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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.

2024-2025 MSSA Workshop Schedule

2024 Instructor and District Scholarship Winners Announced

Instructor Scholarship Award Winner - Jason Mitchell,

                                                              Woodman School

District Scholarship Award Winners -  Wibaux School

                                                         Woodman School



Board Members and Staff

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Janelle Beers

Executive Director

Carolyn Hall

Carolyn Hall, Board Chair

Lake County Superintendent of



Katrina Chaney

Lewis and Clark County Superintendent of Schools, MACCS President

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

Erin Lipkind

Erin Lipkind

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Laurie Bartoletti

Counseling Specialist

Missoula County Superintendent of Schools, Library Standards Specialist

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

2024 MACSS Teacher of the Year
Jamie Matthew

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Jamie Matthew is the 2024 Rural Teacher of the Year, representing Swan Valley Elementary School in Missoula County.  Born and raised in Seeley Lake, Montana, Jamie has been part of Swan Valley Elementary since she started volunteering in 2013.  Hired as a Special Education Paraprofessional in 2013, Jamie went on to start her Bachelor of Education degree in 2017. Jamie completed her K-8 Interdisciplinary Studies Bachelor's Degree in 2019, finishing a four year program in a year and a half while teaching full time.  Jamie is a school leader who believes in an open learning environment and goes above and beyond to ensure that each of her students receives the support and guidance they need to thrive academically and personally.  Congratulations Jamie!

Montana Rural Teachers of the Year

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Toni Hatten

Sunset School, 2023

Important Documents

Click to Download

Combined Letter of Agreement

NWEA Map Testing, 2022

NREA Membership Form

MSSA District and Instructor Scholarships

MSSA Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes

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

MSSA Newsletter

Jules Waber Travel Award Scholarship Application


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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