January 12, 2024 - Issue #118

Looking ahead in 2024: Hello from Healy

Happy New Year Pierz Families!

We welcome our students back this week recharged and ready to finish out the last week or so of our first semester. We thank all of you for your continued communication and partnership in helping Healy to be a thriving learning environment for all of our students.  

Our 2023-24 Focus

We have had two main areas of focus this year in our school: Literacy and PRIDE. Our teachers have been engaging in professional learning around literacy and have been implementing strategies in their classrooms to both engage students at a higher level and to give students the skills they need to learn well wherever they are, whether it be reading a blueprint, analyzing a piece of art, or solving a complex problem.

PRIDE, our other big focus, stands for Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline(self), and Empathy. We believe these skills will help our students to be successful in their lives in and beyond school, especially in their work, career, and relationships. Our teachers and staff have been asked to embed learning around these virtues, as well as opportunities to reflect on and use these skills in their classrooms.  

Great Things We’re Seeing

Students excelling in arts, academics, and activities.  

Our bands and choirs have had several concerts already this year. The groups have been working very hard and put on excellent performances. Thank you to all the families who have attended to support our students. It is meaningful when the community supports our students’ efforts. Our visual art students have been producing beautiful pieces of art both for class to meet standards and as a way to celebrate holidays. Notably, all students K-12 were a part of a flag project for Veterans’ Day and our 7-12 art students produced ornaments to hang in the hallway for our most recent 9-12 music concert.  

Academically, our students have been working hard to continue the legacy of academic excellence here at Healy. We have a significant number of students participating in concurrent CLC and PSEO classes to earn college credit. All 10th-grade students participated in the PreACT in November. We are so proud of the work that all of our students have put forth this semester to continue to learn and grow in their classes.

So many of our students have been participating in athletics and activities in our school. From football to basketball to gymnastics, FFA, and Spanish Club—our students are challenging themselves to learn, work with others, compete, and pursue activities they enjoy.

Growing our Partnership

Personal Devices

Our school policy this year is that students are to keep their phones and other personal electronic devices in their lockers. Overall, we feel this has been successful so far, with teachers reporting that students are more focused in class. We continue to ask for your partnership in teaching our students the importance and responsibilities of digital citizenship.

As we partner in working with children, we ask that you communicate with our teachers if you have questions or concerns about a specific class. They are committed to helping all students.

Thank you for all that you do and for the support you provide our students and our schools!

—Beth Cooper, 10-12 Principal and Corey Egan, 7-9 Principal

Next issue: Looking ahead at Pioneer Elementary

Happenings at Healy

All-Conference honors for music students

Congratulations to these incredible students who represented Pierz at the GRC All-Conference Band and Choir today in Albany last week.

Representing the Pierz Music Department in Band:

Julian Westmoreland

Angela Giuliani

Ruth Osborne

Landin Brezinka

Daizy Dickmann

Joseph Ruiz-Martinez

Logan Gross

Benjamin Schlegel

Allison Skiba

Roman Skiba

Isabel Skiba

Jodi Smude

Jahnika Athman

Addie Mitchell

Representing the Pierz Music Department in Choir:

Payton Stangl

Tyler Foss

Lexie Bleeker

Miranda Otremba

Faith Bridewell

FFA competes at Central Lakes College

Thirteen Pierz FFA individuals competed at Central Lakes College in Brainerd this week competing in Poultry, Pre-Vet, Farm Business Management, and Fish and Wildlife competitions.

Kaden Kroll took 1st Place in the individual results for Farm Business Management and qualified for State. Cydney Rose Bowerman, Isabelle Dulude, Catherine Wehseler, and Hailey Gall competed in the Companion Animal Division and placed 8th, just missing out on qualifying for State by one place.

Isabelle Brown, Katlyn Gotvald, Parker Talberg, and Olivia Larson competed in the Fish and Wildlife Division, placing 14th and did not qualify for State.

Logan Kurtz, Gabe Stangl, Alex Sebasky, and Adam Hoheisel competed in the Poultry Division and placed 5th and did not qualify for State.

Congratulations to all the Pierz FFA members and best of luck to Kaden Kroll at State!

Art is all around at Healy

Ms. Jayne and her art students have been filling the halls of Healy with beautiful works of art this year. It seems like each week brings a different theme, color, or study being displayed by our artists.

Recently, students were challenged with drawing portraits of an important elder in their lives. Along with the ink line drawings, students interviewed their subject and had the opportunity to add their stories to the national StoryCorps project (more information at StoryCorps.org). At right, students used Mrs. Gotvald's greenhouse class's succulents as inspiration for their chalk, pastel, and glue drawings. At left, eighth graders studied patterns before they turned their designs into ceramic glazed clay tiles.

Happenings at Pioneer Elementary

Pre-school registration begins

Unbelievably, our school year is nearly half over, and now we start looking forward to next fall when our newest Pioneers start pre-school and kindergarten with us at Pierz Schools.

We find it valuable that students in our district attend the same campus from the time they start preschool and kindergarten until they graduate, thirteen years later, allowing the formation of close friendships and a strong network between students, staff, and parents. Additionally, co-existing in one large campus allows ongoing collaboration and mentoring between older and younger students: kindergartners read with their 6th-grade reading buddies, elementary students join high school ag students to plant gardens, make Christmas ornaments, and play games, 5-6th graders walk over for mass band opportunities, elementary students walk to the PAC for high school performances during the day, and many more experiences are enjoyed by being under one roof.

Did you know? We still have room for preschoolers and kindergarteners, even if you're outside of the district? We are able to open enroll by grade level, and we have openings in both preschool and kindergarten for the 2024-25 school year. If you have questions or would like the necessary forms to ensure your child's acceptance by January 15, please reach out to Shari at the Pioneer Office at 320.468.6548 x2209 or [email protected].

Save the date: join us on February 20 at 6pm for open gym and information about 2024-25 preschool enrollment! More information to come.

Book comes to life: learning from the experts

Third-graders finished reading "Aero and Officer Mike", a non-fiction book about the partnership between a police officer and his K-9 partner. To further illustrate the importance of K-9 police dogs, Officer Eric Hanneken, Chief of Police of the city of Pierz, and Sgt. Dan Rocheleau from the Morrison County Sheriff's Department talked to students about their experiences and extensive training of their own police dogs and building the K-9 police dog program from its early stages in Morrison County. They talked about the important work a well-trained K-9 police dog is capable of and the importance of having a trust-worthy partner in the field of their work, whether that's a dog or a human.

The students (and staff!) were impressed with the stories shared by the officers, like Rocheleau's K-9 partner finding a fugitive in the swamps of Lastrup and another up a tree in Pine Center. You can run...but you can't hide from a K-9!

Looking Ahead

January 12: 2-hour Early Release - Teacher Workshop

January 19: No School - Teacher Workshop, End of Semester 1

January 22: No School

January 24: Financial Aid/FAFSA Workshop for Seniors/Parents, 5pm HS Media Center

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. New players are welcome every week, no experience or your own equipment is necessary.

Call to learn more about the pickleball tournament on February 10 or stop by Frosty's.

Rachel Young will be offering CPR certification on March 14, a refresher on March 13 and the BLS training on February 5. First Aid certification on February 21 and the refresher on February 22.

Enjoy a free cup of coffee on February 2 after you drop off your preschooler, kindergartner or 1st grader and connect with other parents with kids the same age as yours. Learn more about PTO and all the ins and outs of Pioneer Elementary. 7:45-8:30am

Pioneer Conference room by door 20.

Sponsored by Community Ed, PTO and ECFE

Are you interested in becoming a bee keeper? Molly Gensmer, our very own head cook at Healy, will be offering the first session on Monday, January 29. Discover the initial costs, equipment needed, and time commitment to start your beekeeping journey. Learn more and register in the community ed webstore.

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.

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