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Regular Meeting Minutes from Board Meeting on January 8, 2018

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Regular Meeting Minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . January 8, 2018

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  February 12, 2018


DATE:                        January 8, 2018


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:           Jerica Schatz, Jami Burns, Kevin Maddox, and Cindy Reed arrived at 6:00 pm. Cindy left at 6:35 pm. Kevin left at 7:25 pm, Jami left at 7:32 pm. Jerica left at 7:40 pm.


VISITORS:     Josh & Noel King


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, January 8, 2018 at 6:02 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 November 20, 2017.  Bill Bullard seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  • Staff Shout-Outs –
    • The entire staff for working so hard throughout December and making our annual Christmas Program another huge success!
    • Dylan – Stepping up to the plate and volunteering to schedule swap to help a few team members with medical disabilities in the frigid temperatures
    • Taylor – Reaching out to the community for support THEN taking the donations and using them to bring extra Christmas cheer to our campus! Such a wonderful treat!
    • Kevin – Doing a fantastic job installing the new projectors!
    • Marilyn, Kevin & Bill – Thank you for acting quickly on 1/2/2018 to troubleshoot the empty cistern and lack of heat issue! We appreciated the heaters on our first day back!
  • Team Focus Areas
    • Response to Intervention Implementation (Power Point Presentation by Melissa)
      • Assessment of interventions continue
      • Regular progress monitoring
      • Winter MAPS Assessments will run 1/15 – 1/19
    • MBI – Action Plan
      • Data Input w/Fidelity
      • The Great 8 Classroom Management Strategies to ensure active engagement leading to less disruption/non-learning time.
    • Departmentalized Schedule – Possible shift forward in Trimester 3
  • Administrative Focus – Trimester 2
    • Evaluations/Supervision of Staff Continued
    • 2018-19 Planning
      • Departmentalized Classroom Assignment Schedule
      • Calendar Planning
      • Budget Planning
      • SPED Preschool
    • Reports & Grants In Progress
      • Title I Audit – Beginning Stages
  • Other News/Updates
    • One out of district student application received in December
    • A running urinal led to an empty cistern tank 1/2/2018
    • PTA has agreed to purchase our buddy benches!
    • Parent Safety Concerns
      • Ideas to increase security at February Board Meeting
  • Activities Related to our Strategic Goals
    • A Pioneer School Flyer and Newsletter was mailed out to residents within our district with students in other schools
    • Our team hosted another WONDERFUL Christmas Program
    • Our Panthers donated quite a few boxes of food and $34 in cash (raised by Panther Hat Days) to the Billings Food Bank.  This wrapped up our ‘generous’ value for the months of November and December.  This month our Panthers and team will be focusing on cooperation.
    • The new wall mounted Smart projectors were received and installed.
    • A discussion forum has been added to the school’s website.
    • Parent/Teacher Focus group will begin to discuss our Title I program and it’s direction at our next meeting.
    • Summer curriculum mapping PD opportunity in the works.
  • Upcoming Events
    • 1/9 – Grades 4 – 6 to Alberta Bair
    • 1/16 – Hearing Screening will take place
    • 1/26 Grades 2/3 to Alberta Bair & Chili Cook-Off is coming back to Pioneer!




  1. SECRETARY/CLERK POSITION – Marilyn reported that she has completed the quarterly reports for Federal taxes, unemployment and workmen’s comp. She will be working with Todd to complete W2’s & 1099’s and some other items. There are three MASBO conferences she would like to attend. February 28, March 2 and March 26. Kari made a motion to allow Marilyn to attend these 3 MASBO conferences. Sarah seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  Marilyn also told the board the summer MASBO conference that she attended last year is in Billings this year June 11 – 15. She will have more information on this later. Bill asked Marilyn if she has been able to attend any of the Yellowstone County clerk meetings yet. Marilyn explained that she has not as there was not one held in December to her knowledge.  Bill asked if she would still like to attend these. Marilyn stated she would but still isn’t sure how to do it without having to hire a sub for those hours.  Sarah said she would volunteer to sit at Marilyn’s desk to answer phones, etc.  Sarah would have to be background checked first. She will get the paperwork from Marilyn
  2. UPDATE ON BREACH OF CONTRACT COMPLAINT PROCEDURE – Bill has spoken with Peter Donovan with Board of Public Education.  He explained that it was never Pioneer School’s mission to disrupt the lives of former teachers.  We would just like to stop the history of teachers breaking contracts.  He told Mr. Donovan to most likely be expecting a letter to notice that we are dismissing the complaints against the teachers that broke their contracts after signing them.  Sarah made a motion to dismiss the complaints filed against two former teachers for breaking their contracts.  Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  Bill will write the letter to the Board of Public Education.
  3. BUS/BUS DRIVER – Cindy Reed was in attendance in regards to the condition of the Thomas bus and the possible replacement of this bus.  Cindy explained that she feels there is either a valve, fuel injector or air intake restriction problem with the Thomas bus.  It does not run very good in cold weather and blows a lot of smoke each time she starts to go after a stop. She feels the longer we hang on to it, the more the chances that we would need to have an overhaul done on it. On very cold and snowy days, she has been driving the Blue Bird bus as it is better in cold weather.
  4. ADMINISTRATOR EVALUATION – The meeting was closed at 7:45 to conduct the administrator evaluation.  The meeting reopened at 8:35.






  1. OUT OF DISTRCIT STUDENT APPLICATION – Josh and Noel King were in attendance to request their son Wyatt be permitted to attend Pioneer School.  The meeting was closed at 6:35 to meet with Josh and Noel King.  The meeting reopened at 6:40 pm.  Kari made a motion to accept Wyatt King to Pioneer School.  Sarah seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  2. CISTERN MONITOR UPGRADE – Due to a urinal that was running, the cistern run very low over the Christmas break. This caused the boiler to not have enough water to heat the building.  Kevin had Schesslers come out and help investigate the problem.  Precision Water delivered another tank of water after hours to get us running again.  They checked to make sure there wasn’t a problem with the floats, a leak or broken pipe.  Schesslers said they could put in a new type of monitor that would send out 2 emails and 2 texts to alert to low water levels.  A bid was received in the amount of $1070.  Discussion took place on how to pay for this.  Marilyn explained there is an extra $2484 in the operating and maintenance fund due to not needing to offer insurance to a combined janitor/bus driver position.  The supply area has 2144.56 and repair and maintenance has $720.32.  We also have building reserve fund money from Senate Bill 307.  Bill asked Kevin and Melissa their recommendations.  Both felt this would be a good addition to safeguard not running low of water again.  Sarah made a motion to have Schesslers install the cistern monitor for the amount of $1070.  Marilyn asked which fund to pay for this out of.  Sarah amended her motion to include paying for it from the building reserve repairs and maintenance fund.  Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. DISPOSAL OF OLD SMART BOARDS – New updated smart boards have been installed which leaves us with several smart boards that are no longer in use.  There are also many old and unused items in the basement that could be disposed of.  The Board called for a resolution to Property Disposal of Old Technology Equipment and other miscellaneous items.  Sarah moved for the resolution, and Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. Marilyn needs to publish the disposal of equipment in the Yellowstone County News before anything can be sold, thrown or given away.  Melissa and Marilyn will work together to keep a list of what items will be disposed of.  After it is publicized, we have to wait 14 days.
  4. STATUS AND ACTION REGARDING SUPERINTENDENT CERTIFICATION – Melissa will begin her Superintendent degree classes and internship in January.  She has completed her principal classes and internship and will travel to Missoula for a final presentation.  She will complete classes throughout this semester and be finished with the program.
  5. POSSIBLE POLICY CHANGE FOR APPROVING OUT OF DISTRICT STUDENTS – Bill explained that at this time it is the board’s responsibility to approve out of district students.  He would like discussion on whether to have interim approval from the Superintendent with final approval at the next board meeting after the application has been approved. One concern was that if a student was approved by the superintendent but then denied by the board it would create problems with transferring the student into our school and then having to transfer them out again. It would speed up the admittance of a student for the parents.  Bill stated that he sees the value in a waiting period of some sort to check into the student’s past school record. Melissa will check with MTSBA and her mentors to get advice on this.  Sarah moved to table the discussion until more information can be gathered.  Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  6. OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF MENTORSHIP FEES – Melissa explained that in the past the school paid for the membership in the Superintendents of Montana.  She has paid for her mentor fee to SAM.  In June, the mentorship fee was accidentally paid for by the school and she paid the membership fee but as it was short notice the amount was difficult to come up with. Todd Watkins recommended not paying the fee out of Melissa’s salary as she should be putting all the money she can into TRS. If the school pays it out of her salary, she loses the TRS deposit amount. Melissa explained that the mentorship has gotten her an onsite supervisor which she needs to help earn her degree and they have been a huge benefit to her when questions arise.  Kari moved to table the discussion until a later meeting when we know what our budget looks like.  Sarah seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  7. PRINCIPAL/ADMINSTRATOR DUTIES – Sarah moved to table this until February to gather more information. Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.





The clerk presented November claims warrants numbered 20956 through 20977 in the amount of $11,117.35, and the payroll warrants numbered 8968 through 8972 in the amount of $37719.65 and December claims warrants numbered 20978 through 20995 in the amount of $11779.37 and the payroll warrants number 8973 through 8976 in the amount of $37,371.22.  The ACH and Direct deposits were included in the amounts for each month. 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. Weekly agendas for Dec. 4 through Jan. 5
  2. Newsletters for December 2017 and January 2018


  1. Kari suggested some positive PR for Pioneer could be to wrap the bus with “Pioneer School” advertising and/or placing “sale flags” out in front of the building. Sarah suggested finding out who owns the lot at the corner of Pioneer & Hwy 312 to see about placing a sign there. This will be placed on the February agenda for further discussion.




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 8:40 pm.  The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, February 12, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 106 of the main building.




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

Bill Bullard, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________