Although Montana is better known for its lovely natural environment and being home to the world-famous Yellowstone National Park, the state also provides a solid educational grounding for its residents.
Education statistics in Montana are above average on a national scale, with at least 54% of students attaining their high school diplomas.
The state boasts several well-rounded, high-performing school districts, where students enjoy extensive athletic programs, and academic excellence.
Here's a snapshot of the best schools in Montana to help guide your choices when searching for a home in Big Sky Country.
Montana has schools to suit all preferences with 1250 public, private, and charter schools to choose from. Each school district also makes provisions for children with special education needs.
By law, all children in the state of Montana must attend school if they're seven years old on the day school opens for the year. They must stay in school until the age of 16, or until they've completed the eighth grade.
Children can attend kindergarten from the year they turn five, provided their birthday is before 9 October.
Most school rankings focus on academic achievement. Yet, parents should bear their child's whole development in mind when choosing the best fit for their children.
It's important to consider after-school activities, sports, and creative offerings, too. Some parents may place a high priority on other things, like boarding facilities or religious affiliations.
Bearing this in mind, these are some of the best Montana schools in each category:
This Bozeman institution ranks as the top school in Montana. Here, 84% of students score above the required math and reading proficiency levels.
There are 17 students enrolled per teacher at Morning Star School. If you would like your child to enjoy one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in Montana, it's best to opt for a school like Creston, in Kalispell, which has only 11 students per teacher.
Clancy 7-9 has a rural setting and just over 90 students. Of these, 67% meet math proficiency levels, and 82% are proficient at reading. The student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1 and most teachers in this school have more than 3 years of experience.
If Clancy is a little isolated for you, you might consider Somers Middle School, in Kalispell. This school has 196 students and just 14 pupils per teacher.
Sending your child to Somers also puts them in line to attend one of the best high schools in Montana located close by, namely Whitefish High School.
Whitefish High School offers quality education in Kalispell, Montana, and has a 94% graduation rate. The school also offers highly sought-after Advanced Placement® coursework and exams to students.
At Whitefish High school, students can participate in the following after-school activities:
The Kalispell Public Schools Board of Trustees achieved the top spot in the School Board of the Year Awards, presented by the Montana Association of School Superintendents. So, you know your child is in good hands when they attend school in Kalispell.
This is just one of the reasons to move to Kalispell in Montana or invest in property there.
Whatever your reasons for choosing a boarding school for your child, there's a good chance Lustre Christian High School will suit your needs. This small school provides children with a safe, nurturing environment in a rural location about 35 miles from Wolf Point, MT.
With a student-teacher ratio of just 7:1, Lustre offers small classes and personalized instruction. After-school activities include basketball, volleyball, and track and field sports, as well as music and theater programs.
The best private school offering education from grades K to 12, Big Sky is in Big Sky, Montana. With just 30 students enrolled in this school, tuition is highly personalized, with just 5 children per class.
This is a Montessori school, offering multi-aged classrooms and individualized learning pathways. The school supports STEAM-based education, offering lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
Montana is one of the few states that does not offer public charter schools. So, if you prefer your child to enjoy this alternative to conventional learning, you should search for a private school that meets your requirements.
Many Montana residents have expressed a desire for choice-based learning, and the matter is presently under discussion at a high level. It's likely that Montana will offer this option for scholars in due course.
Another top choice for those considering Boseman as their new home, Cottonwood Day School, holds the top spot amongst special education schools.
This institution also occupies the top spot for private schools in Montana. This school offers very small classes, with lessons tailored to individual students' needs.
When you enroll your child into a school that caters to their specific learning challenges, you're setting them up to achieve and exceed far beyond what a public school can offer.
Proximity to good schools can have a big impact on home values. So, if you invest in property in these areas, you can look forward to a handsome return on your investment if you sell your home when your children leave school.
We have high-quality homes available close to some of the best schools in Montana. Get in touch today to find out more.