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February 10th, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes

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 10, 2019

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  March 23, 2020


DATE: February 10, 2020


TIME: 4:30 p.m. 


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Kari Jones, Chairperson

PRESENT: Luke Rome, Trustee (via phone)  

Colleen Shaw, Trustee




CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier


STAFF: Jami Burns, Connie Russell, Alisa Rau and Richelle Hertel arrived at 4:30 pm  


VISITORS: Traci Doll arrived at 4:30, left at 5:25 pm, Erin Keith arrived at 5:15 pm, left at 5:25 pm

GUESTS:  Jason Fitzgerald and Andrew Houlihan with Collaborative Designs arrived at 4:30 pm, left at 4:40





Trustee, Kari Jones called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 102 of the main building, Monday, February 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm.  Trustee, Kari Jones welcomed all those attending. Trustee, Kari Jones read the Montana Law about public meetings.  


  1. MINUTE APPROVAL:  Colleen Shaw made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 13, 2020.  Luke Rome seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.





  • Campus News
    • Spring Count 71 – 2020-2021 with the new calculation is 74
    • Spring Evaluations – in progress
    • Alisa – MSSA Social/Emotional Conference 2/10/20
    • Leah & Alisa – Shepherd 2/24/20 – Tri-District PLC
    • Marilyn & Melissa – MASBO Budget Conference – 2/27/20
  • Reports/Grants
    • SPED Audit – Passed Initial Stage – ESPC – Evidence of Sustained Post – Compliance
    • 20-21 REAP – Rural Education Achievement Grant – Submitted 2/4/20
    • Delivering Local Assistance Grant – No New Information
  • Building/Grounds Maintenance
    • Metal Detector – Functional
    • Leaky Toilet
    • Backdoor
  • Upcoming Events
    • 2/11/20 – Spring/Class Pictures
    • 2/14/20 – End of Trimester 2
    • 2/14/20 – Pancake Breakfast 6:30 – 8:00 am
    • 2/17/20 – NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day
    • 2/28/20 – 4th/5th to Lincoln Center for Magic Treehouse – Showtime with Shakespeare


  1.  Building Maintenance – Waiting on Back Door to old building – it is in, just need to get installation scheduled.
  2. Safety Enhancements – Railing going to boiler room needs to be added. Melissa will check with Kevin on this.
  3. Hail Damage – Siding replacement waiting until spring
  4. Budget Amendment – The budget has been published and hung at the school. It now must be approved.  Luke made a motion to approve the budget amendment in the amount of $4086.48. Colleen seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  5. 2020-2021 Calendar – Traci Doll was in attendance to voice her concerns about a 4 day school week. She said it would be very difficult for her family as she would have no daycare on Fridays and if younger students were dismissed early, it would make it even worse as they could not have their younger student going home alone. Melissa explained that although some parents would like the 4 day week and it may be good for teachers, educationally, she cannot find enough pros to recommend it. Colleen expressed concerns about students going home alone. Luke likes the idea as a parent however as a board member, he feels if it is not good for the school, he would not be for it. Colleen made a motion to adopt the 5 day 2020-2021 calendar presented at the January meeting.  Luke seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.



  1. Spring ANB Count – Our February count was 71, however there is a new calculation for figuring the ANB count which makes our combined ANB count be 74. Melissa explained that she checked with OPI and this is our number for our 2020-2021 budget. This will increase our budget.
  2. Possible 2019-2020 calendar changes – Melissa explained that we have snow day built into our 2019-2020 calendar. She explained that if we do not need them, she would like to have dismissal on the last day of school at 1:00 pm. Once the students are dismissed, teachers can work on their end of the year reports and may not have to come back on Friday for the scheduled PIR day if they have completed everything and checked out. Colleen made a motion to allow for a 1:00 dismissal on the last day of school, May 21st providing we do not use the snow days and the hours are still within the amount needed. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. Non-Resident Student Renewal for 2020-2021 – Marilyn presented a letter from Janessa Fawcett requesting her son Austyn remain at Pioneer for 2020-2021. Colleen made a motion to approve Austyn Fawcett for 2020-2021. Luke seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  4. Teacher Contract Negotiations for 2020-2021 – Jami presented the proposed items from the Pioneer Certified Staff. These include: 6% increase in a 2 year contract – 4% the first year, 2% the second year, Insurance contribution by the school from $605.79 up to $641.19. Full time employees would contribute the remaining amounts if necessary depending on the insurance package that is chosen for the employee and his/her dependents, Increase the payout for unused sick days to 50% of sub pay from the current 30% when an employee is over the 80 days that can be banked. Increase discretionary days to 14 from the current 12. Change the contract hours on Fridays from 3:00 pm to 2:45. The board will take these in to consideration. Melissa explained that we have not received our preliminary budget report from OPI yet. Colleen made a motion to table the negotiations until the March meeting. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. The negotiations will continue at the March 2, 2020 meeting.
  5. Preliminary Architect Report/ADA Compliance – Jason Fitzgerald and Andrew Houlihan with Collaborative Designs were in attendance to explain the PAR (Preliminary Architectural Report) Proposal that they have worked up after meeting with Melissa on January 20. They explained that our next steps were to identify which pieces we want to look at and to make a plan according to needs vs wish list items. This will help to determine how much we should ask for. They explained that we don’t want to ask for too much. Their fees listed would need to be paid before the bond passes and would be billed according to work done, and accrued monthly. Once we submit a “shopping list” of what we need, they will redo the proposal. We need to prioritize this list. To do this, Melissa will talk to Kevin and bring back suggestions to the board. This will hopefully be done by the March meeting so that we could get the new proposal by the April meeting. The board thanked Jason and Andrew for attending.



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 21456 through 21474 in the amount of $4842.02, and the payroll warrants numbered 9045 through 9049 in the amount of $47,039.00.  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. Kari Jones seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  1. Weekly agendas for 1/20/20 through 2/2/14/20
  2. February newsletter




A motion was made by Colleen Shaw to adjourn the meeting. Kari Jones seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried. The meeting ended at 5:25 pm. The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, March 2, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the main building. 




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Kari Jones, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________