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.
Board Members and Staff
Carolyn Hall, Board Chair
Lake County Superintendent of Schools
Erin Lipkind, Vice Chair
Missoula County Superintendent of Schools, MACCS President, Library Standards Specialist
Dr. Jayne Downey
Education Department MSU-Bozeman, NREA Executive Committee
U of M Education Faculty, MSSA Board
MSSA Office Manager
NREA Hall of Fame
Dr. Claudette Morton
NREA Hall of Fame 2016
NREA Hall of Fame 2019
2022 MACSS Teacher of the Year
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
Molt Elementary, 2021
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Meeting the Needs of Montana's Small Schools
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.