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February 10, 2022 Board Meeting Minutes

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 10, 2022

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March 14, 2022


DATE: February 10, 2022


TIME: 4:30 p.m. 


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Kari Jones, Chairperson via Zoom (arrived at 5:45 pm

PRESENT: Luke Rome, Trustee  

Colleen Unruh, Trustee




CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier via Zoom


STAFF: Jami Burns arrived at 4:30 pm, Kyla Deutsch & Alisa Rau arrived via Zoom at 4:30  



GUESTS:  Bill Haynes of Collaborative Designs arrived at 4:30, left at 5:30, Carolyn Sevier arrived             at 4:30, left at 5:40





Trustee, Luke Rome called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 106 of the main building and via Zoom, Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 4:40 pm.  Trustee, Luke Rome welcomed all those attending.  Trustee, Luke Rome read the Montana Law about public meetings.  


  1. MINUTE APPROVAL:  Colleen Unruh made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 17, 2022.  Luke Rome seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




Current Enrollment K-8: 74


We have completed our Winter testing windows. Our NWEA MAPS data is very positive. 

The district is finally able to run the Dyslexia Screening as required by §20-7-469, MCA, the Montana Dyslexia Screening and Intervention Act. All students K-3 are in the process of being screened and information regarding the screening and interventions will be sent to our Panther families who have a child flagged. 

Alisa Rau completed the Title XI training & WIDA training last month. 

Taylor Eissinger wrapped up the NWEA MAPS Assessment reporting training Tuesday (2/8/22).

The staff will engage in Active Intruder/Shooter training hosted by Officer Tim Doll here on campus on Monday 2/14/22. Certified staff is required to attend however the opportunity has been opened up to all staff should they choose. 

Trimester 2 comes to an end Friday, February 25th with report cards heading home on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. 


The Panther PTA sponsored “Have Fun at Work” day on Friday, January 28th. It was a special treat for our team that included silly string wars, staff bingo (with prizes), and lunch. Fun was had all day and was quote, as “the most fun they’ve ever had at work”. A special thanks to the Panther PTA for making this happen on such short notice. 


I have attached the most recent Schools Weekly Report from the Yellowstone County Unified Health Command. Our community continues to see a surge. 

The District received additional rapid test kits. The new kits come in a box of 2 which will now be distributed to symptomatic students/staff to administer. At current, Pioneer’s COVID response team no longer administers the testing unless specifically requested by a parent/staff member. 


ESSER Data Collection – Submitted 

Civil Rights Data Collection – Federal Report -Submitted 

Spring ANB Count – Submitted 


  1.  BUILDING MAINTENANCE – Melissa reported that we have received and accepted a bid to replace the glass on the window to Room 106 and the glass in the front door. The total is $732.
  2. SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS – We received a bid from Mountain Alarm (formerly Kenco) to move the striker on the front door to the left door so we can have the metal detector in use again. The bid is for $1417.06. At this time, Melissa recommends we wait until the end of the year when we know what we have for remaining funds in the general fund. We will contact them at a later date to get a new price.
  3. COVID-19 UPDATES – See Admin Report
  4. TEXTING PROGRAM ENDING – Melissa contact Twilo. She was told that they would not be able to service us as we are too small. We would have to work through a 3rd party administrator with a pay as you go set up. Melissa feels this would be very cumbersome. SMS through Infinite Campus would be $1500 for the year. Melissa will ask if all staff members would have access to use the system or only certain people. Also, would our parents be able to text the system to report absences, etc. What phone number would show up on their phones. This item was table to gather more information.



  1. NON-RESIDENT STUDENT RENEWAL FOR 22-23 – Janessa Fawcett submitted a letter to request her sons Masyn and Austyn be allowed to continue his education at Pioneer School.  Luke made a motion to accept Masyn and Austyn to the 22-23 1st grade and 4th grade classes.  Colleen seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  2. SPRING ANB COUNT – Our spring ANB count is 74 students. For OPI purposes, our count will be 75.
  3. SANITARY SURVEY BY DEQ – A representative from the DEQ met David Icopini, our certified water operator, for an inspection of our water system on January 31st. No recommendations to our system were made. A copy of the report was presented to the board.
  4. TEACHER NEGOTIATIONS – Jami Burns was in attendance to set a time for negotiations with the certified staff. It was decided to begin the negotiations at the March 14th board meeting.
  5. 2022-2023 CALENDAR – Melissa explained that she is looking into implement a Friday school plan similar to what Huntley Project has been doing. Her plan would to still have all students on campus but to use Friday as a day to focus on the specialties including RTI and the extended program. She will be meeting with staff to come up with a plan, so she requested this be tabled to the next meeting.
  6. DOVER PARK DISCUSSIONS – Carolyn Sevier with Yellowstone River Parks Association was in attendance to discuss working with Pioneer School for curriculum, field trips and possibly more. She explained some history of YRPA acquiring the Sindelar property. It is currently 142 acres. They have recently purchased 288 more acres and the gravel pit area of 198 acres. The total is about 630 acres, this is planned to be a natural area with public access. Some opportunities that could happen in partnership with Pioneer School include Program – direct to standards, science and outdoor education. Elective Activities could include archery, photography, PE, Cross-Country, and other extra-curricular things. She feels the opportunities are endless and it could be a defining thing for Pioneer. There is also a chance that that some of the nearby land could be made available to the needs of Pioneer., some ideas could include ball fields, track. The gravel pit area has approximately 2 years remaining on site. Luke asked if we can use this to help try to pass our bond. Carolyn cautioned that we be careful how we leverage to the public for the bond as nothing is planned yet, however, we could start doing the programming right away.  She invited us to attend their Master Planning meetings. She will help write about what we can say to help with the bond, Melissa will connect with Carolyn on the committee meetings with YRPA. Carolyn also stated she would plan to come to our Open House meetings for the Bond after she makes sure she doesn’t overstep YRPA’s desires as far as non-partisan issues go. She left us with their latest newsletter.
  7. RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN ELECTION/BOND DISCUSSION UPDATES – After discussion, Colleen made a motion to adopt the Resolution to conduct an election for the bond.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  Bill Haynes of Collaborative Designs was in attendance to discuss the upcoming Bond election. He feels more outreach will be needed. Construction prices are going up and he would try to reach out to contractors to get real prices. Melissa has been working on a draft of how to present this to voters and will add what Carolyn sends her. They will set dates for meetings and an Open House for the community.



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 21894 through 21916 in the amount of $21,949.08, and the payroll warrants numbered 9122 through 9124 in the amount of $57,956.08.  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 Unruh moved to approve the financial reports. Luke Rome seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  1. February Newsletter
  2. Weekly Agendas for January 24 through February 11




A motion was made by Luke Rome to adjourn the meeting. Colleen Unruh seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried.  The meeting ended at 5:40 pm.  The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, March 14, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the main building and via Zoom. 




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Kari Jones, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________