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Board Meeting Minutes from September 11, 2017

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Pioneer Elementary School

1937 Dover Road

Billings, MT   59105     Telephone (406)-373-5357

Mission Statement:  Our mission is to serve the community and the school by creating a safe environment that fosters Respect, Trust, Accountability, and Responsibility while promoting life-long learning for all.


Regular Meeting Minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 11, 2017

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  October 9, 2017


DATE:                        September 11, 2017

TIME:             6:00 p.m.

PLACE:          Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 105


MEMBERS    Bill Bullard, Chairperson

PRESENT:      Kari Jones, Trustee

Sarah O’Brien, Trustee



ABSENT:       None

CLERK:          Marilyn Michael

ADMIN:         Melissa Schnitzmeier

STAFF:           Connie Russell arrived at 6:00 pm

VISITORS:     Jody Goddard arrived at 6:00 pm

GUESTS:        None






Trustee, Bill Bullard called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 105 of the main building, Monday, September 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm.  Trustee, Bill Bullard welcomed all those attending.  Trustee, Bill Bullard read the Montana Law about public meetings.


  1. MINUTE APPROVAL: Sarah O’Brien made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of August 14, 2017.  Bill Bullard seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  • Staff Shout Outs to:  Taylor Eissinger for going back to the drawing board & creating lunch schedule rotation that is working beautifully.  Alisa Rau for initiating the “Bucket Filling” idea based around the book How Full is Your Bucket that we will be hosting in October, school wide.  And to Dylan McDermott who has connected us with Jeanelle Slade with KTVQ, who will be contacting Melissa in a few weeks.
  • Curriculum & Instruction:  MBI – The Great 8 and Focusing on Classroom management strategies and school expectations.  RTI – Response to Intervention Progress:  Implementation, Diagnostic testing is underway & First data session is scheduled for 9/18/17
  • Looking Ahead:  Activities related to Goals:  School Climate & Family/Community Involvement, District Community Event List:  Open House, Christmas to Remember, Chili-Cook-off, Science Fair, School Carnival, Fall & Spring Book Fair, Christmas Program, Pancake Breakfast, Talent Show.
  • Upcoming Events:      Open House – Moved to September 19 5:00 – 7:00

No School – PIR Day

Title Meeting – September 28th, 3:30 – 5:00

Campus Wide – Be a Bucket Filler! – October

Fire Safety Week – Field Trip – October 9, K – 1 @ 9:00, 2 – 6 @ 10:00

No School – PIR Days October 19 & 20

End of Trimester 1 – October 27

Fall Barnes & Noble Book Fair – October 28 – 11:00 – 3:00

  • Professional Development:  Discovery Education TECH Book Training – September 18
          • MBI Tier II – September 25 – Taylor & Melissa
          • Montana Reading Conference – October 19/20
          • MCEL – Leadership – October 19/20
  • Administrative Focus Areas – Trimester 1
    • Student Assessment Data & RTI Placement
    • Staff Development
    • Title I/GT Grants/E-Rate for Broadband & Reporting – Melissa explained that E-Rate may help us upgrade our internet services, we will have to decide if we want to pay $750 after the first year.
    • School Goals/Strategic Plan – Outlining Action Steps for 2017-2018
    • Planning for Evaluations/Supervision of Staff
  • Federal Budget Impact:  On August 30th, the Governor’s Office made an announcement describing budget reductions of 10% ($2.9 million) under 17-7-140 MCA.  MT-PEC has reached out to State Superintendent Arntzen recommending that the cuts come from districts Combined Fund Block Grant allowing for flexibility of no having their General Fund impacted.  Final decisions should be made around September 25th at which point we’ll have a better idea of what direction to take.

Melissa also mentioned she had just found out about a Northern Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities that she felt might be important to go to.  It is on October 3 & 4.  The board was fine with Melissa & Connie attending this conference.



  2.  Secretary/Clerk position – Marilyn and Melissa explained that they had met with Todd Watkins who is a former clerk that has a consulting business helping schools with clerk duties and mentoring new clerks.  Todd Watkins had sent his resume, Independent Contractor License, a W-9 form and a consulting proposal with a rate of $20 for approximately 8 hours per week helping take some of the duties & helping Marilyn learn them.  Kari made a motion to accept Todd Watkins’ proposal.  Sarah seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. Bus Drivers/Bus Routes – Bill met with Daniel Pardis to see if he is still interested in getting his bus driver license.  He reported that Daniel would like three things, 1. Access to the Bus to get familiar with the instruments, etc.  2.  Approval from the board to have Cynthia drive with him.  3.  After these 2 things happen, he would go take the test.  Sarah felt concerns that Daniel may not be confident in driving the bus since he has taken so long to get it done.  Marilyn explained that we have been given a 90 day grace period to be using our emergency route.  She will then need to provide board minutes to Sherry Long, County Superintendent of Schools on what we will be doing with our bus routes.
  4. School Outreach/Positive PR for the school – Kari explained that she thought combining some of the events would be a good idea such as combine bringing some zoo animals, vendors, Kiwanis concessions and possibly a movie night along with carnival or the chili cook-off.  Jody Goddard explained that we are very low on volunteers this year.  Sarah suggested that maybe Knife River would donate some money towards signs for the school at Dover & Pioneer Roads, or perhaps something to help with the speed drivers go by the school.  She will research these ideas.




  1. SB 307 – Marilyn explained that the Ground Fault outlets by the sinks that are on our list of items that are needing done is confusing as the only outlets near sinks are small 2 prong outlets on the light fixtures.  Marilyn emailed OPI for guidance on using the SB307 money and received no response as of yet.  Todd Watkins said OPI has not figured out what to do, so his recommendation would be to just spend it on whatever we need to do.
  2. Policy Updates from MTSBA – Melissa presented policies that need to be updated or included in the board policy book.  She asked the board to look read them over and plan to discuss them at the next meeting.  Policies needing updates are 1006FE, 1009FE, 3416, 5122F, 1014FE and 1014FE-FE1, 3124, and 4350.  These will be included on the October agenda for approval.
  3. BUS SEAT COVERS – Marilyn reported that Cynthia has concerns about several bus seats.  She has a catalog that we can order seats covers and she knows how to recover them. She said she looked over both buses.  The Thomas bus needs 8 cushion covers and 3 seat covers.  Cushion covers are $11.20 each for a total of 89.60, Cushion covers are $25.90 for a total of $77.70.  Kari suggested we purchase 2 extra of each for future use if this is not already added in to Cynthia’s total.  Kari made a motion to purchase new seat covers for the Thomas bus.  Sarah seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 20891 through 20910 in the amount of $6,346.56, and the payroll warrants numbered 8954 through 8960 in the amount of $36,376.21.  The ACH and Direct deposits were included in the amount. The clerk presented the trial balance sheets for each fund and a monthly report stating each line item YTD and budget balance remaining for the each fund.  After review of the report, Sarah O’Brien moved to approve the financial reports. Kari Jones seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.






  1. Marilyn presented letters that she wrote to the new families that were accepted at the last meeting.



A motion was made by Kari Jones to adjourn the meeting. Sarah O’ Brien seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried.  The meeting ended at 7:50 pm.  The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, October 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 105 of the main building.




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

Bill Bullard, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________