Panther PAWPrints Newsletter

February 2020

Campus News

Kindness Challange

February is national kindness month and Mrs. S has created a special challenge! All Panthers have been challenged to a daily random act of kindness! With 29 days in February that is 2,059 opportunties to show kindness on our campus! We will celebrate reaching our goals with a campus kindness celebration in March!

2020 Chili Cook-Off

1st Place - Joshua Thompson

2nd Place - Joe Peterson

3rd Place - Tie! Katie Roberts & Mrs. Rau!

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* Class pictures must have money on Wednesday, February 11th. This is the only opportunity to purchase class pictures; you must send your envelope back on or before picture day.

* The class pictures are $11.00.

* All 8th grade students will receive an 8th grade class picture for free. If the 8th graders would like a 6th – 8th class picture, these must be purchased.

* New this year: All students will be photographed for the individual pictures. You may order online or by sending in your payment on or before picture day. If you choose not to order, you will receive a proof of the pictures, at which time you can purchase a packet on the Lifetouch website if you choose to.

* Please call the school if you have any questions.

Potential 2020-2021 Calendar Changes

The Board has been entertaining the idea of moving the district to a 4-day school week in the future. We value our Panther families' opinions and would like to give you the opportunity to voice your ideas and/or concerns with a potential calendar change such as this. We invite our Panther families to join us for the next meeting of the Board on Monday, February 10th. The meeting begins at 4:30, and we plan to discuss this particular agenda item around 6:00 pm.

School Board Trustee Opening

There will be two seats open on the Pioneer School Board.

There will be one seat open on the Board that is a 3 year term

There will also be one seat open on the Board that is a 1 year term.

You may pick up a nomination petition in the school office after December 12 or contact Mrs. Michael and she can email the form to you.

You must reside and be registered to vote in Pioneer School District to run for the School Board.

Nomination Petitions must be turned in by March 26 by 5:00 pm. The election will be held in May.

School Board meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at 4:30 pm – the public is always welcome.

If you have any questions about the Pioneer School Board, please contact Mrs. Michael

Now Hiring!

Interested in making a difference? Pioneer Elementary is looking for substitute teachers and we'd love to add you to our list!

Pay: $80.00 a day

Apply by emailing:

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Transportation News

Cold Weather Information

As our Montana weather becomes colder and potentially more severe, it’s important for parents and students to remember to dress warmly and think smartly, especially when it comes to waiting for a school transportation vehicle. Everyone should be prepared for potentially severe weather conditions. Here’s what you need to know….

* Parents/guardians always make the final decision as to whether or not it is safe to send their child to school. If parents decide to send their child to school when the weather is severe, the school will be open to receive them so long as we have not closed the school due to the severe weather.

* In the event that the school is closed, our Panther families will be notified via text message. In addition, a message will be sent out via the media and our school Facebook page.

* Parents and students should expect delays due to traffic and hazardous road conditions. This means a potentially long wait time for students at the bus stop. Students should be well prepared for extreme weather and have very clear instructions on what to do if the school vehicle does not arrive. Children should be escorted to their bus stop and parents should remain with them until the bus arrives. Parents should have backup arrangements in case of an emergency. That plan should be written down, communicated with children and the paper copy put into the student’s school bag.

Now Hiring!

Pioneer Elementary is searching for a substitute bus driver! Must have CDL with passenger endorsement. The position is an "on-call" position and pays $90.00 a day.

Contact Melissa Schnitzmeier or Marilyn Michael at (406)373-5357 for more information.

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Nurse Karen's News

In accordance with the Montana Health Enhancement Content Standards, the students in grades 6-8 received education about blood borne diseases: HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis. Beginning with the basics, students learned about HIV and how it disables the immune system, leaving the infected person vulnerable to an array of diseases. This presentation explained how to avoid transmission of pathogens, with emphasis on those carried by blood and other bodily fluids.

Students in grades 4 and 5 learned about adolescent physical development and hormones with an emphasis on emotional health, self-respect, and responsible decision making.

Follow up from December: Experiment about protecting against germs: handwashing vs hand sanitizer and Honey wheat vs. white bread.

Students with various levels of cleanliness touched pieces of bread and then sealed them in individual plastic bags. The posters were kept in Nurse Karen’s office over the holiday break.

One month later: Here are the results below. Grades 5-8 show no growth and grades 2-3 have green and orange growth. We will talk about potential whys for no growth in the bread for grades 5-8.

Application: It's an important way to stop the spread of infectious pathogens and diseases, given all the filthy things we touch all the time. Additional reading on the 7 filthiest things you touch at this link:

Nurse Karen

Pioneer School Nurse

Panther PTA Events & News

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Principal's Notes

Dear Panther Families,

One of our goals here at Pioneer is to foster independent learning and lifelong 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 model, guide practice, and promote the practice of learning new skills at home by allowing students to pack their own healthy lunches, chipping in on daily chores such as dishes, putting away laundry, and cleaning up after oneself.

During February, we have a few different areas of focus to broaden our Panthers' knowledge of the world around them. We will explore special events such as Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, and Valentine's Day with a variety of fun activities that will teach us all about the history and customs of these special days. February is also Black History Month and we remember all of the men and women of various ethnicities and cultures who sacrificed themselves to secure equality for all.

Also this month, we host our annual Pancake Breakfast! This special event is scheduled for Friday, February 14th from 6:30-8:00 am. It's a special event and we always look forward to bringing our community together over a stack of hotcakes! We hope to see you all there!

A gentle reminder for our Panther parents, if students have medication that needs to be taken during school hours a parent MUST bring them to the school in the original container and fill out the medication consent form. Please do NOT send medication to school with your children. We appreciate your help with this!

Please don’t forget to stay connected and “Like” Pioneer Elementary on Facebook at and also visit our school webpage at


Melissa Schnitzmeier

Principal/Superintendent, Pioneer Elementary

Monthly PAWS Value

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Community News

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