in getting things going.  However, most districts do not begin G/T until after the first quarter so according to most schedules, we’re right where we need to be.  I would’ve liked to start sooner, but I would’ve liked to see the Indians win the World Series back in 97’.  We do what we can.

That’s all for now.  As always, if there is any way I can be of greater help to your child, please never hesitate to let me know.

Mr. October

Nurse Karen

eye-examEye Safety and Vision

Eyes are an important part of our bodies that provide us with the ability to see and understand the world around us. Our eyes are a delicate and precious organ that we need to take extra good care of and that is why we should focus on eye safety and vision. In the next month; Nurse Karen, Rebecka (MSU Student nurse) and students will be learning about the eye and how it works.

About one third of the human race has 20-20 vision. Glasses and contact wearers are hardly alone in a world where two thirds of the population have less than perfect vision. The amount of people with perfect vision decreases further as they age. Most children have healthy eyes. But there are conditions that can threaten good vision. Because you can’t always “look” into your child’s eyes to tell if they have eye health problems, set up some time today for an eye exam:

  • Your child’s eyes should be examined during regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted around age three.
  • glassesParents should be aware of signs that may indicate their child has vision problems, including:
    • Wandering or crossed eyes
    • A family history of childhood vision problems
    • Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
    • Squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television

Virtually all sport eye injuries could be prevented by wearing proper eye protection. Anyone who experiences a sports eye injury should immediately visit an ophthalmologist, a doctor who specializes in eye care. Children should:

  • Wear protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities
  • Play with are age-appropriate toys. Avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts

Amazing Eye fact

An eye is composed of more than 2 million working parts.

—Karen Graf RN-BC, BSN, PHN
Pioneer School Nurse

Grades 4 & 5 – Ms. Ticknor

nile-rodeoAnother month has already come and gone. October has been a busy month, in the fourth and fifth grade!  We enjoyed a field trip to the NILE, Shepherd fire station, and Alberta Bair Theater.


We are already in our fifth unit!  Students have mastered adding and subtracting across zeros.  They have also learned mental math strategies and how to use compensation to add and subtract.  In the month of November, we will be jumping into multiplication.


We have been reading non-fiction articles each week in small groups.  Students are challenging themselves to delve deeper into the text to better understand what they are reading.  We also finished reading the book Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.  Students wrote, directed, produced, and acted in a play about their favorite part of the book.  If you were unable to join us, please check out the link to each play on our class website: www.ticknor.weebly.com


Students have been working each week to produce paragraphs.  This month we have been focusing on adding complex and compound sentences to our writing.


We are learning about different climates of the world.  Students are also learning how to predict weather patterns based on fronts and changing air masses.


We are wrapping up our unit on the Eastern states and moving into the Southern states in the upcoming weeks.


This month we have been working with sculpting and shading.  Students created, painted, and sketched their own original masterpieces.

—Miss Ticknor

Mrs. Schnitzmeier’s News!

Principal’s News

report-cardHappy Fall! Thanks to all of you for your support of our Barnes & Noble Fall Book Fair. We appreciate your hard work and giving generously of your time for our students.

Quarter 1 report cards will be distributed this month at Parent-Teacher conferences. Please be sure you’ve scheduled an appointment with your child’s teacher. Parent teacher communication is important to us! During Parent-Teacher conferences, you will be receiving your child’s report card. The report card is a progress report and represents the progress achieved during each quarter.  It informs you and your child about areas of success and areas of growth. Their academic career is a life-long journey. Celebrate their accomplishments and encourage their continued growth by setting goals.  By doing this, you demonstrate your support and motivate your child to continue to strive for excellence. !

PAWSitive Notes!

Our PAWS program is a proactive  approach in creating positive behavioral supports and social culture within our school community. Each month, we select a value that is taught and demonstrated by your students to their peers. They are then tasked with ‘catching’ other students and staff exhibiting these values. !

November’s Value is Gratitude

give-thanksGratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation!

Ways you can be Grateful or show Gratitude include:!

  • Name everything you are grateful for.!
  • Write a thank-you  note!
  • Give back to those who help you, or help someone in need!
  • Say thank you!
  • Tell a friend how much they mean to you!

Book Ideas:

edication-sayingThe Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein!

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss! Bear  Says Thanks (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson! I’m Thankful Each Day! by P.K. Hallinan!

Have a wonderful November! Please feel free to pop in and visit any time!!

Best Wishes,

—Melissa Schnitzmeier
Principal, Pioneer Elementary

Classroom News

5th Grade Math

We continue to work our way through the seven standards in Numbers Base Ten. We’ve moved on from place value and learned how to add and subtract decimals up to the thousandths place. We’ve learned and used the different multiplication properties to evaluate equations and are currently working our way through mutli-digit multiplication.  Next up, we’ll uncover how to divide decimals!

6th Grade ELA

We are working our way through our second unit in Reading Street. Our focus in this unit will be informational text. We’ll look at main idea and supporting details, text structure, comparing and contrasting different author’s perspectives, and graphic sources. In writing, we’re moving from narratives into our informative/explanatory unit. In this unit, we’ll learn to examine different topics while analyzing and expressing ideas presented within our research.

6th Grade Science

We’ve wrapped up our review of the classification of living organisms and dug into cells and organelle functions. As we study each important organelle, we’ll begin constructing 3-D models of plant cells in class! The sixth graders have been encouraged to bring items from home that might aid

6th Grade Social Studies

We’ve uncovered the details about how the United States Government system works and what each branch is responsible for. Now that we have an understanding of the processes, we’re beginning to dive into the election portion of our government unit. The students are learning all of the different terminology used, and beginning to evaluate our current presidential candidates as well as mock candidates. This month, we will hold our very own ‘Mock Election’ in which they will vote someone into office.

campbells-soup-labelsBOX TOPS & CAMPBELL’S SOUP LABELS!!

Please remember to collect Box Tops & Campbell’s Soup labels throughout the school year! We appreciate all of your help in turning these in to get extra money and supplies for our school!

Thank you!!


Are you looking for a great original Christmas 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.)

The Newsletter PDF is Downloadable Here