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Score an Excellent Education in Great Falls, MT

Here, you can choose from top-notch public and private schools, along with university programs designed to prepare students for in-demand jobs.

By Teree Caruthers on February 4, 2022

Central Catholic High School students
Great Falls Central Catholic High School

A diverse roster of educational options not only plays into the region’s workforce development strategy – it produces talented individuals ready to take on in-demand jobs in the area – but it also finds itself among Great Falls’ quality of life amenities.

Unlike some areas, relocating families don’t just have to settle and send their child to the single school available in the area. Here, they can choose from a top-rated public school system as well as highly lauded private and parochial schools — all of which excel at preparing students for college or a career path.

With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, Great Falls Public Schools is the second-largest school district in Montana and one of the top-ranked in the state. The district offers dual enrollment courses that allow students to simultaneously earn high school and college credits, and it partners with Great Falls College – Montana State University to give graduating seniors an opportunity to earn an associate degree in several fields. The district also helps steer students toward in-demand career paths.

Great Falls Public Schools
Great Falls Public Schools

Well-Rounded Schools in Great Falls

“The schools have many hands-on electives, which were a big draw to me because so much of preparing for life after high school is figuring out what your joy is, what your passions are,” says Dave Kilian, a math teacher and an assistant track and field coach at Great Falls High School, who relocated with his family from Oregon in July 2021.

“The high school has an auto shop; we offer courses in metalworking and construction. Our students even build sheds and houses and gain a lot of good hands-on skills. Not only that, but the music and drama and arts programs are strong. Where I’m coming from in Oregon, a lot of schools were cutting those out of their programs.”

Graduation at Great Falls College - MSU
Great Falls College – MSU

Pathways to Success in Montana

In addition to career and technical education courses, Great Falls high school students can explore career options through the Montana Career Pathways program, which works to educate students about local and regional career fields.

“Montana Career Pathways helps students learn about career options and activities they can engage in for a pathway they are interested in pursuing, including what dual enrollment classes to take, what work-based learning options they should explore, and what jobs are in demand in places they’d like to live,” says Jacque Treaster, director of dual enrollment and career and technical education for the Montana University System (MUS). “They can also learn about what degrees result in skills needed for specific positions and how much those positions typically pay.”

Montana Career Pathways

The program also helps facilitate partnerships between high schools,
colleges and local businesses to provide work-based
learning opportunities for their students.

Treaster says MUS works with businesses, state-level industry associations, such as the Montana Hospital Association and the Montana Contractors Association, as well as economic development organizations to help connect students to internships and other experiential learning programs.

“Many businesses are very engaged because they are looking to fill positions with qualified, dedicated and passionate professionals,” she says.

Find A+ Private Schools in Great Falls

Beyond public schools, Great Falls offers an impressive collection of private schools, including Foothills Community Christian School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Great Falls Central Catholic High School and Treasure State Academy.

Our Lady of Lourdes is a traditional, highly academic K-8 school that prepares students for high school and college. The school is devoted to developing study skills, organizational techniques and a strong work ethic in students.

Great Falls Central Catholic High School offers rigorous STEM programming for students with AP, honors and dual credit opportunities. Each of the schools plays an active role in introducing students to local career pathways and opportunities beyond high school. “Both schools are small, family-oriented, faith-based schools,” says Jason Madill, a parent with children attending both schools.

There are many opportunities to be involved with our children’s education. The school families are very close and provide an instant support system, and our school families support each other and build lifelong friendships.”

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