Great Beginnings Montessori School aims to expand its business to better serve the needs of its families and the local community. The school would like to establish a additional campus to expand its educational offerings to include elementary school, an expanded summer camp, and a larger campus with access to green space and the outdoors.
Great Beginnings has over 1,500 alumni in the Valley. Since 1986, our students have excelled in area schools and gone on to succeed at top colleges and universities across the country. While conventional schools focus on curriculum, Montessori focuses on the child first. A Great Beginnings education combines the time-tested and visionary insights of Dr. Maria Montessori with the combination of outdoor exploration and leading-edge Montessori study. The results are confident, curious and academically- exceptional students prepared for an ever-evolving world. Great Beginnings students are innovators, creators, and leaders.
Our original, flagship campus includes Montana’s first yurt classroom, two outdoor classrooms, a natural outdoor amphitheater, and a natural playground. We encourage children to explore using outdoor space for science enrichment that keep students’ minds and bodies active.
Our environmental initiatives include a myriad of ways to connect our students with the outdoors, including: school-wide composting; no-idling accountability; hands-on gardening, from planting to the plate; natural playscape elements; a recycling program; and a place-based nature curriculum.
Budget and Sustainability
Great Beginnings Montessori School has four main funding streams: tuition, fundraising, gifts and grants. The school depends on tuition for the majority of its income. Currently, academic year tuition makes up about 82% of our revenue. Summer tuition makes up another 12%. Grant income makes up approximately 6%.
As our school's operating budget balances on its own, fundraising is designated mainly to support specific projects and our scholarship program. Over a third of our families receive assistance from the Great Beginnings Fund for scholarship assistance, and GBMS is additionally part of the Best Beginnings scholarship program available to working families whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Grant funding helps keeps tuition costs low, while adding significant improvements to our programs and facility. We plan to continue to apply for grants to support the school’s mission. Additionally, Great Beginnings has participated in Montana’s SMART Schools challenge, and plans to apply for additional grants with the new campus targeted toward Montana schools and green building practices that create healthy and sustainable communities in which to live, work, and play.
With a Waiting List and an expected population growth in the Gallatin Valley, we anticipate strong enrollment over the next five years. Population figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the Bozeman area among the fastest-growing counties in the nation.
The school also intends to continue a 2-6% tuition increase each year and plan to fundraise each year to support the school’s long-term goals of fiscal responsibility.