Intro to Bozeman

What Are the Private and Independent Schools in Bozeman?

by Liz Nitz

Gallatin Watershed tour elective course for Bozeman Field School students.

What are the private and independent schools in Bozeman? There are plenty of options when it comes to private and independent schools in Bozeman. How does your child like to learn? Do they need structure? Are they better suited for independent learning? Do they respond to an exploratory, experiential education model? Every child is unique. Luckily, Bozeman has a few great choices for families.

Christian-Based Schools

Petra Academy An accredited member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS). Petra has an impressive 20-acre campus that houses 180 students, Pre-K-12. This highly structured and academically rigorous school follows a Christ-centered curriculum focused on a three-way approach to education: grammar, logic and rhetoric. Students are organized into “houses” and compete for Petra’s House Cup in areas of drama, sports, art and academics—they believe this builds camaraderie, healthy competition, and interaction among different age groups. Petra has scholarships available and 33% of students receive some kind of financial assistance based solely on financial need.

Heritage Christian Day School Committed to providing a well-rounded education from a Christ-centered perspective for grades Pre-K- 12. Core curriculum consists of Bible, math, English, science, and history, as well as instruction in Latin, music, art, physical education, foreign language, and more. All materials are selected for their Christian content, as well as being highly effective and research-proven in producing student achievement.

Mount Ellis Elementary A Pre K- 8 school owned and operated by the Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. It is accredited by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Office of Education and the National Council for Private School Accreditation. Christian characters, strong intellect, critical thinking and a heart of service are nurtured at MEE. There is also Mount Ellis Academy—a boarding high school that prepares students for college. Both schools are focused on bible-based education but they accept students regardless of religious affiliation.

Flexible-Learning Schools

Emerge School Follows a unique, K-12 university model where students attend class twice a week to allow flexibility for pursuing outside interests. K-5 is a multi-grade classroom has a maximum of 20 kids in each class and assigns homework customized to each student’s learning level. In grades 6-8 students are welcome to enroll full or part time and may enroll in any middle school class. Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays.

Experiential-Learning Schools

Headwaters Academy This is Bozeman’s only independent middle school. Students are exposed to advanced academic skills in critical analysis, public speaking, written communication, math, science, and technology. There is also lots of exploratory outdoor learning through the Outdoor Education Program where students learn in a wilderness setting and the Field Study Tour, an experiential week-long field trip to explore places like Ecuador and Mexico. Students do a public presentation of their findings back home. Headwaters also hosts a bi-annual speaker series with award-winning authors, film-makers, and scientists.

Explore Academy This school follows the Acton model which really focuses on the individual child. Students learn in an open, self-paced environment with the help of a Guide. They are encouraged to set their own learning goals and hone their emotional and observational intelligence through Socratic discussions. School days are a mix of core learning and hands-on quests for science, entrepreneurship and the arts that will prepare children for apprenticeships and real-world challenges. Currently K-6.

Bozeman Field School This school offers truly unique experiential learning for high school students. The emphasis is to get outside and learn through field trips to cultural sites, extended overnight expeditions, and field study activities in all subject areas. There are also six-week immersive block courses where students can take rotating classes in visual and performing arts, cultural studies, STEM, music, social sciences, and other disciplines. Some past courses include Karate, Branding and Marketing, Introduction to Guiding, and Bouldering Wall Design & Construction.

Specially-Focused Schools

Cottonwood Day School Montana’s first and only private, non-profit elementary school for students with learning disabilities. Cottonwood employs a multi-sensory approach to learning by using visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile methods. It recently launched an online programs for students who are challenged by traditional instruction; easily overwhelmed sensorily; have severe focus and attention challenges; or have limited support services, like those in rural areas.

Both private, as well as public schools in Bozeman are currently enrolling students for the 2021-2022 school year. You can also check out my previous post on summer programs for kids in Bozeman. If you just moved to Bozeman or have any questions about Bozeman real estate or about visiting, feel free to contact me at


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334 Herstal Way, Bozeman, Montana 59718

334 Herstal Way, Bozeman, Montana 59718

Form & Function are on display in this concise and well-appointed plan by Higher Standard Homes. Living room with laminate hardwood seamlessly flows through the dining area and into the kitchen which features quartz counter tops, stainless appliances, modern Bellmont cabinets and large slab island. Upper level boasts spacious master with dual vanities, tile surround shower and walk-in closet.

3010 W Villard Street 1F, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3010 W Villard Street 1F, Bozeman, Montana 59718

Well maintained and move-in ready upper level 3B/2B condo in Morgan Creek. This home also has a 1 car detached garage and spacious bedrooms. Fantastic central Bozeman location.

391 Annie Glade Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59718

391 Annie Glade Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59718

This lovely, light-filled home in Elk Grove is located at the end of cul-de-sac on a larger lot with a beautifully landscaped & fenced yard that backs to open space. This well-appointed home includes 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths plus office and guest cabin. The main level master features a large ensuite bathroom with soaker tub. Beautiful hardwood floors cover the main living spaces and bedrooms.

1028 Boylan Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1028 Boylan Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715

Fantastic and flexible single level floor plan in Bridger Creek Subdivision is under construction and expected to be completed by mid-March 2022. High quality finishes include an extensive cabinetry package, custom built ins, tile, luxury vinyl flooring and quartz counters. Matte black fixtures enhance the sleek modern flair of this 2700 + Sf home.

1045 Boylan Road 3, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1045 Boylan Road 3, Bozeman, Montana 59715

Great condo in a great location! Situated on the number 6 hole on Bridger Creek Golf Course, this light filled condo is central to all that is great about living in SW MT! Minutes to downtown Bozeman, surrounded by trails, and easy to hop on the walking or bike path to the M and Drinking Horse Mountain. Golf all summer and xc ski on the groomed trails out your back door all winter.

2400 Durston 8, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2400 Durston 8, Bozeman, Montana 59718

Beautifully updated and move in ready, single level home in the desirable Willwobrook Condos. This home features a large master suite w/walk-in closet, private fenced patio and a remodeled 3/4 bath with gorgeous walk-in shower. Luxurious new wool carpet. Granite counters in kitchen and 2nd bath. Kitchen features newer stainless appliances, pull outs in lower cabinets and a sizable pantry.

6651 Gooch Hill Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718

6651 Gooch Hill Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718

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305 Michael Grove Avenue 2A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

Single-level, 2-bedroom 2-bath, newly painted, ground floor, corner unit condo with lots of natural light from north and eastern-facing windows. Open concept living and dining area, opening up to small patio. Main entry is a preferred south facing entry. Condo has central air conditioning(!), a 1-car detached garage with loft storage, and a reserved parking space.

439 N 10th, Bozeman, Montana 59715

439 N 10th, Bozeman, Montana 59715

GREAT LOCATION! Close to Bozeman Senior High School 4BR 2BA Rancher with full basement and CONVERTED SHOP to a 400SF+ STUDIO/COTTAGE, additional living space in the backyard. Studio has 3/4 bath, small kitchenette w/sink, AC/Heat Mini split, stacked W/D, gas stove heater and walk-in closet. EXTRA PARKING accessed from alley.
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Windermere Downtown logo Bozeman Real Estate Agent Liz Nitz

Windermere Downtown Bozeman

135 E Main St.

Bozeman, MT 59715

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