Letter to Parents

Dear Parents of Incoming Fifth-Graders,
We, Ms. Major, Ms. Smythe and Mr. Snyder, the fifth grade teachers at Pioneer, are looking forward to working with your child as part of the fifth grade class of 2018-2019. Between the three of us, your child will be the beneficiary of over 50 years of teaching experience. That experience has taught us a great deal about how elementary school should prepare its students for middle school and beyond. With that in mind, we have set up a modified middle school system for your child to learn in and grow with.

One of the ways we try to simulate middle school is by actually having periods during the school day where your child will have Ms. Major for math and science; Mr. Snyder for Communications, health and social studies; Ms. Smythe for literature and science and all of us for physical education. For some subjects the students will be mixed differently than in their "homeroom" class and others will be using the homeroom grouping. So don't think so much of your child having a certain teacher all day for the year. Rather, she/he will spend time with all three of us!

This year we will be stressing organization and responsibility. Your child will be given a planner the first week of school and they will be expected to keep it up to date on a daily basis throughout the year. We will monitor the planner each week to help students develop this important organization skill. There will be one or two nightly math assignments and occasional reading and note-taking assignments for social studies. Of course, there will be a few long-term projects throughout the year as well. Your child will be expected to always turn their neat and completed work in on time. We will expect independent reading to continue in fifth grade; specifically, at least one AR (Accelerated Reader) book and two nonfiction books to be read each month. See "Reading" page on this web site for more information regarding independent reading.

We will use a computer record system to generate an overview of your child's work. Points will be given for homework, class work, notes, planners, quizzes, and tests. A report will be sent home periodically to help keep your child and you apprised of their progress in these areas.

We believe that all students deserve a classroom experience free from unnecessary disruptions or rude behaviors. When necessary, a daily instruction time will be held during morning recess. This period is called "Manners Class". During this time, we will instruct students who need a lesson in cooperation, attitude, or self-control; i.e. manners. You will be informed by note and an explanation, written by your child, if they are required to attend Manners Class. Mr. Lang, our principal, will deal with chronic or more serious problems. Please take some time to discuss the importance of these expectations with your child. It will be time well spent.

Sincerely, Ms. Major, Ms. Smythe, and Mr. Snyder