Rural is synonymous with small, but what “small” means varies: In one rural swath of Montana, an entire school district enrolls just one student.
The New York Times ran an interesting feature story last month about Sunset School District 30, in Greenough, Mont., which has one teacher and one 11-year-old student.
Sunset is the smallest one-room school in Montana. The largest student enrollment at any of the state’s 62 one-room schools is 18, according to the article.
Budget cuts and the pressure to consolidate means fewer and fewer of these kinds of schools exist today, so this article captured my attention from start to finish as it looked at how Sunset came to be and what it’s like in the classroom on a daily basis (the school even has a Smartboard).
It’s worth noting that many communities with shuttered one-room schools are making efforts to preserve those structures.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.