Q. When did Pioneer open?
Pioneer Elementary officially opened to students on January 19, 2021. The facility houses 30 classrooms for grades K through 5th grade.
Q. What happened to the Boys and Girls Club?
The Boys and Girls Club made the decision winter 2019 to sell the property and look for other ways to serve the peninsula area. The Peninsula School District is grateful for the strong partnership we’ve developed over the years with the Boys and Girls Club. They continue to operate an after school care program at Evergreen Elementary that serves students 6 years through 12th grade.
Q. Pioneer is a magnet school. What does that mean?
A magnet school is a themed school which draws students from all neighborhoods in a geographic area, like a school district. Magnet schools are generally organized around a theme like arts, foreign language, or technology. Pioneer’s theme is STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. This means that students at Pioneer will receive an elementary education with an emphasis placed on STEAM concepts.
Q. How many students are planned for Pioneer Elementary School?
The school is being constructed to house up to 550 K through 5th grade students.
Q. Who decides which students attend this school?
Enrollment will be open to all students in the Peninsula School District. If there are more students interested than spots available, PSD will conduct a lottery to determine enrollment. In our inaugural year, we opened lottery to accept 330 students. The 2021/22 interest process was open from March 1st-March 19th, and more students were interested than spots available, so PSD conducted an enrollment lottery on April 5th. All selected incoming families have been notified for the 2021/22 school year. Families who were not selected for enrollment are still active on the waitlist. You can view our active waitlist HERE.
Q. Will students with special needs be able to enter the lottery?
Yes. We will staff the school with special education personnel to serve students who receive resource room and related services (SLP, OT, PT, etc.). Please note, however, that throughout the District, we have specific elementary schools designated to house special programs such as PACE (highly capable) and Options (life skills). Pioneer will not house a PACE or Options program and students who are placed in these programs should contact Principal Strader or the Executive Director of Student Services for further information.
Q: What about siblings? If one sibling is selected in the lottery would other siblings be accepted also?
The lottery process was developed to honor equity for all as well as honor the family unit. If there are vacancies and family numbers that were drawn included multiple students, all students within that family are placed. However, when we reach capacity at an individual grade, it is possible for some siblings to be accepted and others to be waitlisted. Families will then have to make the decision to enroll that student or not.
Q: Will bus transportation be provided from all of PSD elementary schools to Pioneer?
The district has made a commitment to provide transportation to students; however, the district will need to use HUB STOPS to accommodate all the runs needed across our district. For families looking to utilize district transportation, parents/guardians will be expected to get students to the closest Hub Stop to catch the bus ride to school. For information on current Hub Stops please PSD's transportation webpage. While these may change from year to year, you can see where the current routes run in relation to your home address.
Q. What kinds of safety features are included in the new school?
All visitors to Pioneer Elementary will be required to be buzzed into the main office before proceeding to any area of the school. Windows from the office to the front of the school allow office staff to see guests as they arrive. Also, all exit doors are only accessible to staff members with key cards providing a secure learning environment for students.
Q. I heard the district’s TRAC program will be at this school. What’s TRAC?
TRAC is our district program to support students in K through 5th grade with diagnosed social-emotional and behavioral needs. TRAC stands for Teaching Responsibility, Academics, and Communication. Much like many of our other designated programs, Resource, Options, and HiCap, students in the TRAC program have been assessed and determined to have unique needs that need to be addressed through individualized education and alternate learning environments. Currently, our TRAC program is located at Minter. By moving the program to Pioneer, we are able to design a program best fit to meet the needs of students and allow for greater support and collaboration among the team of professionals supporting their learning. The TRAC program will move to Pioneer upon full opening in fall 2021.
Q. Where will the bus drop off/pick up area be located and where is the parent drop off/pick up area?
The bus turnaround area will be on the south side of the school and the parent drop off/pick up area will be on the north side, at the front of the new building. We ask that parents do not use the bus loop to drop off or pick-up students, or turn around. We prioritize the safety of all and desire to keep these two modes of transportation separate. The parent drop off/pick up area is two lanes to allow for greater queuing.
Q. I see that it’s a two-story building. Will there be elevators?
Yes, there are two elevators to accommodate those who cannot access stairs.
Q. Will there be a covered area for recess?
Yes, it is constructed on the blacktop playground.
Q. Many spaces on the floor plan are identified as ‘small or large space’ and ‘makerspace’. What do these mean?
The small and large flex spaces are areas designed for students and staff to use in a flexible manner. A teacher may have a pull-out group of students to work collectively on a project; another teacher may have a student working one-on-one with a reading mentor. Windows separate these spaces from classrooms so that teachers have a visual of what’s occurring in flex spaces.
A Makerspace is a communal room that provides hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. Makerspaces generally accommodate a wide range of activities, tools and materials. These rooms tend to get messy, so they generally do not have carpeted floor space.
Q. I’d like to work at Pioneer Elementary School. How do I apply?
All certificated and classified staff positions for Pioneer Elementary School will be posted on the Peninsula School District’s hiring page on the district’s website. Please check it frequently for updates.