Why is Cottonwood ALC unique?

  • SIZE:  We are looking to build a community of 12-16 students ages 3-6 for the fall of 2019.  Cottonwood creates an intimate community based in trust and communication where learners and facilitators develop meaningful connections.

  • INDEPENDENCE:  Cottonwood fosters independence in each of our learners.  

  • MIXED-AGE:  At Cottonwood, we see the benefits of a mixed-aged learning environment everyday.  As in the rest of life, students connect with each other across ages and some of the most magical experiences result because of the opportunities presented in a mixed-age classroom.  

  • COMMUNITY AS CLASSROOM:  We intentionally located our educational spaces in downtown Helena where our cultural and natural landscapes are as much a part of our classroom as the walls of our physical school.  Cottonwood students can be found interacting with their community everyday and helping to create the environment they believe in.

  • PLAY:  Everything we do at Cottonwood is centered in play.  Play is often the catalyst for deep learning and investigation.  From our youngest learners to our most experienced facilitators, Cottonwood exudes joy because we play.    


  • Morning Circle and Intentions

  • Works Time

  • Rotating Offering

Monday = Music

Tuesday = Science

Wednesday = Art

Thursday = Cooking

  • Outside Time

  • Lunch

  • Nesting

  • Works Time

  • Closing Circle and Reflections

Cottonwood ALC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or ethnic origin in administration, admission, or any associated activities.