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November 12, 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

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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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . November 12, 2018

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  January 11, 2019


DATE: November 12, 2018


TIME: 6:00 p.m.


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Bill Bullard, Chairperson

PRESENT: Sarah O’Brien, Trustee


ABSENT: Kari Jones, Trustee

CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier

STAFF: None  



GUESTS:   None





Trustee, Bill Bullard called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 106 of the main building, Monday, November 12, 2018 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 October 1, 2018 and special meeting minutes of October 16, 2018 and October 30, 2018.  Bill Bullard seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  









  • District News
    • Playground Equipment Installed
    • Parent Teacher Conferences held 11/6
    • Teacher evaluations underway
    • Wells Fargo Credit Card Points cashed in & used for:
      • New refrigerator for teachers’ lounge as old one is really old.
      • Staff gift certificates/incentives ($300) – Melissa has created gift certificates to give to staff with their Amazon orders
  • Reports/Grants/Professional Development
    • Reports & Grants
      • Continuous School Improvement Plan – Submitted
      • TEAMS – Submitted
    • Professional Development
      • CPR – 7 staff members took a CPR class on 11/3 from Karen Graf, this included CPR, training on the AED, First Aide & Blood Borne Pathogen training
  • Activities Related to our Strategic Goals
    • Fall Book Fair was held 11/10
      • Chromebook & $200 Amazon gift card will be raffle on 11/20
    • Panthers to host Thanksgiving Luncheon on 11/20
      • 6th-8th Making Stone Soup
      • 4th/5th Making Pumpkin bars
      • K – 3 Making Decorations
    • 6th – 8th Graders donating $100 to Flakesgiving from pop money
  • Fundraisers
    • Playground GoFund Me – $1257 to date
    • $10,000 donation from Arrow Striping, plus they will be purchasing a bench as a memorial to their grandmother.
  • Building Maintenance & Needs
    • Historic Places App – Underway – Melissa is working through what it takes to get Pioneer on the National Historic Register
    • Building bids – TBD
  • Upcoming Events
    • 11/21 – 11/23 – Thanksgiving Break
    • 11/30 – Staff Christmas Party


  1. MILL LEVY/FORMATION OF COMMITTEE – Discussion took place as to who can work towards our goal of passing a mill levy this spring and what we can do to promote the passage. Board members and PTA can work together. Employees may not work on mill levy support projects during school hours. It was discussed that maybe PTA could do a letter or flyer asking for support. This could show Pioneer’s contributions to the community, accomplishments of the school such as technology available/donations/house systems that are teaching community service, etc and what the levy would be used for. Bill stated it might be good to start looking at salary comparisons. Melissa explained that starting an adult education program could offset some of our expenses. It was also brought up that perhaps we could do an early flyer with no mill levy promotion that is showing what is going on at Pioneer. Bill is planning to attend the January PTA meeting to discuss what the board & PTA can do to work together on this.
  2. SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS – Officer Tim Doll of BPD is available to Melissa if we have questions about whether an incident in the community needs to put us in lockdown. All she has to do is send him a text and he will respond with advice.
  3. BUILDING MAINTENANCE/Z DOORS BID ON WINDOW FILM – A bid was received from ZDoor & Glass on placing window film on the south windows to help with keeping the rooms cooler. The bid was for $7300. The board would like to get more bids on window film.  It was also discussed that perhaps the new blinds will help keep heat out and film will not be necessary. No bids have been received for doors. Sarah will begin to look for other door companies to get bids. Kevin informed Melissa that he is still having a hard time getting a bid to inspect the chimneys and brick. He feels he will probably end up doing the work himself. Marilyn reported that the camera system will be installed on November 29th.



  1. COLE’S PANTRY – This item was table as Kari was absent.
  2. DEPT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY INSPECTION – Melissa informed the board that the Department of Labor and Industry did an inspection on Wednesday, October 17th. There were several things that we need to correct and inform them of the corrections. These include:
    1. Melissa will write a letter stating the Kevin is competent to run the lawn mower and is anyone else is going to use it, Kevin must train them and sign off.
    2. Fire extinguishers need to be inspected monthly & signed
    3. An air compressor in the basement needs to have a guard installed on it – this air compressor does not work and Kevin will be removing it and disposing of it.
    4. The stairs leading to the boiler room must have a mid-rail installed. Bill will talk to Kevin as he has a welder and could come and help install another railing.
    5. There are cords in bus barn that need to be disposed of as they have broken wires or burned ends. This has been taken care of.
    6. Wires in the boiler room need to be properly covered. Kevin has taken care of this.
    7. Yearly self-inspections must be done and documented. Their visit on Oct 17th qualifies as the 2018-19 self-inspection.
    8. Safety and building maintenance must be discussed at least quarterly at school board meetings.
    9. SDS book should be updated for all chemicals used at the school.
    10. Blood Borne Pathogen training should be done with all employees
  3. WEATHER COMMUNICATIONS MEETING INFORMATION – Melissa attended a meeting put on by the National Weather Service. The new superintendent from District 2 initiated this meeting as he had experience in Helena with weather related issues.  The National Weather Service is sending out emails now with severe weather alerts that Melissa can use to help determine whether school needs to be cancelled. She can also contact the BPD for road information. It was recommended that a decision to close schools should be made by 4:00 am to avoid having staff members on the road when the decision is made. It would be best if the decision was made the night before if possible. Melissa will stay in contact with other schools in our area on these days to determine possible closure plus the NWS is available 24/7 for assistance. They are trying to implement a texting program that will alert everyone to the need for closures. Bill suggested that in the future Melissa can determine whether school should be closed as long as she gets approval from at least one board member. Melissa stated that she will continue to text all board members when this comes up but at least now if she doesn’t hear from all three members she can still make the decision based on the information she has available to her. Sarah made a motion to allow Melissa temporary authority between now and the next board meeting to determine school closure as long as she gets at least one board member to approve. Bill seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  This will be placed on the next agenda to decide whether to make this permanent.
  4. BOARD MEETING TIME CHANGE/POLICY 1400 – The time of board meetings was discussed. Melissa spoke with her advisor who told her it is odd that our policy states a time as they normally only state the day of board meetings. He told her that with proper notice the time can be determined as needed. Marilyn put this question on the MASBO discussion forum and got one response from a school that had changed their meeting time to 5:00 and they are liking it.  Sarah made a motion to hold any meetings between now and the next regularly scheduled meeting on January 14, 2019 at 4:30. Bill seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. Melissa will look into the possibility of rewriting the policy with the first reading at the January 14, 2019 meeting. Sarah made a motion to forego the December meeting. Bill seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  5. NON-RESIDENT STUDENT APPLICATION – Tabled as the parent is not ready to transfer the student at this time.



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 21174 through 21192 in the amount of $29255.43, and the payroll warrants numbered 8998 through 9000 in the amount of $40592.15.  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. Bill Bullard seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  1. Weekly Agendas for 10/15/18 through 11/16/18
  2. November newsletter
  3. MT-PEC newsletters for Bill & Sarah – mailed to school


    1. None



A motion was made by Sarah O’Brien to adjourn the meeting. Bill Bullard seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried. The meeting ended at 7:05 pm. The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, January 14, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the main building.




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Bill Bullard, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________