Cottonwood Day School
Cottonwood Day School in Bozeman, MT was founded in 2014 by a Bozeman mom with a background in education and social work. It is the first and only private, non profit elementary school for students with learning disabilities in the state of Montana.
Students with learning disabilities need a specific learning approach to achieve academic success. Cottonwood Day School provides a unique and exceptional learning environment to students with learning disabilities. Cottonwood Day school’s specialized approach to instruction takes into consideration that each student’s learning style is unique.
At Cottonwood Day School, our mission is to support students with learning challenges and partner with families, so students can reach their full potential academically, socially, and therapeutically in a supportive and inclusive environment.
What Our Parents Have To Say
“We were out of options for our daughter. She had been in a private school, then went to public school and at the time we were homeschooling her. The private school couldn’t provide the special services she needed for success and her strengths went unseen in the style of teaching they used. It was great for our other kids, but not a good fit for our youngest. The public school worked for first and second grade, but she stopped learning in the middle of third grade…her testing proved it. The sensory input was over the top for her. She was constantly distracted. The social scene and her own social learning deficit left her feeling nervous and rejected. She was in flight or flight before she even walked in the door every morning. The staff pulled out all stops to help her, but she just couldn’t feel calm there and her learning stalled out completely. And so we homeschooled. It was good, but hard, and not a long-term solution. We did it for a year and a half, but she really needed more than we could give her. It was early August, and we were gearing up for another year of homeschooling, when I ran into Cottonwood Day School on Facebook. I read the website and drove by the school and peeked in the windows and bought her a lunch box. We enrolled her a week later, just a day before school started. It looked like a perfect fit. We held our breath as we transitioned her to Cottonwood. That was seven months ago. Cottonwood fills a specific niche for our daughter that no other school in the Gallatin Valley has been able to offer. She needs quiet and calm and nothing on the walls of the classroom. She needs both structure throughout the day and also freedom to attend to her own emotional regulation. She needs to learn at her own pace as she can’t always keep in step with her age mates. She needs the expertise of the instructors, the training they have in executive functioning and their knowledge of how her brain works and learns. She needs the low student/teacher ratio so that she can be known and instructed in all her nuances. She needs Cottonwood and we are grateful for the opportunity she has to grow and learn in this school.” CDS Parent March 2017
What Our Students Have to Say
Thank you for all of your support in letting me go to Cottonwood Day School. My future has never looked so good.
Cottonwood has been invaluable to me. One of the many lessons that Cottonwood has taught me is to stand up tall and be proud of who I am. I’ve made many friends over the past school year that I hope to have forever. My teachers have made me rise like a balloon over my challenges. Not only have they taught me academics and speech therapy, they are also part of my family.
Just like you I hope to help people in need. I think it is important to give back to the community. Before I went to Cottonwood I did not like school that much and I did not have many friends. Also, I was not as active outside of school. Now that I have joined the Cottonwood community I feel like a new person. I am skiing during the week and taking a few classes at the high school. With your help and Cottonwood’s commitment, I can do anything that makes me feel like me. I am much a happier person going to this school and that allows me to communicate, socialize, and bond with people.
If I can keep up my hard work, I can help homeless people that are in need of food, water, and support. This is one of my ideas to aid people in the future. I also like work with old people and kids.
Again I just want to say thank you for giving me a great Opportunity to learn and grow. You have given me faith in myself by supporting me and giving me a great education.