Panther PAWPrints Newsletter

March 2021

Superintendent's Message

Dear Panthers,

You spoke, and we heard! Thank you to all those who participated in our recent parent survey. Your feedback helps us to better our practices and to ensure we are continuing to offer the best educational environment possible for our students.

Our number one area of improvement was communication. You'll be excited to see that beginning with this newsletter, our teachers will be giving a little insight as to what each class will be working on from one month to the next. We hope you enjoy this and it offers you a little glimpse into your kiddos school day.

It's hard to believe that we are nearing the end of Trimester 2 which means that we are on the downhill slide to summer break. Now, more than ever, we are asking for our Panther community's support as we continue to plan for our future. On Wednesday, March 31st we will host a virtual MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) meeting which will help us to plan our Title I program for the 21-22 school year. The meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. and can be accessed via Zoom. Please register for this event by clicking on the link below. I encourage your attendance and look forward to hearing your suggestions as we work to make Pioneer the best little school around.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful March. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. My door is always open!


Melissa Schnitzmeier, Principal/Superintendent

Pioneer Elementary

Campus News


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First Grade

1st-grade learning goals for March

During the month of March, we will be working on our decoding skills for reading. We will be working on the silent E at the end of works, as well as the letter blends ai, ee, ea, ow, and oa. You will see these letter blends throughout the spelling words and in the small books, we do in the classroom/online. We will also be working on reading all of the words in the sentence as well as understanding what we are reading.

During math, we will be conquering the concept of adding and subtracting within 20. We have almost masted the concept of adding within 20. Once that is fully mastered we will be working on the subtraction part of this concept.

In science, we have been studying the planets. We will continue working on knowing two or three facts about each planet. We will also be making our favorite planets with paper mache.

During writing, we will learn how to write informative pamphlets. These informative pamphlets will tell you about the planets, they will include the favorite planet of the student writing it. They will have some opinions in their pamphlet by telling you why their favorite planet is better than the other planets.

-Ms. Hertel

Second Grade

Hello from 2nd grade! We have lots of exciting things coming up this month in our classroom, and I am anxious to get the month started!

In reading, we are working on a fairy tale unit. So far, we have read and compared the stories Cinderella and The Rough-Face Girl. Upcoming this month we will be continuing our fairy tale unit and will be reading some classic stories like The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Little Red Riding Hood.

In math, we are also beginning some new and exciting content. We will be learning how to tell time and count money! We have also started doing number talks in our classroom. This is to help encourage the kids to share their methods of solving math problems and develop a strong ability of number sense. It is also great for helping the kids to not only learn from me but learn from their peers as well.

Finally, to wrap this month up we will be doing a Meet an Artist unit! We will be learning about and doing art projects based on the famous works of artists like Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Georgia O'Keeffe.

I am very excited to have such a fun month ahead of us, and I hope that your kiddos are just as excited as I am about our upcoming learning opportunities! Have a marvelous March!

~Mrs. Lee

Third Grade

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Fourth/Fifth Grade

Dear 4/5 Parents,

We are gearing up for an awesome month of March! Beginning March 1st, both classes will be starting a new novel study on Brian’s Winter. We are very excited to continue on with the story of Brian Robeson, who we connected so deeply with from the first book, The Hatchet. During this novel study, we will work on concepts such as main ideas and key details, themes, characters, settings, and plots, as well as improving vocabulary skills. Additionally, we will continue to have spelling tests each week, and students are encouraged to study as much as possible. If they have access to a computer at home, they are welcome to practice their words on

Math for both 4th and 5th grade is continuing to get more challenging. They are meeting the challenge head-on, and are learning a great deal. Currently, both grades are working on division, although 5th grade is starting to dive into division with decimals. In the next few weeks, we will be moving on to working with fractions, which should be fun!

I hope everyone enjoys their upcoming Spring Break and comes back feeling rested and rejuvenated. If you have any questions about your student, please feel free to contact me through email, Class Dojo, or call the school.

Mrs. Rau

Sixth - Eighth Grade

Dear Panther Parents,

Sixth grade has been busy working with biography poster board creations to share with our cohort class, 4th, and 5th grade. We have combined our research skills, writing skills, and speaking skills in this assignment and our current assignment. Our current assignment is based on FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER by E.L. Konigsburg, our selected book for novel study. The students are creating highly detailed dioramas to depict various rooms or events from the story and will then present a book talk with each student taking apart in Mrs. Rau’s class. I’m so pleased with their enthusiasm, motivation, and attention to detail on these multi-media projects!

In Math, they just wrapped up Unit 5 and are moving onto Unit 6. Unit 6 covers Data and Distribution. They have made tremendous progress so far and I couldn't be more proud. In Science, we just finished our egg drop project. This month, we will be moving into how the Earth changes over time. In addition, we will discover the effects of different kinds of erosion, tectonic movement, and human involvement.

In Social Studies we will begin traveling through East Asia. This will bring us to the lands of Japan, China, Mongolia, and more. They will research the historical significance of China and Asia and we will discover the richness of their cultures.

We hope you have a wonderful March!


Mrs. Russell & Mr. Croteau

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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Nurse Karen's Notes


Due to school closure, Growth and Development classes have been rescheduled for March 18th. Parents have the option to opt out their student until March 17th.

March 4th we have the opportunity to have an MSU Senior year Nursing student, India Croucher, teach our students about exercise. As the weather warms, I encourage all of us to get outside and get moving.

Team Up to Improve Physical Activity in Schools and At Home

Did you know that being physically active is good for students’ health and academic performance? Studies have shown that physical activity can help improve academic performance, such as grades, test scores and better concentration and attention in the classroom.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports youth ages 6-17 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Most of the 60 minutes should be moderate or vigorous intensity, such as playing basketball, jumping rope, dancing, playing tag, walking, and running. Include muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, and bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least three days per week as part of the 60 or more minutes.

** Sitting for an hour may be just as bad for you as smoking 2 cigarettes!

A 2012 study from the University of Queensland, Australia, found that sitting for an hour may decrease your life expectancy by 21.8 minutes, versus smoking, which decreases your life expectancy by 11 minutes per cigarette. An American sits at his/her desk for a whopping 8 hours a day, so that’s equivalent to smoking 16 cigarettes! An American Cancer Society study found the health effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be worse for women. So, do your body a favor and get moving!

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Panther PTA News

It's Time to Fundraise!

Our newest fundraising program is here! We are excited to partner with Three Rivers Fundraising this spring to run a total virtual fundraising event!

This fundraiser offers a friendly little competition between classes. Each class will team together to sell as many flowers/bulbs as they can. The winning class will win a special party paid for by the Panther PTA!

Information will be sent home with students the first week in March. Links can also be found below and on our school Facebook page.

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Class Codes:

Kindergarten - PQ5PHE

First Grade - DBX8SK

Second Grade - 9CT3EK

Third Grade - SE4A6B

Fourth/Fifth Grade - 5P5G2T

Sixth - Eighth Grade - BSWKPP

Monthly Calendar

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3/8 - 3/12- NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

3/8 - Board Meeting - 4:30 p.m.

3/18 - RESCHEDULED - 4th-8th Growth & Development with Nurse Karen

3/22 - RESCHEDULED - Spring Pictures/Class Pictures

3/31 - Adult Education - Understanding NWEA MAPS - 3:00 p.m.

3/31 - MTSS Planning Meeting - 4:00 p.m.

Adult Education

Understanding NWEA MAPS Assessments

Children learn better and faster when teachers and parents have a clear picture of what each student needs to know and is ready to learn next. We encourage you to come learn what the MAPS Assessments are, how they work, and what we use them for. This class is free of charge!

Date: Wednesday, March 31st 3:00 pm


Register by clicking the link below!

Adult Spanish Class

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

PAWS Value

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