February 24, 2023 - Issue #102

Pierz Schools: High Reliability School Certified

As of last week, Pierz Schools is now a Level 1 Certified High Reliability School. This framework, based on 40 years of educational research, defines five progressive levels of performance that a school must master to become a high reliability school—where all students learn the content and skills they need for success in college, careers, and beyond.

High Reliability Schools (HRS) is a continuous improvement process, modeled after processes of some highly successful organizations, whereby we constantly monitor all areas of our school system for effective practices. We monitor mostly by use of surveys of employees, students, and parents/community (most recently at Parent-Teacher conferences at Pioneer February 13th and 15th and the high school will survey parents at their P/T conference in March). From each survey, the lowest ranking areas of that segment of our school is identified for needed improvement and a team of employees works toward growth. Once improvement is measured, the whole process repeats, thus the continuous nature of improving our schools.

There are 5 levels of HRS, that actually represent different large areas that are important to creating the most highly effective school system.

the first of which is ensuring we have a Safe, Supportive, and Collaborative Culture. “ 

Other Levels include:  

  • Effective Teaching in Every Classroom, 
  • Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
  • Standards Referenced Reporting
  • Competency Based Education

Certification means the HRS national experts have reviewed the processes we have in place and have given us the ‘stamp of approval’ saying we meet the standards for a Highly Reliable School system at that level. We will continue to implement the processes we put in place to be considered a Safe, Supportive and Collaborative School. Then at the same time we are now also working to seek certification at Level 2, “Effective Teaching in Every Classroom.” 

In order to support this process it is important to provide professional development for all of our staff to help with continuous improvement. We use many of our “Teacher Workshop Days” for this purpose.

Bus Driver Appreciation Week

We took time to thank our drivers this week with messages, cards, cake, and coffee. A few of the drivers, Steve Preimesberger, Gary Matlock, and Jason Lease paused for a photo before enjoying a few minutes together after their morning route Wednesday. Pierz drivers go above and beyond making sure they get students to and from school each day. We are lucky as a district for their dedication. It's not an easy job and often not one highly recognized but one of the most important! Thank your driver today!

Happenings at Healy

Valentines Day chocolate through dichotomous keys

Seventh graders in Mr. Teske's science classes are learning about dichotomous keys— the way of scientifically classifying living things. Dichotomous keys consist of a series of statements with two choices in each step that will lead users to the correct identification.

For example, in tree identification, a dichotomous key might ask whether the tree has leaves or needles. The key then directs the user down one list of questions if the tree has leaves, and a different question list if it has needles.

Students had eleven different types of chocolate chips from which to make dichotomous keys. Of course, sampling the 'species' wasn't a requirement, but some students can't help but go above and beyond expectations.

Middle School Spelling Bee

Last week, students in grades 5-8 competed at the District Spelling Bee held at Pioneer Middle School gym. Congratulations to all of the participants — and special congratulations to third place Laurel Clemons-Virnig (8th grade), second place Gabe Stangl (8th grade), and winner of the 2023 District Spelling Bee, Zedrick Fleck (5th grade).

Zedrick and Gabe will compete at the Regional Spelling Bee on March 22 at Sourcewell in Staples, MN.

Happenings at Pioneer Elementary

Testing their Nature Smart in Metier

One of the learning styles students learn about in Metier is being Nature Smart. Earlier this month, students in Mr. Schmidtbauer's Metier classes learned how to identify some native Minnesota conifers. Then, they got out into the elements and tested their knowledge. 

Day of fun earned for second graders

Second graders in Ms. Rocheleau's class earned a Dragon Master day. Students were able to bring in a stuffed animal (many were dragons), wear pajamas and/or dress like a dragon, have a read-aloud of an entire Dragon Master chapter book in one day, and create extra art projects about dragons.

Dragon Masters is a very popular series written by Tracey West and perfect for newly independent readers like Pioneer second graders. This early chapter book series has it all: magic, a king, a wizard, and lots and lots of dragons.

Looking Ahead

  • March 6 - No School - Teacher Workshop Day
  • March 16-18: Spring Play, "Fools" @ PAC 7-9pm

Community Education

Upcoming Community Education Adult Classes

CPR Lifesaver, February 27, 6:00 pm taught by Rachel Young

This class is the general certification class for someone who hasn't already taken CPR.

First Aid Refresher, March 13, 3:30 pm

First Aid Certification, March 1, 6:00pm

Family Open Gym! Support the Spanish Club members in their travel fundraising while spending some time with friends and family. The gym is open for games, basketball, catch, and more for all ages. Parents are required to stay and encouraged to play with their child(ren). There isn't a set fee to attend, but your free-will offering will help the travel members with their trip in exchange for their time setting up and cleaning up. Bracelets and refreshments will also be available for purchase. February 24, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, MAC gym. Enter Door 22.

Defensive Driver Insurance Discount Class for those 55 and older who have attended the 8-hour course. A refresher is required every three years. Rick Sczublewski is the instructor.

Saturday, February 25, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. $24

Call 320-468-6458 ext 7 to register.

Are you a photographer that wants to take your images to the next level or maybe someone that is just getting started in photography? Do you want to be a photographer that TAKES snapshots or one that CREATES images? You'll leave this class with ideas and concepts that you can put into practice right away. We will cover some basics that will surely improve your images if you are not already using them and we will discuss concepts of building your Photographic Vision to take your images from good to great!

Presented by Jay Grammond, $17 per person

Learning More About Kinship opportunities with Aaron Olson. Can you share just four hours a month to mentor a child and provide them with time spent with you or with your family? Do you have a child whom you desire to find another adult role model for?

Then join us for this free presentation by Executive Director, Aaron Olson of Kinship and learn more. No commitments are required if you attend- it's just information!

March 20, 6:00 pm

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

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

Pierz Public Schools #484


District Office: 320.468.6458

112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364