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October 12th, 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . October 12, 2020

Presented for Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  November 9, 2020


DATE: October 12, 2020


TIME: 4:30 p.m. 


PLACE: Pioneer School, Main Building, Room 106


MEMBERS Kari Jones, Chairperson

PRESENT: Luke Rome, Trustee  

Marion Hatch, Trustee via Zoom




CLERK: Marilyn Michael


ADMIN: Melissa Schnitzmeier via Zoom


STAFF: None 








Trustee, Kari Jones called the meeting of the trustees of Pioneer Elementary School District #41 to order in Room 106 of the main building and via Zoom, Monday, October 12, 2020 at 4:40 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 September 14, 2020.  Marion Hatch seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.


  • Campus News
    • Fall MAPS testing is complete (see below) 
    • Fall ANB Count is 63
    • Formal Certified Evaluations – Underway
  • Upcoming PD
    • MEA – 10/15 & 10/16
  • Reporting
    • TEAMS – Accreditation Report – Submitted
    • Continuous School Improvement Plan – Submitted
  • COVID Updates
    • Transitioned to Plan C 9/29/20 through 10/2/20 due to staffing difficulties
    • Back to Plan A 10/5/20
    • Latest County Data – see attached



Fall 20 Reading
At Risk 21% AR/BL 31%
Below Level 10%
At GL 18% AT/AB 69%
Above GL 18%
Gifted 34%


Fall 20 Math
At Risk 15% AR/BL 25%
Below Level 10%
At GL 22% AT/AB 75%
Above GL 22%
Gifted 32%


  1. Building Maintenance – Nothing at this time 
  2. Safety Enhancements – Nothing at this time
  3. ADA Compliance/Architect Proposal Updates – Tabled
  4. COVID-19 Updates/Safety Equipment – The purchase of a mister was discussed. Andy’s price is similar to the mister that Melissa had received information on from Huntley Project.  Marion made a motion to purchase a mister.  Luke seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  Luke stated that he would prefer to have the school purchase this from Andy as he took the time to come out and show us the machine and some cleaning techniques. Melissa will check with Andy on availability.
  5. Administrator Contract/Maternity Leave Scheduling – Kari has been speaking to MTSBA regarding scheduling Melissa to return to campus 2 – 3 days per week after her 6 week maternity leave. The board would like to have Melissa keep track of the hours she works from home on the days she is not on campus to come up with a fair leave amount during the 2nd 6 weeks of maternity leave and let Marilyn know the amount of leave to be deducted from her amounts of accrued leave for each month, so Marilyn can keep an accurate count of her available leave.  Melissa would like to see a change to her contract stating she can work off campus during the school year also as at this time it states “during summer months”. The board feels this will have to be discussed further when her contract is up for negotiations as at this time, the board feels when school is in session, she should be working on campus in her dual role as principal and superintendent. 
  6. MOA – The Pioneer Education and Melissa have worked together for an agreement to the Memorandum of Agreement for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Melissa explained that together they created a rubric for virtual evaluations in the event it is necessary.  Marion made a motion to adopt the MOA for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Luke seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.   
  7. Rain Gutter bids – Melissa received a bid from Rocky Mountain Seamless Rain Gutters to replace all of the rain gutters on both buildings in the amount of $2448.  Luke made a motion to accept the bid of $2448 from Rocky Mountain Seamless Rain Gutters to replace all rain gutters on both buildings.  Kari seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.  Marilyn will send the estimate to Jeremy at MSGIA for his approval.  



  1. Policy Updates – Nothing at this time
  2. COVID-19 Protocols – Melissa explained that she would like to see the board adopt a protocol for when staff shows symptoms associated with COVID-19 where staff members are required to get a COVID test. MTSBA informed Melissa that if Pioneer School pays for the test, it can be required. She explained that staff members can use Riverstone Health’s testing service free of charge, however if they use their own doctor/hospital, the school would pay them for the test amount with proper documentation of the charges.  A negative test would be required before returning to campus or 10 days and no further symptoms if a positive test is received by the employee.  Luke made a motion to require staff members showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 to be tested before being allowed to return to campus with Pioneer School paying the charges for the test with documentation.  Kari seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.
  3. Shepherd Attendance Agreement 20-21 – Marilyn presented the Shepherd Attendance Agreement that needs our school board chair signature. Shepherd included a list of Pioneer students currently attending Shepherd Elementary & Junior High. While reviewing the document, the board questioned that the box showing “No Transportation will be provided” as the Shepherd bus is seen picking up these students. Melissa will contact the Shepherd Superintendent for an explanation. Once Melissa reports back to the board, Kari’s stamp will be put on the agreement.   
  4. Fall ANB Count – Our fall ANB count has been completed.  There are a total of 63 students at Pioneer this fall.  K – 8, 1 – 12, 2 – 11, 3 – 11, 4 – 7, 5 – 6, 6 – 7, 7 – 1, 8 – 0.  The district report shows there are 3 American Indian students at Pioneer at the time of the count.



The clerk presented claims warrants numbered 21591 through 21616 in the amount of $21,320.02, and the payroll warrants numbered 9069 through 9071 in the amount of $54,210.04.  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, Marion Hatch moved to approve the financial reports. Luke Rome seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous; the motion carried.




  1. Weekly Agendas for 9/21 through 10/16/20
  2. October Newsletter
  3. Letter from Mrs. Betty Wold with $25 donation


    1. Marion Hatch reported that she will be moving to Great Falls. A date has not been set but they will be listing their house soon.



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 6:50 pm.  The next scheduled regular meeting is Monday, November 9, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the main building. 




Attest: __________________________     SIGNED: ____________________________

          Kari Jones, Board Chairperson

DATE: _________________________