Panther PAWPrints Newsletter

November 2020

Campus News

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Friday, November 20th, 2020. We WILL NOT be hosting in-person conferences this year, instead, parents will meet with teachers virtually via ZOOM.

Each homeroom teacher will send parents a ZOOM invitation link that you can use to connect. All conferences are set for 15-minute sessions. You MUST schedule a time with the office so that we can place you on the official schedule.

**There will be no conferences scheduled from 12:00PM-1:00PM**

Report cards will be sent home with your students on Wednesday, October 18th, 2020 so that you will have them for your meetings on Friday.

REMINDER! There is NO school on Friday, November 20th to accommodate these conferences.

Spirit Day

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. November's value is GRATITUDE. During the month of November, students will race to see who can show the most Panther Pride by practicing our monthly value of being grateful and participating in Spirit Fridays by wearing their house t-shirts. The classroom that earns the most points will receive a special pizza 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.

Upcoming Events:

11/3/2020 - NO SCHOOL - Election Day

11/9/2020 - Board Meeting 4:30 PM

11/10/2020 - PTA Meeting (Zoom) 5:00 PM

11/13/2020- End of Trimester 1

11/18/2020 - Report Cards Home

11/20/2020 - NO SCHOOL - Parent-Teacher Conferences (Virtual via ZOOM)

11/25/2020-11/27/2020 - NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Break

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 Driver!

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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1st Grade Leaf Art!

Remote Learners Dominating Prodigy!

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6th Grade Math Project!

2nd Grade Thanks Torgenson's for the Pumpkin Donations!

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Halloween Fun

Special Thanks to Our Staff

I have to take a minute to brag on this crew. The team you see below is AMAZING. Not only do they strive to bring their “A” game each and every day, but in the face of this pandemic, they have risen to the MANY challenges that have presented themselves on an almost daily basis with courage and determination. Without this crew and their willingness to go above and beyond, our campus doors would not be open.

They work their tails off to ensure our students see some sort of normalcy in their day despite the long list of new protocols that must be met for everyone’s safety. They pitch in whenever and wherever they are needed to ensure our students can remain in our buildings, with their peers, engaged in in-person learning.

I don’t hear, “that’s not my job”. I hear, “we got it covered” and “we’ll get through this too”.

This crew right here, they are HEROES. They conquer the unknown to meet the needs of our students and our campus each and every day.

As we say goodbye to October and welcome November, I wanted to reach out and show my gratitude for the best TEAM a principal could ask for. I hope you know every day that you and your efforts are appreciated. You deserve the world.

Jami Christman Burns, Richelle Hertel, Megan Lee, Leah Wright, Connie Russell, Marilyn Michael, Jacob Croteau, Kellie Garey, Shannon Wright, Alisa Rau

We have a few others that are not pictured here but deserve just as much admiration Kevin Maddox, Cindy Reed, Kaylyn Ivey

THANK YOU for making each day we spend with our students possible. Thank you for bringing so much joy in such a difficult time.

We got this, Panthers!

Mrs. S
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Nurse Karen's Notes

With the convergence of a full moon, a blue moon, daylight saving time and Saturday celebrations — plus the unprecedented events of this year — Halloween 2020 will truly be one to remember. Much has changed … but our love for the fun, fright, and delight of Halloween is strong as ever. So let’s unleash our Halloween inspiration — to celebrate the season in safe, fun, unexpected ways!

My October lessons in the classroom focused on handwashing in the early elementary and disease spread/vaccinations in the older grades. Below are several of the links with age appropriate evidence based curriculum.

Covid – 19 Animation

Great video for 3-8 graders on the immune system

Also here is the link for the outbreak/vaccine game we played to show how disease is spread and how quarantine or vaccinations can slow the disease process.

Eat This, Not That—Thanksgiving Edition

With America’s feasting holiday upon us (Thanksgiving), there is no better time to put together a list of Eat This, Not That. Here is a short list of a few very tasty, yet more healthy, alternatives to the main dishes that will laden your table this Thanksgiving:

1. Eat this: Skinless turkey breast Not that: dark meat (eating skinless, white meat will give you the protein without the extra fat and calories)

2. Eat this: gravy made from fat-free stock or fatless drippings Not that: canned gravy (tip: let your gravy sit for a bit and then remove the top layer of fat)

3. Eat this: sweet potatoes/yams Not that: scalloped potatoes, sweet potato fries, candied yams

4. Eat this: fresh cranberry sauce Not that: canned sauce (making your own sauce allows you to control sugar content and gives you the nutrients of the superfood cranberries!)

There is still time to get your influenza shot! Protect yourself and others!!

Stay healthy and well.

Nurse Karen (406) 247-3367

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Principal/Superintendent's Message

Dear Panther Families,

Every year during the month of November, I slow down and take a few moments to reflect on the experiences that I have had, and the people that I have met over the course of the past year. I take time and make a conscious effort to reach out and show those whom I appreciate what they mean to me, and the impact they've had on my life both professionally and personally.

This year, I am especially thankful for our staff and students to be on campus, involved in live instruction, during the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Despite the difficulties that the pandemic has brought forth and all of the changes we have had to endure, our little school continues to see a wealth of growth and success. Each triumph made possible by the hard work and dedication of our Panther staff and the amazing support of our Panther families and community. Without this dedication and support, we wouldn't be where we are today - providing the best education possible in the safest and most loving environment possible!

With that, I'd like to extend a special thank you to:

The Panther PTA - Trevor & Alyssa Krieger - The time and effort you put into supporting our staff, students, and school are amazing. It takes tremendous heart, dedication, and downright HARD WORK to keep the PTA organization alive and thriving. It's because of you that our students are afforded opportunities that wouldn't otherwise exist for them or our little school. We appreciate you!

The Panther Board - Kari Jones, Luke Rome, and Marion Hatch - Your constant, unwavering support and dedication to the staff, students and the school does not go unnoticed! You all took on an often thankless position in an effort to make a difference and what a difference you are making! We appreciate you!

Lastly, to the businesses and people who have volunteered their personal time or donated supplies and/or labor to help the school - Kari Jones with State Farm, Krystle Henry, the Michaels, and our donors that wish to remain anonymous - WE THANK YOU! Each act of kindness is amazing and benefits our most important stakeholders, our students.

November 13th marks the end of our first trimester! Report cards will be distributed in the students' homerooms and sent home Wednesday, November 18th. Parent-Teacher Conferences are virtual this year and will be scheduled for Friday, November 20th. Your student's teacher will contact you with the ZOOM meeting information.

The report card is a progress report and represents the growth achieved during each trimester. It informs you and your child about areas of success as well as areas of potential growth. Their academic career is a life-long journey. You can help your child to succeed by celebrating their accomplishments and encouraging their continued growth through goal setting. By helping them in this process, you demonstrate your support and motivate your child to continue to strive for excellence in their life-long learning journey.

I hope you all have a fabulous November and I look forward to making many more memories with all of you!


Melissa Schnitzmeier, Principal/Superintendent Pioneer Elementary


COVID-19 Guidelines

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Pioneer's Sick Policy

We've had some questions regarding Pioneer's COVID-19 Guidelines vs Sick Policy. Our COVID-19 Guidelines were created to navigate potential positive COVID-19 cases and mitigate the risk for student/staff exposure. Our sick policy is still in effect along with the COVID-19 Guidelines. The difference of how each will be handled falls within the symptoms that are present, as well as the NUMBER of symptoms that are present. Please read the following information carefully.

If students exhibit ONE of the following symptoms, it is recommended they stay home OR will be sent home for 48 hours until after the symptoms resolve:

  • Ill with any ONE symptom and feeling too sick to participate in the usual day activities or what is normal for that child.

  • The illness results in a greater need for care than school staff can provide without compromising their ability to care for other students.

  • Fever defined as a temperature of 100.4° axillary or higher.

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting more than 2 times in the previous 24 hours, unless the vomiting is determined to be caused by non-communicable condition and the child is not in danger of dehydration.

  • Abdominal pain that continues over 2 hours or intermittent abdominal pain with fever, dehydration and/or other signs of illness.

  • Mouth sores with drooling unless determined by health care provider to be non-infectious.

  • Impetigo, until 48 hours after treatment has been started.

  • Strep throat, until 48 hours after treatment has been started.

  • Head lice or nits, until after first treatment.

  • Scabies, until after treatment has been given.

  • Chickenpox (varicella) until all lesions have dried or crusted.

  • Other communicable diseases such as Rubella, Mumps, Measles, Hepatitis A until no longer considered infectious.

  • Draining skin sores that can’t be covered or drainage contained unless evaluated and determined to be non-infectious in the school setting by a healthcare professional.

Conditions that do not require school exclusion no addressed above:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis, clear eye drainage not associated with fever, eye pain or eyelid redness, or yellow or white eye drainage not associated with pink or red conjunctiva (white of the eyes).

  • Ringworm: Exclusion for treatment may be at the end of the day and exclusion not required when treatment has begun.

Adult Education


Pioneer School is excited to offer its first Adult Education, foreign language class. This year, the language of focus will be Spanish. We have 6 spots available for this class which will take place every Monday. Classes will begin Monday, October 12th, 2020, and run through Monday, May 3rd, 2021. If you are interested in this course, please register by clicking on this link below.

Class Information: Spanish

Fee: None

Date: Monday nights 10/12/2020-5/3/2021

Spots Available: 6

Understanding NWEA MAPS Assessment Scores

When: Friday, November 20th

Time: 4:00 PM

Where: Zoom Event

A ZOOM link will be sent to the email address you use to register for this event.

Monthly Calendar

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PAWS Value of the Month

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