December 7, 2023 - Issue #116

Toy Drive success takes a generous community

The Pierz Community Toy Drive is well underway. Pierz Schools, businesses, community groups, and families all come together to raise money, donate gifts, and shop for the families who might need a little extra help during Christmas.

At Pioneer Elementary, students participate in Gum and Hat Days whereby students get the opportunity to buy and chew gum at school for a buck (eek!) and wear a hat all day for another dollar donation. All told, these theme days raised nearly $1100 entirely for the Toy Drive this year. The elementary school student council will also be ringing bells and accepting monetary and new toy donations at the parent drop-off line during Christmas programs this week.

At Healy High School, the students are participating in Penny War this week through sponsorship from our Minnesota Honor Society (MHS) students. Each classroom has the opportunity to raise money or ‘delete’ money from other classrooms by donating to the cause. MHS also provides the Toy Drive collection jars at local businesses. This year’s amounts are still being collected and tallied; however, last year Healy students donated nearly $1000 to the Toy Drive during Penny Wars, and the community donated $1000 through the MHS money jars collected at local businesses. 

Both the elementary and high school teams will spend this weekend shopping for next week’s gift-giving event. Any families who would benefit from receiving gifts for their children this Christmas season (ages 0-18) are welcome and encouraged to come to the Pioneer Elementary Gymnasium on Thursday, December 14, from 4:30-6:30 pm. Many of our Pierz Schools staff as well as the Pierz Fire and Rescue volunteers will be on site to help with distribution, wrap presents, and bring additional cheer to the evening! Adults only please at the distribution night. 

Each year we are humbled and astounded by the generosity of the communities in which we get to teach children and raise our families. Thank you to all who donated, shopped, arranged, wrapped, and worked tirelessly to make the holidays a little brighter for everyone. 

Happenings at Healy

Winter activities hit the courts, classrooms, mats, and stadiums

It's the most wonderful time of the year...for winter sports and activities to kick off in Pioneer Country! Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Wrestling, Dance, Winter Pep Band, Knowledge Bowl, Speech, and Robotics teams all started their 2023-24 seasons. Additionally, we have students who have taken the opportunity to join Little Falls teams to compete in Gymnastics and Hockey. And new this year, we have several students participating in a sanctioned archery league. Fascinating, fantastic, fun fact: over 80% of all Pierz 9-12 graders participate in a sport or activity!

We encourage all our families and community members to come out and support our students in their chosen passions. All rosters, schedules, and standings can be found on our Student Activities/Granite Ridge Conference page. Worth noting: for up-to-date photos and commentary on all things Pioneer sports and activities, you'd be wise to follow Rick Grammond on Facebook (as if you don't already)--and no, you don't need to be 'on Facebook' to see his excellent feed.

Happenings at Pioneer Elementary

Fourth grade to Beauty and the Beast

Last week fourth graders were treated to the fabulous performance of "Beauty and the Beast" at the Paramount Theater in St. Cloud.

Why take time for live theatre? Seeing the world through a new perspective helps young minds imagine new worlds, new possibilities, and new ideas. Children who attend live theater have shown greater tolerance of different people and ideas, as well as increased empathy for others. They also show a better understanding of reading materials. All good things.

ASPIRE students host Invention Fair

Students in Mrs. Sadlovsky's ASPIRE classes have been learning about the crossroads of creativity and engineering, and this week they displayed their inventions for Pioneer students. Inventors displayed and demonstrated their creations, and answered the many questions younger students asked about their protoypes. Amongst the many creative masterpieces: a build-your-own stuffed animal with magnets, an automatic bunny waterer, a chicken catcher (complete with a live demonstration), and a candy conveyor belt. See many other impressive inventions on the Pierz Schools Flickr photo stream.

The creativity that went into these projects was astounding. The creation of new games and the real-world problems that these young minds were so apt at solving was an impressive display. Well done, everyone.

Santa delivered a (not rein) deer

Each fall students at Pioneer Elementary are encouraged to submit photos of their bucks (no matter how big or small) for a chance to secure Mr. Otte's custom design skills. At the end of the deer season, one student's name is drawn at random. This year, Drew Sadlovsky was the lucky winner of this year's buck contest, receiving the custom-made antler mount, made by hand by Mr. Otte.

Looking Ahead

December 7: Pioneer K-4 Christmas Programs - 5:30-8pm, MS Gym

December 13: Healy Parent Teacher Conferences and College Fair/Information

December 15: 2-Hour Early Release - Teacher Workshop

December 18: Healy High School Bands and Choirs Holiday Concert (9-12)

December 25 - January 2: No School - Winter Break

Community Education

Upcoming Community Education

Calling all adults—join us for pickleball fun! Looking for a way to get active, socialize, and have a blast with friends? All levels of play are welcome. Come to the open gym on Sunday nights at 5pm. Sign up online to ensure you're on the email list for weather updates, or updated locations and times. You have the option to pay online or pay when you come. The fee is $2 per time, and all equipment is provided. Note: no experience necessary!

  • The ballet winter session is ready for registration and starts next week!

  • Gymnastics for grades 1-4 will start in January with three levels available this winter.

Register online in the webstore.

Watch for more adult classes coming soon! You can always view the latest in offerings on under Community Education and follow Pierz Community Education on Facebook.

Register for any of the classes by calling 320-468-6458 ext 1906

Pierz Public Schools #484

[email protected]

District Office: 320.468.6458

112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364