Montezuma Community School is located on a 24 acre campus on the north side of town. The pre-school through 12 grade district is all housed in one building. In February of 2012 the voters of the school district approved a $6.7 million referendum for extensive remodeling and renovations to the building. Construction will begin in the spring of 2013 and be finished by August of 2014.
Student enrollment for the 2011-12 school year is 512 students. That number includes students from the Montezuma area as well as students who have open enrolled into the district.
The school has a voluntary preschool program designed for four-year-olds. There are two ½ day sessions with each session limited to 20 children. “The preschool program has been nothing but positive for the district,” said Darin Jones, elementary principal. “Kids will be more prepared for kindergarten, and it’s beneficial for the school and the community.”
The elementary school has a wide variety of programs for elementary students. The entire elementary uses “The Daily Five” for literacy development. Montezuma elementary is proud of the fact that student test scores have continually ranked above average. Students who need additional classroom support attend the reading and math lab, Title I program, or special education programs. Students attend general music classes two or three times during the week, and concerts are held twice a year for the public to attend. Groups also perform for the local nursing homes. Band lessons are started in fifth-grade. Library skills, art, and physical education classes are also scheduled for students during the week. The Talented & Gifted program begins in 4th grade..
Secondary students have a comprehensive range of classes to choose from. The strength of the high school is in the core subjects of math, science, language arts and social studies. Montezuma also has a number of staff members who are certified to teach college-credit courses to students through the school’s Career Academy. “It’s a great benefit, students can leave high school with college credits,” says Brian Moretz, secondary principal.
Montezuma High School has been awarded a Bronze rating by US News for academic performance. Montezuma was 1 of 104 schools in Iowa to receive the recognition, and only 1 of 2 schools in the immediate region. Students achieved a 96% success rating in math testing, and 88% success rating in reading scores.
The district offers more technology than ever and continues to keep up in the ever-changing world of technology at the same time. The building has a 25 meg Internet connect and is has uninterrupted wireless connectivity. There are four Mac labs in the school, containing 20 or more computers as well as 60 Ipads located in various classrooms. The industrial technology department uses a PC lab for CAD drafting. In addition, the school has six mobile wireless computer labs that students can take to class, giving them more access to technology. All classrooms are equipped with a projection device, document camera and mimeo.
All students are invited to participate in a variety of school projects during the year that benefits other people. Some of the past projects have included care packages for soldiers, books for the children’s hospital, food drives, toy drives,.
Clubs and organizations
Montezuma Community School is home to strong drama, speech, vocal music, instrumental music and athletic program. One of the top FFA programs in the nation is right here in Montezuma. The local chapter consistently wins awards and honors on the state and national level. According to advisor Rick Swenson, the FFA program was one of the first programs to win four titles at nationals in back-to-back contests. Students may choose to play an instrument in band, sing in the choir, participate in color guard or cheer Montezuma athletic teams on to victory. Competitive athletic programs include football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, track and field, cross country, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, softball, golf and shooting sports. There are also numerous school clubs such as the Speech Club, Blue & White Athletic Boosters, Band Boosters, Mat Club. Organizations include, FFA, Blue & White student newspaper and the “Dreamcatcher,” the school yearbook. Updates on many school clubs and organizations can be found on GoZuma.
Information is also available through The Blue & White, a student-produced newspaper published in local newspapers and online. School information can be found the district’s Web site and on Montezuma Cable Channel 3. In addition, the Blue & White also broadcasts local news to be viewed by the public on the Montezuma Cable Channel 3.
Other Education Services