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MREA Working with Higher Education in Montana to Put More Preservice Teachers in Rural Schools

Do you have housing options for student teachers in your community?

As a result of a presentation made to the Board of Regents at their May meeting in Havre by District Superintendents Renee Rasmussen, Brad Moore, Loren Dunk, and Andy Carlson, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) has reached out to MREA for assistance in addressing the concerns and challenges shared by our colleagues. Angela McLain, OCHE Director of American Indian/Minority Achievement and K-12 Partnerships, and MREA working together to find ways to get more student teachers into small and rural communities. We know that when preservice teachers get to experience working in these schools and communities they quite often choose to seek employment there.

One of the greatest challenges for placing student teachers in rural Montana is housing for those preservice teachers that do not have family in the area. MREA and OCHE is asking if you are interested in having a student teacher possibly assigned to your school district next semester (Spring 2017) and you have housing options for them to please let MREA know and I will share that information with OCHE who will do what they can to make that happen.

Simply email Dennis Parman at and let me know if we can put your name on the list. We would like to hear from you by Wednesday, August 31 if at all possible. Email Dennis if you have questions or call the MREA office at 443-2629.

MCS Secures High Quality Food Products at Tremendous Savings for Montana’s Public Schools

As Montana Schools  move into the summer months and begin thinking of next year’s budgeting challenges, Montana Cooperative Services (MCS) has a solution to one of those key challenges with an exciting new food bid it recently secured for Montana’s Public Schools. As you likely know, MCS is operated by the Montana Rural Education Association and MTSBA is a key partner in MCS’ success. Both MREA and MTSBA are proud to bring these savings and quality to our members!

Food Services of America (FSA), our highly regarded current provider, submitted the winning bid for MCS food services, ensuring continued access to the first-class, premier service and wide variety of high quality food products that our schools have come to expect from FSA. Even better, the new bid comes with substantial additional savings over current rates! A recent analysis by respected Food Service Directors from our member schools who serve on MCS’s Steering Committee documents that members making typical food service purchases will save thousands of dollars a year. Thanks to our dedicated Food Service Directors for their excellent work throughout this bid process to ensure high quality and savings in equal measures!

Although a member need only make 65% of its food purchases through FSA to qualify for these amazing savings, we are recommending members consider exclusive purchasing through FSA to maximize your savings. Regardless, all you have to do to participate is enter your  “65% commitment” on your membership dues invoice for the coming school year and your savings for the upcoming school year will be secure!

If you have not yet taken advantage of the savings and quality available through participation in Montana Cooperative Services, this is the time to join 200 existing school districts that have already saved millions over the course of the last several years through MCS’ efforts.

Please contact Dave Puyear, MCS Director, at for more information on this program and service!