Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Cardwell School Named Best Elementary in State

Montana is being flooded with transplants from all over the country looking for small-town, less-stress life. For many locals, this is frustrating because our Montana ways are being forgotten for big box stores, expensive condos, and less "traditional" ways of making a living in the Big Sky state.

Schooling options are limited, all dependent upon where one decides to call home. With miles between each school, and private education options limited, students go to where they live closest. Thankfully, in our area, we have two great options - Whitehall Schools and Cardwell School.

Recently, Family Minded magazine made a list of the best public elementary schools for each state and, for some, Cardwell School garnering Montana's top spot comes as a surprise.

For those who are Cardwell Cougar alumni, the honor comes as no surprise at all. Neither does it to Seth Coombe, Cardwell School's lead teacher - because the school is so quaint in its ways there is no principal per se.

"I have always known I work in the most amazing school. We all feel very blessed and proud to work at the Cardwell School," Coombe said. "As teachers, we often question the difference we are making. Receiving this information was an amazing honor and made each of us feel validated and so incredibly proud. It definitely puts new wind in your sails and makes you want to work harder to continue providing the best instruction to keep us at the top. Cardwell School is a special place and a unique educational experience. We work at the greatest hidden gem in rural Montana."

The schools were picked based on state test scores, student-to-teacher ratio, quality of the school district, and other factors.

Cardwell school is a kindergarten through 8th-grade school with an incredible student-to-teacher ratio of 8 to 1. One of the best facts about Cardwell School is that because they also serve as the middle school, they are ranked as the best middle school in Montana, and this doesn't include that the teachers in all grades are ranked number one in the state.

Some of the runners-up include Creston in Kalispell, West Glacier, Hobson Elementary, and Fort Benton Elementary.

For more details, check out Family Minded magazine or online.


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