Panther PAWPrints Newsletter

February 2021

Campus News



Class & Spring pictures will be taken on Tuesday, February 9th.

Flyers with envelopes for class & spring picture were sent

home on January 28th or 29th. (Separate envelopes for each)

Ø Class pictures must be paid for on or before Tuesday, February 9th. You can purchase these on the Lifetouch website with the Picture Day ID on the flyer or send money in the envelope attached to the flyer.

Ø The class pictures are $11.00.

Ø Individual pictures - You have three options to purchase the individual pictures. 1. You can choose to order pictures with the envelope that was sent home.

2. Order your packet on the Lifetouch website with the Picture ID on the flyer.

3. Wait to see the proof that will be sent home a couple weeks after picture day and then choose to order the pictures on the Lifetouch website with the information provided on the proof that is sent home.

Ø All students will have their pictures taken.

Ø Please call the school if you have any questions.

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Valentines Day

PIoneer is excited to say that we will be celebrating Valentine's Day. We believe that with proper protocols, classes can celebrate this special day while remaining safe.

For this holiday only, students will be permitted to bring in special treats. Treats MUST BE store-bought and individually packaged. Teachers will distribute treats during the class parties.

No outside Valentine's Day boxes will be permitted. Students will be making their boxes/bags in class with school supplies.


Don't forget to sport your Panther House Gear every Friday! This is how we show unity and our Panther Pride during these difficult times.

Due to our new COVID protocols, we have to change up our normal monthly house meetings. This year, our monthly values are taught in each homeroom. February's value is KINDNESS. During the month of December, students will race to see who can show the most Panther Pride by practicing our monthly value of being generous and participating in Spirit Fridays by wearing their house t-shirts. The classroom that earns the most points will receive a special class party next month!

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.

School Board Trustee Position

Pioneer School is in need of someone to fill an open trustee position. This position will finish out the term of Mrs. Marion Hatch. Marion has moved from our district and we appreciate her service to Pioneer School.

This term will end May 4, at which time a new board member will be sworn in.

If you are interested in serving on the Pioneer School board to complete this term and/or run for the board, please contact Marilyn Michael 373-5357.

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

School Board Trustee Election

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

You may pick up a nomination petition in the school office after Thursday, December 10th or contact Mrs. Michael and she can email the form to you.

To be eligible, you must reside and be registered to vote in the Pioneer School District.

Nomination Petitions must be turned in by Thursday, March 25th 2021 by 5:00 pm.

The election will be held May 4th.

School Board meetings are held on 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

Wanted! Substitute Teachers

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

Pay: $100.00 a day

Apply by emailing:

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Wanted! Substitute Bus Drivers

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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Principal/Superintendent Notes

Dear Panther Families,

Here on campus and with our remote students, we continue to push forward during this unprecedented time. We are very happy and feel somewhat lucky that our small school hasn’t yet been significantly impacted by the virus or with campus closures due to the virus.

Recently, the CDC released new guidance on close contact quarantining. However, they maintain that the 14 day quarantine is still the gold standard. At this time, Pioneer will continue on with the mandatory 14 day quarantine guideline; re-evaluating month to month.

We are excited to announce that Pioneer is now able to offer rapid testing for staff and students on a voluntary basis. Pioneer was granted BinaxNOW Rapid Tests from DPHHS and our designated staff members were trained by Riverstone Health to properly administer the testing.

What you need to know (please read carefully):

- Parents who wish to have their student rapid tested will be required to fill out a consent form.

- Only symptomatic students/staff may be tested.

- Positive results are considered positive. Students/staff who test positive will be required to isolate and their families to quarantine. Results will be reported to the state and to Riverstone Health.

- Due to the accuracy of this specific rapid test, symptomatic students who test negative will need to be tested again with a PCR test at their physicians or public health to confirm the negative result OR remain off campus for a full ten days. Results will be reported to the state.

Below, I have outlined a few important definitions and what will take place when we see positive COVID cases in our school.

Isolation: Isolation is for those experiencing symptoms. It is separating positive cases from all other people. Those identified as COVID positive should isolate for ten (10) days (20 days for an immunocompromised person) from the start date of symptoms AND until symptoms have improved and the person is fever free for 24 hours. If you are COVID positive and have no symptoms, you are in isolation for a minimum of ten (10) days (20 days for an immunocompromised person) from the positive test date. County health will give final clearance.

Quarantine: Quarantine is the separation and restriction of movement for those people who have had close contact with a positive COVID case or are at high risk of having COVID-19, as determined by the health department. Close Contact is a term used for those that have been within 6 feet of a COVID positive person for 15 minutes or more with or without a mask in a 24 hour period. You would be considered a close contact if you meet that criteria two days prior to the infected person’s symptoms or positive test result (if a positive person has no symptoms) as the contagious period in a person infected with COVID-19 begins 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms. If you have contact at any time during the positive COVID person’s isolation, the 14-day quarantine countdown begins on the last day of exposure. Quarantine CANNOT be ended with a negative COVID test because the incubation period for COVID is a full 14 days.

Truly, the importance of wearing a mask and distancing remains incredibly important. The procedures and protocols we use in school helps to prevent a spiraling of the situation into a wider spread issue. This is why we are so strict with our sick policy and COVID Guidelines when advising parents about their symptomatic students or students who are identified as close contacts. We are doing our utmost best to protect our students and staff. The functioning of our school and ability to remain in school depends upon the containment of COVID-19 when and if an outbreak were to occur and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we navigate these challenges.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Be well, Panthers!


Melissa Schnitzmeier

Principal/Superintendent, Pioneer Elementary


Nurse Karen's News

February is Dental Month.

Mouth and dental injuries in children

Nearly 50 percent of children will have some type of injury to a tooth during childhood, many of which are preventable. Mouth injuries are also common. Tooth and mouth injuries often occur after a fall, sports injury, or fight.

In most cases, tooth and mouth injuries are not life-threatening. Rarely, a child may develop serious complications but injuries to the teeth and mouth can also have long-lasting effects on the child's appearance and self-confidence.


Falls, sports-related injuries, and fights are the most common causes of tooth injury in children. Mouth injuries can also occur when a child trips or is pushed with an object in the mouth.


When to seek help — Many parents wonder if their child should receive medical attention after a dental or mouth injury. Children with any of the following symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Depending upon the particular circumstances, this may be done over the phone, at the pediatrician's or dentist's office, or in an emergency department:

  • If there is pain, tenderness, or sensitivity (to hot/cold or pressure) in a tooth

  • If there is a broken, loose, or missing tooth after trauma (the tooth could have been inhaled or swallowed)

  • If there is bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for 10 minutes

  • If there is pain in the jaw when opening or closing the mouth

  • If there is difficulty swallowing or breathing

  • If there is an object stuck in the roof of the mouth, cheek, tongue, or throat (do NOT remove the object)

  • If there is a large or gaping cut inside the mouth or on the face

  • If the child could have a puncture in the back of the throat

  • If there is a cut on the lip that extends through the lip's border into the surrounding skin

  • If the parent is concerned about the child's condition

  • If the child develops a fever (temperature ≥100.4ºF/38ºC) or other signs of infection after a mouth or tooth injury (localized redness, pus, increasing pain); signs of more serious infection may include neck pain or stiffness, inability to open the mouth completely, drooling, or chest pain.

Karen Graf MSN, RN-BC, APHN Pioneer School Nurse (406)247-3367
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2/2/21 - 100th Day of School!

2/8/21 - Board Meeting

2/15/21 - NO SCHOOL - Presidents Day

2/22/21 - NO SCHOOL - PIR Day

2/26/21 - End of Trimester 2

Panther PTA News

February is upon us and the Panther PTA is looking to make the next 4 months AMAZING!

COVID-19 has really put a damper on all of the fun PTA sponsored family activities that Pioneer is known for - but as the smoke begins to clear, we're excited to get rolling again with a few virtual family nights and fundraising activities.

Our focus since August has been supporting the school and staff with much-needed personal protection equipment in addition to offering the students a few pizza parties to keep those spirits high...we all need a little fun in the midst of this pandemic! Moving forward, we will be raising funds to ensure that we can continue to support the district and students in their needs, whatever those may be.

Be on the lookout for our newest virtual fundraiser in March! We are teaming up with Three Rivers Wreath and Plant Company to offer flower bulbs just in time for your spring planting! More information to come soon!

Our Panther PTA is still recruiting members! We need parents to help make Pioneer Elementary the best school it can be! Get your voice heard! It's rewarding, it's important, and best of's fun! Click on the membership attachment below, fill it out and email it to! You'll be sent an invoice via VENMO for your $6.00 registration fee and BAM! You're a voting member!

We look forward to continuing to serve you and your students this year.


The Panther PTA

Trevor Krieger - President

Alyssa Krieger - Vice President

Melissa Schnitzmeier - Treasurer/Secretary

Monthly Calendar

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PAWS Monthly Value

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