Knowledge - Challenge - Integrity - Diversity

Big picture

Dear Pioneer Academy Family,

It’s hard to believe how fast the fall semester has gone by. We have a whole new year ahead of us. It is time for setting inspiring goals for ourselves. Every new year signifies a new start, new beginnings, and hope. A good beginning leads to a good ending.

We would like to thank all the parents who attended the winter concert this week. We hope you enjoyed the hard work that our students have put into making this program possible. You can see a small picture gallery of this event below.

While you enjoy the concert, please remember that in addition to the skills the students demonstrate, music education helps prepare young people to think creatively, learn how to work collaboratively, and to become disciplined, critical thinkers and problem solvers.

We realize how fortunate we are that we get to work with your beautiful, smart and dedicated students. They bring joy to our hearts every day. We are thankful that you trust Pioneer to educate and care for your children.

Together, as a community, we should take pride in making it possible. As a Principal, my team, my teachers and I are here to offer you our support, structure, and guidance every day but it takes a village to raise a child. Let’s ALL take pride in ownership of building our children’s future TOGETHER. This school is not only my school, but it belongs to every single one of you. When you enter this building you should feel a sense of belonging and know that your feedback and support are deeply appreciated.

Please follow us on our Instagram and Facebook page, we will be uploading pictures frequently, so stay tuned for more exciting details of the school events.

On behalf of all of us at Pioneer Academy, we wish you a bright, prosperous, and glorious holiday season. Happy New Year 2020!

Owen O. Akman

Table of Contents

  1. Upcoming Events in January
  2. Annual Fundraising Campaign
  3. Winter Concert
  4. Montessori Events
  5. Past and Upcoming ES Events
  6. Past and Upcoming MS Events
  7. MS Saturday Academy
  8. Past and Upcoming HS Events
  9. College Counseling Corner
  10. Basketball Events
  11. Quote of the Week
  12. Parent Seminar
Big picture

Upcoming Events In November

Dec. 23 - January 3: Winter Break

Jan. 15: Early Dismissal

Jan 18 : Parent Seminar

Annual Fundraising Campaign

Our annual fundraising officially kicked off two weeks ago. We had a wonderful start to our campaign and we have already raised a total of $30,050 so far this year.
Our goal is to have 100% participation from our families to reach this year's annual fundraising goal of $100,000.

Remember! Your gift is a direct investment into our school community and its members which includes you! Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”

Your tax-deductible gift immediately benefits each student by providing funds for our student support programs including:

Help a Student
Athletics and Fine Art Programs
Technology Improvements
Green, Environment-Friendly LED Bulbs

Kindly share with your friends and family. There are 3 ways you can donate. Please support your school and your community! Your gift is truly appreciated.

1. Facebook -

2. GoFundMe -

3. Support Pioneer directly on the PA Website -

Please join us in honoring Pioneer Academy with a contribution this giving season. Please consider giving as much as you can! The gift of education is a gift that keeps on giving. To help us reach our goal, a donation of $200 per student is suggested, but every gift helps! Whether your contribution is $10, or $10,000, giving offers a positive statement of your belief in PA and pride in your family’s PA experience.

As a registered nonprofit, all gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. While we encourage all families to make their pledges by December 31, Annual Fund payments are accepted until June 30. For maximum year-end tax benefits, we suggest a donation before 12/31/19.

Gifts from alumni, parents, friends, and community strengthen Pioneer Academy today while ensuring the promise of tomorrow.

We thank you for your generosity and support.

Big picture

Our Winter 2019 concert was a special one for Pioneer Academy because of many reasons. We succeeded to have students master a wide variety of skills such as : musical theater performance, high level instrumental performance coordination, solo performance acts, student led choirs, student original compositions and arrangements, improvisation, large team collaboration and coordination etc.. All of the above skills that students have mastered and showcased during the concert made the music repertoire so lucrative and entertaining not only for the audience but for the students themselves as well. The ultimate goal was to make this show turn into a life long lasting experience.

Montessori Events

Big picture

1.With each season we change our bullitin board to reflect our feelings on our students, families and nature. For November and December we shared how we are thankful for Pioneer Montessori, our families and our students/friends. Just as the fall season sends the leaves on the trees falling down to the ground, we posted pictures of each student to show how we feel. We are already planning our new class bulletin board for January 2020. Keep an eye out as you pass by our classroom!

2. In Pioneer Montessori every day is special and unique. On Fridays we have an exciting event that happens during our morning circle. We share our “Sound of the Week”. In December we shared the letter Dd. Not only do we learn the letter, but we also master the sound of the letter for pre-reading in our Language area. We never know what objects will come into class each Friday. Our students look at home for something that beginnins with the letter D sound. We had donuts, dogs, dinosaurs, dresses and even one of our students shared herself as her name begins with D. This lesson is also a way for students to speak in front of their peers and teachers to practice speaking skills.

Past and Upcoming Elementary S. Events

Kindergarten and first grade went to Bounce U!

Kindergarten and first grade went to Bounce U! They had a great time jumping and playing on all the inflatable slides and playgrounds.

Mrs. Frascella’s first grade class

Mrs. Frascella’s first grade class celebrated being authors with their very own publishing party. Students read their personal narratives to the class and to some special guests who came in for the event. The students enjoyed using a microphone to read their stories out loud, while the audience was served popcorn and enjoyed listening to the mini authors.

Mrs. Frascella’s class had a very special Mystery Reader in November! The students really enjoyed reading about Bisquit’s Thanksgiving! Special thanks to Mr. Akman for taking time to read to our first graders! It’s very important for children to see adults enjoy reading.

Noetic Math Learning Contest

Third and fourth grade students in Mrs. Hickey's Mathletes Club participated in their first math competition on November 14. These students took the Noetic Math Learning Contest which lasts 45 minutes and consists of solving 20 difficult problems. Mrs. Hickey is so excited to see their results! The students will receive certificates and medals during the Quarter 2 Awards Assembly.

Multiplication Bakery

In the third grade math class, students learned multiplication strategies. They celebrated their achievement by transforming the classroom into a bakery with working centers. The students used dice to make equal groups with M&M’s, picked multiplication cards to make arrays with Cheerios, and created an array-cake that they could eat to celebrate! To make the cakes, students had to roll a die to choose the numbers to build an array for their cake. They also practiced making combinations and other skills. The bakers had a fantastic time practicing their time in the classroom Multiplication Bakery. Some things in life are more or less similar to baking cakes. Just roll with them.

The Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter

Thank you for all your generous donations! The Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter received boxes filled with supplies for cats and dogs. There will be warm paws and happy wagging tails!

Past and Upcoming Middle School events

The Middle School students will participate in a winter fundraiser event the week of December 16. All of the money raised for the three events will be donated to #TeamTrees, a charity raising money to plant 20 million trees.

Monday’s event will be a Spelling Bee, where students will show off their spelling skills in an intense competition!

Tuesday’s event will be a Free-for-All Dodgeball Tournament.

Wednesday’s event will be a Trivia game. The top five students from the qualifying round will compete in a ten-question Championship round.

The winner of each competition will win a trophy plus a pizza party with up to three friends.

Middle School Saturday Academy

The Saturday Academy crew has been busy as of late. Our Python students started incorporating looping into their programming repertoire. The World Events students are learning about bugs and artificial intelligence. And the Robotics students have started their competitions. Recently, we visited a local trampoline park, Rockin’ Jump, our students had the opportunity to show off their aerial skills. Here are some photos from the day.

Past and Upcoming High School Events

Novella Psychologica and Historica

Big picture

Since the beginning of the year, students in Dr. Rahman's Psychology classes (Advanced Placement and Psychology A) have been writing psychological thrillers and drama, integrating major topics relating to Psychology into their creative stories. Student in his World History classes have been writing "historical/magical realism fiction" in which characters go back three time periods in history, creating and changing historical outcomes. These individual projects are pedagogical/instructional experiments in bringing subject matter as close as possible to the student's experiences (as American philosopher John Dewey would suggest) while making subject matter more meaningful. These novellas will be launched in May 2020, through a public reading at our school.

Student Government Association Updates and Events

Big picture

Friendsgiving 2019:

Friendsgiving 2019: Pioneer Academy’s SGA hosted their first-ever Friendsgiving Lunch this year in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. Students brought in a variety of dishes from different culinary backgrounds. They enjoyed everything from store-bought delicacies to homemade desserts and even enjoyed a professionally prepared roasted turkey. Our High School choir surprised us with a wonderful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while we spent time with friends!

Pioneer Eagle Fan Bus:

Pioneer Basketball fans are now able to ride together to home games! Students can pick up a permission slip from the Events Board outside of room 114 and sign up to ride with the team. Permission slips are due two days before each game, and a small $3 fee will be charged. Go Eagles!

Upcoming Winter events:

High School SGA will be hosting a 2019 Winter Break Breakfast. They will provide their classmates with a free breakfast on the morning of December 20. While students enjoy desserts and hot cocoa, the fine arts band and chorus will perform. They will also exchange their Secret Santa gifts which is a fantastic way to wish friends a safe and relaxing winter break!

SGA Work in progress

Our High School SGA members have a lot of responsibilities to tend to. One of those is providing a communication bridge between students, faculty, and school administrators. Class representatives have been meeting with Principal Akman to solidify some aspects of this academic year they find positive and to build a platform where they can voice their concerns. As a result of these meetings, many additions have been made to benefit students. One notable improvement made is the replacement of the old water fountain for students. Our Senior class is also feeling the difference now that some of the pressure of college applications is over. While they wait in anticipation for college acceptances, they can work on making some great memories. Between now and April, some fantastic class activities have been planned, including Senior-only lunches and breakfasts, as well as a Senior Ski trip and day trips to New York City. Great work SGA!

College Counseling Corner

How to analyze the PSAT score report.

Big picture
Big picture

Why Is the PSAT Important?

PSAT is a standardized test you take in high school. Most students assume the PSAT is just to get yourself ready and to see how you would do if and when you take the SAT, which is a test almost every student will be required to take when applying for college.

Prepares you for the SAT

Ultimately, the PSAT prepares you for the SAT, which can be an important factor in whether or not you are accepted into the college you want to attend. They get an idea of how the actual test will look and the type of questions they will be asked in it. They want to see if they are on the right path, if their skills are good enough to not only pass the exam, but to also get a good score on it.

Gets you ready for AP tests

If you are planning on taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, you will want to achieve a good score. When you take the PSAT, PSAT/NMSQT, or SAT, your AP Potential Level will be changed. This is also one of the requirements for AP eligibility. In every AP class you will be presented with college-level coursework and have to take the AP test at the end of the class in order to actually receive college credit.

Qualifier for Scholarships

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation works with College Board in order to find the best students to reward a scholarship. Junior students’ scores are taken and compared with other schools and students. Those who get the best scores have the opportunity to win a full scholarship.

Basketball Events

With a very busy week ahead, (possibly the toughest stretch of the season), six games in five days, the Eagles basketball team took their second loss of the season this past Monday, December 9, to Delbarton High School’s experienced basketball team. Losing by six points was still a great test to show how well the Eagles team performs as the stars of the team, Jerry Vargas, Josue Urena, and Joaquin Munoz had to sit out for during these games. It took the whole team to prepare for the upcoming week. The Eagles took a small two-point lead after the first, followed by strong quarters from Delbarton, where they opened up the lead as the Eagles begin to fatigue. As per the team motto, they continued to fight back, falling just short in the final minutes.

The Eagles would quickly bounce back Tuesday night, December 10, beating Barringer High School with ease. After a back-and-forth start in the first two periods, our Eagles came out with strong lead by the experience of Jerry Vargas, Jacob Williams, and Josue Urena; the team was able to open up a lead upwards of 13 points and would never look back.

Following this game, our Eagles currently sit at 5-2 with an intense schedule coming up. On Thursday, December 12, the team went to the New York Military Academy (start time at 6 PM) to face the NEPSAC champions from 2018 and 2019.

Friday evening, the Eagles come home to host Prestige Prep (one of the top prep schools in New Jersey) who are coming off impressive early season victories over Olympus Prep and Our Savior Lutheran (one of the top NY basketball Schools) with a 5:30 PM tip-off at PS2 Athletics.

On Saturday, the Eagles will host the ADICT Academy (Canadian Sister school of Prestige Prep) at 10 AM and will follow that up with an away game against Kennedy High School in Paterson at 1 PM. Kennedy High School was one of the top 50 schools in New Jersey last year, beating the likes of PCTI, Wayne Hills, Rutgers Prep, Ridgewood, Paramus Catholic, and Clifton, to name a few schools.

Quote of the Week

Big picture

Parent Seminar

Big picture
Big picture

Rated Niche's 2019 #1 private school

Big picture
Pioneer Academy is a leader in education. It is rated the #1 private school in Passaic County by Niche and College Board's Highest SAT performance in Passaic County among both public and private schools.

Pioneer Acceptance

Big picture

Our Winter 2019 concert was a special one for Pioneer Academy because of many reasons. We succeeded to have students master a wide variety of skills such as : musical theater performance, high level instrumental performance coordination, solo performance acts, student led choirs, student original compositions and arrangements, improvisation, large team collaboration and coordination etc.. All of the above skills that students have mastered and showcased during the concert made the music repertoire so lucrative and entertaining not only for the audience but for the students themselves as well. The ultimate goal was to make this show turn into a life long lasting experience.