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Frequently
Asked
Questions

The Pioneer Difference

There are a few things that make Pioneer School Different. If you have more questions about the school, or would like a tour, please reach out. We are happy to talk to you about how Pioneer School can meet the needs of your child. 

Topic Based Learning

Q: What is Pioneer’s approach to teaching?
A: We study topics so that the students are immersed in the study of insects, geology, birds, or other subjects of interest and their reading, writing, spelling, and other school work revolves around those same topics. Our students learn so much, and more importantly they remember and value what they learn!

2

Typical School Day

Q: What does a typical school day look like?
A: A day of school at Pioneer runs from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Morning work includes an entry task, daily overview, math for an hour, morning snack and recess, language arts, then lunch followed by a half hour of outdoor recess. Our afternoons include art, music, PE, science, and social studies related to the current topic.

3

Measuring Success

Students in grades 3-4-5 take the year-end standardized tests, usually Iowa test of basic skills, younger students show their work in portfolio type assessments, chapter tests for each math unit, the teachers continually assess reading and rearrange groups as necessary to meet individual needs. 

4

Homework Philosophy

Q: Are students assigned homework?
A: Yes. Students are asked to read daily at home. By 3rd and 4th grade, they are assigned some topic work or a reading book for literature group and spelling words. Homework is due once a week, so students have plenty of time to do it when it works best for their family.

5

Physical Education

Q: Is there a physical education component at Pioneer?
A: We do not have a gym, but our students engage in frequent and diverse physical activities. Wet take the students hiking, roller skating, ice skating, skiing, and bike riding, and we encourage lifetime sports. We also have PE classes outside in our playground as the weather allows.

6

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Q: Does Pioneer take field trips?
A: Yes, students get out into the community to enhance their education on frequent “Learning Expeditions.” Our students get to explore local events and places including fairs, museums, and natural areas. We also take trips to learn on-site in places such as Fort Walla Walla, Yellowstone, Grand Coulee Dam, and other destinations.

7

Diversity

Q: How culturally diverse is Pioneer?
A: We have a large student population and a teacher from India, and we celebrate Diwali and explore other cultures and traditions from around the world. Pioneer welcomes students and families from all cultural backgrounds.

8

Teacher/Parent Communication & Participation

Q: Are parents allowed/required to participate in school activities and how are parents engaged?
A: Teachers frequently email parents, and we send a weekly school newsletter. Parents often stop in the classroom to chat with their students’ teachers, and parents are encouraged to participate in school activities and learning expeditions.

9

Art and Music

Q: How are the arts taught at Pioneer?
A: Pioneer students are engaged often in art projects, and we put on plays with songs the students learn. We also sing at a retirement home over the holidays. Violin, piano, and voice lessons are available for an additional charge.

10

School Policies

Q: What are the school’s policies for sickness and snow days?
A: Sick students are sent home, and we close for snow days if both District 81 Spokane Public Schools and Central Valley School District close.

11

Expenses

Q: How much is tuition?
A: The cost of sending your child to Pioneer is a bargain given the tremendous investment you are making in their future. Tuition is $9,000 per year, and the only additional charge is for cross-country skiing at Mt. Spokane and downhill skiing at Schweitzer, for which we get a substantial discount.

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