• The Missoula County Public School District is forming an Advisory Committee and invites the public to apply for committee membership.  The objective is to form a group of members who equally represent the areas of the nine elementary schools and other members representing key districtwide interests.


    Missoula County Public Schools Elementary District is in need of a boundary study process. It has been 13 years since we last adjusted school boundaries and we know that the makeup of many of our neighborhoods has shifted since 2005.  The study will examine existing and future enrollment at nine MCPS elementary schools:  Chief Charlo, Franklin, Hawthorne, Jeannette Rankin, Lewis and Clark, Lowell, Paxson, Rattlesnake, Russell

    The objective of the elementary attendance boundary study is to provide a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on attendance boundary adjustments needed to accommodate the nine schools’ total current and future enrollment over the next 12-15 years with limited need for facility expansions.    The recommendation will be based on specific criteria including applicable guiding principles from the Smart Schools 2020 Strategic Facilities Plan. 

    The boundary study recommendation will be developed using data and analysis of current and future enrollment, facility capacity, and public involvement over the 18-19 school year.  Public involvement includes initial meetings at each elementary school, open houses, on-line interactive map and comment tool, and an Advisory Committee.  

    The following details how the Advisory Committee will be formed and how it will function.  It also discusses the roles of the school district, consultant, and the public as they relate to the Advisory Committee efforts.


    The Advisory Committee will include 17 members:

    • Nine (9) parent/guardian representatives from each school
      • Michelle Reilly, Chief Charlo Elementary
      • Nick Lofing, Franklin Elementary
      • Sherri Henckel, Hawthorne Elementary
      • Rachael Herynk, Jeannette Rankin Elementary
      • Mandy Snook, Lewis and Clark
      • Gabrielle Sather-Olson, Lowell Elementary
      • Hannah Stone, Paxson Elementary
      • Kristie Scheel, Rattelsnake Elementary
      • Wilena Old Person, Russell Elementary
    • Eight (8) key interest representatives
      • Robin Nygren - Librarian, Rattlesnake Elementary
      • Ann Bates - Secretary, Chief Charlo Elementary
      • Cindy Christensen - Principal, Russell Elementary
      • Becky Sorenson - Principal, Hawthorne Elementary
      • Elise Guest - Executive Director of Teaching and Learning
      • Terry Phelan - Safety and Operations Coordinator
      • Brenda Sweeney - Special Education Coordinator
      • Shirley Lindburg - English Language Learning Coordinator


    The Advisory Committee's primary responsibility is to generate ideas and recommendations for achieving the study objective.  The roles and responsibilities of the individuals who will be involved with the Advisory Committee are listed below:

    Advisory Committee

    • Provide advice on boundary revisions based on guiding criteria
    • Finalize guiding criteria
    • Represent and understand public comment and the information on existing and projected conditions
    • Confirm time commitment and attend committee and open house/public meetings
    • Come prepared to each committee meeting, read materials in advance
    • Act as an ambassador of the boundary study and as a liaison with school the school area they represent, attending PTA and other school functions to provide updates and hear comments


    • Facilitate committee meetings to achieve intended outcomes
    • Assist in agenda preparation
    • Provide information on existing and projected conditions

    General Public

    • Informed through website
    • Invited to submit comments
    • Invited to attend committee meetings as observers
    • Participate in open houses, conducted separately from Advisory Committee meetings

    School Board

    • Charge committee with its responsibilities
    • Conduct public hearing for boundary adjustment proposal (does not participate in committee meetings)


    • Attends committee meetings and provides information and technical guidance

    District Staff

    • Attends every committee meeting, provides technical guidance when needed
    • Maintains web updates


    Nine Citizen Committee Members:  By Application

    The nine parent/guardian members will be determined through an application process.  The following is the timeline for the application.

    • December 19:  Application materials on-line and accompanied by news release and outreach to schools and parents
    • January 15:  Application period closes
    • January 18:  Select Committee Members
    • January 30:  Advisory Committee Meeting #1

    If sufficient applications are received to assure at least one representative for each school, fallback would be by invitation.

    Other Members Representing Key Interests:  By Invitation (No Application)

    • 1 MCPS staff representative for Special Education needs
    • 1 MCPS staff representative for English Language Learning needs
    • 1 Representative for Bussing/Operations
    • 1 MCPS staff representative for Teaching and Learning Program
    • 4 Principals/Teachers representing economic diversity among schools

    Selection Criteria:

    1. Equal representation of the nine schools
    2. Objective representation of key interests
    3. Prioritize applications that are objective and thoughtful


    Advisory Committee members are required to attend all four committee meetings and are also asked to attend three open house public meetings.  Dates schedule at this time are:

    • January 30, 2019 - 6 p.m., Advisory Committee Meeting #1
    • January 31, 2019 - 6 p.m., Open House #1
    • February 28, 2019 - 6 p.m., Advisory Committee Meeting #2
    • March 4, 2019 - 6 p.m., Open House #2
    • March 14, 2019 - 6 p.m., Advisory Committee Meeting #3
    • March 21, 2019 - 6 p.m., Open House #3
    • April 4, 2019 - 6 p.m., Advisory Committee Meeting #4
    • April 9, 2019 - Recommendation from Advisory Committee of the Board of Trustees

    Conduct of Committee Meetings:

    • Meetings will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will start and end on time.
    • The consultant will facilitate Advisory Committee meetings, following agendas and supplemental materials that will be sent in advance of each meeting.  The purpose of the meetings is for the committee members to discuss and move forward with specific steps needed to arrive at a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.  The Superintendent will attend each meeting and will be able to provide relevant technical observations and information.  Other persons with relevant technical information may also be invited to attend or present at the meetings.
    • The meetings are open to the public as observers.  Time will be provided at each meeting for public comment.

    Advisory Committee Role at Open Houses:

    • Advisory Committee members will attend open houses to actively listen to public comment.




Advisory Committee Documents

Agendas and Meetings

Open House Information