Back to School Fall 2020: FAQs

We know that there are lots of questions swirling around about the start of school this year! We are working hard to get solid answers. As things are changing quickly, please check back here often for updates (and we’ll post updates and reminders on Facebook, too).

For a reference list of links to MCPS and Missoula County information, go here:


A: You have two choices within the MCPS system. Each of these choices is separate from the other (different teachers, curriculum, and schedules). Both options will be a partnership between teachers, students, and families. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  1. Phase 1: Hybrid – A blended model of on-site and remote learning. Kids are in school at Rattlesnake 2 days a week (8:30-2:10) and working/learning from home 3 days a week with limited support from their teachers.
  2. Missoula Online Academy (MOA) – A 100% remote option with kids online from home for two hours each day (TBD) between 8:30 & 1:30 for synchronous learning with their teacher and class. Students will be taught by MCPS educators, however, they may not be a teacher who is a member of your student’s home school. 

Once school starts, requests to move from one program to the other will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Q: When is the school year starting?

A: Phase 1: Hybrid begins on August 26 and MOA begins on September 8.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, August 11, the MCPS School Board approved a plan to begin the year on August 26th in a hybrid model, two days of face-to-face learning and three days of remote learning.  Students with last names beginning with A-K will attend school in one group, and students whose last names begin with L-Z will attend school in another group. Each group will receive remote learning assignments from their classroom teacher for the three days they are not in school. During this hybrid model the school day will begin at 8:30am and end at 2:10pm. Please see Pam’s email with schedule information on the first few weeks of school since there are some short weeks that require adjustments. Week 1 will look like this:

Hybrid Model Schedule – Week 1

      • August 26: Kindergarten Only Day (A– K 8:30am-10:25am, L-Z 12:10pm-2:10pm)
      • August 27: A-K Day (8:30am-2:10pm)
      • August 28: L-Z Day (8:30am-2:10pm)

Families also have the option to choose the MCPS Online Academy, our 100% remote learning option. School for these families will begin on September 8. Registration is open from August 12 – Sept. 2

Both of these plans require some at-home support from parents and caregivers.

Look for an email with class teacher assignment by August 21 for those participating in the hybrid model. MCPS Online Academy’s teacher assignments will come out later, since their first day will be September 8.

Because the situation with coronavirus in our community is always changing, Superintendent Watson will continue to monitor data and adjust plans as necessary.


A: The revised bus schedule is online here.

  • Encourage students maintain a 6 foot distance from each other while waiting for the bus and while loading the bus
  • Follow seating charts and limit the interaction between students while loading and unloading the bus
  • Direct siblings to share seats when needed
  • All students and the bus driver will wear a face covering while on the bus
  • Buses will be cleaned throughout the day and high touch surfaces cleaned between routes

Q: When do parents need to make a decision? Will there be more information about the MCPS Online Academy available to help make an informed decision?

A: All previously registered incoming students to Rattlesnake Elementary will be signed up for the in-person Hybrid School model, unless they have enrolled in the MCPS Online Academy option. The enrollment period for the Online Academy is 8/12/2020 to 9/4/2020 and the link to enroll is here: .

The district has recently published some information to help parents and students better understand the MCPS Online Academy option.

Q: Can I switch from in-person hybrid learning to the Online Academy after school starts on August 26?

The two options of education (Hybrid & Online Academy) will be entirely separate schools, systems, and teachers – and different pacing. Because of this there will be no easy moving between them. If Superintendent Watson moves MCPS back to phase 0 after school starts, all students who have been attending the hybrid model (in-person + remote) will be fully remote and continue working from home with their homeroom teacher.

Q: During the days that kids are at home during the Hybrid School schedule, will they have online instruction from their regular classroom teachers, or will that be through the MCPS Online Academy?

A: During the days that each half of the Hybrid School enrolled students are at home, the PTA’s understanding is that there will be very limited direct engagement with their regular classroom teachers- as these teachers will be teaching the other half of the hybrid block on those days. Instead, as we understand it, some assignments will be given ahead of time- with the amount and type of assignments depending on the age group and the schedule of that week. Lastly, it is our understanding that the Online Academy teachers will not be involved in teaching the Hybrid School students, with the possible exception of specialist teachers (such as art or music). This information is not really well spelled out yet, so we’re hoping to be able to update this soon with greater clarity and detail.

Please note that both of these plans require some at-home support from parents and caregivers.


All students, regardless of whether they are attending in person instruction, on remote learning days, or attending the MCPS Online Academy will have the opportunity to receive food services every school day. Regular meal prices, including free and reduced options, will apply.

Grab and Go lunch for remote learning students will be available for pickup at Rattlesnake Elementary Monday-Friday between 10:30-11:30am outside of the main office. Empower packs (weekend food packs) will also be available at that time on Fridays.

Students participating in remote learning or the MCPS Online Academy can access meals at any school building. It does not have to be their school of attendance, it can be the closest neighborhood MCPS school.

New this year, we are implementing a “Breakfast After the Bell” program at all K5 schools. This program will provide free breakfast for all students that they will eat in the classroom each morning.

Q: Who will teach the students in the MCPS Online Academy, and what will that exactly look like?

A: MCPS does have several pages of information available here:

MCPS Online Academy will be a partnership between teachers, students, and families, just like our in person schools. It is clear that the Online Academy option will be staffed with MCPS teachers (however, they may not be a teacher who is a member of your student’s home school), and we’ve heard directly from Superintendent Watson that the intent is to have teachers that cannot return to face-to-face teaching be the primary staffing of the Online Academy. Lots of other details are included on the new MCPS Online Academy page.

A page on the Roles & Responsibilities within the MOA explains a lot more:

Q: What will be some of the key differences that my student should be mentally prepared for regarding in-person attendance this fall?

A: Some of the key differences include:

  • Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classrooms instead of the cafeteria, or outside (weather permitting). 
  • Recess may have some big differences, such as parts of the playground being divided up or blocked off to promote distance between class groups. 
  • Some specials, such as music and art, may not begin in the first month, or may be taught during online learning days. 
  • Classrooms may be set up very differently, to allow for more space between students and easier cleaning. 
  • Interactions between different classes and grades will be extremely limited (for instance, it is very unlikely there will be a reading buddies program this year).
  • Parents/visitors cannot enter the building
  • There will be no extracurricular activities, with the exception of those activities that provide after school childcare
  • COVID cases in our school may cause in-person school to have to start and stop periodically throughout the school year.

Q: Are the school counselors already available to answer questions and help guide parents with their decisions? 

Yes, both of Rattlesnake’s counselors (Katelyn Scholle & Stacy Holden) are available to answer questions and assist parents. Here is a link to the contact information for Rattlesnake teachers and staff:

Q: What will be done to support air quality and safety in the classrooms?

A: Whenever possible teachers will try and keep windows open and integrate outdoor learning as much as they can. Thankfully, the recent renovation of Rattlesnake Elementary already brought the HVAC system of the building up to date with modern standards, including the use of MERV13 air filters (this is the industrial level suggested by public health authorities for schools to maintain safe air) as well as a high-turnover system. Additionally, MCPS Operations and Management are looking at installing additional safeguards in all district buildings’ air filtration systems to further improve air safety.

From Burley McWilliams, Director of Operations and Maintenance:

“Rattlesnake has numerous mechanical systems. Mainly, each classroom has unit-ventilators. The unit vents combine room air with outside air and filter with MERV 13 filters. Each classroom has a CO2 Sensor at the thermostats, which will adjust for more outside air when CO2 limits are exceeded. Your school is also connected to the district’s Building Management System.  This system allows the district HVAC Technician remote direct access to review and assure the systems are operating at full capacity. “

Q: How can parents and students prepare for the upcoming school year if they plan to attend in-person?

A: As parents, we do need to prepare our children for a different kind of school year than they may have experienced in the past.  

  • Per state and county-wide directives, children will need to wear a cloth face covering (often just called a mask) in the classrooms. Masks are most effective when clean, dry, made from tightly woven cotton, and fitting closely over our children’s noses and mouths. Neck gaiter (“buff”) type masks tend to slip off very frequently, and will not be an allowable type of mask for attendance at school. For more information, please see the MCPS Parent Info for Face Masks page and the CDC’s mask page. At Rattlesnake School, the Family Connection Center will have extra masks for kids that do not have their own, or for use if a mask is lost, etc.
  • Teachers will be integrating outside air and time outside as much as possible for everyone’s safety so it is important that our children are dressed appropriately for the weather they may encounter each school day. A small bottle of hand sanitizer in their backpack might be a good idea, for when a student is not easily able to wash their hands prior to touching their mask or face. A filled water bottle that your child can drink from independently is always advisable- and this year, the old style water fountains will be closed (the new water bottle filling stations will remain open.)
  • It is always good to reinforce proper hand washing techniques 
  • You can talk to your kids about social distancing– what it is, and why do we do it. Talking about how coronavirus is transmitted mostly by airborne particles is helpful to reinforce why it is so important to wear masks indoors, practice good distancing, and wash hands frequently.
  • If age appropriate, you can talk about COVID symptoms and what you should do if you experience them (Hint: tell an adult immediately!). This conversation is very helpful to explain why the school will be taking temperatures of students, as well as other health screening precautions.

Q: What supplies do we need?

A: For 2020 class specific lists for in-person attendance, see the school website: You will also need cloth face coverings (“masks”) for your child, as listed above. For MCPS Online Academy, there is not yet a published list or resource. We will add that when it becomes available.

Q: What should I do if I am having tech difficulties and am unable to access Remote Learning resources for my student?

A: Reach out to your students’ teachers, Principal Wright, and/or the PTA, so that we can help you work through tech related challenges. We will share more details on the remote portion of week for students participating in the Hybrid learning program when we have them.

Q: What will happen if a staff/teacher or student becomes ill with COVID symptoms?

A: Any person exhibiting COVID symptoms will not be allowed to attend in-person school. Parents will be required to conduct health screenings at home before sending their children to school. It is also imperative that an adult is available at all times to pick-up students who plan to attend in-person school in case they begin exhibiting symptoms during the school day.

The Missoula County health department investigates all presumptive positives in the county, and confidentially reaches out to all close contacts of the cases. Any individual who is identified as a close contact is required to quarantine at home for 14 days, regardless of symptoms or negative test.  MCCHD will release them to return to school.

From Superintendent Watson: MCPS believes that in-person learning is important, but the return to school also places students and staff at-risk for contracting COVID-19. We expect that any return to in-person learning will result in transmission and positive cases COVID-19. In the event there is a confirmed case, either staff or student, there could be a short term school closure as recommended by MCCHD.  

More details on the MCPS response plan:

Q: Where can I get a child sized cloth face covering?

A: There are many options for masks for your child.

Many local small businesses make child sized face coverings in a variety of sizes:

Commercially made cloth face coverings are available in many area businesses:

Purchase masks online:

You can even make your own cloth face covering:

If you are struggling to secure properly fitting face coverings for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact Stacy Jehle at the Family Connection Center (call (406) 728-2400 ext. 4523 or email her at for further assistance.

Back to School Fall 2020: Lots of Links!

The Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) Return to School plans that are currently being discussed involve a lot of different documents and links to look at, so here’s a list for your reference. (We will update this as things change, current list is from 7/28/2020)

MCPS Direct Links

Related Links for Reference

Rattlesnake School Garden Summer 2020

The Rattlesnake School Garden will be open this summer! Garden City Harvest staff have prepared and planted the garden with spring vegetables such as peas, radishes, and spinach, as well as summer produce like tomatoes and cucumbers. Families are welcome to visit the garden and take home veggies through the Adopt-the-Garden and Open Garden Hours programs. Due to COVID-19, new cleaning procedures and other measures will be in place to keep the community safe and healthy. We missed seeing Rattlesnake students in the garden this spring, and we hope to see you soon.

Adopt-the-Garden – Weekly, beginning June 8th 2020

We are looking for families to adopt-the-garden each week of the summer. You’ll help by opening the garden for a couple of hours during the week, whenever it fits into your schedule. We encourage you to do some light weeding and harvesting. Some perks of the job: taking home free, fresh produce and enjoying the outdoors! 

You can find the Adopt-the-Garden signup link here:

Open Garden Hours

Open Garden will be each Tuesday from June 23rd – August 11th 2020, from 9am-12pm

School Gardens Manager Lori will be in the garden every Tuesday morning this summer from 9am to noon. Come visit the garden, help out, learn about gardening, connect with neighbors, and take home some fresh fruits and vegetables! Please wear a mask, and bring your own work gloves.


End of Year Details

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Thank you for the work you have done over the past several weeks to support your child’s learning at home. You have done an amazing job in such a short period of time. As we enter the final few weeks of instruction, I know many of you are worried about securing items that may still be at school. Keeping that in mind, we have worked to develop a plan that ensures that personal belongings from school may be retrieved, and computer devices and library books can be returned, all within social distancing guidelines.

The teachers and staff have spent time clearing desks, lockers, collecting books, artwork and other materials. Each student has at least one shopping bag of things. We strongly encourage you to pick up the materials

In order to facilitate a safe pickup and drop off of materials, we will utilize the following guidelines.

Curbside delivery of student belongings: On June 8th, 9th and 10th we will offer a curbside pickup to retrieve any personal items or supplies belonging to your child. (*See schedule below)

How will curbside pickup work?

● You will pull up to the assigned location during the assigned time. We will have staff members standing outside to get name(s) of your student(s). We will then bring student materials to your vehicle to be placed in the trunk or back seat. We are trying to respect social distancing and to keep contact to a minimum. If you decide to walk to the pick up, please wear a mask. (Homeroom teachers will be packing up materials, but they may or may not be there for curbside pick up.) If there are specific items that need to be included, please let your child’s teacher know.

● Siblings: For families with more than one student at Rattlesnake, we will have you pick up all materials at the youngest student’s designated spot/time. Example: If you have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader – you would go to the 1st graders pick up spot for pick up of both students’ belongings. For twins, please pick up at the first scheduled time.

Returning library books and technology devices:

From Tuesday, May 26-Thursday, June 4, between 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., there will be a library cart outside the front office doors for book returns. We’d like to collect as many library books as possible before the last week of school in order to complete end-of-year inventory. Please return books to Rattlesnake during these times if you are able to do so. We will also be collecting library books during curbside pick up on June 8, 9, 10 as follows:

● Book carts will be placed at pick up locations.

● Place any “checked-out” books that you are returning in the carts

● Books will be quarantined for a period of time and scanned in at a later date

All technology devices must be returned during curbside pick up on June 8, 9, 10.

● Staff will be available to receive laptop/chromebook/wifi hotspot and document device return.Send to:


Please try to make it during your designated time to keep traffic flowing smoothly. If you can not make it during your designated time window, you will need to make alternative plans to pick up materials. Contact Mrs. Wright at for an alternate time. If your pick up location is on the Mountainview side, please plan to drive down and turn around like the buses do, so that your passenger side is along the curb.



Evenson – Monday 9:00-11:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Lee – Monday 9:00-11:00 -Front of School/Pull-thru

Rieley – Monday 11:00-1:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Thomas – Monday 11:00-1:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

3rd Grade

Kast – Monday 9:00-11:00 – Mountainview Drive (Bus loading/unloading area)

Loewenwarter – Monday 11:00-1:00 -Mountainview Drive (Bus loading/unloading area)

Matz – Monday 1:00-3:00 – Mountainview Drive (Bus loading/unloading area)

1st Grade

Decker – Monday 1:00-3:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Petrini- Monday 1:00-3:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru


1st Grade

Shell – Tuesday 9:00-11:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Walsh – Tuesday 9:00-11:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

2nd Grade

Dombrowski – Tuesday 11:00-1:00 Front of School/Pull-thru

Sayler – Tuesday 11:00-1:00 Front of School/Pull-thru

Jarvis – Tuesday 1:00-3:00 Front of School/Pull-thru

Harris – Tuesday 1:00-3:00 Front of School/Pull-thru

4th Grade

Pierce -Tuesday 9:00-11:00 -Mountainview Drive (Bus loading/unloading area)

Sweatland – Tuesday 11:00-1:00 -Mountainview Drive (Bus loading/unloading area)

Wright – Tuesday 1:00-3:00 -Mountainview Drive (Bus loading/unloading area)


5th Grade

Ibis – Wednesday 9:00-11:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Koster -Wednesday 10:00-12:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Larson -Wednesday 11:00-1:00 – Front of School/Pull-thru

Spring Online Auction!

Introducing the Spring Online Auction to benefit Rattlesnake Elementary PTA: 

We’re raising money to support our school as we fund teacher requests for remote learning needs and classroom supplies, help students in need, show appreciation for our teachers and make future educational opportunities possible.  

Bidding begins on Sunday, May 17 at noon and ends on Monday, May 25 at 8pm.

A few items you can win from our magnificent local donors:

  • pizza party delivered to your door from Grist Bakery
  • Betty’s Divine online shopping spree
  • ten pounds of salmon caught in Alaska and dropped off at your house
  • and more!!



Thank you so much for supporting our school!

Quick Reference for COVID-19 School Closure

There is a lot of information coming to Rattlesnake’s community every day from many sources. We hope that this guide helps you find the information you and your family need during this time. We will update this as often as needed. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing everyone again!

This page is very long! It includes information on all the following topics. Please scroll down to find information on:

  • Meals
  • Remote Learning
  • Emergency Childcare
  • Mental Health
  • Monday Message from Mrs. Wright
  • MCPS District Communications
  • Community Resources and Updates
  • Keeping the kids engaged and entertained


During this school closure period, the MCPS school lunch, breakfast & weekend meal programs are open to ALL youth for FREE.  Any youth can receive free meals, regardless of free/reduced lunch status. Meals are available to ANY youth under 18 (even private school or homeschool students, or students from other school districts).


MCPS is maintaining a page with lots of detailed information on meal delivery for all schools.


  • Meals are delivered to the Rattlesnake School bus zone at 12:20 p.m. Monday – Friday. This means if you miss when the bus is at your stop, you can just pick up your meal(s) at your local school.
  • Beach Transportation will be delivering meals along regular bus routes Monday – Friday, starting at 11:00am. Please enter your address on the infofinder site to find the time your bus will be at your bus stop each day:
  • Monday – Friday each child will receive breakfast (for the following day) and lunch for the current day. On Fridays, you can also request a weekend food bag (packaged by the Missoula Food Bank, also called an EmPower Pack). If you would like to be added to the list of families that get an EmPower Pack, please email Stacy Jehle at and she’ll get you all set up.




Starting Monday, March 30 there will be weekly online lessons available for all content areas and grade levels. Thank you to our wonderful staff and teachers for making this happen!


Find grade-level team’s daily lesson plans from our beloved Rattlesnake teachers here starting March 30:

  • These plans include both academic & “specials/enrichment” classes, and are designed to review and reinforce learning- not to introduce new things right now.
  • Additional district resources are available here:
  • If you have questions about the lessons and resources, please email your classroom teacher.
  • If you need help with getting loaner Chromebook from school, or internet access, please email Stacy Jehle at and she’ll do her best to help.


Right now, the teachers just want to keep the students engaged in learning- they are not doing any grades, assessments, or testing. Please, if you or your student is feeling pressure, remind them that the #1 priority right now is not schoolwork, via this lovely message of encouragement from our Superintendent Rob Watson:


“The Missoula Family YMCA is now offering licensed emergency childcare to essential service workers. Missoula City-County Health Department defines essential service workers as first responders, medical workers, and city-county first responders.” Learn more on the YMCA’s site,


A message from our friends at the Missoula City-County Health Department:

“These are difficult times, and it is natural and normal to be experiencing strong feelings. There are a lot of changes and directives coming at us from many directions right now, but one thing we want to make sure you do is be gentle with yourself and take some time for your mental health. You’ll find mental health resources from the Missoula City-County Health Department.”


Mrs. Wright posts morning messages each Monday, with bonus messages the week of March 23rd! Your kids are used to watching these messages at school each Monday, and Mrs. Wright makes them for the audience of your kids! You can find all the messages on her YouTube channel:



Governor Bullock issued a shelter-in-place order, currently effective through April 24th, many of us might want easier ways to keep our pantries full and our kids busy. This is just a sampling of local organizations offering helpful information and/or services to our community.


Many grocery stores are VERY busy and may not have delivery or pick up times available right away, but it is worth calling them to find out!



Thank you to these great organizations offering online resources for our kids




Spring Fling: Canceled (or postponed)

*** The Spring Fling will not be held in person this year. If feasible, we will hold an online auction in mid May (roughly). We will update everyone in mid April with our decisions and resulting volunteer needs. ***

Hello awesome Rattlesnake parents and caretakers,
We are gearing up for our annual Spring Fling on Friday, April 3, 2020.
This is one of the few events where the whole school community gets to come together for some great family fun, in addition to being a vital fundraiser for the PTA.
What we raise during Spring Fling directly determines how many awesome and enriching things we can support at our school – field trips, visiting professionals to our classrooms, teacher grants, the Family Connection Center, and more.
Here is where you come in! Can you help in one or more of the following ways?

1. Volunteer to help plan the Spring Fling

  • Food Committee: Plan a menu, solicit donations, determine logistics of getting food to event and oversee food volunteers on the day of the event.
  • Raffle Lead: Solicit and organize items for a small raffle at the even (in the past we’ve had everything from a bike to lunch with Pam).
  • Decorations Committee: Help plan and prepare decorations for the event, or oversee volunteers on the day of event for set up.

2. Solicit or donate an item for the Silent Auction

The auction is the main way we raise money at the event. We are looking for anything
from locally made products to summer camps to music lessons to homemade items.

3. Sponsor or solicit a business sponsorship

Businesses or individuals can sponsor either our Spring Fling or the Fun Run with a financial donation and be recognized through marketing and social media for their donation. We have a pre-written letter and graphics that you can simply hand deliver, mail or email. Contact Molly at for more information.
Please reach let us know if you are interested in volunteering or if you have any ideas or questions. We appreciate all you do to help support our school community.
Thank you!
Molly Cottrell and Judith Bledsoe, Spring Fling co-chairs

Missoula Children’s Theater: Peter and Wendy!


The Missoula Children’s Theater (MCT), the nation’s largest touring children’s theater, will be at Rattlesnake Elementary School in February. Students from 1st to 5th grade will have the opportunity to audition, rehearse, and perform the play Peter and Wendy the week of February 3rd 2020.

Thank you SO MUCH to our sponsors who help make this possible!


Friday, January 17: Registration form due for students who wish to participate. The Registration form was distributed to students last week and can also be found here. Students must be preregistered to audition.

Monday, February 3: Audition, 3:30* pm to 5:30 pm  / First rehearsal, 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm

Tuesday, February 4 – Wednesday, February 5: Rehearsal sessions, 3:30* pm to 5:30 pm and 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm

Thursday, February 6: Rehearsal sessions, 2:30* pm to 4:30 pm and 4:45 pm to 6:45 pm

Friday, February 7: Morning dress rehearsal  / Make up and costumes, 4:00* pm to 5:30 pm / Public Performance at 5:30 pm (free and open to the public)

(*see below for information on After School Care)


Students will need to audition on February 3rd. Only 50 to 60 students can be cast in the play, so there is no guarantee that all students will receive a part. (read useful information from MCT on helping kids deal with disappointment here)

The cost to participate if your child is selected as a cast member is $40 (paid after auditions). Scholarships are available, please contact Stacy Jehle at 728-2400 ext. 4723 or for more information.

PTA volunteers will be available after school Monday through Friday to provide supervised care for participants until the MCT audition or rehearsal begins.

For additional information please see below or contact PTA volunteer, Dana Hupp: 406-880-4689

Dear Rattlesnake Families,

The Missoula Children’s Theater will be at Rattlesnake Elementary School the week of February 3, 2020! Students in 1st through 5th grade will have the opportunity to audition, rehearse, and perform the play Peter and Wendy. Auditions will be held on Monday, February 3rd, culminating in two performances on Friday, February 7th. Fifty to sixty students will be cast in the play. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that every student who auditions will receive a part. If your child is interested in auditioning, please return the registration form to your child’s teacher no later than Friday, January 17, 2020. A registration form is provided here (and also came home with your child last week).

Auditions: Auditions will occur at school on Monday, February 3rd from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. This is a group audition – no advance preparation is necessary. Cast members will be announced at the end of the audition. Please plan on meeting your child at the old gym by 5:15 pm to ensure you arrive for the announcement of the cast members. Please see the “Dealing with Disappointment” handout on the PTA’s website if you would like to learn more about how you can help your child if they are not selected. Students who are selected will have an opportunity to eat a sack dinner she/he brings after the audition. The first rehearsal will be that evening from approximately 5:45 to 7:45 pm.

Rehearsals: Rehearsals will be conducted at school Monday through Friday, February 3rd through 7th. The first rehearsal will be Monday evening after auditions, from approximately 5:45 until 7:45 pm. There will be two sessions of rehearsals after school on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:30 pm and 5:45 to 7:45 pm and on Thursday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm and 4:45 to 6:45 pm. Cast members may be asked to attend one or both sessions each of those days depending upon their role. Additionally, students will participate in a dress rehearsal on the morning of Friday, February 7th, and will need to be back at school by 4:00 pm that day to prepare for the 5:30 pm public performance. Those auditioning are required to attend all rehearsals and scheduled performances. A detailed rehearsal schedule will be distributed to cast members at the conclusion of the audition.

After School Care: PTA volunteers will be providing supervised after school care in the new gym for participating students between when school lets out each day and when the MCT activity begins. After care will be provided on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3:00 to 3:30 pm and on Thursday from 2:00 to 2:30 pm. After care will also be provided on Friday from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The students will be taken from after care to the appropriate gym for MCT practice.

Food/Pick Up: Please send a snack with your student if they will be in after care and/or a sack dinner if they will be attending both rehearsals in the evening. Please pick up your child at the south door of the old gym each evening and sign them out with the PTA volunteer.

Performances: The cast will be performing Peter and Wendy two times on Friday, February 7th. The first performance will be during the school day for the elementary students. The second performance will be Friday evening at 5:30 pm at Rattlesnake Elementary in the old gym. That performance will be free and open to the public.

Cost: There is a $40 participant fee for the students cast in the play. Please bring a check made out to Rattlesnake PTA in that amount Monday evening after rehearsal. Scholarships are available. Ms. Jehle in the Family Connection Center can provide you with information about receiving a scholarship. The PTA is hoping that through donations at Friday’s performance and other fundraising efforts that it will be able to fully cover the cost of the event in future years without requesting performance fees.

Please contact PTA Volunteer, Dana Hupp, (406) 880-4689, with any questions. 


The Mission Statement of Missoula Children’s Theatre

We live in a highly competitive era. Youngsters are introduced at an early age to the realities of our achievement- and success-oriented society. From academics to athletics to social interaction, children feel pressure to get the best grades, score the most points, have the most friends. The Missoula Children’s Theatre strives to use the performing arts, wrapped in a positive, fun environment, as a vehicle to develop the life skills (social skills, communication skills, self-discipline, a strong work ethic, an understanding of the team concept and self-esteem) that children need to answer present and future challenges.

Although MCT tours to major metropolitan centers, most of the communities on the itinerary are isolated, underserved, and/or economically depressed. MCT remains dedicated to providing financially accessible arts experiences to all communities, regardless of size or economic status. Local performing arts programs may be supplemented using our program, but live theatre participation, qualified drama teachers, and educationally sound music programs within the curriculum are often non-existent. MCT caters to these communities by bringing in productions that can be staged in almost any setting.

Show casts include boys and girls in different grades and social groups. We cast quiet kids, kids who do sports and kids who don’t do sports, and kids with special needs. Our program embraces at-risk children with tough issues. MCT provides a unique opportunity to learn the lessons of group dynamics while also excelling and distinguishing oneself as an individual.

Yes, MCT provides a top-quality entertainment experience for audience members. Yes, MCT nurtures and challenges the abilities of those rare children with career performance ambitions and potential. Yes, MCT provides a healthy and wholesome ambassadorship for the arts and opens the door to new life experiences and aesthetic pleasures. But, the primary goal of MCT – indeed, the organization’s mission – is the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts.


Direct Donate 2019

The Rattlesnake PTA works with the teachers, staff, and community of our school to provide both funding and in-person support for special events, field trips, students and families in need, classroom materials, and educational enrichment. By donating to the Rattlesnake PTA this holiday season, your dollars directly support the programs that matter most to our students, staff, and community.

  • Donate between November 25th and December 31st 2019 to ensure your donation is counted towards meeting our annual goal. Donations received after the deadline are very much still welcome- it is just harder to keep track of our progress after that!
  • The suggested donation is $50 per child – this amount is approximately how much the PTA needs in donations, per child per year, to support our programs.
  • To donate online, visit:
  • To donate with cash or check: Use the pre-addressed green envelope that came home with your child, or any other envelope if you’ve misplaced that one! When school is in session, you can send the envelope in your child’s classroom folder. Donations over winter break should be mailed to either of the addresses below. Checks should be made out to “Rattlesnake PTA.”

Mail to: 

Rattlesnake PTA, P.O. Box 7211, Missoula MT 59807

– or –

Rattlesnake PTA, 1220 Pineview Dr, Missoula MT 59802

Track our overall progress on Facebook at

Thank you for considering a donation today!

More Details on the Direct Donate Fundraiser

Background: The PTA’s Direct Donate Drive started in 2015 to allow families to give money to the PTA without having to buy or sell items like chocolates and wrapping paper. The Direct Donate fundraiser has since become the 2nd biggest annual fundraiser run by the Rattlesnake PTA.  Learn more about the Rattlesnake PTA’s major fundraising and event schedule here.

Goals: The net funds raised during the Direct Donation event in 2018 were over $10,000. The goal for 2019 is $12,000. We’ve kept our ambitious $12K goal this year for Direct Donate so that other community events during the year (such as the Spring Fling) can focus more on the FUN, and less on the fundraising!

Get the Word Out: We are committed to minimizing waste during this fundraising event by minimizing paper handouts so watch for email and Facebook ( reminders that you can share with others. You can also share the Crowdrise link with grandparents, family & friends who might want to support Rattlesnake Elementary.

Please feel free to return any unused green envelopes to your child’s teacher for reuse next year.

Online Fees: Anyone can donate by check, cash, or online — but you might want to know that donations by cash or check “go a little farther” because there are no transaction fees. Donations online via Crowdrise include two fees:

  • a 6% (of total donation) fee to use the online platform
  • separate credit card processing fee of 3- 4%, depending on size of donation

If you wish to maximize every penny of your donation, please consider sending a check instead. Make the check out to “Rattlesnake PTA” and send to Rattlesnake PTA, 1220 Pineview Dr, Missoula MT 59802.

Tax Info: The PTA’s legal name as defined by the IRS may show up on your receipt for donating on Crowdrise- that name is the “MONTANA CONGRESS OF PARENTS TEACHERS STUDENTS.” We are sorry for any confusion that might cause. Your donation will reach us!

The Rattlesnake PTA is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit, tax ID #81-0448185.

If you have further questions about this fundraiser, please email the PTA at