2.1.1121 Part 1 Section, notesMaster (Notes Master)

a.   The standard states that the notesMaster element specifies an instance of a handout master slide.

PowerPoint uses the notesMaster element to specify an instance of a notes master slide.

b.   The standard does not specify the z-order of shapes in a notes master slide.

PowerPoint renders the shape elements contained in a notesMaster element in the order they are written.  The note text is always rendered in the foreground.