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Montana Small Schools Alliance

Helping rural school districts meet state and federal standards in educationally sound ways.

Created in 1996 by the University of Montana-Western,  Rural Education Center, Montana State University-
Bozeman, Montana Department of Education, The Montana Association of County School Superintendents, and The Montana School Boards Association.

2023 Instructor and District Scholarship Winners Announced

Instructor Scholarship Award Winner - Elissa Zelner, Turner

District Scholarship Award Winners - Creston School District

                                                              Harrison K-12

                                                              Woodman Elementary School

Board Members and Staff

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Janelle Beers

Executive Director

Carolyn Hall

Carolyn Hall, Board Chair

Lake County Superintendent of Schools

Erin Lipkind

Erin Lipkind, Vice Chair

Missoula County Superintendent of Schools, MACCS President, Library Standards Specialist

Dr. Jayne Downey

Dr. Jayne Downey

Education Department MSU-Bozeman, NREA Executive Committee

Laura Straus

Laura Straus

U of M Education Faculty, MSSA Board

Linda Sunderlin

Linda Sunderlin

MSSA Office Manager

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Curtis Smeby

MTSBA Representative

NREA Hall of Fame

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Dr. Claudette Morton

NREA Hall of Fame 2016

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Jules Waber

NREA Hall of Fame 2019

2022 MACSS Teacher of the Year

Lara Belice

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Lara is the sole licensed educator at Cooke City Schools, an isolated, K-8 rural one-room school.  Lara has taught at Cooke City for the past 4 years.  This year's enrollment spanned 6 grade levels, kindergarten through 7th grade.  Lara is known for applying her life experiences, knowledge and philosophy of teaching and learning to create and deliver effective and engaging learning experiences.  For more information on Lara and her school, click on the button below.

Montana Rural Teachers of the Year

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Debra Flynn

Molt Elementary, 2021

Important Documents

Click to Download

Combined Letter of Agreement

NWEA Map Testing, 2022

NREA Membership Form

Jules Waber Travel Award Scholarship Application

MSSA Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes

Western Montana Professional Learning Collaborative Partners with Montana Small School Alliance to Increase Equity of Student Services


Meeting the Needs of Montana's Small Schools

School house in Bannack, Montana a restored abandoned mining town. The upstairs was used a

MSSA Professional Development, Curriculum and Policy Consortium

The Montana Small Schools Professional Development and Curriculum Consortium is one of the major programs of the Alliance. Starting in 1996, the Alliance has provided more than eight hundred day-long workshops to multi-grade school districts and small K-12 districts helping them create curriculum, instruction, and assessments, to meet state and federal standards. Each year the consortium has grown to serve more school districts. In 2020 the consortium is serving over 140 school districts throughout Montana in various programs.  The MSSA developed a team of member teachers that continually aligns MSSA curriculum to the Montana Content Standards in all disciplines.  The member section holds full K-12 curriculum, completely aligned.  The Rural Schools Policy Manual is also included in consortium membership.  Language for REAP and Title II grants are additional features of Consortium membership.

Contact Us

220 North Montana Street
Dillon, MT 59725


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