Unfortunately this school has a poor reputation but our experience has been nothing but positive. The teachers and principal are excellent. They know each student personally and work to create a very positive learning and social environment. We love the sense of community this school offers as well as the small class size. There isn't another school in Missoula that offers a better student-teacher ratio. Speaking as an educator DeSmet is an EXCELLENT school and should not be dismissed or overlooked based on hearsay.
Desmet School is a public elementary school. 110 students attend Desmet School and identify as White, non-Hispanic; Asian/Pacific Islander; and Hispanic. 79% of the 110 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Desmet School is 9:1. Lower Grade Hellgate is one of the nearest elementary schools.
|Native American or Native Alaskan||17%||12%|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0%||%|
|Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program||79%||75%|
This school made tremendous strides in the last four years. It is hard to see it go backwards with new administration. The programs and plans put into place by staff and the previous administrator were great for the student population this school has. There certainly is not the connection to the school like there use to be.
The principal is outstanding; she is very firm but cares about the students. She coordinated several food distribution programs with the Montana Food Bank Network for the many many needy children in the school. The student council though small is very active. The music program is weak but improving slowly. The teachers are outstanding. I have students in both elementary and middle school grades and all receive outstanding instruction and one-on-one attention from their teachers. Sadly turnover has been very high the past few years and the principal left at the end of the 2007-2008 school year for another job. Teachers are leaving to take jobs in other area school districts which leads me to believe that pay is lower than other schools in the area. The parent organization was a bit more active this past year.
The administration is hard to communicate with and does not seem to value the few parents who actually care. The quality of academic programs is steadily improving. The music program was great; we will see what the new teacher brings to the table this year. Art program could use some work. Sports program is improving but still needs lots of work (there will be a new PE teacher this year). Extracurricular activities do not exist. The level of parent involvement is very poor. The student population is challenging with many of the children (about 80 %)facing sad and scary situations at home. There is a bad bullying problem! The lunch program is terrible and not nutritous. There will be a new lunch lady so that brings some hope. The counselors are awesome and very helpful. The school has potential. High turnover rate for teachers which is hard on students.