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September 16, 2019 Board Meeting Minutes

Regular Meeting Minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 16, 2019

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . October 7, 2019


DATE: September 16, 2019


TIME: 4:30 p.m. 


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Kari Jones, Chairperson

PRESENT: Sarah O’Brien, Trustee  

Luke Rome, Trustee




CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier


STAFF: Jami Burns, Connie Russell, Jacob Croteau, Alisa Rau and Leah Wright arrived at 4:30 pm, left at 5:10 pm.








Trustee, Kari Jones called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 105 of the main building, Monday, September 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm.  Trustee, Kari Jones welcomed all those attending. Trustee, Kari Jones read the Montana Law about public meetings.  


  1. MINUTE APPROVAL:  Luke Rome made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of August 12, 2019.  Colleen Shaw seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.









  • District Happenings
    • 2019-2020 School Carnival was a success, approximately $1100 was raised.
    • Fall assessments are going on now
    • Technology update – we need a new firewall, to be discussed later in agenda.
    • Team Christmas Party is scheduled for December 7th at the Windmill
    • 2019-2020 MTSS Action Plan is being worked on
  • Reports and Grants
    • GT Grant – Waiting for GT grant to open, it was supposed to open September 12th, but has not as of yet.
    • Delivering Local Assistance Grant ($50,000) – Through the Montana Department of Commerce has been submitted.
    • TEAMS Accreditation Report – October 3rd Melissa will attend a conference where this will be worked on
  • Upcoming PD
    • SBAC SPED Assessment/Data Workshop – Melissa and Connie will be attending in Lewistown 9/17/19 
    • SPED Assessment Conference – 10/1 – Melissa & Connie will be attending 
  • Upcoming Events
    • Adult Education – Understanding NWEA – MAPS Assessments – Wednesday, September 25 4:00
    • Open House – Wednesday, September 25 – 5:00 – 6:00
  • Building Maintenance
    • New playground equipment – Installation began 9/16
    • Potential Knife River donation – Marilyn spoke to Clint at Knife River about pea gravel for the new playground area
    • Wharton Asphalt bid
    • Potential Contractors – Melissa will be trying to get a few bids on the hail damage on the old building. 
    • Bradford Roofing – Tom Bradford stopped last week to check the roofs. He said the membranes and shingles showed no signs of hail damage. However, the lower south section of shingles had some areas that could be construed as hail hits, nothing on the roof area above. Tom thinks it may be from snow and ice sliding off the upper roof to the lower roof. Kevin asked Tom to have someone come out replace 2 pipe flashings that are leaking as well as install a new vent cap on the furnace flue pipe that blew off. Tom will get this scheduled.


  1. Building Maintenance – Nothing new to discuss at this time.
  2. Safety Enhancements – Nothing new to discuss at this time.
  3. Roof & Water Damage Marilyn reported that the final bill to Billings Carpet and Water was made. Andy looked over the payment and realized we had overpaid $751. He also had his wife look it over and confirm this. His company will be doing the carpet cleaning in October, so we will have a credit towards this. We also have the coupon that we gave him at the start of the water damage project that will also be a credit. Marilyn also reported that we are still in need of the overspray of insulation in room 106 to be cleaned up from one of the windows. Also, a hole in the ceiling outside of the office needs to be repaired. This is from one of the light fixtures that had to be moved after it had already been mounted to the ceiling. Andy is working to get these two things fixed for us.


  1. Welcome to Staff – Kari welcomed all of the staff back to the new school year. She thanked everyone for being here and welcomed our new teacher Jacob Croteau. Luke Rome also thanked the staff for all they do.
  2. Fire Wall Replacement Melissa reported that Morrison-Maierle’s technician informed her that our firewall is starting to go bad and it is time to decide how to replace it. There are 2 options. One is to purchase a new firewall. The other option would be to lease the firewall. This would cost approximately $125 to start and $110 per month. This would be $1320 per year or about $2600 for 2 years. The advantage to this is that when there is an upgrade, we would automatically get it without having to purchase a new one every time. Melissa feels this would be the best option.  After discussion, Luke made a motion to lease a new firewall. Colleen seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. Playground Resurfacing Bid – A bid was received from Wharton Asphalt on resurfacing the blacktop in the amount of $8472. Luke suggested we also check with Knife River. Kari has a contact at Knife River so she will call them to try to get a bid. We have a parent that works at Phillips66 and he would like to try to help us get a grant through them for resurfacing the black top. It was brought up that maybe we could also get some new fencing. After discussion, this was tabled to get more information.
  4. Report on County Safety Meeting (Luke) – Luke attending the first County Safety meeting. These meetings are now required through new legislation. The meeting was attended by Billings Police Department, County Attorney Scott Twito, Child Protective Services representatives and a few area schools. These meetings are required and all school districts will need to participate in future meetings. Some things discussed included how to communicate safety information without breaking other laws pertaining to individual privacy. It was also discussed how often these meetings should be held. Luke stated he explained to the committee that some items that may concern larger schools may not concern smaller elementary districts. Some schools may only need to attend on a semiannual basis but larger schools and schools with high schoolers may need to meet more often. Luke stated that an email will be sent to Marilyn to inform us of future meetings and he asked that Marilyn then pass the email along to the board and Melissa at which time it will be determined who will attend. 
  5. Hail Claim – Melissa is trying to get bids from a few different contractors. One came today and told her that the wood on the old building exterior is not available anymore. Melissa asked him to write that up on a bid form so if necessary, she can present this to our insurance. Marilyn asked Shaw Construction to give us a bid. Shaw Construction’s owner asked Andy Pirami of Billings Carpet and Water to have the area tested for lead paint. Andy called in Northern Industrial and the wood was tested. It does contain lead paint so any bids will have to include proper cleanup of the wood and paint. Andy said BJ of Shaw Construction is going to get us a bid but he has been out of town. Andy did get a bid for removal from Safetech, Inc for the removal and proper disposal of the wood in the amount of $8450. It was decided to table this as more bids are collected. 



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 21366 through 21380 in the amount of $12,886.58, and the payroll warrants numbered 9026 through 9027 in the amount of $40,808.15.  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, Colleen Shaw moved to approve the financial reports. Luke Rome seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  1. September newsletter
  2. Weekly agendas for August 19 through September 20, 2019
  3. Staff roster
  4. TR1 form, needs Kari’s signature (nothing to approve)



    1. Luke asked for an explanation on the budget amendments. Melissa explained that she is still trying to get more information from Nica at OPI on why last spring we were given an estimate of $20,000 if our enrollment was higher, but when she recently asked for what the amount might be she was told approximately $1500. The board told Melissa to tell OPI that it is them asking for more clarification on the different amounts. Melissa will keep the board informed on further updates.



A motion was made by Luke Rome to adjourn the meeting. Colleen Shaw seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried. The meeting ended at 5:50 pm. The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, October 7, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the main building. 




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Kari Jones, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________