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January 13th, 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . January 13, 2020

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  February 10, 2020


DATE: January 13, 2020


TIME: 4:30 p.m. 


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Kari Jones, Chairperson

PRESENT: Luke Rome, Trustee  

Colleen Shaw, Trustee




CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier


STAFF: Richelle Hertel, Alisa Rau, Leah Wright and Connie Russell arrived at 4:30 pm,Leah Wright left at 5:25, Alisa Rau left at 5:50. Richelle Hertel and Connie Russell left at 6:10.



VISITORS: Marissa Scott arrived at 4:30, left at 4:40 pm






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, January 13, 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:  Luke Rome made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of November 11, 2019.  Kari Jones seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.









  • Community News
    • Integritas House will travel to Tumbleweeds on February 6, 2020.
    • Newsworthy Events in the Billings Gazette – Blankets & Bears and ArtMobile
  • Reports & Grants
    • Delivering Local Assistance Grants – $50,000 has not been awarded yet
  • Upcoming Team PD
    • 2/24 – 2 staff members will go to Huntley for district PLC
  • Upcoming Events
    • Teacher Hosted/PTA Sponsored Chili Cookoff – 1/31
    • PTA Sponsored Pancake Breakfast – 2/24
    • PTA Sponsored Panther Spelling Bee – 2/20/20
  • Adult Education
    • 1/20 – Epicure Cooking Class
    • Nurse Karen gave ideas on other possible classes on Health, Suicide Prevention, Recognizing Vaping Items
  • Administrative
    • 2020-2021 Planning Underway
      • Calendar for 2020-2021
      • Schedule
      • Teacher Assignments
      • Staffing
      • Budget
  • Building Maintenance
    • Pipes in the girls bathroom, new building, were replaced over winter break, very clogged
    • Back Door for old building has been ordered
    • Metal Detector – PTA paid for the outlet to be installed, Kevin is working to get a key to open up to figure out how to make it turn on.


  1. Building Maintenance – Kevin had to replace some pipes to the sink in the new building girls’ bathroom as they were completely clogged due to age. The new back door to the old building has been ordered. The bid came in at $1884 plus $228 if we add the door scope viewer.
  2. Safety Enhancements – Kevin is working with the company to get a key to the metal detector as it will not turn on. Kevin thinks he has found a piece of pipe to use as the second bar on the railing going to the boiler room.
  3. Hail Damage – Tyvek wrap has been installed for winter, nothing else at this time due to weather.
  4. Budget Amendment – Melissa presented the Budget Amendment for the 2019-2020 budget in the amount of $4086.48. Luke made a motion to adopt the budget amendment in the amount of $4086.48. Colleen seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried. Kari and Marilyn signed the resolution. It now needs to be published, hung at the school and sent on to the County Superintendent and County Clerk.
  5. Policy Updates – Melissa presented the policies that need to be updated. These were given to the board to read over at the previous meeting in November. Melissa asked if the board had any questions or concerns about these policies. Colleen asked why we would need Policy 2167. Melissa explained that as of right now, it does not apply to us, however it could in the future so it is best to adopt the policy as recommended by MTSBA. There were no other questions or concerns. Colleen made a motion to adopt the following policies: 1112, 1425, 2167, 1113, 1113P, 1700, 2100, 2160, 2160P, 2168, 2333, 3110, 3123, 3125, 3125F, 3415, 3415F, 3415P, 3650, 4301, 4340, 4410, 5012, 5120 P, 5223, 5256, 5325, 8425.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.



  1. Non-Resident Student Applications – Marissa Scott was in attendance to discuss non-resident student applications for her daughters. After discussion, Colleen made a motion to accept Cassidy Young into Kindergarten and Aubry Young into 2nd grade. Luke seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  2. Trustee Resolution Calling for an Election – Colleen made a motion to hold an election. The purpose of the election is to elect one (1) trustee to a 3 year term and 1 trustee to a 1 year term to finish out the term vacated by Sarah O’Brien.  Approval of additional levies to operate and maintain the General Fund for FY21 will also be requested. If it is later determined that any portion of the election is not required, the Board of Trustees authorizes Bret Rutherford, County Election Administrator, to cancel that portion of the election in accordance with 13-1-304 and 20-3-313, MCA.  Luke seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  
  3. Mail Ballot Request to County Election Administrator –Colleen made a motion to request the County Election Office to conduct the election by mail ballot. Luke seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  4. Yellowstone Academy Attendance Agreement 1920 – Marilyn presented the Yellowstone Academy Attendance Agreement showing we have 1 student from Pioneer School District are attending the Yellowstone Academy. Kari signed the student attendance agreement.
  5. Bus Route Reimbursement Form/Individual Contract Reimbursement – Marilyn presented the first semester TR6 Bus Route Reimbursement claim, and the first semester TR5 Individual Contract Reimbursement Claims for signature by the board chair. She explained that twice a year we make these claims to OPI for reimbursement for our bus routes. The individual contracts are for students attending the preschool in Huntley and being transported by parents.
  6. 2020-2021 Calendar – Melissa presented some options for the 2020-2021 calendar. The options included a possible 4 day school week. This will be a work in progress and will need further discussion.
  7. Special Education Co-op Changes – Melissa informed the board that the East Yellowstone Special Education Coop which we are a member will be making many changes. This may include reduced staffing. At this time, Melissa does not feel this will greatly affect Pioneer.
  8. Special Education Preschool fees – Melissa informed the board that for future years, Pioneer will be expected to pay 1/3 of the costs of running the preschool program that is housed at Huntley Project School. Previously, we would pay tuition if we had students attending the preschool but many of the students are now from Pioneer School and it was determined that we would need to start paying our share. This amount can be put into the Tuition fund as a permissive levy. This year’s tuition is $5000 per student and we have budgeted for 5 students totaling $25,000. Next year it is going to be approximately $30,000 for our 1/3 share of the costs.
  9. ADA Compliance – Melissa explained that we are going to have to do something to start trying to become ADA compliant. We have students coming in the future that have needs that cannot be met with the current structure of the buildings as they are not handicap accessible. Melissa has checked with Shepherd and it is not likely that they would accept these students on a tuition basis as the costs would be too high. The board asked Melissa to start researching what our options would be.
  10. PTA Access to Buildings – Melissa asked if the board would agree to issue a key and code to the PTA president as there may be times that a staff member is not in attendance at a PTA meeting or event.  Luke made a motion to allow controlled access to the PTA president, to be revisited each year. Colleen seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  11. Administrator Evaluation – The meeting was closed at 6:12 for the administrator evaluation. The meeting reopened at 7:00. 



The clerk presented November claims warrants numbered 21423 through 21437 in the amount of $4,726.52, and the November payroll warrants numbered 9037 through 9041 in the amount of $45,622.39.  The ACH and Direct deposits were included in the amount. Also presented were December claims warrants numbered 21438 through 21455 in the amount of $9,327.78, and the December payroll warrants numbered 9042 through 9044 in the amount of $43,424.56. The ACH and Direct deposits were also included in the amount.  The clerk presented the November and December 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. Weekly Agendas for November 18th through January 17th 
  2. December and January newsletters
  3. Letter from Summers McNea regarding Ted McNea’s retirement
  4. Letter to Board Chair from Elsie Arntzen regarding budget amendment


    1. Melissa asked if the March meeting could be moved to a different date as she will be out of town. March 2nd was chosen for this meeting. Luke will be out of town for the April meeting, April 20th was chosen for this meeting.



A motion was made by Colleen Shaw to adjourn the meeting. Luke Rome seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; motion carried. The meeting ended at 7:01pm. The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, February 10, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the main building. 




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Kari Jones, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________