With a new elementary school completed, the focus now is set on the students. When discussing different challenges, Jarrett said, “Too often, people don’t ask the right questions. When you ask, ‘How,’ the ‘What’ will come together.”
Heather Jarrett is superintendent of the Reed Point School District in Reed Point, Montana.
With a population of nearly 200 in Reed Point and just over 9,000 in the county, Reed Point Schools have a total of 54 students for the 2022-23 school year. The Reed Point campus houses an elementary and high school that share the same property, and take students from kindergarten all the way through high school. This year, Reed Point has five students in kindergarten and a senior class with six seniors.
More Like a Family
Originally from upstate New York, Superintendent Jarrett graduated high school in Montana. She was a student teacher at Reed Point, then moved away to begin her career. When an opportunity to return to Reed Point presented itself, she took a teaching position and eventually moved into her current role as superintendent.
“We are like a family here, and with the size of our student body, the relationships students have is almost sibling-esque,” Jarrett explained. “Of course, there are pros and cons to acting like siblings,” Jarrett added with a laugh.
“We partnered with Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), a great non-profit that has strengthened relationships among the students.” The FCCLA’s mission is to promote personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education.
Reed Points Schools are a part of Stillwater and Sweetgrass and draw students from both. The elementary school is K-6 and the highschool includes grades 7-12. Jarrett explained the program partners high school students with elementary school kids, something that is not only fun for the students, but also helps them bond.
The ‘Can Do’ Spirit of Reed Point Schools
Jarrett explained part of the advantage of a smaller-sized school is being able to meet students where they are as well as a challenge in terms of needs. The school’s elementary school needed to be replaced, and Jarrett said the assistance of Pattern Energy made all the difference.
“We are extremely grateful Pattern Energy has been a great community partner and neighbor,” she said, “and we’re very happy Pattern Energy is here.”
With a new elementary school no longer a worry, the focus now is set squarely on the students, when different challenges arise, Jarrett said, “Too often, people don’t ask the right questions. When you ask, ‘How,’ the ‘What’ will come together.”
Going further, Jarrett explained students are able to gain individual attention based on their goals for the future. “We know fairly early what kids in our school like and are interested in, and that lets us assist students in those goals.”
She added, “I appreciate the value of a small school and the value it provides. We may not have every opportunity, but we are able to meet students where they are and take every opportunity to educate our kids.”
“We are a ranching and mining community,” Jarrett said, “and many of our students are in ranching and mining families.” She said some of their students are interested in staying in the family line of work. Jarett said right now they have some kids taking AG (Agricultural industry) courses online, one is working on a veterinary certificate, some are taking college level courses, and some want to follow in the footsteps of their parents.
“We feel lucky in our community, and our school lends itself to individual attention. Whatever a student wants to do, we want to help them achieve their goals, and I think we do a great job.”