The Missoula Community School (MCS), located in the heart of Missoula, is an independent early childhood school with a focus on progressive education. MCS offers creative and nurturing programs for children ages 3-6 during the school year, ages 3-8 during the summer. We offer a welcoming and collaborative environment for parents and families. MCS strives to provide children with developmentally appropriate opportunities to participate in an interdependent and interactive community. Classrooms weave in mindfulness based approaches to nurture growth in focus, self-control, self-regulation and empathy. Home to the original Superheroes of Kindness, classrooms also weave in a focus on kindness and compassion. Just as we celebrate each child as unique and special, MCS celebrates Missoula as a unique and special place. We rely on the many natural and cultural resources of our extended community as an integral part of our curriculum.
Mission Statement: Missoula Community School is a learning community inspiring children to explore, create, and care. We strive to give each student access to the varied learning opportunities needed to support and encourage their growth as joyful learners in an environment that nurtures self-respect and respect for others.
Classroom and school community: From the youngest ages at MCS, children are part of their classroom communities and important contributors to classroom life. Teachers help children develop understandings of their responsibilities to the community through conversation, role play, stories that highlight or demonstrate issues, community meetings to handle issues, pointing out community-building actions and words when they occur, and modeling these behaviors themselves. At all times, teachers provide guidance as needed, with watchful and loving attunement to the well-being of each child and the development of a healthy, inclusive, and warm classroom community. The concept of classroom community grows throughout the year, building a web of community within which children feel nurtured and supported.
Missoula community: The city is truly our classroom, and MCS strives to provide children with consistent and varied opportunities to explore the natural and cultural richness of our extended community. From field trips to guest speakers to special activities, children experience that learning opportunities are all around them. Through developmentally appropriate community-service projects, children discover their ability to make a meaningful contribution to the well-being of their extended community, thus fostering empathy, kindness, and a sense of interconnectivity within the community. Past community-service projects have included packing birthday boxes for the Food Bank, painting the water spray turtles at nearby Sacajawea Park, picking up trash around the neighborhood, and collecting pennies to help a MCS family.
Early Edge: Early childhood education makes a critical investment in families and Montana’s future. When a child attends a quality preschool program, that child transitions into kindergarten with the core skills needed to succeed, such as conflict resolution, sharing, taking turns, empathy, focus and self-regulation.. This investment will pay dividends far in the future as Montana’s children are afforded opportunities to learn important skills that will help the state build a strong and capable workforce. However, the high cost of preschool is a barrier to many families; one that makes it extremely challenging for families with young children to make ends meet. Reducing the cost of preschool would allow all Montana families the opportunity to realize the benefits of high quality early childhood education. The Early Edge Proposal builds on the strength of existing early childhood education programs and appears to provide flexibility for Montana families. Parents want to to choose from diverse, quality preschool options. In Missoula some parents prefer different approaches so it is important that families have choices in their preschool options. We at the Missoula Community School support public funded PreK that utilizes and builds on the strengths of already existing quality programs. To read our statement of support, click here and download our early edge printable document .