Pioneer Peak Elementary









Parent/Student Handbook



Pioneer Peak Elementary School

Mary Watts, Principal

1959 North Trunk Road

Palmer, Alaska  99645

 (907) 861-5700




Welcome to Pioneer Peak Elementary School!



Pioneer Peak Elementary is proud to offer exciting opportunities for growth and learning to students Kindergarten through Fifth grades. 


Our highly qualified teachers and support staff are here to assist your child in every way possible to ensure a quality education.  Your involvement in your child’s school life is encouraged.  Please take the opportunity to join the PTA, parent volunteer programs, and participate in your child’s classroom activities.


Newsletters are emailed often to keep you aware of activities and events at school.  They are also accessible on our website. Please contact the school with any questions you may have.  A team approach between parents and the school is the best way to contribute to a successful education for your child.






Mary Watts



Office Staff:

            Administrative Secretary:   Robin Covington

            Secretary 1:  Katie Aro

            Records Specialist: Dee Arlow

            School Nurse:  Kimberly Tichenor, RN



Student Conduct


The foundation for a good instructional program is self-discipline and responsible behavior.  The staff at Pioneer Peak School takes pride in having established Guidelines for Success (GFS) which clearly outline expectations for behavior.  Our staff will work on the principle that each child has the right to learn and the teacher the right to teach without interference in this teaching/learning process.


School-wide Discipline Rules


            Guidelines for Success:

            1. Cooperate with others

            2. Learn Self-Control

            3. I will be Honest

            4. Make my Attitude positive

            5. Be Respectful and Responsible


            General School-wide Rules:

            1.  Follow directions the first time they are given.

            2.  Stay in assigned area.

            3.  Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.

            4.  Respect other people and their property.

            5.  No gum chewing.

            6.  Use appropriate language.

            7.  Remove hats in building.

            8.  Appropriate dress at all times.


            Rules for Hallways:

            1.  Walk

            2.  Use quiet voices.


            Rules for Playground:

            1.  Use equipment properly.

            2.  Follow directions first time.

            3.  No use of physical aggression or fighting.

            4.  Use appropriate language.

            5.  Do not throw snowballs, rocks, dirt, etc.

            6.  No toys from home.




Discipline Philosophy Statement


Pioneer Peak Elementary School’s philosophy of discipline is to establish and maintain an atmosphere where students feel safe and secure.  Students will succeed in an environment where respect towards themselves and others is evident.  They will understand that the choices they make will affect their goals and achievement.


We consider discipline to be an essential component to the educational process.  Students will understand that there are consequences to the choices they make.  Pioneer Peak Elementary supports the District’s zero tolerance policy and procedures for student discipline.  Our goal is to provide an excellent learning climate


In an effort to ensure a safe and effective learning environment for your children, Pioneer Peak Elementary’s discipline policy is structured so that disruptive behavior is tracked throughout the building.  In this way, patterns in a particular student’s behavior can be discerned and appropriate action taken.


The School Board believes that one of the major functions of the public school is the preparation of youth for responsible citizenship.  The district shall foster a learning environment which reinforces the concepts of self-discipline and the acceptance of personal responsibility.  Students are expected to progress from being adult-directed to self-directed with minimal application of disciplinary measures.


The School Board recognizes that there must exist certain disciplinary policies and regulations relating to student conduct which delineate acceptable behavior and provides the basis for sound disciplinary practices within each school in the district in order to maintain an environment conducive to learning.  These policies and regulations will be enforced fairly, uniformly, and consistently without regard to race, religion, or sex.


All employees and volunteers share mutual responsibility for the enforcement of district policies and regulations pertaining to student conduct and safety.  The School Board shall give reasonable support and assistance to employees with respect to student discipline.  The School Board shall review its policies related to student rights and responsibility at least once every three years and shall modify its policies as needed in accordance with law.


Consequences for misbehavior (not necessarily in order)

            Oral warning

            Discipline slip filled out and sent to the principal

            Time-out from the classroom

            Loss of co-curricular privileges

            Conference with the principal

            Recess privileges denied for a period of time

            Conference with principal and parents

Referral to outside agency

            Out-of-school suspension

            Suspension of bus privileges



Positive Rewards


Monthly Birthday Recognition

Each month, students with birthdays that month eat lunch with the principal.  Summer birthdays are recognized throughout the school year.


Peak Passes

Peak Pass awards are given to students who show behavior above and beyond the norm and demonstrate good citizenship throughout the month.  They will be eligible for a drawing allowing them to have Pizza with the Principal.



Notice of AHERA Compliance


The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, in order to maintain a safe educational environment in our school facilities, has completed the school inspection and planning requirements as established by the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).  Our school buildings have been thoroughly inspected for the presence of asbestos containing materials.  Although we have identified asbestos materials in our facilities, these materials are not "friable" (crushable by hand pressure to release fibers) and do not present a hazard to any of our students or our faculty and staff.


The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has developed an Asbestos Management Plan for all buildings found to contain asbestos-containing building materials.  Interested persons can review the Inspection Report and Management Plan by contacting the Principal's office at the school in which they are interested, by contacting the Matanuska-Susitna Operations & Maintenance Department at 376-0806 or calling the MSBSD Superintendent's Office at 746-9255.

Drug Free Schools


Students have a right to attend school in an environment conducive to learning.   Since drug, alcohol, and tobacco use is illegal, contagious, and interferes with both effective learning and the healthy development of children and adolescents, the school has a fundamental legal and ethical obligation to prevent drug use and to maintain drug-free educational environments.


In compliance with U.S.P.L. 102-226 (Drug Free Schools and Community Act, 1989), the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District will not tolerate the possession, selling, use of or under the influence of tobacco, alcohol and other illegal and harmful drugs (illicit drugs, non-therapeutic use of prescribed drugs, misuse of solvents and other dangerous substances) in the schools, on school grounds or during school sponsored activities including athletic events, dances, field trips, etc.


While drug, alcohol and tobacco use is dangerous in all segments of American society, it poses a special risk to young people by denying the opportunity to develop physically and psychologically.  To this end, the district is committed to drug-free schools and intends to send an absolute and clear message that alcohol, drug, and tobacco use is illegal and will not be allowed in the Matanuska-Susitna School District or during school sponsored events and activities.


Appropriate disciplinary sanctions for violation of the drug/alcohol policy will be determined by the building principal, consulting with staff and parents of the student(s) involved, and referring to BP 5144.1 (Student Rights and Responsibilities).



Pioneer Peak Elementary School Information



We are happy to assist you in enrolling your child at Pioneer Peak.  If you are new to the district we will need you to provide:

1.      Current immunization records (required by law).

2.      A physical exam by a licensed provider is required for all preschool, kindergarten and students entering the school district for the first.

3.      Previous school records and/or address for obtaining same.

4.      Birth certificate for students entering the Mat-Su District for the first time.

5.      Registration is not complete until you print off, fill out and sign the following forms: Health Registration Form, Acceptable use form, Parent Waiver Signature Form, Handbook Form.

If you are a returning student, prior to the beginning of each school year you will need to complete the online verification process. You can complete the verification form by going online to iParent and clicking on the link "Registration Form".  If you are not able to register online, you may use the verification computer station at our school.

Accidents and Illness

Whenever an accident or illness occurs and is of a serious nature, we do everything within our power to contact the parents.  If we are unable to reach parents, we will notify your emergency contact numbers.   In the case of a “life threatening” injury or illness an ambulance will be called. Please be sure to keep all contact numbers current. For any questions please call the school nurse at 861-5703.


In case of minor illness, our nurse will evaluate the child and notify the parent if he/she becomes worse.  The following communicable diseases or conditions require a student to go home to protect the other students:


·   Oral temperature above 100.0 degrees

·   Diarrhea

·   Rash of unknown cause

·   Severe Cough

·   Pediculosis (headlice)

·   Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

·   Immunization out of compliance

·   Tuberculin Skin Test (PPD) out of compliance

·   Vomiting

·   Abdominal Pain

·   Impetigo

·   Scabies

·   Any reportable communicable disease

·   Cytomegalovirus


As a general rule, any student well enough to come to school is well enough to go out for recess.  Your student’s teacher has his/her lunch during recess and cannot supervise your child. There is no designated area for students to be supervised (other than with his/her peers) during recess.



The Mat-Su Borough School District does not carry accident insurance on students during the school day or on field trips.  An insurance policy with a variety of options is available for you to purchase.  Insurance forms are available in the school office if you did not receive your copy sent home with students.



We understand that it may be necessary for your child to take medication during the school day. All medications are to be left at the nurse’s office, this includes over the counter medications and cough drops.

  • Prescription medications must be authorized by a physician or health care provider and a medication authorization form must be filled out. Prescription medications must be in appropriately labeled prescription bottles. Ask your pharmacist to give you a labeled bottle for school and another one for home.
  • Non-Prescription: The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District will assist parents by administering approved non-prescription medication for a short time. Approved non-prescription medications are limited to Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Calcium Antacids (Tums), Lactose Enzymes (Lactaid), Cough Drops, and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for allergic reactions. All other non-prescription medication must be authorized, in writing, by a health care provider with prescriptive authority. The school nurse will have a stock of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Antacids, and Benadryl.
  • All medications must be delivered to the school by an adult, non-prescription medications must be in the original, non-expired container with a manufacturer’s label identifying the medication, dosage schedule and the student’s name.


ASTHMA/ANAPHYLAXIS/ALLERGY/Diabetes/SEIZURE medications (inhalers, Epipens, insulin, etc.) must also be turned into the nurse’s office unless your physician has specifically signed a permission form for your student to carry the inhaler, Epipen, or insulin pump. Students who use an Epipen must report to the nurse immediately or the nurse must be contacted to monitor student for shock and to call 911. Students need to report to the nurse if they have to use their inhaler a second time while at school so monitoring can be done to assure they are safe Our medical advisor has asked that all students use their inhaler with an appropriate spacer for better utilization of the medication.  Please talk with your health care provider regarding obtaining one for school use. Care Plans for Asthma, Anaphylaxis, Allergies, Diabetes, Seizures, etc., must be completed annually and signed by your medical provider and parent.



Arrival /Departures Information/Supervision

  Doors open:     8:45 am

  First Bell:          9:00 am

  School Begins:  9:15 am


Parents bringing children to school in the morning are encouraged to arrive at the school five minutes before school starting time since there is no supervision before then.  Parents can drop students off along the sidewalk or park and walk their child into the building using the crosswalk only.  Please do not park in the handicap or fire lane.   Students should go to the building doors at the front entry.  Children can go directly to their classes when the bell rings. 



Afternoon dismissal:   Students are to go directly to their bus unless they have a note/message saying otherwise.  TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN, BUS DRIVERS WILL NOT RELEASE A CHILD TO ANYONE EXCEPT A SCHOOL OFFICIAL ONCE THEY HAVE BOARDED THE BUS. Please come to the office for assistance on getting a student off of a bus.  Students waiting for rides at the end of the school day are asked to wait by the flagpole at the front entrance.   When the majority of the students have been picked up, the monitors will bring the remaining students to the office to make phone calls for their rides home.  Please pick up students promptly as we can not provide supervision.


It is expected that parents will provide supervision for their children unless alternate arrangements have been made in advance.

Attendance and Tardiness

            Tardy:                         09:20-09:45am

            Half-day absence:      09:45-11:45am

            Full day absence:        arrive after 11:45 am

            Half-day absence:      Leave prior to 1:15 pm



Studies have shown that student attendance at school is directly related to student success.  Additionally, student attendance is one of the factors used to determine Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  Parents, students and schools need to work together to promote attendance and success.  In order to effectuate positive results and good communication, phone calls will be made to parents and written notice will be sent to parents for chronic absenteeism and excessive tardiness.  In cases of habitually truant students, a referral may be made to the Office of Children Services.  Parents are encouraged to take an active role in student attendance and to alert the school when their child is to be absent.  It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements to keep up with school work when he or she is absent from school.


The principal shall have the final authority and discretion on matters related to such discipline for truancy.



Leaving School Early

We understand that your child may need to leave school before dismissal time on occasion.  Please stop at the office to request an early release.  Also, if you plan to have a non-family member pick up your child, the school must be notified in writing. 

School Bus Discipline Policy

Included in this booklet is the school district’s bus discipline policy.   We emphasize self-discipline and responsibility on the part of the students.  We will not tolerate any behaviors that endanger the health and safety of other children.  After reading the policy (at the end of this document), if you have any questions, feel free to call the bus barn at 357-6327 or the District’s Transportation Department at 373-2287.


School Bus Procedures

We are required to have students go home on the school bus unless parents notify the school otherwise.  If parents want their child to ride a different bus home or wait at school, they must notify our school office.  It is preferred a note be sent with your child in the morning.  If you find it necessary to call, please contact the office prior to 3:05 p.m.


Once a child boards a school bus, NO ONE, including a parent, can remove the child from the bus without the authorization from the school office.  We respectfully request parents not to confront bus drivers to remove children from the bus.  Simply come right to the school office and we will call your child off the bus.  This policy is designed to provide for the health and safety of your children.


Students who are issued bus misconduct citations may also lose school bus privileges.

Non-Custodial Parents

Both natural and adoptive parents of any student may access their child’s student records, participate in school activities, visit the student at school and pick up the student after school.  These rights shall be respected even if legal custody is vested in only one named parent, unless a court order restricts the right of the noncustodial parent.  Parents/guardians may be asked to provide evidence of any completed or pending legal action which curtails the noncustodial parent’s rights.  School staff shall always abide by the most recent court order on the matter.  It is the responsibility of the parent to provide the most current legal document regarding custody to the school district.


Upon request, the district shall provide noncustodial parents with school announcements and notices that are sent to the custodial parent.

Boundary Exemptions

If parents wish their child to attend Pioneer Peak on a Boundary Exemption, please be aware of the following Mat-Su School District procedures.  Decisions to grant, deny, or revoke a boundary exemption will be based upon the following considerations:


1.  Before a boundary exemption request is granted, it must be determined that there is reasonable space available in regular classrooms and special education programs (if relevant).  This decision takes into consideration the current pupil/teacher ratio.


2.  A boundary exemption decision with regard to a special education student shall be made only following consideration and consensus by the appropriate multi-disciplinary team.  Multi-disciplinary team meetings will be arranged by the Student Support Services Office at the principal’s request.


3.  Each student application for boundary exemption will be reviewed for school attendance and disciplinary history.  A request for an exemption may be denied or revoked by the principal if there is evidence of moving from school to school, truancy, tardiness, or behavior/disciplinary problems.


4.  Any boundary exempt student who engages in conduct prohibited by school policy, Board policy, and/or Alaska state law is subject to immediate revocation of the boundary exemption.


5.  A boundary exemption may be revoked for a student who possesses a disability only after consideration and consensus by a multi-disciplinary team.  Multi-disciplinary team meeting will be arranged by the Student Support Services office at the principal’s request.


6.  An application for boundary exemption may be accepted by the principal at any time.  However, all boundary exemptions that are granted will expire at the end of the school year for which the application is made.

Visitors and Volunteers

We encourage all interested parents or community members to come visit us.  We not only like visitors, WE LOVE VOLUNTEERS!  Parents have made Pioneer Peak what it is through your suggestions and help.  Our policy requires that you notify the staff member in writing and pre-arrange the visits to the classroom. A Volunteer Release of Liability must be signed and on file in the office prior to entering classrooms.   If the teacher/staff reports, that the educational setting has been disrupted by parent, observer or volunteer the principal reserves the right to end the visits. Parents must sign in at the office and put on a visitor's sticker before entering classrooms.  Parents must also return to the office and sign out so that we know you have exited the building.  

Dress and Recess

Please see BP5144.1 (e) in the District Student Handbook


Students need to be dressed appropriately for the weather and for an academic learning atmosphere.  For example, although not a comprehensive list, shorts and dresses shorter than knee length, spaghetti strapped tops, bare midriffs, , leggings used as a primary pants, shoes with high heels and sandals without heel supportive straps would not be permitted during the school year.  Also, any clothing associated with gangs, profane language or drug paraphernalia would not be allowed.  During winter/windy periods, students must wear hats, gloves, coats, snow pants, and proper boots.   Hats must be removed upon entering the building and during the Pledge of Allegiance. 


We are concerned with the number of children who come to school with light jackets and tennis shoes in cold weather.  Please encourage your child to dress adequately for outside recess.  Pioneer Peak is promoting a model of responsibility regarding winter wear. We will no longer lend hats, gloves, snow pants and snow boots. If your child does not have winter wear and you need help obtaining hats, gloves, boots, or snow pants, please call our nurse at 861-5703 and she will help you obtain needed items. Thank you for your help in promoting student self awareness for a safe a healthy lifestyle.   Students will continue to have outdoor recess unless the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees (with wind-chill factor taken into account). We do have an electronic weather station in place in order to give up-to-date information regarding weather conditions. 


Field Trips/Transportation by Private Automobile

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District policy requires that students travel to and from school sponsored events via school district transportation.  However, there are some instances when travel by personal vehicle occurs.  It is the responsibility of the principal, or designee in charge, to make sure that the release of liability forms be filled out properly and be on file at the school location before any private vehicle transportation takes place.  (BP3541.1)

Grading Policy

Alternative Assessment Model:

4 = Exemplary                                                 Exceeds Grade level Standard

            3 = Proficient                                                  Meets Grade Level Standard

            2 = Progressing                                               Working on Standard

            1 = Not Meeting Standard                             Has not begun working on standard          

            NM = Not evaluated at this time



Letter grades for academic subjects for Fifth Grade 

            A = superior                           90 - 100

            B = above average                  80 -   89

            C = average                            70 -   79

            D = below average                 60 -   69

            F = failing                                59 -     0


Grades for citizenship and effort shall be reported each marking period as:

4 = Exemplary                                                 Exceeds Standard

            3 = Proficient                                                  Meets Standard

            2 = Progressing                                               Working on Standard

            1 = Not Meeting Standard                            

Criteria for determining grades for citizenship may include, but are not limited to:

            1. Student obeys rules

            2. Student respects public and personal property

            3. Student maintains courteous relations with teachers and students.

            4. Student works without disturbing others.

Criteria for determining grades for effort may include, but are not limited to:

            1. Student takes responsibility for having necessary tools and materials.

            2. Student shows interest and initiative.

            3. Student gets to work immediately and completes assignments.

            4. Student uses free time resourcefully.

Report Cards

Report cards are sent home at the end of each quarter.  They should be reviewed by parents immediately.  Any questions should be directed to the teacher.  End of quarter dates are indicated on the yearly calendar.


Scholastic notices will be sent home at mid-quarter for all students.  Parents are encouraged to visit iParent to view their child’s grades.  To get on the program you will need to call 761-4357 and get an access key code.


Request for Change of Student Placement

There are times when a parent or guardian feels a change of teacher assignment might be appropriate for their child. If a parent believes a change might be in the best interest of their child, the following steps are necessary:


Parents need to meet with the classroom teacher and discuss their concerns. Many times parents are hearing one side of a story. This meeting allows everyone to have a clear picture of the concerns. It also allows the teacher and parent to see if situations can be changed before more drastic measures are taken. It is also advisable that during this meeting a time should be arranged for parents to come in and observe the class first hand.


Although we realize there are times and situations where a move is appropriate, we also believe that young people need to learn to work with all types of people and personalities. Sometimes time is needed to learn to adjust to different situations, therefore a change of placement will not take place until after the conclusion of the first quarter of school.


If after two weeks of the parent/teacher meeting the parent or teacher can request a meeting with the principal. This meeting will be set up at the convenience of all parties and will be to discuss steps taken to resolve problems, options, and parent or teacher recommendations. This meeting may also include other people who might be helpful in solving the issues.


If it is decided that a move is in the best interest of the child, it will be the principal’s sole discretion as to where the student is placed. Parents will have no option for teacher requests.



Conference days will be scheduled twice during the school year; however, all teachers at Pioneer Peak welcome the opportunity to confer with parents about student progress on an on-going basis.  Please call the school office or your child's teacher to set up an appointment.


Make-Up Work Policy

When a student has been absent from a class because of an illness, an appointment, or other acceptable reason, s/he will be responsible to make up the assignments. It will be the responsibility of the student and parent to make arrangements for this. The due date for the assignments can be mutually agreed upon by the teacher and parent. If a student is absent more than two consecutive days, parents may contact the school for homework.  We request notice of at least one day prior to pick up to avoid interruption of class instruction. 


If you are planning an extended absence for more than a week, please inform your child’s teacher and the office staff.  We request parents notify the school as soon as they know such an absence is imminent. 


Room Parents

Throughout the school year there are several occasions for classroom parties. Many parents see this as their chance to assist with needed preparations.  If you are interested in being a room parent, or helping with special events, please contact your child's teacher early in the school year.

Valuables and Toys

Frequently children like to bring valuable possessions and other toys to school or on the bus. Since it is virtually impossible to ensure that these items not be damaged, lost, or stolen, we request that they be left at home. Students are not to trade, exchange, or sell personal items at school.



Per school board policy 6142.4, due to health and safety regulations and conditions, animals are not allowed on school grounds or in classrooms. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the school administration.


Replacement Fees

There will be student workbooks and textbooks supplied to each child.  There will be a replacement fee for replacing any lost materials.  Cost depends upon the replacement value.

Cell Phones, Pagers, and Electronic Games or Music, and Similar Devices

Cell phones, pagers, electronic games, MP3 players and other personal music devices are not permitted in class. Cellular phones or pagers are permitted on school property for safety purposes only, but must be turned off during school hours and stored in the student’s backpack. The school has no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged devices.



Pioneer Peak School has a variety of computers for student use in the classroom as well as the Computer Lab.  Students are introduced to a variety of computer programs appropriate to their grade level.   As technology is an evolving science, Pioneer Peak is striving to meet the needs of students at their present grade level as well as looking toward future expectations.



The use of Internet while at school is a privilege, not a right.  Students and parents need to read and sign the Acceptable Internet Use Form as part of the Registration or Verification process at the beginning of each school year. Parents may decline the use of the internet for internet research by signing the No Internet Use Form found on the district IT web page, but students will still have access to district sponsored curriculum.



Pioneer Peak School e-mail addresses for individual teachers are listed on the web site:  Please do not send messages for pickup or bus changes on e-mail; call the office if necessary.



We invite you to join our PTA. Our PTA works together with parents, teachers, and the community to provide school events and funds for many worthwhile programs. If you would like more information, please call the office at 861-5700.


School Lunches

Our school district offers a hot lunch program.  For your convenience, you can put money in your child's account on our computer online lunch program @ $2.75 per lunch or .40 for reduced lunches (there is a 5% charge processing fee for online use).  If you are currently on the free or reduced program you will also be approved for the first 30 days of next school year, after that you will need to reapply.  Applications for free/reduced lunches may be picked up at your child's school or at the Nutritional Services office.  MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO PIONEER PEAK SCHOOL AND PUT YOUR CHILD'S NAME AND TEACHER IN THE MEMO SECTION OF YOUR CHECK.


Per district policy: Lunches may be charged for ONE DAY ONLY.  After one charge, a charge can be made on the Principal's account.  All monies charged are expected to be reimbursed.  Parents will be contacted regarding charges.  Lunch money must be given to the teacher at the beginning of the day to prevent long delays in the lunch line.



We discourage students from carrying large sums of money to school.  If there is no other alternative, please send money in an envelope and request that the envelope be handed to your child's teacher immediately upon arrival at school.


Lost and Found

Children losing money should check at the office and notify his/her classroom teacher.  All money found will be kept for one week after which time it will be returned to the finder.  An effort will be made to locate persons losing large amounts.  Lost clothing should be brought to the office.  Articles not picked up after one quarter (nine weeks) may be donated to a non-profit organization.  We would suggest that parents take the time to periodically check our lost and found.  Frequently, children do not even realize they have misplaced personal items.




Special Education Services


Pioneer Peak School has a a variety of special education programs, including Resource, Intensive Resource, Behavior Support, and Applied Behavioral Analysis for all grades.  In keeping with federal and state guidelines (Public Law 94-142)  special education instruction that may take place either in the special education room or in the regular classroom, as determined by the child's IEP team and in accordance with student need.


Mat-Su Borough School District has developed a comprehensive publication which details Special Services available in the District.  You may obtain a copy of this publication, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Special Education and Didn't Know Whom to Ask, from the resource teacher.


Response to Intervention (RTI)


Pioneer Peak uses the RTI process to identify and address students with academic or behavioral difficulties. Our team is comprised of classroom teachers, special education teachers, the school psychologist, literacy coach, principal, and parents of the individual students brought to RTI.


To facilitate RTI, the MSBSD organizes instruction within a three tier model:


Tier I: Students receive high quality, scientifically based core instruction in the

            general education classroom. A universal screening tool identifies students

            who may be at risk for academic difficulties.


            Tier II: Students not making adequate progress in the core curriculum are

 provided in small group supplemental instruction, in addition to the time

allotted for core instruction. Teachers monitor progress frequently using multiple



            Tier III: Students receive intensive, strategic, supplemental instruction

            specifically designed and customized to meet student needs. Typically this

            instruction is delivered in small groups and time is extended beyond the

            instruction provided in Tier I and Tier II. Frequent progress monitoring is used

            to determine the impact of the intervention on student learning.

Talented and Gifted Program (TAG)

The Talented and Gifted Program is designed to provide enrichment learning opportunities for students in grades 3 – 5 at Pioneer peak.  The Spring MAP scores are used to filter potentially eligible second graders for additional screening at the beginning of third grade. The Office of Education administers the program and a TAG Advocate facilitates the program at Pioneer Peak.

Enrichment Programs

Extracurricular Activities

Students at Pioneer Peak have an array of additional extracurricular opportunities available throughout the school year, as a result of support from volunteers in our school and community. 

  • Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Field Day
  • Spelling Bee, Speech Competition, Battle of Books
  • Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
  • Science Fair, Spanish Club, Band, Choir




The library program at Pioneer Peak Elementary emphasizes reading and the use of the library to further the knowledge of students and teachers.  Throughout the curriculum, reading for increased knowledge and recreation is encouraged.


The library's focus is to provide the opportunity and materials for additional student and recreational reading.  The opportunity is provided through weekly classroom visits to the library.  During this time library instruction is given.  The library instruction exposes students to a core of books, various media, technology, and library skills.  The library skills taught and practiced are skills the students will continue to use throughout their lives and students hopefully will become lifelong library users.


The library is open for students, teachers, and parents to use and visit during the day.  Resources and materials not available at the school library can often be found at the public libraries.  Students are encouraged to use the public libraries in Wasilla and Palmer.


Pioneer Peak is excited to provide a complete computer lab to meet the increasing technological needs of our environment.   Classroom teachers utilize the computer lab weekly and provide instructional lessons to meet technology standards.  Some learning areas include word processing, keyboarding, researching, and power point presentations.  


The goals of our music program are threefold:  To provide knowledge of the language and notation of music, to expose students to a wide variety of music so that they are able to make choices about their listening tastes, and to provide joyful and meaningful musical experiences for our students.  Starting in the kindergarten, we are working to develop skills that include singing, pitch making, rhythm clapping, playing classroom instruments, music reading, and creative movement, among many others.  Music classes are thirty to forty minutes in length held twice a week.  In fourth grade, students may join chorus.  In fifth grade, students can choose to join either band or chorus or both.  Music is a vital part of the education of your child.

Physical Education

All students in grades K through 5th grade meet for 45 minutes once or twice each week, depending on the schedule rotation.  Using nationally standardized fitness tests, students are tested each quarter.  This insures constant monitoring of progress and allows programs to be adjusted to accommodate needs.  The physical education program emphasizes the three basics of fitness; aerobic endurance, speed and power, and strength.  Progress is achieved through running, rope jumping, selected exercises, rope climbing, gymnastics, and sports participation.  All sports are selected on their fitness value, and include basketball, soccer, floor hockey, track and field, gymnastics, and volleyball.








Bus Rider Rules







REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUPILS RIDING SCHOOL BUSES: Alaska statutes do not mandate pupil transportation. School bus transportation is provided as a courtesy and is a privilege, not a right. If a student’s conduct is such that the health, safety, comfort, or the well being of others is jeopardized, on or off the bus, a school district official may deny the privilege of riding the bus. The school bus driver is in charge of the bus and its passengers and has total authority and responsibility. Only designated school officials are authorized to suspend transportation privileges.



1. Students are required to ride the bus assigned to them and to board and disembark at their assigned stop. Students may be transported to an unassigned bus stop or on a different bus on an occasional basis or for periods of time less than 30 days upon approval by the school office. Parents should contact the school office with their request. Requests for students to be transported to unassigned bus stops or on different buses for more than 30 days must be directed to the Transportation Office. The student must give the driver a Bus Pass issued by the school office authorizing this transportation.


2. Parents may not remove a student from a bus after the student has boarded without a Bus Pass or approval by a school representative.


3. Students will be issued School Bus Conduct Reports for infractions of the rules by the bus driver. The school bus driver and the school principal are responsible for handling behavioral problems occurring on the school bus, but only the school principal, or his/her designee, has the authority to suspend a student’s bus riding privileges.




1. Students must obey the school bus driver. His/her primary concern is student safety.


2. Students should exercise good manners, caution and consideration for other people.


3. Elementary students will be assigned seats by the driver. High school and middle school students may also be assigned seats at the discretion of the driver.


4. Students may not have anything in their possession that may cause injury to others.


5. Hanging onto any portion of the school bus from outside the school bus, whether the bus is moving or not, is illegal and DANGEROUS.


6. Items that can be held in the student’s lap or under the student’s seat in the bus may be transported on the bus. Some large musical instruments, which are not larger than 43” x 14” x 10” may be transported on the bus. These instruments must be placed in the seat with the student next to the window. Tubas, drums, and some bass guitars or other instruments larger than specified above may not be transported. Radios, cassette players, electronic games, MP3 players and other personal music devices are not permitted on the bus.


7. Parents are responsible for damages to the school bus due to the misconduct of their children.


8. No animals, large or small, of any kind, are allowed on the bus at any time.


9. Ice skates must have protective guards on the blades or be placed in an appropriate box. Paper bags are not adequate blade protection. Hockey bags may be transported either under the seat or on the seat with the student next to the window.


10. Skis, ski poles and other such sharp edged objects will not be permitted unless previously coordinated with the Unit Principal and Transportation Department. Sleds and plastic toboggans may not be transported.




1. Walk on the left hand side of the road facing traffic.


2. Stay a safe distance from the roadway.


3. Be at your stop five (5) minutes ahead of time. Your school bus driver has a schedule to keep and cannot wait for you. Be on time for your bus.


4. Line up at the place designated by the bus driver when the school bus approaches.   


5. Stay clear of the wheels until the school bus has come to a complete stop--don’t play or push others.


6. Students must cross the roadway approximately (15) feet in front of the bus and only when the driver motions for pupils to cross. Stop immediately if the bus driver sounds the horn!




1. Students boarding from the right must also wait for the driver’s hand signal to board.


2. Let the smaller children board first.


3. Always use the handrail and go up and down the steps one at a time.


4. Don’t push, crowd or disturb others.


5. When boarding, go directly to your seat and be seated.


6. After you leave the bus, go directly home or t, o the assigned place.



In general, classroom conduct will be observed. The school bus is not a playground. Save horseplay and wrestling for another place and time.


1. Place books and other gear in your lap.


2. Avoid loud talking, confusion, or anything else that might distract the driver.


3. Do not sit in the driver’s seat or interfere with him/her in any manner at any time.


4. Keep quiet near railroad tracks so that the driver can listen for trains.


5. Keep head, arms and body inside the bus.


6. Do not throw objects inside or out of the bus.


7. Do not chew or spit tobacco, smoke, eat, drink, or make use of, or have in possession, alcohol, drugs or controlled substances on the bus.


8. Remain seated until the bus has come to a complete stop and get off only at your assigned bus stop.


9. Do not open windows without permission; maximum two (2) notches.


10. Do not damage the bus and always assist in keeping it clean.


11. Keep feet on the floor in front of the seat, not in the aisle.


12. Fighting with other students and/or attacking other students or the driver is prohibited.


13. Use of abusive, vulgar language, or directing such language toward other students or adults, is prohibited.


14. Keep the aisle and the exits clear.


15. The emergency door and exit controls may be used only during supervised drills or actual emergencies.


MISCONDUCT POLICY AND PROCEDURES: Drivers are responsible for maintaining order on the buses. Administering sanctions for misconduct on the school bus is the responsibility of the principal at the school where the student is enrolled. Again, only the principal or designee has the authority to suspend a student’s bus riding privileges. It is the responsibility of the principal to inform parents when a student has been suspended.

In the event of misbehavior on the part of the student riding the bus, the bus driver may issue the student a “School Bus Conduct Report” for minor and/or major infractions. The driver will complete the School Bus Conduct Report. Three (3) copies will be forwarded to the Unit Principal and one (1) copy will be retained by the Transportation Department. The Principal will forward one (1) copy to the parents and return one (1) copy to the Transportation Department indicating any disciplinary action taken. The following courses of action are considered as minimum:


1. Depending on the nature and severity of the incident, the first conduct report may result in a warning, or other disciplinary action, up to and including temporary or permanent suspension of bus privileges by the principal.


2. The second conduct report will result in the imposition of “PROBATIONARY” status. This process will include counseling with the student and official notification to the parents of the probationary action. Bus riding privileges may be denied the student for additional violations.


3. The third conduct report may result in suspension of bus privileges for a minimum of three (3) days, depending on the severity of the incident, and may not be reinstated until after a conference with the student and school personnel.


4. The fourth conduct report will result in suspension of bus privileges. In either case, privileges will not be reinstated until such time a conference has been held with the student, the parents, principal and the Transportation Department.


This procedure will not preclude the right and responsibility of school officials to take other immediate action, as may be necessary in their judgment, for the preservation of good order and specifically for the safety and well being of other persons who ride the bus.

FOR SAFETY’S SAKE: The bus driver has full responsibility and authority for the safety of students while they are being transported on a Mat-Su School District bus.

Students must be responsible for their own conduct on the bus and not risk their own safety or the safety of others.

Habitual misconduct may result in permanent suspension from the privilege of bus transportation.

Suspension from bus transportation does not excuse the student from school attendance. Parents should discuss safety and good behavior on the bus with their children. Parent support of the bus driver and the school will ensure safe rides to and from school.

REMEMBER: Riding on the school bus is a privilege and not a right.


1. If a pupil’s conduct is such that the health, safety, comfort, or well being of others is jeopardized, on or off the bus, the privilege of riding the bus may be denied by a school district official.


2. Have a safe, pleasant, and enjoyable trip.



A MESSAGE OF SAFETY: Each school day, thousands of children are transported to and from Mat-Su schools. Our highest priority in pupil transportation is the safety of our students. Occasionally our normal schedule is disrupted by weather conditions, which may make road conditions hazardous and generally unsafe for travel. In that event, bus routes may be delayed or cancelled, and schools may be closed. The following information is provided to answer questions regarding the School District’s policies and procedures for school closure, road closure and suspension of school bus transportation. For more information, please contact MSBSD’s Pupil Transportation Department at 373-2287, or visit the district’s Web site at

Q: How will the School District notify parents when schools will be closed or buses will be delayed?

A: In the case of school closures, the district will make every attempt to contact families by phone using its ConnectED messaging system. In addition, we encourage students and parents to listen to KMBQ 99.7 FM for the latest school bus status reports. Announcements will begin as early as 5 a.m. and will be repeated periodically in the morning hours. If there are no announcements, school buses will run regular routes as scheduled. Announcements may also be heard on the following radio stations: KNBA 90.3 FM; KMBQ 99.7 FM; KSKA 91.1 FM; KENAI 550 AM; KHAR 590 AM; KYMG 98.9 FM; KYAK 650 AM; KFQD 750 AM; KWHL 106.5 FM; KGOT 101.3 FM


Q: What type of weather and road conditions will preclude school bus service and possibly require schools to be closed?

A: School bus service will be suspended and schools may be closed when the Glenn Highway, Parks Highway, Palmer/Wasilla Highway and other arterial roads and highways cannot be traveled safely by a school bus. Hazardous conditions may include excessive snow, ice, or unusually cold weather.

Q: If school bus service has not been canceled, may parents assume buses will travel the regular routes, picking up and discharging students at all regular bus stops?

A: Yes. Buses will travel all regular bus routes, stopping at regular bus stops, wherever road conditions permit.

Q: If a bus driver finds a portion of the regular route impassable either to or from school, how will the School District advise parents that students on this portion of the route cannot be picked up or discharged at their regular stop?

A: Parents will be advised of the designated pick up or discharge point through announcements on KMBQ 99.7 FM radio during the morning and afternoon run, and via ConnectEd or by phone call from the bus contractor. In the afternoon, middle school and high school students will be discharged at the designated point even though parents may not be at the designated point to pick them up.

Elementary students and students riding special buses will not be discharged from the bus unless the parent, or someone acting on behalf of the parent, is there to receive the student. Students whose parents cannot be reached will be transported back to their respective schools until parents pick them up.

Q: If school bus service is not provided due to inclement weather and parents are unable to transport their children, will their absence from school be excused?

A: Yes. Absences will be excused for students living in areas where bus service was not provided. Parents are discouraged from taking risks when attempting to transport children to school or to meet the bus at another location.

Q: Do road closure policies apply to special education bus transportation also?

A: Yes.

Q: In the event the Chief School Administrator/Superintendent announces a closure, what happens to all school sponsored activities?

A: All school sponsored activities will be canceled for that day including co-curricular activities and community school activities. No travel to activities outside of the District will be allowed. If road and weather conditions improve following a Friday closure, then activities may be held on Saturday and Sunday. For those students already on an activity outside the District, transportation will be provided back into our District to the previously designated drop off area.

Q: Who may parents call when they have questions regarding school bus transportation?

A: Parents may call the Mat-Su School District Pupil Transportation Office - 373-2287, First Student, Regular and Special Needs Transportation - 357-6327, Bunker & Bunker - 495-6311, and Glacier View Transportation - 745-0948.








Last Modified on March 23, 2017