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July 20, 2009

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July 20, 2009

I have two children enrolled as elementary students at SBM. It is a fantastic school with individualized lesson plans for each student. The curriculum is focused but not cookie-cutter -- the instructors recognize that not all kids learn the same way. It is small and somewhat non-traditional, but the environment promotes active learning both in the class room and through field trips. The elementary school has been on overnight trips to Glacier Park, Yellowstone Park, and Calgary, Alberta where we slept in the Calgary Zoo. Other expeditions include digging for fossils each year, Fall and Spring camp-outs (overnighting optional), visiting the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and a ski program each winter. The school is very competitive in academic competitions as well, last year taking overall first place in the Montana Tech Science Fair and in the Battle of the Books (6th grade team) as well as several individual honors at the science fair, and competing in the county-wide spelling bee. My youngest was also in the Early Childhood program before entering the elementary program. This too is a wonderful program with emphasis on teaching kindergartners concepts in counting and phonics, encouraging reading prior to entering first grade. In many respects this is a one-room schoolhouse where the kids all pull together to achieve outstanding academic results. There is very little pettiness, almost no competition over wardrobe, and the kids all seem to watch out for each other.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My children. They are happy and well-adjusted, receiving a fantastic education.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Do more marketing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Parental involvement is very welcome.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

All have been wonderful, and all care about the kids.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide more financial assistance to families with need. Expand its curriculum to go through 8th grade. Building new structures and increasing its marketing.

Ways to make it better...

I had known about the school when I first moved to town. I regret having put my oldest in another school before finding SBM.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This is not a typical, cookie-cutter school. It thinks outside the box to provide students a meaningful educational experience without the pettiness of larger schools.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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