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Regular Board Meeting Minutes from February 12, 2018

Old School House Illustration for Header

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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 12, 2018

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March 20, 2018


DATE:                        February 12, 2018

TIME:             5:00 p.m.

PLACE:          Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106

MEMBERS    Bill Bullard, Chairperson

PRESENT:      Kari Jones, Trustee

Sarah O’Brien, Trustee



ABSENT:       None

CLERK:          Marilyn Michael

ADMIN:         Melissa Schnitzmeier

STAFF:           Cindy Reed arrived at 5:00 and left at 5:50.  Jami Burns, Connie Russell and Taylor Eissinger arrived at 6:00 pm

VISITORS:     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, February 12, 2108 at 5:00 pm.  Trustee, Bill Bullard welcomed all those attending.  Trustee, Bill Bullard read the Montana Law about public meetings.


  1. MINUTE APPROVAL: Kari Jones made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 8, 2018 and the Special Meeting minutes of January 16, 2018.  Bill Bullard seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




    • Cynthia for continuing to take amazing care of our buses, students and staff! Her willingness to go the extra mile is greatly appreciated.
    • Marilyn for continuing to assist Cynthia with bus issues and doing a fantastic job of keeping us all updated.
    • The teachers! Everyone worked hard to put together another fantastic Chili Cook-Off.
    • District Enrollment
      • Spring Enrollment 50 – 3 year average 58
      • One Non-Resident Student application is on hold pending policy updates.
    • Preliminary Budget Totals
      • March 1st these will be available
    • We’ve officially kicked off Trimester 3
      • Report cards will go home February 15
    • Winter NWEA/MAPS Assessments are complete
      • Data Meeting 1/31
      • Analyzed student data and assigned/reassigned to RTI Tiers as needed
    • Transportation
      • Blown Fuse in the Blue Bird was fixed
      • 4 new tires were purchased for the Blue Bird
    • MTSBA’S HR Symposium
      • In District training opportunity available to us
    • Snow Days
      • 1 day to make up – Melissa reported that she found out that OPI allows one emergency day and we had enough extra hours to cover the other 2, so we will not have to make any up.
    • Asbestos Training
      • Kevin attending (16 hours)
    • Upcoming:
      • 2/19 – No School
      • 2/20 – Miss Montana @ Pioneer
      • 2/23 – Pancake Breakfast
    • In the Works;
      • Parent/Teacher Focus Group – TBA
      • Title I Transitioning from Targeted to school wide
      • Curriculum Opportunities
    • 2018 – 19
      • Budget Planning
      • Departmentalized Classroom Schedule
      • Classroom Assignment Recommendations
      • Calendar
    • Tri-District SPED Preschool Agreement – Melissa will be meeting with Scott Carter of Shepherd to get an agreement on the SPED preschool
  • Reports & Grants
    • Title I Audit – Underway – Portfolio Due 4/1/18
    • REAP Grant – Opens 2/20




  1.  PRINCIPAL ADMINISTRATOR EVALUATION –The meeting was closed at 6:04 to complete the principal/administrator evaluation. The meeting reopened at 6:34.
  2. SECRETARY/CLERK POSITION – Marilyn reported that at this time, she is doing ok with the job combination. She is a little concerned about the election season as there are a lot of things to do with this. The clerk from Huntley has been a great asset to her. Marilyn asked the board if she would be able to attend the Yellowstone County Clerk meeting at Fuddruckers in the Heights on Tuesday, February 13th. They moved it there sometimes to accommodate Marilyn, so she felt it is important to attend.  The board was ok with this.
  3. INFO/BIDS ON NEW BUSES/TIRES FOR BLUE BIRD – Cindy brought in bids for 3 buses, an International, a Thomas and a Blue Bird. They were all similar sizes and similar features. When asked, Cindy explained that she liked the International the best. All gave options for adding seatbelts.  Bill asked if there was any reason to wait and not purchase a bus at this time. Kari felt that as the Bus Depreciation Fund is capped and the Thomas bus will continue to lose value, she felt it was the best time to do this.  Sarah made a motion to move forward with the proceedings of purchasing the International bus contingent on getting a satisfactory trade in. Kari seconded the motion.  Sarah amended the motion to investigate lap and 3 point seat belts. Kari seconded the amendment to the original motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. Melissa will find out where the money would have to go if we choose to sell the bus outright rather than use it as a trade in. Cindy will try to find out the value of the Thomas bus if we did decide to sell it ourselves.
  4. POLICY REVIEWS – Melissa presented School Board policies that need to be revised. Policy 5210 and Policy 5250 on Personnel and Policy 3141 on Non-Resident Student applications. The policies were read and Melissa explained the changes. Bill stated that he felt some of the changes in Policy 3141 needed more revision as to the placement of some of the stipulations for admittance of non-resident students. It was also decided that the application should be updated to match the policy. Melissa will work on these revisions and check them with MTSBA to make sure they both meet their approval for legal guidance.  Kari moved to table adoption of Policy 3141 until the revisions discussed could be made. Sarah seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. Kari made a motion to adopt Policies 5141 and 5250 as recommended by MTSBA. Sarah seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  5. OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF MENTORSHIP FEES – Melissa felt this item should be tabled until more information is available on the budget.  Kari made a motion to table this until April when more budget information is available. Bill seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  6. PRINCIPAL/ADMINISTRATOR DUTIES – Melissa presented the revised list of Principal and Superintendent Duties.  Kari made a motion to accept the list of duties for the Principal/Superintendent position.  Sarah seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  7. POSITIVE PR FOR SCHOOL – The carnival is being moved to May 11. Possible additions and changes to may include movie night, food trucks instead of concessions, vendors renting space to promote their products/services at $100 per booth & a kickback to the school, Zoo visit. Possible names for the event include Panther Party.  Kari has checked more into the moving flags that some business are using. The cost for an 8’ flag is $250 but the person could make a 4’ one to mount on the fence. She will continue to get prices.  It was suggested to invite the PTA officers to the next board meeting to discuss carnival plans and financial discussions.



  1. DON JONES – legislator visit – Don Jones was unavailable to come due to personal obligations.
  2. MAIL BALLOT REQUEST TO COUNTY ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR – Kari made a motion to request the County Election Office conduct the annual school elections as a mail ballot.  Bill seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. ELECTION RESOLUTION – Kari made a motion to hold an election. The purpose of the election is to elect one (1) trustee to a 3 year term and one (1) trustee to a 2 year term. Approval of additional levies to operate and maintain the General Fund for FY19 will also be requested.  If it is later determined that any portion of the election is not required, the Board of Trustees authorizes Bret Rutherford, County Election Administrator, to cancel that portion of the election in accordance with 13-1-304 and 20-3-313, MCA.  Sarah seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  4. ASBESTOS TRAINING – Under the AHERA Standard, every district needs someone on staff who has been through the 16-hour training course (Designated Person). This person takes care of the paperwork, ensures other staff, training, and is trained to meet the obligations outlined under the standard. Kevin Maddox is our designated person. He is signed up to attend a training that is available March 15 & 16 in Billings. The cost of $400.  Sarah made a motion to send Kevin to the asbestos training and pay the $400 fee. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  5. SPRING ANB COUNT – Melissa reported that the spring enrollment count was 50. Our three year average is 58.
  6. BUS ROUTE REIMBURSEMENT FORM – Marilyn has completed the bus route reimbursement form. This needs the Board Chair signature. No other action is needed.
  7. PIONEER SCHOOL 2015-2016 AUDIT – Marilyn reported that she picked up the 2015-2016 Audit from Summers, McNea & Company, PC.  Ted McNea reported to Marilyn that there were no concerns with the audit. Sarah made a motion to accept the findings of the audit. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  8. TITLE I AUDIT – Melissa explained that she has been working on the Title I audit. The portfolio is due to OPI April 1, 2018. She asked that this item be tabled until there is more to report.  Kari made a motion to table the Title I Audit discussion until the next meeting.  Sarah seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  9. SAFETY CONCERNS – Melissa has had parents discuss safety concerns with her. Some feel the school is too open.  Melissa presented some ideas for safety.  One idea of moving the secretary to the old building.  Marilyn would then escort any visitors to the locked new building.  Marilyn explained that she has great concerns about this move. These concerns include the phone lines only ring in the current office and would be an expense to move them, so she felt if we were going to spend money on moving phone lines, why wouldn’t we just put in a buzzer system.  Another would be that she would have to come to the new building every time she needed to use the copy machine, which she uses frequently throughout the day. Other concerns include the magnitude of the move as she has 4 filing cabinets, one of which weighs 600lbs. Sarah felt we could get volunteers to help with the move. The space that is in the plan is much smaller than and the items she uses on a daily basis would not fit in the small office space available. If the building is still being used for classrooms, it will be no safer as the front doors cannot be locked if this is where visitors have to come first. Marilyn also reminded the board that she is only contracted to work 5 hours per day for 2 months in the summer, she feels this will create a lot of work that will make it harder for her to meet her deadlines. Sarah stated that she could call a friend of hers that is in law enforcement for his suggestions. Kari made a motion to table this to gather more information. Sarah seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  10. STATE OF MT – SURPLUS PROPERTY RESOLUTION – Marilyn explained that we had received a notice from the state saying they needed to have a person designated to be our representative to make purchases of surplus equipment occasionally offered by the state. Kari moved to have Melissa be the designated person. Sarah seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  11. ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE – Melissa explained that most principals have some comp time available for them to use when necessary.  She would like to ask MTSBA for information on leave for principals and superintendents.  Sarah moved to table this until there is more information. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  12. K – 8 DISCUSSION – Melissa explained that she would like to see Pioneer School go back to offering 7th and 8th grade. She explained that we should be able to do a budget amendment that would get the school more money.  This would make our budget be similar this fiscal year.  She explained that curriculum would be available for $25 per electronic device. She explained that this works into her plan of departmentalizing 2nd grade through 8th grade. K & 1 would remain standalone classes. She explained that she has spoken to some parents of current 6th graders and they would be interested in having their students remain at Pioneer for 7th and 8th grades. Sarah made a motion to initiate implementation of offering 7th and 8th grades at Pioneer School.  Bill seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 20996 through 21010 in the amount of $5683.11, and the payroll warrants numbered 8977 through 8979 in the amount of $39,668.41.  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. February Newsletter
  2. Weekly Agendas for January 15 through February 16
  3. Letter of acceptance to Out of District Parents approved at last board meeting
  4. MTSBA letter that was in with the MTSBA bill



  1. Melissa & Marilyn reported that after the January 16 Special Board meeting, it was determined that the student that was accepted was not old enough to be in Kindergarten yet. The parents plan to enroll the student in next year’s kindergarten class, so the acceptance will be held over for next year.




A motion was made by Kari Jones to adjourn the meeting. Bill Bullard seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried.  The meeting ended at 8:34 pm.  The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, Marcy 12, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 105 of the main building.




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

Bill Bullard, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________