Pierz Schools Blog Page

  • Pierz Schools Recognized for High Achievement 

    Posted by Pierz Schools on 2/28/2024


    Elementary and High Schools selected as High Reliability Schools Model Site 

    Pierz Pioneer Elementary School and Pierz Healy High School announced today that they have been awarded, and accepted, the designation of  a High Reliability Schools (HRS) Model Site.

    As part of the nationally-recognized Marzano Institute for Effective Schools’ HRS Framework that helps schools focus on specific, research-based conditions for continuous school improvement, the designation of a High Reliability Model Site lifts up  schools that have the capacity to produce consistently high achievement results with students year after year.  

    Pierz has been on a journey with HRS for more than five years, working with nationally-recognized educational leaders to develop its own internal set of teams, structure, and consistent checking of outcomes in order to be considered as a Model Site.  It is an ongoing process to evolve through the five levels HRS identifies and schools are constantly tracking outcomes and making any needed adjustments.  

    The five levels that the Marzano model examines include:

    1. Safe and Supportive Collaborative Culture

    2. Highly Effective Teaching 

    3. Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum

    4. Standards Referenced Reporting

    5. Competency Based Education

    “It takes sustained and committed leadership at every level of a school to create the conditions for all students to succeed,” said Kassidy Rice, Sourcewell’s senior director of education solutions. “Today, we celebrate Pierz for their dedication to implementing the HRS framework, while setting a benchmark for schools as a Model Site.”

    Being selected as a Model Site will allow Pierz to access national experts in these areas who will work directly with staff.  It means other schools will visit Pierz to learn and see what is working well.  It also means Pierz will build relationships with other highly effective schools who are achieving amazing results.

    Pierz Superintendent George Weber added: 

    “We, at Pierz Schools, are very blessed to have enough stability, consistency, and hard-working positive people throughout our system to allow these components to provide the building blocks of our students’ educational experiences.

    • Consistently high success requires teachers and other staff to master and implement skills and approaches that meet the various learners in a way that creates the best learning day and builds learning throughout the school year.

    • It requires parents and students to support their teachers and their school and navigate the expectations and standards as children develop.

    • It demands united leadership over time, where School Board, Administration and Teacher Leaders stay the course and hold to our core mission.”


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  • Literacy a focus at Pioneer Elementary

    Posted by Pierz Schools on 1/26/2024

    Hello Pioneer Elementary Families, 

    As we’ve turned the page to a new year and a new semester, we have a myriad of things happening at Pioneer Elementary. This is the time of year that we look to maximize student learning. Routines are in place and better than ever. Students have built strong relationships with their teachers and classmates. Teachers are poised and ready to prepare our students for the end-of-year achievement goals and assessments. The upcoming end-of-year assessments are ones we celebrate as we have consistently outpaced our regional peers in all areas. We have top-notch students here at Pioneer and it shows in all that they do! Here are a few highlights of what we’ve been up to this year and more importantly, where we are headed.

    Leaning into Literacy

    Literacy, which includes all things reading and writing, has been our focus at Pioneer. Teachers have worked tirelessly on early-out and in-service days to hone our instruction around reading and enhance our techniques with students. This year, we have been particularly focused on the area of building vocabulary and background knowledge. Having a solid foundation in words and their meanings is critical to understanding what we read. For example, if you’ve never heard of the game of Cricket, it makes reading a text about it extremely difficult. However, a text around a more familiar topic, such as farming or wintery weather, becomes exponentially easier. 

    In the world of reading, the saying “Knowledge Matters” holds true and it’s built through science, social studies, and music as well as the everyday experiences we share with our children. 

    One particular focus of training this fall and again last week with Mary Jorhal, literacy consultant from Sourcewell, was on oral language and the “big, bold audacious” words we speak with students. So…don’t be surprised if your student comes home asking you if your day was “delightful” today or if the weather is going to be “horrendous’ tomorrow!

    READ Act

    There’s been a fair amount of new legislation this year and of particular importance to Pioneer is the READ Act. Within this act are guidelines for teacher training as well as curriculum selection that will help students gain the skills to read and comprehend. Not surprisingly, many of our teachers have already taken or are in the process of taking this training. The training, LETRS, has already become instrumental in our instructional planning and a turning point for many teachers in their classrooms. We look forward to rolling out the READ act within Pioneer and are thrilled to announce we already have many of the portions of the act already in place!


    As you walk the halls of Pioneer, you will not find a more caring and dedicated group of people working with students. From the playground to the classroom, students are learning to navigate their world, find their passions, and build positive relationships that will impact them for a lifetime. We are definitely ONE-OF-A-KIND and we thank you for entrusting your children and their learning to us!

    Mr. Tom Otte, Principal

    Ms. Wendy Becker, Assistant Principal

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  • PRIDE and personal responsibility a focus at Healy

    Posted by Pierz Schools on 1/12/2024

    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

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  • Minnesota Community Education Association Celebrates Regional Champions

    Posted by Pierz Schools on 11/1/2023

    Minnesota Community Education Association Celebrates Regional Champions

    [Brooklyn Park, Minnesota] – [October 26, 2023] – The Minnesota Community Education Association (MCEA) is proud to announce the honorees of the Regional Community Educator of Excellence Awards for this year. These awards recognize the outstanding contributions made by dedicated individuals across the state who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their communities, the field of community education, and the pursuit of collective learning.

    Each year, MCEA recognizes the outstanding work of community educators who go above and beyond to make a positive impact on their local communities. These individuals are the unsung heroes who, through their dedication and tireless efforts, enhance the lives of community members by providing valuable education and resources.

    This year, we are thrilled to extend our heartfelt recognition to the Regional Community Educator of Excellence Award Recipients, who have displayed unwavering dedication in their service to their communities and have been instrumental in advancing the cause of collective learning.

    The Regional Community Educator of Excellence Award is a testament to the remarkable work carried out by educators who have not only excelled in their roles but have also made a profound difference in the lives of those they serve.

    As the Minnesota Community Education Association, we are committed to supporting, promoting, and celebrating the community education field. The recipients of these awards embody the values and dedication that make community education such a vital part of our society.

    We were proud to announce and present the award winners at our Annual MCEA Statewide Conference on Thursday, October 26th in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Their stories and achievements inspired others to continue striving for excellence in community education.

    For more information about the Minnesota Community Education Association and the Regional Community Educator of Excellence Awards, please visit https://mn-mcea.org/awards-and-recognitions/

    About the Minnesota Community Education Association: The Minnesota Community Education Association (MCEA) is dedicated to supporting, promoting, and advocating for community education in the state of Minnesota. MCEA serves as a resource for community education professionals and strives to enhance the quality and availability of lifelong learning opportunities for all Minnesotans.


    Congratulations to the following 2023 Minnesota Community Education Association Regional Community Educator of Excellence Award recipients.  


    Region 1 Jennifer Lawhead - Austin Community Education

    Community Education Director Austin Community Education


    Region 2- Crystal Fleck - New Ulm Community Education

    Program coordinator New Ulm Community Education.


    Region 3 - Emily Watts - Osseo Area Community Education

    Adult Basic Education Program Coordinator at Osseo Area Schools


    Region 4 - Jenny Nagy - Prior Lake-Savage Area Community Education

    Adult and Community Engagement Coordinator at Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools. 


    Region 5 - Laurie Thrush - Hastings Community Education

    Hastings Senior Center & AWD Coordinator.


    Region 6 - Stephen Keeler - Fridley Community Education

    Community Education Director - Fridley Public Schools


    Region 7 - Tricia Jessen - Bemidji Community Education

    School Age Child Care Facilitator at Bemidji Area Schools Community Education.


    Region 8 - Kristal Berg - Proctor/Hermantown

    Director of Community Education for both Proctor Public Schools and Hermantown Community Schools.


    Region 9 Sarah Funk - Pierz

    Director of Community Education at Pierz Schools.  


    Media Contact: 

    [Matt Dickhausen] 

    [Executive Director]

    [MN Community Education Association] 



    award winners

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  • Compeer Financial Press Release: Ag Grants for Rural Schools

    Posted by Pierz Schools on 10/26/2023

    Download: Compeer Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    Nora Nolden, Communications Consultant
    nora.nolden@compeer.com or (651) 245-6804

    Compeer Financial Awards 60 Grants to Ag Classrooms
    $212K granted to schools to further agricultural education

    Sun Prairie, Wis., (September 8, 2023) – Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, awarded a total of $212,000 through the Agriculture Education and Classroom Equipment Grant program this year. Sixty schools in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin located across Compeer Financial’s territory will be receiving grants of up to $4,000 each, funding a variety of hands-on learning tools and new technologies for
    agriculture education classrooms.

    The lives of 12,290 students will be directly impacted through this grant program, which is intended to support agriculture education and motivate youth to further their knowledge of the agriculture industry. With this ever-changing industry comes the need for program funding, and that’s where Compeer Financial steps in.

    “The agriculture industry offers a variety of career opportunities, and exposing young adults to this starts in the classroom,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer Financial. “The goal of this grant program is to help develop and enhance modern, comprehensive agriculture education in schools, teaching students about its importance and limitless potential. These grants help to fuel the inspiration and exposure students receive in high schools.”

    High school agriculture departments throughout Compeer’s 144-county territory were eligible to apply for an Agriculture Education and Classroom Equipment grant. The grant funds will be used across a variety of classes, including: animal and plant sciences, food science/chemistry, veterinary, horticulture, mechanics,  forestry/wildlife, aquatics, and more. Through new equipment
    in these classrooms, applicants say, students are provided with real-world hands-on educational experiences, industry-standard equipment experience, exposure to STEM concepts and development of life-long skills.

    The organizations receiving grants in 2023 include:
    Camp Point Central High School: purchasing a CNC desktop machine
    Elmwood Community School 322: multi-process welder with TIG kit, cart, and extra tips

    Freeport High School: equipment to till the garden, spread mulch and other materials and turn compost piles

    Grant Park School CUSD #6: educational materials for career development events and mechanics tools

    Heyworth High School: cordless drills with backup batteries, hanging base assemblies for greenhouse water system, water nozzles, calcium filter, and plugs to fix overhead water

    Lexington School District: mig welders

    Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts: a chicken kit, indoor hanging grow lights, commercial crops identification mounts, leaves and seeds of common trees identification mounts, soybean plant model, full-size mobile light cart, root systems display, Poultry Judging 101 CDE Manual team set, and Forestry CDE resources

    Olympia High School/Olympia CUSD No. 16: equipment and supplies to implement three new units in biology and three new units in agricultural science, including dissecting microscopes, soils test kits, feed testing chemicals, jars, baskets, hydroponic fertilizer, rock wool, grafting knives, dome lids, trays, rootstock and scion wood, clay pebbles, buckets, tubing, air poppers, bowls and DNA testing supplies.

    Pearl City Jr/Sr High School: equipment for labs and hands-on activities

    Rich Township High School District 227: corn stalk model, commercial crops identification mounts, plant mounting sheets, pig dissection mats, 4D science cell models complete set, leaves and seeds of common trees identification mounts, soybean plant model, plant science kit, and indoor hanging grow lights

    River Ridge: small gas engines, set of digital micrometers, set of digital calipers, set of telescoping gauges, set of telescoping gauge balls, and feeler gauge set

    Rolling Meadows High School: storage shed, refrigerator, food storage bins, heat sealer, plastic storage bags, hose, and a food prep table for food production and distribution at the school's suburban farm

    Sycamore High School: optical dissolved oxygen probes, oxygen gas sensors, and turbidity sensors

    Tri-Point CUSD #6J/Tri-Point High School: a greenhouse

    Tri-Valley High School: supplies for Horticulture curriculum and workshops

    Unity High School: hand tools, small power tools and cleaning tools

    Williamsfield School District: a stainless-steel commercial utility sink with drainboard, backsplash and faucet for the shop

    Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Schools: GroShed

    Cleveland High School: trout tank and supplies, rod building classroom kit, sets of classroom novels, immersion blenders, graduated cylinders, beakers, food thermometers, squirt bottles, hot oil popcorn popper, metal strainers, periodic table poster, conductivity meter, pH meter, petri dishes with agar, muffin and Bundt pans and kitchen timers

    Hayfield Community Schools: replacement greenhouse tables and an inventory shelf cart

    Heron Lake Okabena: greenhouse bench, reverse osmosis system, raised garden beds and irrigation, jerky guns, dehydrator, chicken coop run, activity tables, canine IV leg, feather dissection kit, bird beak adaption kit, and talon set

    Holdingford: vertical milling machine

    ISD 316 (Greenway Public Schools): food-grade stainless steel sink and a faucet for the agriculture classroom

    LeRoy-Ostrander Schools: tablet with protective cover, hot plates, multi-use utility transfer carts, taxidermy and dissection lab specimens, and microscopes with LED illumination

    Lewiston-Altura School District: shovels, rakes, shears, trowels and other basic tools, and a storage shed, piston ring compressors, and a floor jack

    Madelia High School: agricultural power and technology materials package, advanced wind experiment kit, circuit boards, energy sensor, ethanol sensor, force and acceleration sensor, rotary motion sensor, and variable load sensor

    Mankato West High School: storage shed, shade tent, cash register, table and display shelves, startup containers for sales, and a floral cooler

    Medford Public School: food lab update, wildlife teaching material, small gas engines equipment, welding equipment

    Milaca High School: pedestal grinder and battery power tools

    Mora High Public Schools: bathing and grooming supplies kit

    Nicollet: dishwashers, baking and cooking equipment, Vernier Lab quests, auto darkening welding helmets, pairs of welding gloves

    Pierz Healy High School: oil immersion microscopes

    Plainview-Elgin-Millville: equipment for new food science class: meat grinder, air fryer, blenders, canning equipment, movable stainless-steel tables, canning jars, ice cream maker, dehydrator, meat grill, knives, bowls, and utensils

    Red Rock Central Public Schools: plant grow towers and supplies
    Southland Public Schools: new hand power tools, calculators, router bits, small engine tools, welding helmets, socket sets, small engine testing equipment, and electric wiring tools

    St. Clair Public Schools: hydroponics table, seeds, gardening gloves and a vet trainer dog model

    Upsala Area Schools: tool cabinets, orbital sanders, air nailer, assortment of clamps, welding pliers, cordless drills, impact screwdriver set, screwdriver set with case, electrician pliers,
    combination wrench set, and drill bit sets

    Blair-Taylor: flood benches for the greenhouse, fertilizer injector system, and soil mixing table

    Brodhead School District: bovine artificial insemination simulator

    Cadott High School: food processing equipment, including grinder, juicer attachment with screens, cheese presses, maple syrup vacuum press, mixers, pasta attachments, and convection ovens

    Campbellsport School District: fruit trees, fencing, and maintenance equipment for school education center

    Cashton School District: swine litter processing simulator and supply packs, cow and pig ear simulation and replacement packs
    Clinton Community School District: swine litter processing simulators and corn stalk model

    DeForest Area School District: hydroponic system

    Eleva-Strum: shade cloths, outdoor whiteboard, seating, and tables including ADA accessibility for outdoor garden classroom

    Gilmanton Schools: mig welder

    Howards Grove School District: canine vet trainer and animal training models

    Lancaster High School: hand tools, portable power tools, miter saw, and subscription to online curriculum

    Lodi High School: adding lights to the new greenhouse

    Milwaukee Public Schools: duck barn and a chicken coop

    Mineral Point High School: installation of a walk-in cooler and shelving, bins, and trays

    Montello School District: livestock gates

    Monticello School District: butcher beef cut models

    Portage High School, Portage Community School District: vertical hydroponics systems

    River Valley School District: food science supplies, including: pots, pans, bowls, and mixing utensils

    Sauk Prairie School District: vertical hydroponic unit and consumable supplies

    School District of Wisconsin Dells: veterinary equipment, hoof trimming kit, entrance disinfectant mats, cattle panels and T-posts, calf hutches, poultry netting, feed troughs and hay mounts
    Shullsburg: egg incubator, brooding pen, grow-out pen, a quail cage, and processing equipment

    Tomah Area School District: garden tools, soil, seeds, hoses, watering heads, tomato cages, stock tanks, and a portable livestock scale
    Waupun Area School District: swine breeder artificial inseminator simulator

    About the Fund for Rural America
    The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and
    youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at Compeer.com/giving-back.

    About Compeer Financial
    Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $30.5 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the
    agriculture industry. Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more about Compeer Financial.

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  • Pierz Schools Tops State in MCA Scores

    Posted by Heidi Thielen on 9/5/2023

    MCA News 2023

    In August, the State of Minnesota released the 2023 MCA Test Results to all School Districts as well as the total information for the State.

    Pierz Schools is ‘Pioneer Proud’ of our staff and students for their performance on this very challenging State Test. Pierz outperformed the State in every area—and performed significantly higher in many grade levels in both Math and Reading. Worth noting: Minnesota is consistently ranked first or close to first when it comes to comparisons with other states. Our state tests are among the most challenging in our country. So— we know if we do well compared to the best in Minnesota, we are doing very well.

    To help make sense out of these numbers, we will provide a little definition:
    The test results show the percentage of students who proved they are Proficient in all of the standards for each grade level for both Language Arts and Mathematics. There are many standards measured, especially at upper grade levels as the standards accumulate every year. To some degree, one could say that testing at Proficient means you can perform that Standard. It might
    be the equivalent of getting a “B” or “A” as a letter grade in that subject, if the grade was specifically about the child’s academic knowledge or understanding.

    The MCA Test Results were as follows:
    In the area of Reading:
    State of Minnesota: 47.9% of students in Minnesota across all grades tested were Proficient.
    Pierz Schools: 60.4% of students across all grades tested were Proficient.

    In the area of Math:
    State of Minnesota: 45% of students across all grades tested were Proficient.
    Pierz Schools: 63.9% of students across all grades tested were Proficient.

    When you are looking at large samples like this, a 10% difference is very significant. So we are very proud to announce that Pierz staff and students outperformed the rest of Minnesota by percentages as large as almost 13% in Reading and an extraordinary 19% in Math.
    Additionally, Pioneer Elementary School had numbers that were even more awe-inspiring (the State tests all students in Grades 3-6). For Pierz Pioneer Elementary School, the combined Proficiency in Reading was 69.9% and the combined Proficiency in Math was 74.7%.

    A huge thank you to the parents, teachers, paras, administrators, and all staff who make learning opportunities possible for our students. And congratulations to our hard-working students who give their best every day. We can’t wait to see you back here for another great school year!

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  • An Important Message About Bussing

    Posted by Superintendent George Weber on 8/31/2023

    Hello Pierz Pioneer Parents,

    We are excited about the start of this school year.  Pierz Schools are functioning at an amazingly high level and we are very, very blessed to have so many caring and committed staff members who consistently do much more than what is in their job description in an effort to continue being among the best at what we do.

    We have some important information to share and explain as it relates to one of our significant challenges, which is transportation.  We will try to summarize some of our challenges as well as some of our solutions to those challenges, and at the same time allow you a deeper understanding of those challenges as well as the grace to see the big picture of getting 1,400 children to and from 3 schools each day. 

    1. Safety and Respect

    Our Drivers are very caring and very committed.  Their main goal is safety.  Driving 65 children around in a vehicle is one of the most challenging of duties.  We need all parents to expect that their children always listen to the driver.  No adult can manage that many children safely if 5 to 10 to 20 of those children believe they can have their “own agenda” nor “constantly negotiate” what is appropriate and what is not.  It’s imperative that while on the bus, children respect the necessary decisions of the bus driver. 

    1. Prepared

    As mentioned above, we need children and parents to understand that they are one of 50 or 60 on that route at that time.  If 50 individuals think they need an extra 2 minutes, that adds up to 100 minutes.  We do our best to stick to timelines, and if they are off, it is seldom related to the driver. We need your help in guaranteeing children are ready.

    1. Bus Capacity and Flexibility

    We have more children riding buses than ever. We are doing our best to create space for all children to ride. This year, in order to make it work, we may have to have some of the shorter routes closer to Pierz drop off students earlier and then go back to pick up with in-town students living west of Highway 25. The students living east of Highway 25 already walk to school.

    We will have to work this out over the first week or two of school as we verify which children are riding each day and which ones are not. For those parents on those routes, please understand that we are still working through this challenge and need some time to actually see how it will function. 

    1. Going Above and Beyond 

    We have a long history of trying to accommodate as much as possible. This includes:

    - going into driveways even when it takes extra time;

    - going outside of district boundaries to accommodate families 

    - picking up students at various locations or dropping them off at various locations based upon changes in who is caring for that child on that particular week or even day of the week.

    All of these things seem critical to that family at that moment in time.  And we have often done all we can to make it work.  At the same time, all of these things add to the length of the route and the capacity of the routes.  

    We ask for understanding and support that we simply cannot do it all. Thus there are some things we ask of parents that include:

    -We have and will continue to establish meeting points for families out of district when going to the door presents a challenge.

    -We will ask that parents find ways to get their child to the end of their driveway: there are narrow roads, and busy roads, and times when we cannot stop, or back up, or turn around, or go into a yard.

    Even though our Drivers and our Transportation Coordinator would love to accommodate all requests at all times, they simply cannot.  We ask for your understanding and support.

    1. Join our Team

    We need another Bus Driver right now.  We can promise you good pay and support if you are interested. We need more Bus Aides.  We are so committed to providing safety and support for children and our Drivers that we are willing to pay for another adult to be on every route.  We just need to find those people willing to take on that role.


    Our team is fun, and supportive and you can join that family of caring and loyal adults who get to show their patience, guidance and getting to know children every day. Until we can fill this position, we will be rotating people and doing what we can to make it work every day. 

    Thanks you for your understanding and support as we navigate this added challenge.

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  • Industrial technology/East Wing renovation nearing completion

    Posted by George Weber on 1/12/2023

    After nearly a year of planning, remodeling, and construction, Healy High School is very close to having a dramatically improved East Wing which houses our industrial technology classes. These hands-on courses appeal to so many of our students, and many students continue their post-high school education and careers in these areas. Courses like construction, cabinet making, small gas engines, welding, greenhouse management, landscaping, veterinary science, and wiring/plumbing/concrete will all see vast improvements to equipment, storage, ventilation, and workspaces. 


    All teaching spaces in this area have been updated with new HVAC, lighting, paint, flooring, and technology, resulting in brighter, cleaner spaces large enough to house three full-time teachers. The addition of a technology workroom to this area will allow industrial technology teachers and students to navigate between the woods, welding shops, and high-tech spaces that house equipment like plasma cutters, 3D printers, and laser engravers.  

    The expansion of the welding and metals area allows for material storage, the breakdown and cutting of the metals, and the capacity for plasma cutting and shaping— all in one new well-vented area.  We are truly excited to provide this opportunity for our students and the capacity for our staff to implement a variety of classroom experiences using metals as the teaching tool.  The metals area expansion creates more than 5,000-square-feet of teaching space.


    The wood shop has also been expanded with added storage areas to the shop, as well as a completely new dust vacuum system to provide the cleanliness and air quality of a professional shop. With the addition, the wood shop now offers approximately 3,500 square feet of space. 

    As you walk down this new East Wing, the two south side classrooms are now merged into the Agricultural Center. This large space, approximately 1,800 square feet,  allows for expanded laboratory options for plants, genetics, landscaping, and the capacity for instruction in the multitude of areas that make up agronomy today.  The large merged rooms will have large south-facing windows to allow for growing and testing opportunities as well as easy access to the multiple greenhouses used in the fall and spring.

    All shop and lab spaces can also access the newly created 1,400-square-foot Tech Classroom centrally located, adjacent to all the workspaces.  The Tech Classroom contains more high-tech learning opportunities like 3D Printers, Laser Engravers, Robotics and Computer stations, and other key components to the design, trades, and ag industries.  

    We have also added a new special education classroom to this project. This new classroom provides some sensory room options and also independent living skills learning opportunities as students will be able to use the classroom’s dedicated kitchen, laundry, and other facilities. 

    We are very close to the completion of this exciting project. The wood shop and welding shop should be operating at full capacity by the end of January. The ag room should be ready by the end of February. 

    students working in woodshopTechnology labweldin storagestudents working

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  • Snow emergency reminders

    Posted by Superintendent George Weber on 1/6/2023

    Thank you to so many parents, bus drivers, and snow plow drivers who have gone above and beyond the last 48-hours as we continue to work through one of our snowiest winters.

    We have a couple of reminders during these challenging times of navigating:

    • Our drivers must make the judgment regarding navigating through certain township roads that we hope are plowed, but we do not always know if they are plowed. If you are aware they are not plowed, please consider giving your bus driver a heads-up.
    • If the driver determines that they cannot safely make it through a driveway that is not plowed, we ask them not to try. In those situations, you may need to get your child to the end of the driveway.
    • Finally, if you live in a location where it is not driveable, it is okay that your child misses school. We will excuse the absence. In the end, we have to make a decision based on allowing the vast majority of students to safely make it to school. If it is not safe in your particular circumstance, that is okay. Do not feel any undue pressure to send your child through a driveway or township road that is not cleared, nor put yourself in that situation with your own vehicle.

    Reminder: we will provide school cancellation and late-start information to families in several ways:

    • We will make the phone call launches to all families who provide the phone numbers in our Synergy Student Information System. To this end, please use your ParentVUE/Synergy access to ensure your contact information is up-to-date.
    • We will post an announcement on the district website as well as the Pierz Schools Facebook page.
    • We will notify LF Radio of our decisions.
    • We use the WCCO School Closings website.

    Thank you, as always, for your understanding and continued support!

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  • Minnesota tops the nation in MCA scores; Pierz tops Minnesota

    Posted by Superintendent George Weber on 11/22/2022

    Congratulations to the Pierz students, teachers, parents, and all the staff who persevered through many obstacles (thank you, Covid!) to outperform schools throughout our region on the 2022 State MCA tests.


    In general, Minnesota public school students perform among the highest in the nation when it comes to national assessments. At Pierz Schools, our students in grades 3-6 outperformed our fellow Minnesota students. So when we do well on our own MCA tests compared to how Minnesota students are doing, we know we are competing at a high level compared to our nation and even the world.  


    Pioneer Pride stands for perseverance, respect, and self-discipline: these tenets are our road map to being successful over the long term. It does not matter whether it is math or music, athletics or agriculture: our expectation is that respectful students and supportive parents— merged with great teaching and coaching— equals success. It is the best formula to bring every day.


    This fall as we reviewed our MCA data, we were proud to see the results of hard work and dedication. Looking at the results of students at every grade at Pioneer Elementary School and comparing our math results to all the schools in our region, we are challenged to find any school that performed better in any of the grades. A huge congratulations and thank you to all the teachers, paras, and supportive parents and guardians who joined together to support our students to achieve this outcome. 


    The MCA math test measures if children are considered proficient in all of the grade-level standards in math. The percentages in the graph show the percent of the students in each grade who are proficient in all of the standards-based upon that test. 


    Pioneer Elementary MCA scores chart comparing. MN and Pioneer Elementary results


    It should be noted that as grade levels progress, more standards are added, so it is common for the percentages to drop as students increase in grade. It is challenging for educators and students to keep up with the level of new learning required every year. That said, Healy High School 7th and 8th graders consistently perform above the state in math; 11th graders outperformed the state in math this past year; and 8th graders outperformed the state in science as well. 


    In order to sustain learning growth into the teenage years, it is critical to have consistency for children in all parts of their lives and critical for the student to always be present and ready to learn every day. We know that both parenting and teaching is never ending and ever-changing. We embrace working together to support the development and growth of students.


    Thanks to all in our community who support our children in all areas of their lives.

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