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February 8th, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

February 8th, 2021 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 8, 2021

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  March 8, 2021


DATE: February 8, 2021


TIME: 4:30 p.m. 


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Kari Jones, Chairperson

PRESENT: Luke Rome, Trustee  




CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier


STAFF: Jami Burns arrived at 4:30 pm via Zoom


VISITORS: Janessa Fawcett arrived via Zoom at 4:30, left at 4:40 pm

Colleen Unruh arrived at 4:30

GUESTS:  Bill Haynes with Collaborative Designs arrived via Zoom at 4:30, left at 4:55 pm





Trustee, Kari Jones called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 106 of the main building, Monday, February 8, 2021 at 4:33 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 January 11, 2021.  Kari Jones seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.



  • Enrollment
    • Spring ANB 64
    • Average ANB 66
    • 3 year average is 67, this is the number we will use. Melissa will check further to make sure this the correct number.
  • Staffing
    • Non-Tenured Certified Staff Evaluations (2) underway
    • 21-22 Special Education Teacher Position posted in mid-January, Melissa checked with Connie Russell to make sure it was ok to post this position before the end of the school year. Connie was fine with it being posted as she is retiring.
  • Campus News
    • Classes will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with appropriate COVID protocols in place as recommended by Riverstone Health
    • Winter NWEA MAPS Assessments – underway
  • Upcoming PD
    • 2/22/21 – PIR Training provided by ACE Consortium – Stress Management
    • 2/9/21, 2/16/21, 2/23/21 – HR Symposium through MTSBA – Melissa & Kari registered
    • COVID cases in Yellowstone County have continued to decrease over the past month. I have attached the most recent Schools Weekly Report from Yellowstone County Unified Health Command.
    • The Yellowstone County Health Department shared attached mask study with the districts to encourage our continued use of face coverings. There is some interesting information on how the COVID precautions have all but eliminated influenza cases this year. We have already taken this step and I would expect the face covering requirement to be in effect on our campus through the end of the year.
    • Our district is now capable of offering the Binax Rapid Testing to symptomatic students. Parents wishing for their students to be tested will be required to fill out the district’s consent/waiver form obtained by MTSBA.
  • Budget
    • ESSER I & II Funds – Fact sheet attached.  ESSER I and ESSER II comparison attached. The new funds must be used by September of 2023.
  • OPI
    • Standardized Assessments – ED has not yet made a decision on spring standardized assessments.  OPI is pursuing a waver or determining how local interim data could be used instead.


  1. Building Maintenance – Kevin Maddox sent Melissa an email dated Jan 8, 2021, regarding a new leak within the boiler that was found.  The boiler will have to be shut down and partially dismantled to replace a leaking gasket. He is hoping this will wait until the end of the heating season. He has also found 12 steam traps that need to be replaced so the heating system will operate properly.  Kevin also found some condensate pipe that needs to be replaced as it has started leaking.  Estimates for the boiler repair to just repair the one leaking section is approximately $300 – $500, the steam traps are approximately $1600. We should if possible try to re-gasket all the sections at the same time. He has also found some more black iron pipe on the condensate return that are dripping a tiny bit but that can be addressed in the summer.  The board approved of these repairs, however a motion was not made to have Kevin go ahead with plans to make them.  Luke made a motion to have Kevin make the stated repairs needed to the boiler.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  2. Safety Enhancements – Nothing new at this time.
  3. ADA Compliance/Architects Proposal – Bill Haynes with Collaborative Designs was present via Zoom. He presented new plans for a building to be built on the south edge of the property. After construction is completed, the current main building would be demolished. This plan would not displace students as construction could take place while students were in school with demolition taking place when summer break begins. After reviewing these plans, Luke made a motion to move forward with this plan of building to the south of the current building and demolishing the current main building. Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. Melissa asked what the next step would be. Bill explained that we need to what our bonding capacity is and find out about grants and other fundraising ideas for money needed beyond the bonding capacity.  Melissa will begin to work on this.
  4. COVID-19 Updates – See administrator report.



  1. Non-Resident Student Application 21-22 – Janessa Fawcett was in attendance to request her son Masyn be admitted to the 21-22 Kindergarten class.  Janessa waived her right to a closed meeting. She explained that they have had a good experience at Pioneer and would like Masyn to attend also.  Luke made a motion to accept Masyn Fawcett to the 21-22 Kindergarten class. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  2. Non-Resident Student Renewal 21-22 – Janessa Fawcett submitted a letter to request her son Austyn be allowed to continue his education at Pioneer School.  Luke made a motion to accept Austyn to the 21-22 3rd grade class.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. Spring ANB Count – The spring ANB count has been submitted to OPI. At this time, we have 64 students. Our Fall and Spring average is 66. Our 3 year average is 67, so this is the number that will be used for our FY22 budget.
  4. Policy Updates – Melissa presented several policies regarding Title IX. These are all required policies. The policies were sent to the board before the meeting along with the old policies for comparison to give the board time to review them. After reviewing the policies, Luke made a motion to adopt the updates to policies 3210, 3310, 3225, 3226, 5010, 5012 and new policy 5015. Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  5. Board Member Resignation – Marion Hatch has submitted her resignation from the board as she has moved out of the district. Luke made a motion to accept Marion’s resignation from the Pioneer School Board.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  6. Teacher Resignation – Connie Russell submitted her letter of resignation to the Pioneer School Board as she is retiring at the end of the 20-21 school year.  Luke made a motion to accept Connie’s resignation.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  7. 2021-2022 Calendar – Melissa presented the preliminary calendar for School Year 2021-2022. She explained the she tries to mesh our calendar with surrounding districts. After reviewing the calendar, Luke and Kari asked Melissa to add vacation days to Easter break and adjust by taking some of them away from the planned week long spring break by perhaps making a long weekend in March. They felt 1 day at Easter was not enough if families wanted to travel for Easter break.  Melissa will make these adjustments and present a new calendar at the March meeting.



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 21676 through 21692 in the amount of $3,569.66, and the payroll warrants numbered 9081 through 9083 in the amount of $53,217.39.  The ACH and Direct deposits were included in the amount. Marilyn explained that 2 checks (#9079 & 9080) were voided as she printed them with the wrong payroll date. 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, Luke Rome 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 18th through February 12th.
  3. Colleen Unruh submitted a letter of interest for filling the opening on the Pioneer School Board.
  4. Felt Martin Law Firm sent a letter updating their billing policies. Marilyn explained that we have used their services at least 3 times in the past, so we should return the signature page agreeing to these updates. 



  1. Marilyn informed the board that water delivery prices are going up as of Feb 1 to $89 for a full load from $83 and $52 for a half load.



A motion was made by Luke Rome to adjourn the meeting. Kari Jones seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried.  The meeting ended at 5:27 pm.  The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, March 8, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the main building. 




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Kari Jones, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________